Thursday, June 13, 2024
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President candidates

Sebastian Fiszman, 22, Fourth-year commerce

Hometown: Ottawa, ON

Who do you aspire to be: Richard Branson, the CEO of Virgin Mobile.

Three words to describe yourself: Creative, interpersonal, and trustworthy.

Past experience: Vicepresident of the Dalhousie Commerce Society, eBay entrepreneur, commerce co-ops and accounting.


Fiszman says he’s passionate about becoming DSU president.

“I’m not a person who sleeps a lot, I just give everything I have and I’m fully committed to this.”

His campaign is running on four things: C.A.S.T—community, accountability, sustainability, and transparency.

“There’s not enough transparency within the DSU, the Grawood is losing money and budgets aren’t available online,” he says.

Fiszman says that he wants to revamp the current way the DSU tracks their accounts by making everything digital and allowing students to view everything online. He wants students to be able to see everything from what the DSU is spending and receiving, to what societies are doing as well.

Also, he says there should be a “performance clause” for all councillors—if the Grawood doesn’t make money in the fiscal year, he says it should be deducted from his salary.

“There’s no accountability. There’s nothing to show if the execs don’t meet the expectations of their position,” says Fiszman.

He wants there to be more community involvement on campus. He suggests having a day each month to raise money for a community issue, such as Breast Cancer Awareness month.

“We have so many resources on campus to give back to the community, which also provides growth for students who are getting involved.”

Fiszman wants to work on the segregation of campuses and faculties and also work on boosting school spirit and the support of our sport teams.

Lastly, he’s excited to work on the upcoming food contract and wants to ensure students are involved.

“This process has been reactive instead of proactive, students should have been involved way before the issue came up.”

He wants to support grass-root initiatives and work on sustainability initiatives, such as the fact that bottled water are given out at DSU conferences and the use of paper in the office. He thinks all of these things should be fixed.

Fiszman wants to work closely with students and have a transparent and accountable DSU.



John Hillman, 25, Fourth-year history and creative writing

Hometown: Sackville, N.S.

Who do you aspire to be? Ivan the Terrible, an efficient despot.

Three words to describe yourself: Madness, villainy, debauchery

Past experience: Been a student for a “long, long” time. Covering elections as a blogger for three years, Gazette contributor for four years. Ran for DSU president in 2008. ANSSA student ambassador 2008/2009.


Hillman says his decision to run as president was made at the last second. He says that since last year’s presidential candidate, Greg Debogorski, wasn’t running, he figured he should fill his shoes.

“For something that may seem boring at first, student politics are very fascinating and I’m legitimately interested in DSU politics and the issues they face,” says Hillman.

He says he’s not satisfied with the way the current student union runs and wants to take a much more creative approach to challenges as a president. He says things, such as the Student Poverty Video—a student made video about the possible tuition hike—are examples of how he’d like to address issues.

“The main difference between what I would do and the current president would be to do it more subversively with the office and get more students involved and hopefully engage them through more innovative communication strategies,” he says.

As a past blogger, he says he’s been criticizing DSU politics for years and feels like sometimes students don’t have a real choice when it comes to the candidates who run in DSU elections.

“I want to be the choice for people who are unhappy with the candidates they usually get.”

He says his campaign will poke fun at past presidential candidates and campaigns and hopes that even though he may been seen as a joke, that it opens up discussion about the DSU and elections.


Chris Saulnier, 23, Fifth-year computer engineering

Hometown: Dartmouth, NS

Who do you aspire to be: Neil DeGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, because he can take a complicated subject and explain it in an interesting way.

Three words to describe yourself: Collaborative, passionate, and caring.

Past experience: Incumbent DSU president.


Saulnier says he’s enjoyed his time as DSU president and hopes to continue the initiatives that he’s already started, such as the current food contract.

“I want to be around to take that project to completion,” he says. “I want to ensure students get the food services they want.”

He also feels that, with the tuition increase, he is a strong voice that can be at the negotiating table.

Saulnier says that the demographics on campus are changing and he wants to see orientation week for international students to change. He thinks international student orientation should be moved before everyone else’s orientation so these students can attend both and take part in all events.

“This way, they can better integrate into the community and don’t miss that bonding experience of O-Week.”

He also wants to continue working on the co-curricular record that the DSU is currently working on.

Saulnier says that as far as being president goes, he feels he’s done a good job and still has a lot more to give back.

“I now have a clear understanding of how to do this job and I can definitely do it more effectively next year.”


Interviews by Samantha Durnford


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