DSU Introductions & the General Assembly:
See What They're All About
By: Alessandro Mortellaro
Photo Via DSU Instagram: @my_dsu
In this unique school year, I’m sure we are all wondering who makes up our DSU committee and what they have planned. The following introductions give a sense of the passionate team representing our student body.
Chairperson Kevin Contant-Holowatyj enthusiastically informed The Plant that he “wanted to be able to help our students on our campus.” He advises Dawson students to “stay tuned for the unveiling of the Executive Committee’s plans for the year!” In the first General Assembly of the 2020-2021 school year, we finally saw Kevin and his team in action.
Treasurer Noah Lemaire says that he decided to pursue his position because of his interests in finance and management. His main goal is “to improve the accountability of the Union’s finances,” increasing transparency between the DSU and its constituents. At the Fall 2020 GA, Lemaire presented the DSU’s budget, as well as his plans for improving student life, keeping students informed, and looking out for Dawson’s clubs. Constant-Holowatjy mentioned that the DSU hopes to collaborate with the school to fix damaged club spaces so that they can be ready by the time the pandemic ends.
Director of Clubs and Services Amelie Chornet believes that “club life can make any student’s college experience better and in order to do so, the Student Union must acknowledge the clubs’ needs and guide them at all times.” She emphasizes the importance of an adaptable club life accessible to all Dawson students. The new DSU plans to require only 50 petition signatories to form a club, instead of the previous threshold of 250. Approved clubs enter an interim period of 1 semester, and once that semester is over, they are eligible for official status.
Sustainability Director Sarah Bensemana says she is “looking forward to making Dawson greener!” Her priority will be to “promote a sustainable lifestyle by hosting monthly seminars and [creating] an Instagram page.” She is also expected to be involved in the Green Earth Club’s fight against Quebec’s Gazoduc/GNL project. Towards the end of the GA meeting, the club took the floor and presented their strong opposition to the project. Several Dawson students presented their arguments against the pipeline that would stretch from Ontario to Saguenay, threatening marine life and causing greenhouse gas pollution to skyrocket; the assembled students voted almost unanimously to formalize the student body’s opposition to the project.
Director of Student Life Nicole Vega Rivas says that “student governance has always interested me, and when one of my friends told me about the DSU elections I decided to give it a try!” Rivas hopes to make the best of this year and plans to do everything possible to reach Dawson’s full potential.“I decided to run for Internal Affairs and Advocacy because I want students to feel like they can count on the Dawson Student Union when problems arise,” Leana Ramirez, Director of Internal Affairs and Advocacy, says. Her mentality is that if students are paying a fee every semester, she wants the investment justified and the money channeled into services which are beneficial to the student body.
Deputy Chairperson Alexandrah Cardone is an involved Dawson citizen, already having participated in the Blue Ring Society, the CLL, and as a college tour guide. “I am passionate about representing students on various college entities such as the senate and policy committees, because that is where the most crucial work takes place in terms of protecting and advancing the needs of students at Dawson College,” she says. She adds that she’s “committed to supporting the executive team in bringing forward some of DSU’s most ambitious plans and reforms in recent years.”
Valerie Sygal, Director of External Affairs, is a second-year Health Science student who is looking forward to making “every Dawson Student’s year one to remember!”
Director of Mobilization and Communication Danahé Orduña Martínez is a student in Child Studies. She decided to run for Director of Mobilization and Communication to become more involved in the Dawson community.
More information on the Dawson Student Union team and their plans can be found on their website, dawsonstudentunion.com.