DSU, We Appreciate U!
By Kayla Otway
One thing all Dawson students are in agreement about is how difficult it is to ignore the DSU, as they have been part of news at the college for years. As students we are grateful to have a devoted team like the Dawson Student Union offering incredible services that enhance a better learning experience. This group works tirelessly to ensure that first-year students have an easy transition starting cegep Their office is located in room 2F.2 and is open to all students. Someone who embraces what the DSU is all about is the passionate Aya Chkirate. In 2018, Chkirate started as the director of sustainability. She has since moved up, earning the title of chairperson, overseeing all activities within the Union. She uses her social and management skills to ensure services are running smoothly.
The DSU didn’t have a great start.Students who brought up the idea of a Union had a hard time getting permission from the school board. It didn’t stop these students from doing everything in their power to have their voices be heard. The situation intensified when the school board took the students to court. After all the drama, negotiations were finally put into action. It came down to the school board versus Dawson students, the latter claiming victory. Without these students in 2008, students today would definitely not be given the same resources.
“A lot of people tend to forget that we are students ourselves, and we have to jungle between everything that is work, school, and then DSU,” Chkirate says. “It’s stressful at times, but at the end of the day, I find it rewarding.” 'She enjoys “helping everyone and enriching the everyday student experience.”
"This year, organization skills and maintaining professionalism are the DSU’s priorities. They are determined to make sure that the services put into place are for the benefit of students."
To her, the DSU stands for “unity, it means inclusion, it means everyone feeling safe and everyone feeling comfortable in their school. It means club spaces [the idea of having students connect with each other], it means laughter.” Chkirate jokingly adds, “it means a little bit of tea sometimes,” referring to Dawson gossip that the DSU is almost always involved in. Putting jokes aside, according to Chkirate, everyone in the DSU considers each other family. This also extends to the Dawson student body; their office is open from ten to five every day.
When it comes to helping students, the DSU is very adamant about support. If someone has a problem they would like to talk about privately, executive members aren’t afraid of having a student confide in them. This year, organization skills and maintaining professionalism are the DSU’s priorities. They are determined to make sure that the services put into place are for the benefit of students.
There is a reason why the DSU wants to help students. By now, they understand that everything they are doing is fulfilling a student. Over the years, students have become more and more confident thanks to the services provided for them. The Hive and First Year Office have brought a great influence to the students. Clubs have also provided a plus for the change of atmosphere, because students are able to interact with other students. When they are engaged socially with other students it changes their point of view on school and coming to school.
Chkirate says that her job within the DSU makes her feel accomplished because she’s making a huge difference on student life. She will be graduating this year, but she knows that students joining the DSU in upcoming years and the people who are staying will continue to uphold the positive image. We all want to give a huge thank you to Chkirate and everyone else working in the DSU for enriching students’ cegep experiences.