Summer Concerned

It’s a double feature issue this week. Our first feature is an interview with fellow student, Skye Van Zetten. It’s always interesting to hear the path to AU that students have taken, and Skye’s path is no exception.

Our second feature this week is connected to AU’s recent budget that was leaked to the media. To be honest, I’d expected more of a response from my article about this budget last week, but then again, it’s summer. A lot of people are on vacation, and the drum-beat of Athabasca University’s possible pending financial disaster has been repeated so many times that, for many, it may be just part of the background noise that surrounds AU.

That said, I did hear that some people were worried about what effect this might have on their degree. Personally, I don’t think there’s any real reason to worry about that. Looking through the AU financial reports and annual statements show that although AU may well be budgeting for a deficit situation, the university is not without assets and investments. As of the last annual report, for instance, the university posted (on page B13 or page 60 if you’re using page search) that it had just over 39 million in investment portfolio assets, and the total deficit projection for the three years in the budget is less than half that, at 18.9 million. So if my article last week worried you about the prospects of finishing your degree at AU? Again, please don’t be.

However, this once again raises concerns about what on earth the Board of Governors of AU is thinking with these types of pronouncements. To find out more, Carla Knipe went digging, and it’s her article, “Beyond the Numbers” that we’re happy to have as our second feature this week.

Of course, it’s not all about the budget. The onset of August has Voice writers thinking about summer and what it means for AU students. Whether you’re wondering how to handle the summer distractions, or wishing that there was more time for them, you’re not alone.

Plus, we have the second half of our parenthetical discussion in “The Writer’s Toolbox”, a conversation with a band that wants you to “dance off those pants,” how to change make your goal-setting lead to goal-getting, and of course a selection of reviews, advice, and humour to give you every excuse you need to procrastinate over this long weekend.

Enjoy the read!

P.S. If you didn’t already know, The Voice Magazine has a Facebook page and a twitter feed if You’re into that kind of thing!

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