Making a Run for It

This autumn, AUSU offers its members an off-schedule opportunity to run for a position on AUSU student council.

The next general election isn’t scheduled until March 2018, however, due to the recent departure of two councillors, AUSU council is left with two vacancies. A by-election has been called for September 2016 to fill those empty seats.

This by-election offers students a great opportunity to run for a place on council without committing to a full two-year term. Successful candidates in this by-election will serve approximately eighteen months until the 2018 general election, roughly three-quarters of a term’s usual length.

Joining AUSU council is a great way to get involved, gain experience, and earn some extra money. No experience is necessary and being on council is an excellent way to learn more about AU and AUSU. (For more reasons to run, check out Your Reasons to Run, from the Feb 5, 2016 issue of The Voice Magazine.)

Any AUSU member?in general, anybody enrolled in at least one AU undergraduate course?who has already completed at least one AU course may run for a seat on council. Membership must be maintained throughout the council term. Students interested in running for council should be prepared to commit at least three hours per month for the monthly council meeting plus a few hours monthly to read and respond to e-mails; a greater time commitment is required for councillors serving on additional committees. Councillors are paid $75 per council meeting, and $50 to $75 for committee meetings. Check out the full details on duties and remuneration in Policy 2.14, Councillor Responsibilities and Honoraria.

Successful candidates in this by-election will also have a few months to get up to speed before the mid-term election of AUSU council’s executive officers takes place early in 2017. According to Policy 3.02, Election of Executive Officers, the positions of President, Vice-President Finance & Administration, and Vice-President External & Student Affairs will once again be up for grabs from among current councillors in March 2017. For complete descriptions of each of these positions, read Policy 2.03, Officers’ Job Descriptions. To get an idea of the time commitment and the remuneration involved in the three executive positions, refer to Policy 2.15, Executive Accountability and Compensation. (Money hint: a councillor in an executive role could make enough in a one year term to pay for every course in their 3-year degree program.)

The nomination period opens August 31 and runs to September 14. Interested students should read the Nomination Package to learn more about the election process and the requirements of running for?and being on?council. A quick rundown of election-related dates is on the AUSU Elections page. Nominees will also be required to attend one of three scheduled orientation sessions by phone on either September 16, 17, or 18.

Is this the year you’ll make a run for AUSU council? You only have a few days to decide, so start thinking about it?and reading up about it?now.

Barbara Lehtiniemi is a writer, photographer, and AU student. She lives on a windswept rural road in Eastern Ontario. Follow Barbara on twitter @ThereGoesBarb.

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