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 through our services; we do this in a number of ways, including providing resources.
Some of the services we offer include:
- 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
- An optional graduate health & dental plan
- Advocating on behalf of AU graduate students for any issue that may impact graduate student life
Advocacy to Athabasca University & Government
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.
The Alberta Graduate Provincial Advocacy Council (ab-GPAC) is a student-led, non-partisan organization that advocates to the provincial government on behalf of over 21,000 graduate students that attend the research-intensive universities in Alberta. ab-GPAC advocates for quality post-secondary graduate education and strive to improve the experience of graduate students in the province.
We also work cooperatively with other graduate student groups and associations across Canada.
Graduate Student Health & Dental
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 website. Note: The health and dental plan is currently unavailable in the province of Quebec.
For more information, or to sign-up for the plan, please visit AUGSA’s Student VIP web portal at: https://www.studentvip.ca/augsa.
Student Wellness & Lifeline Services
AUGSA strives to enhance the overall experience for graduate students at Athabasca University and is pleased to announce a new wellness support service for our members. Homewood Health services are for our students in need of counseling, advice or assistance. This service is offered by Athabasca University effective November 1, 2018.
Beyond that, we are always working to expand and improve our student services to better serve the graduate student body.
Have a suggestion for what the AUGSA can do for you? Get in touch with us