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VP Student Life candidates

Interviews by Torey Ellis

 

Adam Reid, 23, Fifth-year history

Hometowns: Newmarket, Ont. and Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Who do you aspire to be: Dick Kinzel, CEO of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company

Three words to describe you: Passionate, motivated, easygoing

Past experience: Vice-chair of Orientation Week 2010, Orientation Committee 2009, DASS Entertainment Co-Chair 2009, Gerard President 2008, Orientation Week leader 2008 and 2009

 

Reid laughingly hopes his fifth year is his final one, but says that “having been around so long is an advantage.”

“I’ve been here long enough to see what works and what doesn’t work,” he says.

What hasn’t been working, he says, is a lack of focus on athletics.

“There’s no Dal pride,” he says. “Engineers are proud to be engineers before they’re proud to be from Dal. It’s the same thing with commerce. It’s very faculty or residence oriented.”

“And that’s fine. Be proud to be an engineer. Be proud to live in Howe Hall. But it’s possible to amalgamate that and Dal pride.”

One way to do that, he says, is by upping attendance at Dal varsity sports games.

“Most people that go are alumni or Dalplex members. If students do go, it’s because they’re friends of the athletes. In that way, it’s very cliquey.”

“A lot of people want to show school spirit, and that’s an easy way. I want to make people realize that they’re free, there’s cheap beer, it’s easy.”

He also sees a lot of potential in Homecoming. “I’d like to see it become a staple of the Dalhousie experience,” he says.

Involving people from all three campuses, by holding events on Sexton and Carleton as well as the usual ones on Studley, would make a big difference to unifying school spirit as well, he says.

 

 

Jamie Arron, 21, Fourth-year international development studies

Hometown: Markham, Ont.

Who do you aspire to be: I don’t believe in aspiring to be things. Just live in the moment with a bit of an eye for the future.

Describe yourself in three words: Adventurous, creative, organized

Past Experience: Research Assistant in the Office of the Mayor (2010), Co-founder:Mavericks for Social Change, DSU Leadership Development Director 2009-2011

 

“The place just draws really adventurous and creative people, like a friendly spirit. And I feel like in that, there’s so much potential. And yet at the same time we don’t really celebrate it or create opportunities to recognize it,” says Arron.

“A lot of students come from out of town, they’re coming across the country. There’s a reason why they’re coming here. They’re looking for something.”

Arron says he wants to build off the Maritime vibe that he believes those students are looking for.

His platform is divided in four parts: rejuvenating campus spirit through big events and Grawood programming; handling off-campus issues like career transitions; building DSU-student communication; and increasing what he calls “spontaneous interaction” around campus.

“I want to turn the SUB into a hub,” he says. “It’s things like music and activities that help make that.”

He also says that he’d like to increase communication to students about major campus events, such as Homecoming and Orientation Week, but says it’s “difficult to speak in generalities” about how that would be done.

“You have to take it event by event,” he says, although he does cite social media as promising.

That hint is reflected in his campaign, which includes a Fresh Prince of Bel Air rap and a Discovery Channel-esque “This Place is Just Awesome” video.

 

 

Tom Dobbyne, 21, Second-year arts

Hometown: Cambridge, UK

Who do you aspire to be: Mohammed Ali. Not because I want to hit people. He’s just got that never-say-die attitude.

Describe yourself in three words: Funny, English, loyal

Past Experience: Current VP Howe Hall, helped with O-Week Orientation 2010, Fundraising Chair for Phi Delta Theta fraternity

 

“English Tom” Dobbyne is a well-known face on campus, and hopes that will work to his advantage. But, he says, “I don’t want to be known as, ‘That guy who did that really funny thing, but can he really do the job?’”

Dobbyne says a focus of his will be making the Grawood more accessible to on-campus students, who he believes need it the most.

“When the Grad House was kind of out of commission, the Grawood had to blend the two identities,” he says. “Now that the Grad House is up and running, the Grawood can become whatever it needs to be.”

What exactly that is, Dobbyne doesn’t know. “If the students want to have it as a casual place, we’ll make it casual. If they want to have it as a nightclub, we’ll make it a nightclub.”

Dobbyne acknowledges the difficulty in gathering the kind of student opinion he would need, but says the apathy is possible to overcome.

“I will go where they go,” he says. “You can hear what they want to do. I’ve done numerous events, theme parties all over Howe, just from the basis of student feedback”

Opening up that dialogue between the DSU and students is another main point, he says. “Some students might come to a meeting and voice their opinion, and others might prefer Facebook over anything else.”

“I don’t want to just throw events out there and hope that students come to them. I want to get more feedback from the students.”

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