Editor’s note: Similar questionnaires have been sent out to all DSU position candidates.
Position: Black Students Rep
Candidate: Claudia Castillo – Prentt (incumbent)
Why are you re-running for Black Students rep?
This year I have spent much of my time this year laying the groundwork to make this position more meaningful. I am re-running so that I can work to create programming that fits the wants and needs of Black students on campus.
How has your experience in this position been so far?
This position has been an amazing experience for me! I have gotten the chance to meet so many Black students on campus and I love seeing how enthused students are about getting involved in student politics and programming.
What do you think is the biggest issue for BIPOC students on campus?
Racism is a huge issue at Dalhousie, both from professors and faculty as well as from other students. I think advocacy is a big part that the next executives and council should take up in terms of combating racism from the senate/admin level to the student body.
How are you campaigning to help Black students on campus?
I am campaigning to bring more programming for Black students on campus. I believe that programming and events for Black students should not be only for Black history month but year-round! So many events and discussions centre around our oppression. While these topics are very important, I also want to bring fun programming that centre Black folks to campus.
What do you admire about the current DSU executives?
I admire the ways in which many of the DSU executives aim to prioritize advocacy, the best example of this are the solidarity statements that we have been able to write throughout this year in support of Indigenous land defenders and the LGBTQ2S+ community.
What would you like to see the DSU do differently?
I’d like to see the DSU take on a slightly more political role and do more to advocate for students. I’d like to see anti-racism campaigns, campaigns fighting against tuition increases, and fighting for better mental health services on campus. I think the advocacy side of the union could be revitalized and take on a role focused on action.
What’s your favourite spot on campus?
My favourite spot on campus is the Student Union Building! I spend most of my time there when I’m not in class.