As of today, the election process for AUSU Council has started. The nomination period only lasts for 12 days. So if you haven’t nominated yourself by February 7th, then you’re out of the running.
This year, AUSU Council has expanded. Instead of nine seats, there will be thirteen available to fill. More people means more representation and more points of view at the table. This has both good and bad aspects. I know from experience that being on Council can be hellish if you get the wrong combination of people at the table, but more people also means a better chance of good ideas. And when you’re able to see one of your ideas to make students’ lives better taken up by the university or by the provincial or federal governments, there’s not much that’s more rewarding than that.
On top of that, in exchange for a few hours a week of careful thought and attention to email, plus a telephone meeting once a month, you can bring in an extra few dollars to help pay for your next course. Plus, it’s excellent resume material.
But one of the biggest benefits, and it’s one that’s a bit hard to explain, is the connection that being on AUSU gives you to AU. Being on AUSU Council makes you realize just how much is going on at your university. It will make you feel better about your choice for your degree, and give you more insight than most students get on how respected Athabsca University is among academic and other institutions. As distance students, it can be easy to forget that there’s a large institution running in the background attempting to make the best possible education experience that they can for you. As an AUSU Councillor, once you get involved and start hearing about what’s going on in the various staff meetings and other gatherings, forgetting is no longer an option.
If this sounds at all interesting to you, check out the latest AUSU update in this issue, which gives you links to everything you need to know to make your decision to run, and to help you get started on the journey.
Meanwhile, in the Voice Magazine this week, our feature is our interview with Associate Professor James Greenfield-Lee who teaches Applied Mathematics courses at AU.
We also have the Council Connection where you can find all the details about the AUSU fee change that wasn’t. Who voted for it? Who voted against? And what does this mean for the future of AUSU?
We round that out with Barbara Lehtiniemi’s realization that her courses are coming to an end. It’s a position many AU students are looking forward to, but once you get there, it takes on a different type of meaning and relevance. Get a look at what may be in store for you in her article “The Home Stretch”.
Finally, we have our usual selection of reviews, entertainment, reflections, advice, scholarships, and all you need to keep you entertained while you wait for your muse to help you finish that essay. Enjoy the read!