Council Connection

Wednesday’s AUSU Council meeting was surprisingly short. That’s actually a relief after last month’s marathon meeting of over three hours, which I bailed out of half-way through. But the short meeting was unsatisfying for what was not discussed.

All council members were present November 12, and the meeting got underway promptly at 5:30pm. After the usual agenda and meeting minutes approvals were taken care of, council got down to business.

The sole action item on the agenda was a once-contentious change to Council Governance policy 2.08, which addresses council meeting attendance. This policy item was on the agenda for the October 8 meeting, but had been tabled after lengthy discussion. The intervening weeks must have worked some magic, because this time the updated policy was unanimously passed in less than 30 seconds.

The remainder of the regular meeting November 12 covered the usual slate of reports from individuals and committees. As a meeting observer, I find it frustrating that these reports are shared only among members of council. Although I can usually?but not for this meeting?get a copy of the meeting’s agenda, the reports are not distributed. The contents of the reports are only revealed in the meeting if the person providing the report makes specific mention of an item, or if another council member asks a question.

It is to be hoped that AUSU is using their full page of space in this issue of The Voice to summarize its activities. Here’s the little I gleaned from the discussion in the reports section of the meeting:
– AUSU has had regular meetings with AU’s interim president Peter MacKinnon and will continue to meet with him monthly. The Student Success Centre has been one of the topics discussed in these meetings.
– The AUSU Health and Dental Plan went live October 15. No statistics are available yet but the plan seems to have been well-received by students.
– Around 118 applications were received for AUSU Student Awards by the November 1 deadline. Of those, it appears that approximately 10% lack required documentation.
– Under the AUSU Computer Bursary program, AUSU has already given out 8 computers this year.
– The 2015 Student Planner is at the printers. The office is already receiving inquiries about the availability of the planners.
The meeting, or more specifically the regular meeting, was adjourned at 6:00pm. Meeting observers were asked to depart so that council members could hold a closed meeting.

The topic of the closed meeting was not divulged, but one might expect that it relates to the abrupt?and unexplained?departure of former AUSU Executive Director, Tamra Ross. Other than a tersely worded statement, unsigned but presumably from AUSU Council President Jason Nixon, in The Voice Magazine October 31, no information has been forthcoming.

So while I’m pleased that the AUSU Council meeting I attended Wednesday was short and smooth, I feel a bit short-changed. I hope the information vacuum will be remedied. With few exceptions, AUSU members deserve to know everything that goes on at council. I’m looking forward to the next AUSU update in The Voice Magazine, or the next Executive Blog Update on