A new team of university student leaders in Alberta have started their terms and have wasted no time in getting down to work. The Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) met to discuss the upcoming year and the changes needed in Alberta’s universities. At the top of the priority list was picking a new chair.

University of Calgary Students’ Union Vice President External Hardave Birk was elected the new chair of CAUS for the 2010/11 academic year. He is joined by University of Lethbridge Students’ Union Vice President Academic Keith McLaughlin who will serve the year as vice-chair. Together CAUS identified university operating funds, improving student financial aid rising tuition and regulating non-instructional fees as the top issues facing students.

“Students are worried that it is going to be another difficult year, but last year demonstrated that students are prepared to fight to keep their education high quality and affordable, and we are going to make sure the government gets that message,” said Birk. “We have a great team across Alberta to ensure these concerns are heard.”

CAUS represents undergraduate students from the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge and each year selects one student executive from a member students’ union to serve as chair and chief spokesperson. The CAUS office is located in Edmonton and represents students to the provincial government, other post-secondary stakeholders and the Alberta public.