Advocacy & Services
Advocacy And Student Services
Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association is your advocate to the university and government; you can learn more about our advocacy efforts here. We also strive to enhance Athabasca University graduate student life and services; we do this in a number of ways, including providing resource links.
Information about the AUGSA Health & Dental Plan is also listed below.
Interested in volunteering or getting involved with us? Click here for more information.
Advocacy is an important priority for the Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association. The AUGSA acts an advocate on behalf of graduate students to the university as well as to all three levels of government. By representing AU graduate student interests, AUGSA hopes to improve the overall quality of graduate student life at Athabasca.
Some of our advocacy priorities include advocating for email addresses for all AU students, the university creating Teaching Assistant opportunities for AU graduate students, and working to ensure the provision of adequate graduate student services. In addition, we would also like to see AU providing better career services for students (for example, assistance writing resumes, cover letters, etc). We are also hopeful that one day, there will be two seats for graduate students on all university Board of Governors or Governing Councils.
The Association is a member of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), a federal student lobby group. According to their own description, CASA "is an alliance of student associations and student unions from across Canada. Through this network of student governments, CASA represents and promotes the interests of post-secondary students to federal and inter-provincial levels of government." AUGSA's involvement with CASA allows us to have a strong voice at the federal level, which is especially important given that our members are spread across the country.
We also work cooperatively with other graduate student groups and associations across Canada, and are currently considering joining the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.
The AUGSA strives to enhance the overall experience for graduate students at Athabasca University. We are always working to expand and improve our student services to better serve the graduate student body.
Some of the services we offer include:
- Student Lifeline- services for our students in need of counseling, advice or assistance: http://www.augsa.com/index.php/news/1-articles/477-student--.html
- Hosting in-person networking events for our students
- Hosting online peer-to-peer discussion forums on our website to allow students to connect
- Producing regular e-newsletters for our members to keep them in the loop of what is happening around the university
- Providing awards to graduate students, such as the Outstanding Distinction and Graduate Citizenship Awards
- Encouraging excellence in AU faculty and non-academic staff via providing awards to AU staff who exceed in serving graduate students
- Improving library funding for graduate research via an annual library donation
- Considering an optional graduate Health Plan
- Advocating on behalf of AU graduate students for any issue that may impact graduate student life
The AUGSA is pleased to be able to provide AU graduate students with an opt-in Health & Dental Plan through Student VIP.
As an opt-in plan, this is an individual plan rather than a group benefits plan and the price varies by province or territory. Rate cards listing the prices for each province and territory are available in the Forms & Downloads section of the plan website1.
For more information, or to sign-up for the plan, please visit AUGSA's Student VIP web portal at: https://www.studentvip.ca/augsa.
There are many ways to get involved with your Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association, and we are always enthusiastic to have more students participating!
In November, all graduate students are welcome to self-nominate themselves to stand as a candidate either for an Executive position or to represent their program area as a Council Member. As a member of the GSA Council, students participate in shaping GSA political policy and in guiding general Association operations.
Outside of the GSA Council, the GSA has many Committees that members of the general Athabasca University graduate student body can participate in. These Committees include: the Web Committee (managing AUGSA’s presence online), the Awards Committee, and the Bylaw Committee (reviewing and interpreting Bylaws). In addition to the Committees, we have several ongoing volunteer opportunities, such as the role of Chief Returning Officer (CRO).
Throughout the year, the GSA engages in several advocacy campaigns. Students can support the GSA in these campaigns through writing emails and letters to important officials expressing their subscription to the GSA position. Check out our News section for information on any current campaigns.
When the GSA is hiring, the Association works as an equal-opportunity employer; all graduate students are welcome to apply for any of our employment postings.
Online Graduate Programs: This site is part of a larger project that covers all facets of graduate school, its practices and applications. It offers highly valuable resources to prospective, current and past graduate students to help them find what they need and make informed decisions. Since the education landscape is continually transforming and the requirements are evolving, this site aims to provide an objective comprehensive overview.
1. The health and dental plan is currently unavailable in the province of Quebec.