Council Connection—May 9,2019 Meeting

The AUSU meeting on May 9, 2019, was the shortest one in a while, but that doesn’t mean that the AUSU Council were any less busy.

The meeting got underway on time at 6:30 PM, and the initial protocols—the motions to move and adopt last month’s minutes and this month’s agenda—were unanimous.

There were no action items to discuss this month, as Council has caught up with them for now.  The meeting then moved to this month’s discussion items. VPFA Natasha Donohue reviewed the discussion from last month’s meeting regarding the policy of Council Governance Meeting Attendance.

This meeting is the first one without the input from Governance and Advocacy Coordinator Emmanuel Barker, but the rest of AUSU council had carried on his work of editing and refining this policy. Councillor Alice Lamu requested further clarification about the attendance at the Council retreat, which President Simmons provided. He said that if someone misses both days, that would technically be two absences, but they would be counted as one. If a councillor attended most of those days, attendance will be amended accordingly. He said that overall patterns of attendance during the yearly term would be looked at, but if a councillor fails to participate in eighty percent of a council term, then the disciplinary procedure would be automatically triggered. All of council were happy with the policy, and the motion was carried unanimously.

The next motion was to approve the updated copy of Councillor Responsibilities and Honoraria. With this review, the policy did not change much from the existing policy, and the AUSU Executive did not want an extensive review at this time. There were no questions from the rest of Council and the motion was unanimously approved. This led into the next motion, to approve the updated copy of Policy Council Governance Email Voting. This policy references the AUSU absence policy, but it is not a huge revision from the existing policy. There were no comments from the rest of council, and the motion was carried unanimously.

Finally, was a motion to approve the updated copy of the Council Changeover policy. Council approved the informal reviews to this policy but the executive noted that if there were any questions, AUSU councillors were invited to reach out to President Simmons.

For the second month in a row, council agreed to move in-camera to discuss a piece of confidential council business. Councillors moved within Zoom to a separate meeting room. When they returned, they held a secret ballot regarding the proposal to remove Julian Teterenko both from council and as a member in good standing for failing to uphold the councillor academic requirements, which require that a Councillor successfully complete at least one AU course each year of their term and be in a course for at least 8 months of each councillor term year. The result of the vote was 5 aye, 6 nay. The motion did not carry.

Council then moved to the discussion of the monthly reports. President Simmons attended numerous committee meetings and more or scheduled in the coming months. A highlight was seeing the swearing-in ceremony of the new Alberta provincial government. He noted that AUSU and AU have already reached out to the new Advanced Education minister and will be helping to relay the importance of AU to the new government. President Simmons is involved with working on some new initiatives to improve the methods of communication between students, AUSU and AU. This possibly includes a new app that may be replacing AUSU’s own Ooh La La app, and will hopefully incorporate several of the most requested features AUSU has had about their app, including the ability to access it from a non-mobile device.  He was unable to give details about when this might be available for students however.

Natasha Donahue, VP Finance and Administration, highlighted meetings with various AU Faculty Councils that are in the process of updating AU program offerings. She also attended the second half of the recessed General Faculties Council meeting, which concluded the discussion regarding the Amazon Web Services platform. Attendees learned that the cost of maintaining infrastructure on the cloud represents a significant savings over maintaining physical structures on site.

Meanwhile, Communications Coordinator Donette Kingyens has had a busy month getting ready for AUSU’s website launch. She also noted that AUSU has had many Student requests for advocacy and advising, which is great for students to know that they can approach AUSU with issues. She said that AU’s Registrar has been really responsive as well.

AUSU’s Executive Director Jodi Campbell is pleased to welcome Duncan Wojtaszek as  AUSU’s new Governance and Advocacy Coordinator. He has worked with Duncan before, and knows that he brings a lot of skills to AUSU. Also, hopefully now that the podcast “AUSU Open Mic” is launched with its second episode, the word will get out and more students will be able to listen in. Find out how to access it through the AUSU website.

With the reports presented, there was no more questions or discussion at the meeting, and it was adjourned at 7:32 PM. The next meeting date and time has yet to be confirmed, but will be held during the Council retreat.