Eyes on the DSU

Racism and Environmental Hoaxers on the DSU menu

by Audrey Nolin-Sotiriadis

Administrative decisions and several motions concerning issues for the upcoming semester were discussed at the Dawson Student Union (DSU) meeting held on Jan. 26, 2010.

The meeting began with the announcement of the fifth anniversary of the non-profit organization.

“Happy birthday,” said all the Executives present at the meeting.

Executive Secretary Christopher Monette plans on commissioning a massive cake and handing out pamphlets for the occasion on Feb.3.

“We are very excited for this event,” Monette said.

VP Finance Ariel Charney proposed to set up a benefit concert “to promote student bands and youth social consciousness” on March 4, at Sala Rosa. Student bands including Bud Rice and Bogus will be opening the concert and will feature Kalmunity.

Charney also announced the visit of a group of environmental hoaxers that has made international headlines, the Yes Men.

“The Yes Men are coming to Dawson to coincide with Earth Week on April 21. It’ll definitely be interesting,” said Charney.

A campaign for the progressive elimination of the sale of bottled water on campus will be launched starting this semester.

“If we were to succeed in the campaign, Dawson would be the first CEGEP institution to ban the sale of water bottles on campus and to commit to making sustainability a real priority,” Charney said.

Charney will be seeking support for this measure from various organizations who share Dawson’s concerns on this issue such as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief.

Last Friday, DSU Executives held a sit-in in front of the Registrar’s office for 40 minutes and obtained an undertaking to offer an online course change service by 2011.

“We only need to get a commitment in writing from the Academic Dean,” said Monette. “Last year’s petition was ignored but what can I say, mission accomplished!”

A big campaign seeking to open up a “town hall” style forum for discussion concerning Dawson’s “racist” cafeteria names will take place during the winter semester. VP Internal & Advocacy Idil Isse raised the point that Dawson’s three cafeterias are referred to as the Black Caf, the Jew Caf and the Italian Caf.

“We want to open a forum of discussion to talk about race issues at Dawson, to know if people have had incidents or felt harassed,” Isse said.

The executives agreed to research new names for Dawson’s cafeterias. President Carl Perks suggested the name of Anastasia De Sousa for one of them.

Many students have complained about thefts in the women’s locker rooms in PARC.

VP Academic & Advocacy Arielle de Pagter is talking about surveying 100 female students on whether they would be comfortable with video cameras in PARC’s locker rooms.

“We want to know if they’d be comfortable with this measure to lower the risks of theft in the locker rooms,” de Pagter said.

The DSU confirmed the ratification of four new clubs: the Gearheads, Urban Lifestyles, Music Appreciation club and the Food club. However, there is no space or financing available for the new clubs at this junction of the school year. No discussion was held concerning either of these issues for the upcoming Fall semester.

The Senate wants to add a seat for a part-time student. In order to do so, the Senate needs to remove a student seat representing the DSU.

“If they add a part-time student, our DSU representative bumps a full-time student off the Senate,” said Monette. “We made our position clear. We won’t let the administration take away hard-working student representatives”.

According to Monette, Ray Boucher from Student Services does not think that the decision will go in the DSU’s favour.

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