Editorial – Sustaining the Narrative

Athabasca University’s Comprehensive Institutional Plan has been released, and The Voice Magazine has a look at it from the student’s point of view, with Carla Knipe’s feature article this week, “Mixed Messages.”

As you can probably tell from the title, the plan is not all roses, as Athabasca University faces some significant challenges, including financial insolvency. Now, that sounds like a scary couple of words, but should it come to pass (which is not a certainty by any means, especially given the politics of that happening) it still does not mean that AU would immediately close up shop. Banks would probably continue to extend AU credit for some time even after financial insolvency, so tutors would get paid, courses would continue to be offered, etc, based simply on the idea that it is unlikely that the government will allow a university to fail completely.

However, there are several ideas in the report for how AU can get out of this situation, and there is still a government mandated third party review that Athabasca University has to undertake, which may come up with even more solutions.

Also in this issue, Barb Lehtiniemi loses her COPPUL virginity in the article “COPPULating at the Library.” And while it makes for great click-bait, the article is also worth it because joining the COPPUL program is something that every student should at least consider, if for no other reason than to be able to take a tour of the nearest university’s library. I’ve always found it a bit awe-inspiring when You’re in the back stacks of a library looking at original manuscripts and books that existed before our country did. Plus, it certainly doesn’t hurt to be able to casually drop to your tutor the lengths you were willing to go to for one small section of your bibliography.

And if You’re feeling stressed this Christmas Season, Deanna Roney has one possible reason, and the solution, in her article “Step Aside for Self-Care.” It probably won’t make you stress free, but her advice, given how the world seems to be turning lately, might be able to take the edge off.

I’m also going to make special mention of The Study Dude this issue. More directed at graduate students and those getting ready for their thesis, it also contains some decent tips for business presentations, and a look into one of those times where we can learn from the failures of the Dude.

Plus, we have student looks at what’s going on in the world of science, post-secondary education, AU social media, a new scholarship of the week, and what should be our last double-long AU-Thentic Events, so that you can find what special events AU is hosting near you or online. After the Christmas break, the pace of events tones down a bit. But speaking of Christmas, this is also a good time to point out that there are only two weeks left for The Voice Magazine this year. So, if you want to get your nominations in for the annual Best Of issue, now is the time to do it. Send your selections to karl@voicemagazine.org and be watching for our first issue in January to see what made the cut.

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!