Position: DSU President
Candidate: Colin Cooper
With files from Lane Harrison. This interview was edited for length and style.
Why are you running for this position?
I’m running for this position because I’ve been at Dal for four years now and I’ve noticed some things still haven’t been fixed since I’ve been a first-year. I’m speaking specifically as a physically disabled student. I feel that I need to like, be in charge, run for a position as high profile as president and like, have the power associated with that in order to make the changes for accessibility specifically, that I feel like I need.
Other than that, I feel like I have some good ideas as how to take the student union moving forward. My main idea is I want to lobby the provincial government for a tuition freeze with other presidents of the student societies if I am elected, and essentially I just figure that I have the best vision to lead the union and the school forward for the next year or so before I graduate.
What do you admire about the current DSU executive?
That’s a good question. I’d have to think about that for a second. I can’t really say what they’re doing right because like, honestly, I don’t know much of what they’ve been doing for the average student on campus, which I think is a problem they’ve continuously had…being in touch with the students and stuff. And like just caring about the everyday concerns of Dalhousie students. Yes, I’m sure they do great like activist work, and I applaud them for that, and I will continue that under my presidency, but also I would refocus the student union to really addressing the concerns of the students we represent.
What would you like to see the DSU do differently?
Like I said, being in touch with the student body representatives is the first thing so I would make, I would make myself as president more accessible to the students, I’d make sure that they know that there’s avenues where they have like concerns on campus, they can be addressed. And then I’ll be working towards like, fixing these problems with campus, as I see them come up, beginning with accessibility and then also the financial burden of school but like also any other flaws in the, in the running of the campus that I see as president on this. I’m going to, I’m going to bring it back to the basics of meeting the needs of the students we represent.
In your opinion, what is the biggest issue on the campus right now?
There’s too many to choose from like… my biggest issue is accessibility but I know that that’s not, that’s not an issue that, that resonates to like all able-bodied students for example. We have broader issues to be concerned about such as rising tuition. We as Nova Scotians still pay some of the highest tuition in the country and there’s no reason we should be doing that, especially when we consider that Newfoundland gives all their students that go to Memorial grants for their tuition, they don’t have loans and if Newfoundland is doing that, why can’t Nova Scotia? That’s a big push for me to like start to push towards universal education. I can work with the other presidents of the Student Societies to start a lobbying them on one specific issue, which is a tuition freeze for as long as we can make it. So that in the meantime tuition doesn’t get even more unaffordable for our students.
What is the main focus of your platform?
The main focus of my platform is, it’s really like all behind my slogan of “Yes we cane”: it’s the idea that we’re going to fight for the issues that are currently ignored on campus and we’re going to do so with a positive constructive attitude.
Students shouldn’t be able to think that things will just simply never get better. I’m going to address some concerns that I’ve identified so far and I’m going to like, aggressively attack those concerns. But also, I want the students to know that if there’s any other issues that they feel need addressed on campus, that me as president will be a very activist president in the sense that I’m not afraid to go bump heads with the administration if I have to and work on the issues that have currently been stagnated over the last few years.
What have you been watching on Netflix lately?
I’ve been showing my girlfriend Peaky Blinders for the first time. That’s fun. Other than that, I’m a huge Star Trek nerd. So I’ve been loving the new Star Trek Picard series. I’ve been watching that as every episode comes out. It’s great. It’s like reliving my childhood.