Union to seek input from membership on finances and opportunities
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer
The Douglas Students’ Union (DSU) will be holding its annual general meeting (AGM) on February 6. The AGM will take place in the upper lounge of the DSU building at the New Westminster campus. The meeting will begin at 2:30 p.m. and all Douglas College students are invited to attend.
The DSU had a reasonably successful 2013, and the union plans on discussing its successes as well as ongoing challenges as they enter 2014. The union’s membership has been growing steadily in recent years and the DSU has adapted by implementing more programs and benefits. Some accomplishments in the past year have included new and improved health and dental benefits, lounge renovations, and new recreational and study areas in the DSU building. They have also organized several successful social justice events including the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and the Sisters In Spirit campaign.
Student feedback has not gone unnoticed in the past year at the DSU. The Your Voice Matters survey was filled out by hundreds of students to address their current school experience. Much of the data has been passed on to the Douglas College board of directors. In addition, student participation in DSU events has increased. The International Student Day was a major success, as well as the various free meals given out at both campuses.
The primary discussion at the meeting will be a report of the annual budget. The DSU had a successful financial year and will be handing out their audited financial statements to any members interested in reading them. There will also be a reading of the annual report, highlighting major events of the past year. The agenda for the AGM this year does not include any proposed changes to its by-laws.
The DSU AGM is open to all members of the DSU, which includes every for-credit student enrolled at Douglas College. In an effort to halt the trend of the low turnout in past years, there will be several items of interest that may give the average student incentive to attend. Perhaps most important is the ability to directly address the DSU officials to share ideas, questions, comments, and concerns. Anyone with a particular issue is invited to bring it up at the AGM. Free refreshments and door prizes will also be offered to entice enough students to attend the meeting, which requires a quorum of 75 members.
In the upcoming year, the DSU will continue to work on creating exciting and relevant events, and this will also be discussed at the AGM. The DSU disabled students’ liaison, Lorna Howat, told the Other Press that, “One of our most popular attractions last semester was the puppy room [a room where students could play with dogs from the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society to relieve stress during finals]. We’ll definitely be making that again happen this semester, but with better advertising and open dialogue. Many of the students were unaware of its existence or that not all the dogs featured were puppies.”
In addition, the DSU will be organizing more free meals across both campuses, running student elections in March, and coordinating more social justice campaigns.