The New DSU
by Gabriela Vasquez-Rondon
September 19, 2018 | Voices
Last year’s elections have sparked quite the controversy around school. From the announcement of only one running party to the General Assembly, to the issue of the Union’s accountability; the DSU has faced much criticism. The new Director of Mobilization and Communication, Sarah-Lena Grogg, and the new Deputy Chairperson, Terry Tsatas, accepted to discuss their journey to being elected and future plans for the DSU.
With the elections being led by only one party, the candidates were under a lot of pressure to appeal to the vast majority. Aware of the situation, Tsatas admitted that he was actually “very disappointed” about not having any competition. He went on to say he “would have loved the opposition [because] people need to understand why it is important to get involved”. The Deputy Chairperson’s words emphasize that if people do not get involved, no change will come. He argues, “people don’t have to like me but I still encourage them to vote. You have that right, that freedom to make a change and choose”.
“I think it is important for us, as students, to learn more about the DSU and our own rights. If we do not make that conscious choice, we will not have a voice in the decisions they make for us”.
While I agree with Tsatas’s words, it is still to be considered that the elections had only one political party which contrast with the ideology of democracy.
The results from last May’s election are still available on the DSU Elections Commission’s Facebook page. As it points out, the highest cast of votes was of 128 for the Director of Mobilization and Communication, Sarah-Lena Grogg. These numbers are dismal compared to the lowest casted vote of last year’s elections, which were of 377 votes for a disqualified candidate running for Chairperson.
Grogg declares how “It is unfortunate that the student-DSU relationship has gotten to a point where students do not want to be associated with the Union, which is one of the reasons why I am running: to improve that relationship”. She continues, “I sincerely wish for the Student Union to implement well-thought changes that will encourage the students to be more involved in school activities and that will make them want to vote for this year’s elections”.
Various students, myself included, have high hopes concerning the changes promised by the DSU. The Deputy Chairperson has a strong opinion about student jobs. He spoke on how students “have problems finding a job in the field of their education”. Tsatas goes on to say, “Any institution is very limited and I would like to help improve this by reaching up to other organisations”. His intentions seem promising for a future that may hold more possibilities for the students.
Tsatas was very clear when he said that something he wanted people “to realize about the Student Union is that we take initiative for the people to accomplish these goals and improve the school”. These words will be put to the test as the 2018-2019 school year is only starting.
The Director of Mobilization and Communication expresses how “Over the past two years, I have been getting increasingly involved in the Dawson student life”. She says, “I saw this year’s elections as an opportunity to get even more involved and bring a wind of change to the school’s union”. When asked about the changes she wants to implement, Grogg answered “I will increase communication and transparency between the Dawson student body and the DSU”. I am personally interested in seeing the relationship between the students and the DSU flourish, as I strongly believe collaboration between the two parties could help improve the average student’s school life.
One of Grogg’s first actions as newly appointed Director of Mobilization and Communication will be to “meet the Plant’s writers and artists. It is important to build trust with everyone”. She adds, “In order to keep everyone up to date it would be great to have a press conference whenever there is a DSU meeting, where people could ask for clarifications if they need any. This will be a way for us to make sure that we are meeting everyone’s demands, but will also allow us to adjust ourselves accordingly”.
These ideas seem like a good start in implementing a good relationship between the Plant and the DSU, and the DSU and the rest of the school. Tsatas’ and Grogg’s ideas for the future of the Union look promising but only upcoming results as the semester progresses will tell us if any changes have really been made.
With such dedicated members of the Union, we can certainly expect some sort of change coming our way soon.