Nine Questions for the AUSU Candidates You Need to See!

And you Won’t Believe the Answers to Number Six!

Okay, you probably will believe them, but it’s how these stories are supposed to be titled, right? With voting for the AUSU Election starting in just a few days (On February 28!) we rushed to get a number of questions out to the candidates to help you make your decision.  Candidates were sent the questions on the evening of Friday, February 16, and asked to have their responses in by noon on Wednesday.  They were also asked to keep their answers fairly short, as with so many candidates running, it’s bound to be a long article.  We’ll let you judge for yourself how well they did on that front.

Of the 19 candidates, 14 submitted answers.  Their answers are printed in the order that we received the responses, with no editing at all other than making the formatting work.

So, without further ado, let’s see what the candidates had to say!

 

What faculty are you in, if any, and how much longer do you expect to be studying at AU?

Lionel Pinkhard:

I’m doing a Bachelor of Science with a major in Computing & Information Systems and a minor in Game Programming. I expect to be studying for another 28 months, graduating in mid-2020.

Christine Hudder:

Bachelor of Professional Arts – Communications Studies. I am studying part time so I plan on being at AU for at least a couple of more years.

Lisa Oracheski:

I have five classes left to complete my BA in Psychology, after which I will be switching to part-time studies and taking the Certificate in Counselling Women.

Darcie Fleming:

I am currently in my 2nd year in the Bachelor of Arts Psychology program and if all goes according to plan, my graduation date is 2021.  I intend on continuing with AU to pursue a Master of Counselling.

Sarah Blayney Lew:

Bachelor of Management.  Hoping to be done within 5 years.

Natasha Donahue:

I’m in the faculty of science, and I expect I be studying at AU for about 2 more years.

Paddy Storey:

I am in the Bachelor of Arts Program with a Major in Psychology and a Minor in Women and Gender Studies.  I am just starting my second year of credits, so have at least 3 years if am able to maintain full time status.

Melinda Goertz:

Bachelor of Arts – Major in Psychology, I expect to be studying for another 5-6 years.

Amanda Lipinski:

I am a business student working towards the Bachelor of Management.  I plan to graduate in the next two years.

Brittany Daigle:

I am enrolled in the Bachelor of Science Major in Computing and Information Systems program (Faculty of Science and Technology) at Athabasca University. I plan on studying at AU for another two years.

Sandra Boivin:

I am in the faculty of business, studying in the Computer & Management Info certificate program. Once I complete my remaining few classes, I tend to continue on for a Bachelors in Science with an Information Systems major.

Julian Teterenko:

I am in the Faculty of Business, studying for a Bachelor of Management. I expect to be done in around two years’ time.

Alice Namu:

I am in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences. I expect to complete my graduate studies by 2020. I also intend on undertaking post graduate studies thereafter. Cumulatively I expect to have been studying at AU for a minimum of 4 years.

Mark Teeninga:

Science and Technology (Computing and Information Systems), I expect to be at AU for at least 3 more years

 

What is your motto in life?  In politics?

Lionel Pinkhard:

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but learn from them and accept the consequences of your actions. Moreover, tolerate other people’s mistakes and help them learn.

Christine Hudder:

My motto in life AND politics is:

“Do something or stay in that same old rut”

It’s a quote from my grandfather, who passed away when I was young. But I live life by those words. If you don’t like something, change it.

Lisa Oracheski:

Listen, ask questions, and take time to think before making a decision or taking an action.

Darcie Fleming:

Life motto: Greatness is your potential, action is your opportunity.

Political motto: You never really learn much from hearing yourself talk

Sarah Blayney Lew:

Just keep swimming.  Stupid is as stupid does.

Natasha Donahue:

I have lots of mental mantras that help me get through to my goals, but probably my personal favourite would be “Failure is not an Option”. In politics I don’t have a clear motto, but I believe balance is the best way to approach anything political!

Paddy Storey:

I live by one of my favourite quotes – “Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Ghandi

In politics?  Don’t enter an argument with anyone about something you don’t fully understand both sides of.  Too many people are content with their one sided views and do not seek to educate themselves about what is at the base of the other side’s opinion.

Melinda Goertz:

In life:                        Prioritize. A) B) C).  Delete C.

In Politics:    I used to be a bit of a hippy-protester (we preferred the term non-violent, direct action activist) but I soon realized that yelling at and frustrating people really didn’t achieve anything.  I realized that if you want to see change, you need to focus that same energy to achieve a position where you can influence or create those changes in policy.  Instead of pushing against, incorporate yourself in a way that you are the driving force.

Amanda Lipinski:

My motto in life and in politics is to convey respect, I treat others with respect and expect respect in return.

Brittany Daigle:

“Nevertheless, she persisted” is my motto in life. “Everyone’s voice has value” is my political motto.

Sandra Boivin:

My motto in life is a quote from Malcom S. Forbes “When you cease to dream you cease to live”.  Most of anything that has gotten me excited about life started with a dream of some idea, I felt I could achieve with hard work and perseverance.

My political motto is “There’s nothing without trust”, you see it everyday in the news, when people don’t trust in their government to take care of the real concerns and issues of the people, they will take it into their own hands and that is usually followed by chaos.

Julian Teterenko:

Live life honourably. This includes politics.

Alice Namu:

My motto in life is excellence, passion, and empathy. My motto in politics is: We rise and achieve our best by lifting one another.

Mark Teeninga:

Motto in life – Anything worth doing is worth doing right

Motto in Politics – Elected by the people to serve the people

 

If you had an enemy, what would they claim is the reason?

Lionel Pinkhard:

My enemy would claim that I am too stubborn and won’t give up, even for a lost cause.

Christine Hudder:

That I spoke the truth, and they weren’t ready to hear it.

Lisa Oracheski:

My current enemy is my own procrastination habit, but as for an external enemy – I’m guessing it would be because I read their text and then took 3 days to respond to it.

Darcie Fleming:

I have a bigger shoe collection.

Sarah Blayney Lew:

You’d have to ask them – I’m delightful!

Natasha Donahue:

Most likely my persistence. I like to see things followed-through with and tasks happen properly and on time.

Paddy Storey:

That I overpromised and under-delivered.

Melinda Goertz:

I imagine I have a few and the reasons would depend on whether they attribute them to internal or external attributions (useful info from my PSYCH 290 course J ).

“You have enemies?  Good.  That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” – Winston Churchill

Amanda Lipinski:

If I had an enemy, they may claim their reason for disliking me to be that I set high expectations for others and myself.  I strive to contribute all of my efforts to the task at hand and expect comparable effort from others.

Brittany Daigle:

I am definitely opinionated and not afraid to voice my opinions.

Sandra Boivin:

I speak my mind and I am passionate about my beliefs and doing what I believe is the right thing to do, regardless if it goes with the group or against the group.

Julian Teterenko:

If anything, it would most likely be ideological differences.

Alice Namu:

I do not believe in enmity. I prefer to look at conflict as a difference of opinion and a lack of understanding on basic values and principles. However, if someone considers me an enemy, it would be because of our fundamental differences on social justice, human rights, and equality for all. If I had an enemy, it would be likely that the reason for our enmity would be from my firm stance against injustice of any nature.

Mark Teeninga:

My honesty, I will speak my mind when concerned about a controversial topic.

 

For awards, do you think it’s better to have fewer, larger awards or many smaller ones?

Lionel Pinkhard:

I would favour smaller awards, allowing more students to benefit from them, within reason of course, as the awards still need to be beneficial to the students.

Christine Hudder:

I think it’s important to have a healthy mix of both. Financial needs are different; some students are studying part time while others are studying full time. Offering both allows a larger pool of students to apply.

Lisa Oracheski:

I think that there needs to be a range of awards of various monetary amounts, ranging from small to large. This would allow money to be distributed to a diverse group of students but not so broad that a student would need to win multiple awards to realize some actual financial benefit.

Darcie Fleming:

I would prefer to see an increase in the number of smaller awards providing more opportunities for students.

Sarah Blayney Lew:

I’d like to see more smaller awards offered more frequently.

Natasha Donahue:

I think a diverse student base has a broad range of needs, so my opinion is that many smaller awards could potentially fill in any gaps that might exist

Paddy Storey:

2 ways to answer this – I am not a big fan of participation awards, so in that regard, I don’t feel that everyone should get a prize in a competition based activity.  My second answer is that the award is something in the line of scholarships/bursaries, and it is about need and/or qualifications, I would rather see the awards spread around to those deserving as you never know how much difference even a small amount can make to someone.

Melinda Goertz:

Both.  Large awards should be available to those top performing, over achieving students.  Those that put in the effort should be well rewarded.  I also believe that there should be many smaller awards to benefit as many students as possible.

Amanda Lipinski:

I believe that there should be a variety of awards, ideally, a combination of large and smaller awards to ensure best representation of the AUSU member population.

Brittany Daigle:

Fewer, larger rewards as they generally carry more weight and significance.

Sandra Boivin:

Athabasca now offers a large selection of awards to undergraduate students that is already greatly valued by the AU students; with that being said, if there was the possibility to offer more awards to students either they be large amounts or small amounts, I could imagine any student on the receiving end would appreciate it. With the cost of studying any amount helps.

Julian Teterenko:

I think a good mix of both is good to have. It is possible that some larger rewards require more merit, work, or prerequisites to receive, whereas the smaller ones can be given out requiring less.

Alice Namu:

When it comes to awards, I think that it’s better to have many smaller awards than fewer, larger awards. Having many smaller awards provides a greater number of opportunities for students to benefit from financial aid, and ultimately improve the quality of their lives through education.

Mark Teeninga:

I think it’s important to have a balance, size the awards with the achievement, and frequency. Annual awards should be larger than quarterly awards, and awards that highlight significant effort should recognize that achievement.

 

Also, should awards be primarily needs based or achievement based?

Lionel Pinkhard:

I believe it’s important to offer both types of awards. Needs based awards may be more substantial to accommodate struggling students, but academic achievement should also be recognized and rewarded.

Christine Hudder:

I’m all for both, but I have a special place in my heart for those that want to get their university degree, but can not afford it. I would favour more awards targeted for students who need the help.

Lisa Oracheski:

There should be a balance of both. Awards based on financial need recognizes the financial strain that a university education places on students and helps reduce student debt. Achievement based awards recognize those who are able to maintain high grades in their program, which reflect on the academic standards that AU students are able to achieve, and also helps build credibility that an AU online education is as challenging as degrees from other institutions.

Darcie Fleming:

I am personally receiving student loans, so I understand the need for awards based on financial needs. I would lean towards awards that are needs based, however I believe that achievement based awards give incentive to those studying and they are well earned.  I appreciate the variety of AUSU awards for individual circumstances i.e.: Mature Student, Returning Student and the most recent, #Igo2AU.

Sarah Blayney Lew:

Awards should be an even mix of merit-based and needs based.

Natasha Donahue:

I believe that awards should be primarily needs based. I operate under the perspective of Mallows Hierarchy of Needs, which states that mental and physical health must be attained before an individual has their full capacity to learn and achieve. To me, this means taking care of the needs of the student first will support them in their scholastic endeavours.

Paddy Storey:

I honestly feel that they each deserve importance.  One should not exist at the expense of the other.  There needs to be consideration for both.  Sometimes need based off of a tax return is not indicative of the actual financial situation of a student (perhaps they have a mortgage, cars, debts, kids in school as well), so those students need access to the achievement based awards.  Those who have financial need and are trying to educate themselves in order to get ahead in life also deserve to have opportunity to keep going in their studies.

Melinda Goertz:

I feel they should be achievement based.  By simple definition, awards are a token to increase incentive and to applaud those that have put in the extra effort.

Amanda Lipinski:

Again, I believe in a combination of both.  I truly believe in the need based awards for times when a member is struggling as well as the achievement based awards to reward members for their commitment to their personal education.

Brittany Daigle:

Awards should be achievement based.

Sandra Boivin:

I don’t want to take away from the value of what the school is offering for rewards on a needs basis, because anyone who is chasing the dream of completing their studies, the needs based rewards are important and of benefit; although, having rewards that are achievement are a great motivator.

Whenever I am losing motivation trying to juggle the balance between my work, school and personal life; an inspiration for me is to browse through the achievement awards and imagine that could be a possibility for me if I just study that extra hour or two.

Julian Teterenko:

Again, I think that a healthy mix of both is necessary. Some students may need award funds as required, and some students should be awarded for their achievements.

Alice Namu:

Awards should be both needs based and achievement based. As a mature student at AU, I am acutely aware of the fact that many of us are juggling a great number of responsibilities. It is incredibly difficult to equally meet the demands of our academic, personal, and professional responsibilities. Therefore, having a wide availability of awards that are either needs based or achievement based allows everyone, regardless of the challenges that they experience, to have an opportunity to pursue a quality education at AU, and improve the quality of their lives.

Mark Teeninga:

I think they should be primarily achievement based. The awards should showcase the best our members have to offer both our academic community, and the communities in which they reside.

 

AUSU is currently budgeting for a deficit.  It has funds in reserve of slightly less than one year’s budgeted expenses.  It has been discussing increasing fees.  What is your take on this issue?

Lionel Pinkhard:

My opinion is that AUSU should look for a way to solve this internally. Many students are already struggling to pay their fees. What’s more, tuition fees have been rising. I cannot support a view that would increase costs for students.

Christine Hudder:

Before increasing any fees, I want to take a hard look at what services are being offered that aren’t being utilized by the majority of students. Under utilized services, in my opinion, should be cut (or explored for cost efficiencies) before any fees are increased.

Lisa Oracheski:

AUSU has the lowest student fees per credit compared to other student associations in Alberta, and fee increases need to be researched carefully (which I believe the current council has done) to be justified. Services provided with student fees need to be sustainable, so an increase will need to happen based on current budgets, while at the same time examining how to best deliver current and new services to the student body.

Darcie Fleming:

The fees have remained static for a long period and I would support an increase.  To enable AUSU to provide increased services the reality is we must increase our income.

Sarah Blayney Lew:

It’s a sign of the times that services are going to cost more. We need to assess the value of the services being offered and if raising fees is in the best interests of everyone involved.  So long as any increase doesn’t make it so burdensome for students that it impacts their studies, then I’d support an increase to keep valued services and programs.  What the real question is – how much of an increase?

Natasha Donahue:

Increasing fees might be the best way to handle the issue, but I’d like to hear more about what other approaches have been brainstormed and try to problem-solve the situation. Perhaps a good compromise can be reached in this way.

Paddy Storey:

It comes down to digging in to what the student body wants and attempting to reflect that.  No one likes increases in fees, but seldom do we want a reduction in services, either.  (Hence the never ending tax discussions at government level).  My personal take is that we offer some great bursaries and scholarships that people need.  If fees were to increase a bit, those in need could apply for those funds.  However, my take as a potential “elected” council member is that I need to advocate for what the students want in this situation, not just my own opinion.

Melinda Goertz:

I trust that the existing AUSU council has been fiscally responsible and if there was a genuine need for the increase I would support it, ensuring that the increase is as minimal as possible.  Prior to any increase however, I would ensure a thorough review of the existing expenditures to see if there were any areas that we could create some cost savings.

Amanda Lipinski:

I support a fee increase, AUSU has a large member population and compared to other student union fees the fees have remained low for members.  Over the past few years the organization has worked hard to enhance the services available to members.

Brittany Daigle:

An increase in fees should be implemented if the reason for the increase is justified and if the other items included in the budget are of equal or more necessity.

Sandra Boivin:

Being a student with today’s cost is already a struggle and most of us are stressed on how we will fund our next class to continue, an increase on the fees is a definite area of worry.

The bigger issue was pointed out in the recent Executive Blog by the AUSU president on the discussion of removing tax credits for student. As mentioned in the blog, most of us are depending on the tax credits to fund our schooling; if that is also taken away, that will leave many students without funding to continue studying and becoming a thriving, contributing member to society.

Julian Teterenko:

I support increasing the fees, as long as they are going to specific items that will help students and the growth of the organization. If AUSU wants to continue to grow, then an increase of fees is necessary. We also pay some of the lowest student fees in the country, and with the proposed increase, we would still be one of the lowest.

Alice Namu:

My take on increasing fees would be determined by an understanding of what is causing the current budget deficit. Moving forward, and based on the facts gathered, I and other concerned parties would develop an annual budget which compares to the actual expenditures over the last 2 or 3 years. We would then review which items need have a higher budget allocation and which expenses need to be reduced. At the same time, I would suggest that we look at avenues of raising funds to meet the budget deficit. Increasing fees would be one such proposal. Having said that, I agree with the current AUSU executive decision to move toward a modest fee increase. At $3 per course, AU students are paying the lowest student union fees in the province of Alberta. However, this comes at a much greater cost: budget deficits and financially strained programs. If we would like AUSU to continue providing a high level of service to the student community, we need to increase our revenue. Increased costs are not something that I take lightly, and if elected to AUSU council, I will work to ensure that these funds are allocated wisely.

Mark Teeninga:

I was present at the recent AUSU Meeting where this topic was discussed.  I had the opportunity to share my position that the fee structure as it stands provides significant value to our members. I feel the proposed change represents a minor increase ($45 a year for full time students), especially when considered against the total tuition costs, and the student union provides significant benefit through these funds to the members.

 

Is there a program or activity AUSU does now that you think it should expand on?

Lionel Pinkhard:

AUSU should expand on student resources and support services – things like Lynda access and the Voice Magazine contribute to the learning experience at AU. Furthermore, the Student Lifeline should undoubtedly stay.

Christine Hudder:

The free AU student app seems like a massive success. I’d like to see if there’s anything else students would like to see added/expanded on to that service to make their lives easier.

Lisa Oracheski:

I’ve really enjoyed seeing AUSU hosting informal in-person gatherings for students in various cities. Many AU students may not meet someone else who is in their program, and these events allow for great networking opportunities.

Darcie Fleming:

The mobile app has been very successful, and it would be nice to expand that type of format for desktop or laptop computers.  I sometimes do not want to search for my glasses to read my phone.

Sarah Blayney Lew:

AUSU has always been great at student advocacy and in recent years student wellness initiatives.  I’d like to see those services continue.  I’d like to see AUSU support workshops or webinars on emotional intelligence – something that more and more employers are looking for in a candidate when hiring.

Natasha Donahue:

I would love to see more expansion on the health care programs currently available to students. I know there was issue with policy premiums in the past, but this is a discussion I think deserves another go at problem-solving.

Paddy Storey:

I would like to see the Mental Health initiatives continue to be built on and expanded and I think we need to look at ways that we can bring students together across the miles in like-minded groups.

Melinda Goertz:

For many years, I worked with adults with developmental disabilities at the University of Alberta and would like to ensure that access to support and funding for such individuals is maximized here at the AU.  I am also a huge fan of the Student Lifeline and would definitely work to expand that service.

Amanda Lipinski:

I believe that the Student LifeLine program is a valuable resource for all members as this is a service that can help every student during their educational journey with AU.  Rather than expanding on the service, I simply feel that the program needs to be readily promoted to ensure that members are aware of and take advantage the service.

Brittany Daigle:

I think AUSU should expand on their student mobile app as it is a vital for student interaction.

Sandra Boivin:

A program I think AUSU should expand on is the volunteer opportunities offered within the Health and Wellness program. Making more connections with different organizations within the different communities of AU students could also help AU be more recognizable and potentially increase its sponsors for rewards and funding to the school.

A lot of organizations can enjoy and gain benefits from having a student volunteer; having students around the world is difficult for AU to make these connections; however, volunteering is a great way to also gain work experience for students.

Julian Teterenko:

Yes. The course evaluations could be expanded upon and updated. Knowing the thoughts of students on courses will help other students with choosing new courses to take.

Alice Namu:

I think that AUSU should work on increasing the number of student awards available to the student community. Quality education is a human right, and I strongly believe that AUSU can do more to reduce or eliminate financial barriers to access to education.

Mark Teeninga:

I think more member engagement is key, both between the AUSU council and the members, and facilitating more member to member interaction.

 

Is there a program or activity AUSU does now that you think it should cut support for?

Lionel Pinkhard:

I can’t think of anything that is happening that shouldn’t be done.

Christine Hudder:

I’d want to see the numbers first. If a program/activity is being under utilized, I’d first like to know why. If the it’s just because students aren’t interested, then I’d consider cutting the service/activity.

Lisa Oracheski:

I think that any cuts would need to be based on actual data – if there is a high cost but extremely low usage for a specific service, perhaps there is a way to deliver that service or an alternative program that would be more beneficial.

Darcie Fleming:

I believe that AUSU provides many beneficial programs. I have made great use of Lynda.com, I am loving the mobile app and I look forward to reading The Voice every Friday.  The programs offered are all of value and I would continue to support them.

Sarah Blayney Lew:

I see no reason to cut anything from AUSU.

Natasha Donahue:

From my perspective, understanding, and knowledge level, I do not believe there are any AUSU programs I think it should cut support for.

Paddy Storey:

I would like to make sure that the student body sees the benefit in the Voice and the AUSU site – I suspect they are under-utilized and would like to see value/cost information.  I wouldn’t want to see them cut – just ensure that for the time and cost, people see the value.

Melinda Goertz:

In the process of familiarising myself with the different programs and activities that the AUSU offers I have yet to come across anything that did not seem value rich.  If anything, I am incredibly impressed with their offerings.

Amanda Lipinski:

At this time I feel that there is not a program or activity that AUSU should cut support for.

Brittany Daigle:

I do not think the support for any programs or activities should be cut unless it has proven to have little impact on the students.

Sandra Boivin:

This a difficult question because if any student is receiving a benefit from an offered program or activity, then I believe that program or activity has potentially achieved its purpose. Without having actual data on the cost and funding and use of all the program and activities, I will have to say for now “No”.

Julian Teterenko:

No. I think all the services offered right now help students and provide resources for them. Support and services provided should be increased, not cut.

Alice Namu:

I do not believe in cutting support for programs or activities at AUSU before critically evaluating and assessing their impact on their service dependants. At the end of the day, AUSU meets the needs of a highly diverse student body, and it would be foolhardy to cut support for programs or activities without understanding how each program adds value to our student community.

Also, in order to determine if a program or activity needs to be cut, it would be helpful to undertake a survey or similar methodology to gain input from students.  This will be seen as a fair and rational basis for taking such a decision.

Mark Teeninga:

I think all the programs have been carefully selected to ensure they are beneficial to the students. There is no program or activity that should be cut at this time.

 

If you were able to make AUSU achieve any one thing, what would it be?

Lionel Pinkhard:

I would like to achieve changes at AU that better reflect student needs. I would like to see success in current student advocacy efforts, mainly reducing unnecessary hassles for student and making the learning process smoother for everybody.

Christine Hudder:

To make ourselves as transparent and accessible as possible. Listen and act on student concerns.

Thanks for this opportunity!

Lisa Oracheski:

I would love to ensure that tuition fees remain affordable. I’ve already gone through paying back tens of thousands of dollars in student loans once and understand the challenges that it places on every aspect of your life, so all advocacy to lower tuition is beneficial from my perspective.

Darcie Fleming:

I would like AUSU to advocate enhancing and updating current teaching methods with the adoption of various elements of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).  This would initially include filmed lectures and podcasts to provide every educational advantage in consideration of various styles of learning.  Many other universities are taking advantage of this technology in online learning and we should be at the forefront.

Sarah Blayney Lew:

Maclean’s university rankings should include comparisons between online offerings across the country for students who aren’t fortunate to attend classes on campus full-time.  It’s the future of education and something I’d like to see promoted more.

Natasha Donahue:

I would love to help make all facets of the student experience at AU more accessible to each individual student so that the complete experience while studying at Athabasca University is enjoyable to anyone, no matter where they are located or what their background is.

Paddy Storey:

To bring more students together virtually in our diverse, long distance learning environment.  It takes a village to raise a child and I think it takes a lot of support to partake in university education by distance.

Melinda Goertz:

On-going education is incredibly valuable to individuals, organizations and nations.  Success for me would be to increase enrollment to the Athabasca University.  There are specific grant and funding systems that work with employees of Canadian business’ that would benefit in higher trained/educated staff and employee’s themselves would increase their knowledge/skill base.

Amanda Lipinski:

After talking with graduates at convocation in 2017 I realized that many members were not entirely aware of the role of AUSU, services available or general knowledge regarding the student union.  My goal is to promote the organization to the members and ensure increased member engagement in the short and long term.

Brittany Daigle:

There are many students at AU that do not use the discussion boards, the student mobile app, or any other form of student to student communication. AUSU should aim to bring more awareness to the available channels for an increase of student interaction.

Sandra Boivin:

If I could help Athabasca achieve on thing is keeping fees at an affordable price, right now Athabasca is the lowest funded university. I wonder is that because of the stigma that some still have with students obtaining an online degree? I would then also like to help get rid of that stigma if this is the case. Being able to study online is a great benefit to many and I would be troubled to see anyone lose an opportunity over cost.

Julian Teterenko:

Grow student engagement. Being online distance students, we do not get the chance to see other students on a regular basis like a traditional bricks and mortar institution. Being able to engage more and have something along the lines of student groups/ clubs would be beneficial.

Alice Namu:

If I were able to make AUSU achieve one thing, it would be to improve on the level of service that AUSU provides to our student community. We need to make well calculated, but bold decisions that will steer AUSU to be in a better position to serve the needs of our student body.

Mark Teeninga:

I want to see more enhancements to services and choices for our members when it comes to our academic pursuits. Examples of this would include options for textbook selection (e-text, physical books, or self source), and improved service timeframe for the PLAR program.

And there you have it.  The fourteen candidates who answered our nine questions. The seven days of voting will open on February 28, and hopefully these answers will help you make your decisions as to who to vote for to represent you to Athabasca University, the government, and your fellow students.  The ball’s in your court now.
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