DSU Black students rep candidate: Claudia Castillo-Prentt

Editor’s note: This interview has been edited and formatted for style and clarity.  

The Dalhousie Gazette sent a similar questionnaire to each candidate in the 2019 Dalhousie Student Union election.

Name: Claudia Castillo-Prentt
Pronouns: She/Her
Running For: Black students representative (uncontested)
Year: Second

Why are you running for this position?

As a Black student at Dalhousie, I am passionate about social justice; and connecting and supporting Black students in our unique lived experiences.

The Black community is one that is diverse and intersectional. I feel that we have lacked adequate representation at Dal. 

What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue affecting students of colour on campus? 

Having had many experiences of racism both in and outside of the classroom, I believe the university has a lack of supports for students facing racism.

Experiencing various forms of racism ranging from microaggressions to overt acts is not uncommon in the classroom; I believe that such issues must be addressed – and adequate support networks/services for students dealing with them need to come along with that.

Once elected, what will you do to improve the experience of students of colour on campus? 

I plan to work closely with the DSU executives to create strategies to combat racism in the classroom. I believe that it is important to listen to the stories and experiences of Black students on campus and in our communities, and present our collective voice in order to create change that truly works for those most impacted.

As Black student rep, I plan to create spaces for Black students to bring their voices to the table, and pass the mic to ensure that all voices are heard.

How would you like to see the DSU change?

I would like to see the DSU implement systems of support for Black students, and set up advocacy campaigns to support students experiencing racism at Dalhousie. I would also like to see the union become more transparent and centre the voices of those who are not often heard.

What do you admire about current DSU executives?

I admire the hardworking nature of our current DSU executives. Much of the work done by the DSU is unknown to many students, but there’s a lot that goes into keeping the union and all its services running.

What have you been streaming on Netflix recently?

I am currently rewatching The Office!

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