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HomeNewsCandidate profile: Danny Shanahan

Candidate profile: Danny Shanahan

VP student life candidate Danny Shanahan. (Photo by Bryn Karcha, DSU)
VP student life candidate Danny Shanahan. (Photo by Bryn Karcha, DSU)

Name: Danny Shanahan

Age: 22

Position: VP student life

Dalhousie Gazette: Why are you running for reelection?

Danny Shanahan: I’ve really loved the job this past year, and have had an amazing opportunity to work for the students and the DSU, but more specially the VP Student Life Portfolio. I think the Portfolio is one that’s most related to me personally, in that it focused primarily on things like Orientation Week, student events, and bettering student engagement, which is something I’m super passionate about. And I want to run again because there’s so many things that I want to do and so many things that I can do.

DG: What do you plan to do if elected?

DS:  The best thing I can feed off of is my own experience and my knowledge of the role. Going into the position, it takes so long to understand the position, so going in I have a real head start. I think that having someone coming in with experience is an absolute benefit to the students because I can put systems in place that other people wouldn’t be able to do simply because they don’t have the knowledge on the subject. Programing within athletics, recreation, on Sexton and Studley campus, and also reaching out to different student groups and societies to get involved. So I think the opportunities are endless at this point and I’m just itching to get into it.

DG: What should the main priority of VP Student Life be next year?

DS: I think there’s so much that needs to be done to put programs together down on Sexton campus, for example, or having someone in place that is going to be able to accurately be able to promote athletics. So there are different areas in Dalhousie Student Life that all need a bit of love and I’m passionate about making it work. It’s also going to be about the student folks too and setting up those meetings right away. Right before exams start, figuring out from different organizations and groups what people want to see from the DSU. So there are tons of priorities.

DG: What is your most relevant experience?

DS:  I think it’s just been everything I’ve done before coming into the VP Student Life role. I was quite heavily involved with different societies and worked under the VP Student Life as one of the commissioners, so I got quote used to council structure and staff structures of the DSU. Something I’ve been really good at this year has just been meeting with groups and talking about things that need to happen.

DG: Do you think campus culture needs to be improved? And if so, what do you plan on doing to improve it?

DS: It’s a funny question because I think there are a lot of students that are happy about the culture on campus and the university and there are some that aren’t. We have a huge campus and a lot of different cultures, so I think it’s going to be all about figuring out the priorities of the students and making sure we can make that happen. It’s also not about making it happen for the year, but putting institutions in place that are going to fly for the next 10 years. I think that’s the most important thing about electing someone with experience I can put the institutions in place for sustainability. So I would say there are things that need improving, but Dal’s an amazing place and there’s so much to get involved and feel at home with.

DG: One criticism of your term was the lack of involvement with athletics: what do you have to say about that?

DS: I guess it can fall back to the question of my main priorities as VP Student Life. The priorities of my position are never my own priorities – they’re the priorities of the students. It’s amazing to get this perspective and I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to work with athletics next year a bit closer. One of the things I did this year was hire an athletics commissionaire that’s within the VP Student Life budget. But I think working with somebody that’s passionate about athletics and with the Student Union on that is going to be fantastic. I had an amazing experience working with the varsity council during Orientation Week. I think it was fantastic to see all the athletes coming out and engaging in student body and that’s what I really want to keep doing. One of the things I would like to see is more involvement with the athletics-marketing department and see how we can work together to make sure that students engage with the athletic community. I also think there’s a really great group of engaged athletes on campus, so it’s really great tapping in with them with support from the DSU as much as possible.

Graeme Benjamin
Graeme Benjamin
Graeme is the Gazette's Sports Editor. He was the Assistant Sports Editor for Volume 145.
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