Jesse Stamberg listens to your struggles
By Julia Siedlanowska, Staff Writer
In an interview with the Other Press, Jesse Stamberg, internal relations coordinator at the Douglas Students’ Union (DSU), reveals how his struggles as a new student led him to get involved and make changes to his college community.
When did you start being interested in being involved at the DSU?
My first semester at Douglas was extremely hard, both academically and socially, and I really struggled to find places to meet people. I noticed that most students just went to class and left immediately after. The opportunities for new students to meet people on campus were tricky to find. That was until I saw class talks from students trying to get elected to student council on campus. I immediately talked to one of them in class and was determined to make my way into the DSU. I wanted to make it more accessible for students to get involved in campus life.
Could you explain for us your role as internal relations coordinator at the DSU? What duties does this include?
My role as internal relations coordinator has to do with overall building operations and services. For example, coordinating services like the health and dental plan, handbooks, pub nights, and helping to coordinate new renovations to the space such as our computer lab and renovated lower lounge space.
How has working with the DSU affected your life? Have you found it helpful in other aspects of your daily life?
The DSU has been a great opportunity for me as I am able to work in both an organizational environment and also advocate for students on the ground level. This allows me to meet and hear the struggles of everyday students on campus and motivates me to help resolve their issues. I have also been mentored by many of the staff that I work with and met some really enjoyable people.
If you could change one thing at Douglas College, what would it be?
If I could change one thing on campus it would have to be improved transparency and more student involvement, especially relating to major changes for students. Too much of the decision making process is happening at the top level of Douglas College, and very little of those decisions are displayed or brought forward for students to discuss. I feel there isn’t enough of a student voice. Events like the president’s dinner are a good first step to moving forward, however student insight into what is needed on campus is still very much neglected. Issues surrounding cafeteria prices and various other day to day issues that students would greatly benefit from student input. There has been some linkage between students and the college with events such as the president’s dinner, but I think that there needs to be more interaction. The onus is predominantly on the students to be more involved, which I think is true, but I also believe that there is a long way to go until students can feel involved and connected with the college.
What advice do you have to Douglas College students?
My advice to Douglas College students would be to look at Douglas as a part of your life and not just a transfer school. This is a major opportunity to expand your horizons and meet new people. Make sure that you are getting the most out of Douglas College, academically and socially, and try to get out and meet your local campus partners. If you would like to get involved with the DSU right now, try coming to one of our offices at either New Westminster or Coquitlam campus or come meet us at an event. We are always looking for volunteers for our events or tabling.