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Steve Swettenham's polls

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  • Hi,

    I believe it takes more than emotion and motivation to resolve an issue, given there is no evidence in Canada of students being able to opt out of an institutional enforced student association. If you have such evidence of precendence then I would love to know. My comments to your response are about individual realities. In your reality, if you want those external services fantastic, but if those services are enforced then it is not a choice for the student.  I believe the focus of the matter is freedom to choose. My comments articulate freedom to choose in relation to a specific senario, rather than generalizations. I appreciate your interest in a wider conversation on services for students, however the matter of freedom to choose will always be a central concern for me.

    Do I expect any resolution? In all my years in education I have rarely witnessed leadership save for a few educators and one manager. It will take more than luck to be able to opt-out and reduce tution. In particular a Canadian precedence would be a key indicator.

    Thank you for your interest.

    Best wishes with your studies and I encourage you to join the AUGSA board to make the differences you are looking for.  I tried and failed so I invite you to go for it!



    Steve Swettenham March 1, 2019 - 3:41am

  • Hi Steve

    Thanks for your reply.

    I know you're upset. And I get that. But your reply doesn't really respond to my comments (assuming it is a reply to my comment that I posted previously). I thought that you might be interested in having a conversation and considering some thoughts and comments regarding your question of the AUGSA fees. However, your response tells me that you're just angry and that's all that matters. It's okay to be upset about this, but posting a comment like that in response to my comment doesn't really make sense. I was trying to have a conversation with you about this.

    I think there are a lot of things to consider here, even if it seems unfair to you that we pay for the AUGSA. At this time, I will be refraining from anymore discussion about this topic. Good luck with receiving your money back from the AUGSA fees. 

    Dani D'Souza February 28, 2019 - 7:44pm

  • If an student wants to opt out of such fees as insurance, that is an individual choice. Taxing students for services they do not want is not a choice. What is deemed a beneficial externality to the Athabasca University curriculum is an individual reality. The AUGSA is not part of the curriculum, nor did I have any opportunity to opt-out. Since AUGSA does not represent me, nor did I choose to become a member, it is just another tax by Athabasca University on students. I know my $13 per credit will be much better spent on reducing the excessive tuition costs when I can opt-out, rather than giving the money to AUGSA administration. Every cent coming from me is significant, and I don't want it wasted on AUGSA services; if other students wish to be taxed on AUGSA services, that should be their choice, not enforced Athabasca University policy.

    Steve Swettenham February 28, 2019 - 2:35am

  • Hi Steve

    Thanks for your note. Unfortunately I don't have the time it would take to dedicate myself to a better understanding of this topic. I agree that students should definitely have a voice and choice in all matters related to their education.

    As a side thought, what about the money that is contributed to student health and wellness? Do you think that would be impacted? Having the option to contact Homewood Health if needed is really beneficial for post-secondary students. If students are given the choice to opt-out of the AUGSA in general, how likely would it be that we could keep this service available to those students that don't opt out?

    Dani D'Souza February 28, 2019 - 12:53am