Karan Bains is taking on treasurer, while Pardeep Jaswal is a member-at-large
By Angela Espinoza, News Editor
On March 13, the winners of the 2015/16 Douglas Students’ Union (DSU) representatives committee were announced. While some members are returning from the 2014/15 committee, the Other Press will be highlighting some of the new representatives, as well as returning reps taking on new roles.
Karan Bains, Treasurer
Bains was previously on the DSU representative committee for 2014/15 as external relations coordinator (now helmed by Chris Budzynski).
“To be honest, I didn’t really know what the DSU was when I got involved,” said Bains. A friend of Bains suggested the group to him as an opportunity to get more involved with student life at Douglas College, “Ever since then I’ve been involved with the students’ union.”
Bains has been a student at Douglas for four years, balancing BPEC program courses while playing on the Douglas Royals men’s basketball team.
Bains explained “time management” was necessary for students who feel they may be taking on a lot at one time. “Students can fit everything into their schedule, but it’s tough,” said Bains. “You might have to give up sleep or you might have to give up time with your friends, but everything’s manageable as a college student. The biggest thing is just being able to prioritize what’s important for you.”
On the subject of his new position at the DSU, Bains explained some of the aspects of his role as treasurer. “We have a finance manager, so I’ll be working with her a lot, going over the budget for the following year. We’re lucky to have a high enrolment for our college, so that means we get a lot of money put towards our students’ union fees, so we have a lot to work with.” Bains added that funding towards events and campaigns would be determined through the budget, and that one of the current campaigns the DSU would be focussing on is the “Squash the Squeeze” movement, which seeks to freeze tuition fees across Canada.
Bains stressed that building more of a community at Douglas was also a priority for him while working with the DSU. “I want to get more involvement going on at David Lam,” said Bains. “I feel like that campus gets neglected a little bit because a lot of the reps that run for a position on the students’ union are out of New West, so this year it was really important for us to have a good mix of students [from both campuses].”
Pardeep Jaswal, Member-at-Large
Jaswal was recently elected into one of the representative committee’s three member-at-large positions, along with Greg Teuling and Makailey Preston.
Jaswal is a first-year student at Douglas College, having moved from Prince George, and is currently enrolled in one of the science programs. Initially a member of the Douglas Student Ambassadors, Jaswal was encouraged to join the DSU by Karan Bains. “[Bains] particularly liked how I associated at the events with people at Douglas,” said Jaswal.
“I help the execs with anything they need,” said Jaswal. “If the execs are feeling overwhelmed, I can attend the meetings they can’t attend.
“It means more interaction with students as well, as a member. You can find me a majority of the time tabling out in the [New West] concourse talking to students.”
Jaswal also noted that over the 2014 holiday season, “I organized a [charity] drive for the homeless where I encouraged students from Douglas to pitch in money so I could buy gifts such as shampoos, soap, socks, toques, any basic necessities, wrapped them with the help of Tracy Ho of the DSU, and handed them out in downtown Vancouver.”
Like Bains, part of Jaswal’s involvement with the DSU will include aiding with campaigns, another one of which Jaswal states is their transit referendum campaign. Jaswal also hopes to see more involvement on the students’ part with college life.
“I hope to make college a better place, more than just work,” said Jaswal. “Something I personally want to do is work with one of the schools, maybe Byrne Creek or New West Secondary, where we have kids from their high school coming into Douglas College.” Jaswal added he hopes to see a bursary created for new students based on their work ethic as well as positivity.