The Social Student – Revive AU Clubs!

Did you ever dream of starting an AU club? I did. Or did you long to start a graduate student journal? I did. Or did you thrill at the thought of hosting an academic conference for grad students? I did. Did you want to start an AU radio or TV station? Yes, I did! But each dream led to a dead-end.

You see, not that long ago, I got excited about the idea of starting an AU debate team. I searched AUSU’s site and saw a section about clubs. I was thrilled! But, there didn’t seem to be any active clubs. To this day, the whole AUSU clubs’ dead-end leaves me baffled. Where did the clubs listing go anyway? Why aren’t there any clubs now?

Later I contacted AU’s graduate student’s union. I asked the president if she and I could publish a graduate student journal. At first, she said they had a journal, and she expressed interest in me contributing. She said she would talk to the Board, but she disappeared, never to resurface.

When I contacted the graduate student’s union again’to see if I could publish articles on graduate student teaching?I was turned down. The administrator, a staff of one, didn’t have the resources to pursue a graduate level magazine or journal. He said he had no knowledge of such a publication. Another dead-end.

Later, I tried starting an AU radio station?an extension of The Voice. But student demand didn’t seem to be there. And I think the AUSU budget might have been constrained. I also advocated for AU YouTube TV. Two more dead-ends.

Every now and then, I peer at AUSU’s site for mention of clubs. Nothing surfaces. Yet, it’s not the fault of AUSU?it’s my fault. Yes, that’s who to blame: me.

Thankfully, I write for The Voice Magazine. If not for The Voice, I’d have no student contact. At least as a Voice writer, I can pour my soul to anyone willing to listen. I’ve received only two responses: one a flattering reply, the other an angry letter. I cherish them both: they assure me that other AU humans do exist.

But more to the point, the Voice offers me a way to help bring AU clubs back to life. You see, I found a way to fund clubs: crowdfunding?for campuses. The crowdfunding site called could help AU students fund conferences, launch clubs, create scholarships, buy equipment for clubs, fund websites for clubs, launch journals, start debate teams?you name it. caters to some Canadian universities with the condition that they are non-profit. I contacted to send a request to Athabasca University to put our school in its database. I now ask that you, too, contact to request AU be added as a crowdfunding campus. The more requests, the more AU might agree.

If AU accepts the invite to crowdfund, then AU can specify how students use the funds, whether for club launches, equipment purchases, scholarships, travel expenses, sports team creations, conference expenses, journal overhead, radio station launches, YouTube TV start-ups, and more. would hand over all raised funds to AU, who would then allocate the funds to the student initiatives. In other words, students need AU on board.

With that said, I now provide a brief sketch of

– AU needs to get on board. Once AU’s decision-makers get on board, these folks specify what you can and cannot raise funds for with crowdfunding.
– The crowdfunding campaign should have a target dollar amount or target number of people donating. If you don’t reach your target, you don’t get the funding. So, choose realistic targets.
– The campaign should go for about 30 days or so. You specify the duration.
– A 3-minute maximum length video should be included in your campaign.
– A 300-word description should be included.
– You need to promote your crowdfunding campaign through as many AU channels possible: AU social media, AUSU, The Voice, the Landing?anywhere you get a green light. Promote that campaign steadily during the time it’s live.

So, let’s lean on AU to give its students a spot on Revive the clubs!

Voice TV anyone?