Category Archives: News

Eyes on the DSU

The DSU held their weekly meeting discussing student activities

By Elise Favis

The DSU (Dawson Student Union) had a short meeting on Monday, discussing the tuition fee campaign rally and World Youth Festival.

The DSU began their discussion with the Quebec City trip. Tuition rates in university are proposed to rise by 250% in 2012. Students who are passionate about tuition fee hikes will have a chance to voice their opinion through a rally and protest at the government consultation of students. The means of transportation to Quebec City will be by bus, and the event will take place on Dec. 6.

“We have four people signed up for the rally in Quebec City, and 100 declaration forms signed,” Amanda Arella, DSU Deputy Chairperson, said.

The motion presented was an inquiry on the funding for the campaign, and the vote unanimously agreed on the amount proposed.

“We’ve been working really hard to fight against the tuition fee increases, and tying it into our Education is a Right campaign,” Arella continued.  “We’ve got a lot of buzz around campus, and hopefully with the class talks and the continued tabling there will be even more.”

The next topic was the $500 contribution to the Quebec committee of the World Festival of Youth and Students, which is a youth-driven international, socialist organization that aims to connect students around the world to fight for their country’s needs.

“[World Festival of Youth and Students] will take place in South Africa. It happens every four to five years,” Shannon Gittens, DSU Director of External Affairs, said. “It’s a convention that informs youth on lobbying and campaigning on a more national level.”

DSU Staff Mathieu Perron further explained the cause, “Students across the world get together, and there are workshops that are held, so people can know what kind of issues that might be happening in different countries. It generally gives a greater exchange of ideas.”

The meeting concluded with an agreement on the $500 donation to the festival, and a legal update.

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Locks of Love that save lives

Dawson will donate student hair to Leucan, a non-profit organization

By Jennifer Hughes

Start growing your hair out this winter because the Dawson Student Union’s (DSU) Locks of Love will be hitting Dawson in April.

Students who wish to participate will have their hair cut and styled, the trimmings will then be donated to Leucan, a local Quebec non-profit organization. Leucan helps children who have cancer and makes their families believe in a better and brighter future.

“In order to donate hair, it must be at least 10 inches long and not dyed with chemical products,” Amanda Arella, Deputy Chairperson of the DSU said.

Furthermore, if students don’t wish to give their hair they can also help with cash donations.

Although the date is not yet set, the event will likely take place the week of April 12, Arella explained. There will be a sign-up sheet in the DSU office (2F.2) further down the line.

“I think anything to benefit cancer patients is a good thing,” Kathleen Brooks, a third semester Visual Arts student said.

This is the second year Dawson has held this event with Leucan. “We hosted this  event last year as well, and [approximately] 16-20 students participated [by donating their hair],” Arella said.

“I donated some of my hair when I was fourteen,” Caterina Florio, a first semester Community Recreation Leadership Training (CRLT) student said. “I had family pass away due to cancer so it was my way of giving back.”

Technologically savvy

Dawson takes a step forward  and has spread information access to the most used electronic devices and websites

By Beatrice Broderick-Auger

Over the past several months, Dawson has become more accessible to its students, as college related information can be found on the school’s website, their Facebook or Twitter page and a Dawson application is available on iPod’s or iPads.

It’s quite common for CEGEPs to have web pages for information for students, staff as well as future scholars. Dawson has recently taken the next step to stay in constant contact with its students and has spread its access to the most used electronic devices used these days.

“No one takes the time to read written letters and students certainly don’t pay attention to the posters hanging on the wall, I know I don’t,” Rebecca Gelineau, a third semester Social Sciences student explained, “having everything online is so much more accommodating.”

Dawson’s newly created web pages were put in place “to join other legitimate Dawson Facebook pages launched by Student Affairs, Sustainable Dawson and a number of alumni groups,” as stated on the website. The main goal for this is to have better communication with the students, to give them an easier and clearer access to program specific information. The links include class cancelations, activities in the upper atrium, sports news and much more.

What makes Dawson stand out compared to any other CEGEP is the iPod application. “Last spring, the free iPhone application was launched and made available from the Apple Application store. The mdawson app puts all kinds of information at students’ fingertips,” MyDawson states. Certain information given includes news and deadlines they need to know about, class cancellations, even STM delays.

“I really enjoy not having to go straight to my laptop each morning,” Matthew Bienz, a third semester Law, Society and Justice student said, “All I have to do is grab my iPod, and class cancellations are listed,” he continued.

Putting this application in place is mainly to captivate the audience, Craig Howlett, a former Dawson employee and the founder of How Logical, which is the creator of mdawson, explained.

“The mdawson joins the majority of our clientele, there will be more and more, we have great plans,” Dawson Communication Studies teacher stated. When you walk around Dawson, students are using their phones a lot more than their laptops.

Having information accessible to everyone at any time during the day is Dawson’s goal, students now have everything they need at the tip of their finger.

Turcot terror trauma

Montrealers protest the imminent  expansion of the Turcot interchange

By Tyler Finigan

The Ministère des Transports de Quebec (MTQ) unveiled the government of Quebec’s three billion dollar plan to expand the Turcot interchange on Nov. 9.
The plans for the Turcot were created in order to minimize the in and out bound traffic congesting the interchange, in efforts to reduce the pollution surrounding the highways.

However, contradictory to MTQ’s intentions, the plans to increase the Turcot interchange will also expand its vehicle capacity to over 300,000 potentially creating the same problems it purports to solve.

Furthermore, according to Patrick Barnard, English professor at Dawson College, a considerable number of Montrealers die because of the pollution created by traffic and an expansion of the interchange will increase traffic and automobile pollution by 10%.  Construction is scheduled to start in 2012 and to last around six years. But with official plans to be finalized by Dec. 31 of next year, planners believe it might take longer and be more costly then stated.

Officials say that in order to reconstruct the Turcot they will have to tear into the Tanneries that line the current highway, just north of the St. Remi tunnel and demolishing approximately 100 homes, leaving residents to find new apartments.

To minimize the impact on traffic during the construction, officials state that they will build around the existing highways.

According to Derek Robertson, a member of Mobilization Turcot (a collective against the expansion), daily commuters “will be adversely effected by many highway reconstruction projects all happening at once.”

“They’re supposed to reconstruct part of the Decarie circle, Autoroute Bonaventure, Autoroute 20 at the Dorval circle, etc. yet the MTQ says four more commuter trains from the West Island is adequate.”

Robertson  Barnard insists that there are ulterior motives to what the MTQ has proposed.  “Montreal and Quebec have the possibility to produce a very different transport network,” Barnard said. “We have the technology, homegrown no less, to create light rail trains but instead of using it ourselves, we sell them to foreign consumers.”  Robertson believes that it’s too early to clarify the exact future of the Turcot interchange.

“There doesn’t seem to be any coordinated plan, no discussion of the totality of the changes coming over the next 12 years in the southwest of Montreal. The gateway to Montreal is to be transformed and no one is speaking nor showing how it will all be done,” Robertson concluded.

Living With HIV

Cin/Vid/Com puts on event showcasing life with HIV and AIDS

By Chris Pike

Next Wednesday the Cinema, Video & Communications department will be showing several short films about young peoples’ experiences living with HIV.

“We’ve got six films in total,” Kim Simard of the Cin/Vid/Com department said, “[the films] are done in more of a art house and experimental style.” The films are being shown in collaboration with AIDS Community Care Montreal (ACCM) and Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE).

Wednesday Dec 1 is also the 23 annual World AIDS Day. This year’s theme for World AIDS Day is Universal Access to Human Rights, a plea many people who live with the stigma of HIV and AIDS live with everyday.

There will also be the VIHsion Film Festival this coming Friday and Saturday at Théatre Ste-Catherine, which is also being done in collaboration with ACCM. The films will be shown at the Dawson ampitheatre (located at 4C.1) between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

1,000 march in downtown Montreal against fee hikes

Students on strike participate in the Coalition against hikes in fees and privatizations of Quebec services’ demonstration

By Brian Lapuz

As a symbolic gesture, participants of the “Non aux hausses” coalition’s march blocked the entry to the Hydro-Quebec head office for more than an hour in downtown Montreal on Tuesday afternoon, in opposition to hikes in fees and privatizations of public services in Quebec.

“We are blocking the access to the building as a reminder that these resources are for the good of all people,” Marie- Ève Rancourt, a spokesperson for the coalition, said to the crowd. “But now, [Prime Minister] Charest is trying to manage it like a private company.”

At least 1,000 people were present; among them were students from Cégep du Vieux Montréal, Cégep Saint-Laurent, Collège Marie-Victorin, Université de Montréal, and UQAM, who were on strike for that day, and students from Cégep Maisonneuve.

Quebec’s historical tuition fees freeze was lifted in 2006, and would increase $50 per semester, totaling up to $500 when it ends in winter 2012. Raymond Bachand, Quebec’s Minister of Finances and Revenue, proposed in the spring that the tuition fees continue to increase after 2012.

“I’m here because I’m against the hikes [in fees for public services],”Marc-André Viau, an Architecture student from Cégep Saint-Laurent said. “I also believe that education should be accessible to all people.”

In a study published last week, the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ) were 12,619 students were surveyed, shedding light on the reality of many students.

“Fifty per cent of students enrolled full-time live with less than $12,200 per year, 25% with less than $7,400,” Louis-Philippe Savoie, President of the FEUQ, quoted on their website. “And these data include the amounts received in loans from Student Financial Assistance. Imagine the disastrous effects that the Charest government’s hike in tuition fees would have on them.”

Unable to mobilize for the demonstration, the Dawson Student Union (DSU) executives were busy mobilizing for the Dec. 6 annual Partners in Education meeting in Quebec City. The FEUQ and the Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante have invited students to protest in the city on that day.

“We found out about the demonstration at the last minute,” Amanda Arella, DSU Deputy Chairperson said. “We are busy mobilizing for Dec. 6 for a rally against tuition increase.”

No more fees

The DSU held a meeting about the increase of university tuition

By Elise Favis

The Dawson Student Union (DSU) held a mobilization committee meeting on Monday Nov. 6, concerning their campaign to stop the increase of university tuition in Quebec.

Quebec has had one of the lowest tuition rates for almost a decade, though as of last spring, the Quebec government proposed a tuition fee increase that may leave students in debt. If granted, the tuition rise will begin as of 2012.

About 15 to 20 students attended the meeting, which included the DSU executives and others that had a general interest in the issue.

“The propositions that we’ve been hearing is that the fees will be brought up to the national average,” Amanda Arella, Deputy Chairperson of the DSU said. “Students would be paying $5000 in tuition fees, which is a huge increase and would make education in Quebec a lot less accessible.”

The increase will be 250% higher than the current tuition payments. The DSU is planning a trip by bus to Quebec City for students on Dec. 6, where attendees will protest their cause at the government consultation of students.

“In terms of mobilization, the consultations are happening during exam period,” Ariel Charney, Chairperson of the DSU explained. “So they obviously have it in their interest to prevent students from gathering.”

“On Dec. 6, the official consultation with students is going to happen,” Mathieu Perron, Executive Director of the DSU, said. “[The Quebec Government] already had the consultation with all the university presidents [of the province], and said the tuition fees need to go up to the national average.”

The Union and guests then spoke of how they would promote and commercialize the campaign. The group went into a long discussion regarding communications, live action events, and student outreach. Flyers, posters, events, classroom speeches and more will all be occurring this semester to advocate the cause before the Quebec City trip.