Council Connection

February 19th, 2014

On Feburary 19th, Council met for the last time before the results of the election would be announced. All Councillors were present except for Wendy Barnard, who, due to personal family issues, decided she needed to leave both Council and remove herself from the election. Council thanked her for her hard work, and regretfully accepted her resignation.

Not present at this meeting were any of the candidates for this year’s election except for the incumbants. While Council made no remark on this themselves, I personally found it a bit odd that those running for Council wouldn’t bother showing up for a meeting happening during the election period, just to see what it’s like.

The meeting itself was fairly uneventful, with the policies under review generally having little change required. There was some discussion, however, as to whether AUSU should increase the current mileage rate (currently $0.35/km) it gives for Councillors who have to travel with their own vehicle. It was noted that many other organizations seem to be basing their mileage rates on the rates of the government, which are much higher. However, once it was pointed out that the current rate would allow you to fuel a Lamborghini, Council decided they did not need further adjustment.

One other interesting change this meeting was the repeal of one of AUSU’s position policies about encouraging AU to develop an electronic degree audit and program planning system to be accessible online. The repeal is because the policy is no longer needed, AU is rolling out it’s DegreeWorks system to all new students, meaning that AUSU has successfully realized this position. Congratulations to them for that.

More interesting is that during this meeting, the executive group announced a new procedure for their reports. Instead of just disappearing into a black-hole of document storage, once the executive reports are approved by Council (to make sure they don’t contain anything that might get Council in trouble with privacy legislation or confidential AU committees) they will be made available to the student body. These reports contain details of what the Executive Councillors have been doing, their meetings with AU and external groups, their travel, and perhaps some additional details as to what’s going on in Council at the time. This will be a welcome addition to the information available to us as members, and help us to see if our $3.00/credit is being well spent.

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