By Julia Bifulco
When we last heard from the Dawson Student Union, four of their nine members were left standing. They are starting off the new semester with only three.
After the circulating petition calling for the impeachment of several DSU members and the following resignations, their first order of business is to find a CEO to organize and plan for the upcoming events this semester.
In the next few weeks, the DSU will be holding by-elections in order to efficiently operate. By-elections are held when there are not enough executive members within the Union to properly run, specifically, fewer than six.
“The DSU itself does not get involved in elections,” Director of Sustainability Aya Chkirate explains. “We want to stay neutral. Our only role is to get a CEO, which we will in two or three days.” Once the CEO is appointed and trained, the by-elections will take place, but the DSU currently does not have an exact timeline for these events.
Considering the process of finding a CEO, Aya claims that the DSU is currently “asking around.” She has been asking people she knows if they have been interested; “I’m just trying to find someone, at this point. We just need someone that’s willing to do it.”
Once the new team is taken care of, the DSU plans to take a behind-the-scenes approach to the semester instead of their usual “under the spotlight” existence. They want to focus more on properly training their members and work on their roles as leaders, both within the school and the Union itself.
Rebuilding the base of the DSU is the most important part of their agenda. Without this, they “can’t plan events or coordinate clubs,” according to Aya. Reorganization of the office, the files, and the team itself is crucial to the remaining members. They need a way of managing the Union from within the team, and that is their main focus this semester.
All of the planning and training for the upcoming semester takes place during the retreats, which happen twice a year. A large part of the DSU’s budget is allocated to these retreats, but Aya argues that they’re a crucial part of building the foundation for a strong team. She believes that a lot went wrong last semester due to the fact that they did not have a retreat for the team. “That made the entire Union dysfunctional; all of that led to a petition which led to only having three members,” she says.
The former Clubs & Services Director was under fire for not fulfilling his duties and maintaining a good relationship with various clubs around Dawson. This is why one of the new DSU’s main goals is “keeping contact with the clubs and the student body”. This is already off to a rocky start, however, due to the heat the DSU received from clubs for not having access to their club spaces during the first week of the new semester.
“We want to have a few events,” Aya says about the upcoming semester, “not as many as we normally have, but we want to focus on quality over quantity”. This seems to be the most intelligent decision for the DSU given recent events. They are dead-set on working towards a more successful future and dedicating themselves to their improvement.
Only time will tell if they are on the path to success and if we will possibly have a stronger Dawson Student Union... or perhaps another Dawson Student Uprising.