We’ve all seen the flyers around campus making noise about something called “the CAUS.” But what is this all about? What does this mysterious acronym even mean?
The CAUS is the Coalition of American University Students. It is a student union, newly organized, aimed at increasing student power over the decisions made that impact us all. The CAUS is non-ideological, representing all students regardless of political identification.
To some, representing students may sound like the job of Student Government. However, CAUS works on a very different model than SG. This is a body that is based on direct participation by all students. Everyone can come to student assemblies, everyone can speak their mind, and everyone can take part in CAUS decision-making. If students make a decision that the administration chooses to ignore, we do not just quietly accept this. We take direct action, engaging in demonstrations, sit-ins or whatever other means are necessary to ensure that students are respected.
And there are many issues confronting us today. Tuition and fees could go up about 30 percent over the next five years, putting an AU education out of reach for all too many students. On-campus housing is massively overcrowded, with even some of the lounges being converted into dorms. Students lack any sort of bill of rights and are forced to deal with a problematic conduct code that puts us at a serious disadvantage when facing disciplinary action. These are just a few troubling matters, and there are certainly many others.
This is our school, and there is no reason why we should not be able to effect change to improve the lot of the student body. CAUS student assemblies are on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the MGC corner lounge. Come, speak up and make this a better school for all students!
The Coalition of American University Students