Posts By: Karl Low

Natalia Iwanek

Natalia Iwanek (she/her) is a currently completing her Bachelor of Arts in English at Athabasca University, as well as serving as AUSU Councillor for the 2020–2021 term. She is also a Toronto-based freelance copy editor and content writer. Born in Poland to an ethnically Ukrainian family, she immigrated to Toronto and spent years living and working throughout Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Argentina, and Guatemala. Natalia focuses on a variety of topics, including student interviews, digital accessibility, political developments, representation, literature, as well as chronically ill/disabled/queer/immigrant identity. She can be contacted at https://www.nataliaiwanekediting.com.

COVID-19 and the Seasonal Worker

While COVID-19 has the ability to take a toll on all members of society, various marginalized communities face disproportionately high risks.  Earlier last month, the Canadian government announced the closure of the Canadian border to anyone except Canadian citizens and permanent residents, leaving many individuals, including temporary foreign workers (TFW), unsure of their future.  However,… Read more »

Turning to Literature in Uncertain COVID-19 Times

Famed American author Toni Morrison once said, “Delving into literature is not escape, nor a sure-fire route to comfort.  It’s been a constant, sometimes even violent, but certainly always a provocative engagement with the contemporary, the modern world.  The issues of the society we live in.” In today’s unpredictable times, we may find ourselves turning… Read more »

Self-Care and the Health and Wellness Industry’s Answer to COVID-19

Despite its seemingly altruistic name, the health and wellness industry has been steadily profiting from COVID-19, unconcerned with medical professionals’ dire predictions of the pandemic’s ultimate human cost, as well as society’s current needs.  Although the industry’s exploitation of individuals’ insecurities is not a new phenomenon, during the current pandemic, it feels particularly unethical. In… Read more »

Nationwide Bill to Ban Conversion Therapy Introduced

On March 9, 2020, the Canadian government introduced Bill C-8 to ban conversion therapy, a discredited practice that attempts to change the sexual orientation and gender identity of the LGBTQ2 community through various means, including therapy and medication.  This bill is premised on the fact that conversion therapy undermines the dignity of the queer community… Read more »

Council Connection

The most recent AUSU Council Meeting took place on Thursday, March 19, 2020 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm MT. All Councillors were in attendance, with the exception of Councillor Melinda Goertz and Member Services Coordinator Donette Kingyens, with the addition of the incoming council observing.  Also in attendance was The Voice’s Council Meeting Reporter Natalia… Read more »

The Future of Canadian Distance Education

Canada has experienced increased changes in its distance educational model amidst 2019’s significant upheavals and 2020’s COVID-19.  On June 17, 2019, the Canadian Virtual University-Université Virtuelle Canadienne (CVU-UVC) officially disbanded.  Originally created to highlight and promote online education across Canada, the consortium allowed universities to work together to allow easier transfer of credits across institutions. … Read more »

Alberta and Ontario Educational Cuts

In recent months, students and teacher associations have continued to decry provincial governmental policies by Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) under Jason Kenney and Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government under Doug Ford amidst cuts to education. Early this month, the Alberta provincial government announced its plans to not renew Alberta Distance Learning Centre’s (ADLC) service agreement… Read more »

Worldwide Alternative Education Options throughout History

For many students who do not fit the traditional educational mold, whether as a result of work commitments, family duties, or even identity, alternative schooling options offer a sense of hope.  Although uncommon, over the years, innovative schools with unique philosophies have quietly educated generations of graduates worldwide.  Notable examples include distance education options, such… Read more »

Council Connection—February 27, 2020 Meeting

The most recent AUSU Council Meeting took place on Thursday, February 27, 2020 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm MT. In attendance were President Brandon Simmons (Meeting Chair), Vice President Finance and Administration (VPFA) Brittany Daigle, Councillor Sarah Blayney Lew, Councillor Darcie Fleming, Councillor Christine Hudder, Councillor Amanda Lipinski, Councillor Alice Namu, Councillor Lisa Oracheski, Councillor… Read more »

Alberta’s Recent LGBTQ+ Struggles

Canada’s recent federal election revealed an increasing intolerance, with cries of “Wexit” separatism, anti-immigrant diatribes, and overt xenophobia.  However, this is not a new phenomenon.  The Social Credit Party first introduced Albertans to the concept of secession in the 1930s.  Unrest re-emerged once again during the 1970s, as Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s initiatives of bilingualism, the… Read more »