Before you read this article, you should read the AUSU update this week. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Okay? Now, let’s start off with full disclosure. Tamra Ross, former editor-in-chief of The Voice, and former Executive Director of AUSU is also my spouse. You might ask how on earth we can do that without there being significant conflict of interest, and we’ve both always been well aware of that question. Which is why, for this hire when I applied, Tamra recused herself from the hiring process and left it to the three elected members of the AUSU executive to look at all applicants. Similarly, when it comes time to review the work I’ve been doing and if I’m providing AUSU members appropriate value for the pay I get, it is the AUSU executive again who handles that.
This also means that I have a bit of a tightrope to walk here, as this has, as you can imagine, meant a significant adjustment, but that I can’t allow that to bleed into my duties as the managing editor.
What my duties require is to ask what this means for you, as AUSU members. Tamra started working for AUSU as communications co-ordinator, which, as AUSU’s activities expanded, evolved into the Executive Director/Editor-in-Chief position.
When Athabasca University was repeatedly shrinking the amount of space they were willing to give to AUSU, Tamra developed and drove the plan that allowed AUSU to move into its own space in Edmonton, giving it needed room for extra staffing as the organization continued to grow. She also was very involved in developing AUSU’s convocation assistance programs, specifically the bussing that AUSU provides so that people can get from Edmonton to Athabasca without the additional expense of renting a vehicle. And if you take advantage of AUSU’s planner, those were almost entirely designed by Tamra, including the layout, most of the content and arranging for the printing and advertising that AUSU received to help offset the costs of the book. I am unaware if this will have any impact on the planner for 2015.
AUSU’s collaboration with lynda.com and the various free courses you can access as a student was spearheaded and the various details of the program designed almost entirely by Tamra. Similarly, AUSU’s new health care program, that it has recently launched, was also spearheaded and implemented almost entirely by Tamra’s action, with Council offering hearty kudos to her at the last AUSU Council meeting for doing so.
As this has all happened very recently I have yet to contact AUSU President Jason Nixon to request further official details of the change, or how AUSU will proceed.
However, for now, the Voice remains, and I know of no plans to change that. So with that in mind, we have a number of great articles, including a new Minds We Meet, with a very new AU student, Alaa Salih. Also, we have the return of The Travelling Student, and an alternative look at a couple of the things brought up last issue. Enjoy the read!