The process of reporting an issue to the AAU administration can be discouraging for students as communication is obscure and trusting proper action will be taken is not easy.
If you’re a student who needs to report a problem, this is the simplified and clarified process—the behind-the-scenes politics—to help you find the best solution.
There are three avenues to take: academic, non-academic, and event or club-related. Anything from harassment to a course crisis to wanting to start a new club can be reported to the university.
Reporting a Problem
The first step of all avenues is to contact Student Council (SC). SC exists to advocate on behalf of the students and hold the administration accountable. Instagram is their main channel of communication. Students frequently direct-message their questions and complaints there, but they are also accessible through everyone’s AAU emails.
SC then takes the report to either Dean of Students Katerina Vonova, the Department Chair, or the President’s Collegium. That position then investigates the issues as needed and determines the next steps.
“Even if we don’t have control over the issue that they’re bringing to us, we can help them on the road to solve it,” said SC President Simone Stansbury.
Once SC hands the report over to an administrator, the decision is out of their hands, but they still have the power to advocate and mediate for students through the process. The administration keeps the Student Council informed to fulfill their responsibility of keeping you informed.
Different cases have different resolution times. For harassment cases, which fall under non-academic reports, they are required to be addressed and resolved in six weeks. Similarly, course crisis forms are required to be acknowledged within four weeks or the end of that semester at the latest.
SC is responsible for holding administrators accountable to these deadlines.
Encouraging Future Solutions
The issue many students voice is the unknown of this “faceless administrative board,” making decisions for them without having any interaction with the student who filed the complaint.
SC has presented itself as the bridge between the two as it continues to encourage better internal communication from the administration.
The original political structure of AAU was built on the idea that students didn’t care to be involved with administration. In recent years, there has been an increasing social trend in the younger generations’ demand for answers, which extends to the AAU community as well.
Smaller than a typical American university, AAU can have open communication and develop better relationships between faculty and students, but this new interest from students has risen faster than administration can keep up with.
It’s important for students who report a problem to be patient with the solution and continue going to SC for help, both during the process and for future problems. Though some problems may require a longer time to find solutions, they will be addressed. As SC is responsible for holding the administration accountable, students are encouraged to check in, hold SC accountable, and give them feedback on the outcome.
“There’s never been an instance where a student has brought an issue to us that we didn’t address,” Stansbury concluded.