Editorial – Ironic Timing

The theme this week, as it turns out, is self-analysis.

We start with our interview with Dr. “Vive” Kumar, proponent of learning analytics, and analytics in general, where actions are consciously reviewed and analyzed to ascertain more meaning from them. He even applies this to himself when he’s marking the assignments of his students. It’s an interesting idea, recording yourself working and then using that recording to see how you work.

This conscious analysis of our behavior is also explored through the idea of cognitive behavior therapy, something that Jason Sullivan gives us a brief overview of in his Fly On The Wall column. But where analytics is applied to actions, cognitive behavior therapy is applied to motivations and beliefs.

We also have an interview with AUSU President Shawna Wasylyshyn, conducted before the recent announcements by three Councillors that they would be leaving the organization. This means that, according to policy, a by-election must be called, and AUSU is already advertising for a CRO to assist them with the coming election. With VPFA Corrina Green’s resignation not taking effect until August 31, however, there are a number of questions that AUSU Council must deal with. Do they hold the by-elections immediately, fill the currently vacant seats, only to have one more become vacant at the end of August? Do they, or even can they, delay holding the by-elections until Ms. Green’s resignation is official, and then fill all the seats for the last 8 months of this council’s term? Or do they somehow operate with one extra councillor for a brief period before her resignation takes effect?

At this point, in my opinion, it would seem to be a more responsible choice for the remaining three members to also choose to resign their seats and simply call a general election early. Otherwise, they will be responsible for AUSU having to run two general election procedures, with the associated costs, in under a year, as well as having to train a new set of councillors over the next few months only to have them face a general election call immediately after. By calling a general election now, those remaining councillors would demonstrate their willingness to do what is best for AUSU and their commitment to the organization over themselves.

I speak from experience in this matter, as I had to make a similar choice when I served on the executive of AUSU myself. At the time, executives served for the full two years, not just one, but circumstances arose where my fellow two executives no longer wanted to be in those roles, and so I chose to step down as well, and thus began the tradition, later made policy, of AUSU electing its Executives every year. Of course, the choice was easier for me, as Executives were only paid $1,800/month at the time, not close to $4,000 as they get now. I wonder if AUSU would be in this situation had it kept the Executive pay that low. It’s food for thought.

And speaking of food for thought, make sure to check out Primal Numbers this week. Your brain (and stomach) might thank you. Now, as I’m already late getting this issue out, enjoy the read!

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