Vol. 26 Iss. 01

Best of the Voice, 2017 - 01/05/2018


In her January executive blog, AUSU president Shawna Wasylyshyn asks, “who are the students of AU?” In her capacity as student union council president, Wasylyshyn interacts with countless people in the post-secondary education community. Some, she feels, view AU students as “disadvantaged”, “marginalized”, or people with “no other choice” but to attend AU. Like Wasylyshyn,… Read more »

In Conversation—with The Racer

The Racer is an indie band from Monroe, New York, renowned for intelligent lyrics, an inimitable post-rock sound, and hugely entertaining live performances.  In 2017, after producing three LPs, the group decided to stop creating albums for now to focus on singles and videos.  In the last few months they’ve managed to produce four songs,… Read more »

The Creative Spark—Itty Bitty Lightbulbs

Does wisdom expire? Well, some words of wisdom go cliché—like worn-out metaphors. For instance, I sigh when I read how leaders should act as servants. I nod-off when I read the 80-20 rule. There’s nothing new in either. But some wisdom we can’t escape. Consider the guilt felt when we fall behind in courses. Or… Read more »

The Fit Student—Gym Etiquette

If you plan to make gym-going a lifestyle, learn the etiquette. First rule for new gym-goers? Don’t chat—especially if you’re female. You want to keep training for as long as possible, right? Then, don’t get duped by Ed the gym playboy. Truly, he doesn’t mean well. I’m in my fifties or sixties, you might think…. Read more »

The Not-So Starving Student—DIY Hot Pot

A few years ago, when the first French fondue restaurant opened in Edmonton, I recall the amount of hype it received in the community.  Everyone around me was bringing their spouse, children, friends, and relatives to gather around a pot dipping their various entrees into liquified cheese.  The sight reminded me of my days in… Read more »

From Where I Sit-Unpack and Examine

“Warm, funny…unbearably moving.”  Such is just some of the high praise for Fredrik Backman’s debut novel, A Man Called Ove.   Like one of life’s sweetest surprises, I stumbled on this book entirely by accident.  During a visit to the Canmore library I checked out the book sale rack.  I was drawn to the book’s somewhat… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Students of the World: Relax!

At AU we have all felt a lingering shadow of dread as a deadline approaches. Maybe we’ve squandered spare time we could have used to apply ourselves; perhaps life just got in the way. It’s as though we’ve revelled amidst plenty only to realize that our privilege can be crushed at any moment. Yet we… Read more »

I’ve Decided to Plant Explosives In Quebec

This spring I’m going to be planting a small bundle of explosives near my home in Montreal, Quebec. I’ll be burying them in the soil at Dante Park, where I often go to sit on a bench, drink a thermos of tea, and talk to my good buddy, the bust of Dante. I’ve been a… Read more »

The Debate Around Math Education Doesn’t Add Up

The new school year is in full swing and kids are delving into another year of “reading, writing, and ’rithmetic”. But the sense of optimism for a new school year is overshadowed by the growing voice of those who question the quality of children’s education. The K-12 curriculum and the teachers who deliver it are… Read more »

Meeting the Minds – Dr. Neil Fassina

Dr. Neil Fassina is the 8th President of Athabasca University. He earned a BSc in Psychology from the University of Calgary and PhD in Management from the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto. He is an active researcher in the areas around applied decision-making. He was installed in mid-January, 2017 and works… Read more »


It is getting to be that time of year when students nearing the end of their program are trying to decide whether to make the pilgrimage to Athabasca for convocation or not. I decided early that I wanted to make it there, I wanted to walk that stage and be handed the degree I had… Read more »

University: Teaching or Indoctrinating?

University students, why are you pursuing a higher education?  For most of us, the answer is simple:  we want to gain the skills required to get good jobs in our chosen fields of expertise.  We go to school so we can reach our full potential and achieve our goals.  Since we’ve been sentient, we’ve been… Read more »


Sshhhhh draw the curtains closed unplug thoughts and plans slip softly, slow-ly deeply down into a silken silence enshrouded in night-time noiselessness   soul sealed in a velvet envelope captured in the present moment the chaos of life dissolves from Ambition! Action! Achievement! to a world condensed to taciturnity   luxurious lullaby of unspoken words… Read more »

Minds We Meet-Foteini Evangelidou

Foteini Evangelidou has recently completed the Master of Education in Distance Education program at AU. She currently resides in Kavala, a small beautiful city in Northern Greece that offers both the residents and visitors a combination of modern life with archaeological and historical sightseeing amidst the natural tranquility of sea and mountains. Named after both… Read more »

Not All Who Wander are Lost

A recent Facebook message sent by someone I went to high school with informed me that a group from our grad class was starting to plan our 30-year reunion. After reading it, I had two reactions. The first one was, “We are just not that old—seriously; weren’t the 1980s just ten years ago?” and the… Read more »

Politically Bereft – Quebec’s New Face Covering Law

[Chosen by students, this comic came out  on October 27, during the height of the controversy about Quebec’s new face-covering law (that courts have now temporarily suspended). They say a picture can be worth a thousand words but sometimes “Ew” is all you need.]

A Man’s Legacy

The legacy a man leaves for his children is precious. It took many years for me to heal the scars left from damaging father figures. Despite the negatives, life always provides us with a counteracting positive, if we only allow ourselves to see it. Each man in my life has taught me something about life—some… Read more »

AUSU Update!

This space is provided free to AUSU: The Voice does not create or edit this content. Contact services@ausu.org with any questions. IMPORTANT DATES Jan 9: Edmonton Student Meet & Greet Jan 10: Deadline to register in a course starting Feb 1 Jan 15: February degree requirements deadline Jan 15: AUSU Council Meeting Jan 26: Call… Read more »