Reactivating student life at Dawson
Dawson students are very enthusiastic about participating in campus life after having gone without for the past three semesters, according to the Campus Life and Leadership team (CLL) and the Dawson Student Union (DSU).
It seems students want to make up for lost time, said Michelle Lee of Dawson’s CLL.
“I think generally most students are happy to be back on campus and seeing their friends regularly and wanting to “do stuff” or just hang out,” Michelle added. “We try to bring the activities to them, because, let’s face it, most students are comfortable staying where they are once they are sitting and settled at their tables.”
New activities and old favourites
CLL is offering some of the activities they used to offer before the pandemic and they have also come up with new activities in line with current needs and interests.
One of the new activities is called The Spot. Michelle described it as follows: “CLL has taken over a couple of tables in the Atrium Cafeteria where students can go and meet other students and make new friends. There is a weekly schedule where a Blue Ring volunteer is at the table to get the conversations going. So far, we’ve had a couple of students asking to organize a Spot for specific interests like song writing and poetry writing.”
To date, CLL has organized:
- A Selfie Scavenger Hunt
- Speed-Friending sessions
- The Spot
- Hide ‘n’ Seek on CLL’s Instagram Live
- Secret Code
- Prove It
- Everybody Dance Now
- Orange T-Shirt Week
Still to come this semester:
- Ongoing pop-up activities
- Geek Week
- Halloween Costume Contest
- Multicultural Student Showcase
- Poetry Contest
- Holiday Activities
- Stress-Free Days
“Everyone who participated in the activities were happy and the prizes were a bonus,” Michelle reported. “I overheard positive reactions and comments. Collaborating and working with student groups has also been very positive.”
“The DSU did a great job of recruiting students to volunteer,” said Billi-Jo Poirier of CLL. The DSU now has about 200 student volunteers. They began recruiting in early August and their first project was a peer-to-peer mask wearing campaign during frosh week as well as frosh week itself.
“We wanted to give students a chance to get involved,” said DSU President Alexandrah Cardona.
The other thing the DSU did was work to reactivate the student clubs. “We started with 10 active clubs and it was really important for us to increase the clubs,” Alexandrah said. “The students coming in are highly motivated, they take college seriously and they want to have a student life.”
Clubs meeting again
The accredited DSU student clubs are: Chill Club, Chess Club, Dawson Christian Fellowship, Dawson Debate Union, Dawson E-Sports Association, Etcetera, Dawson Feminist Union, Dawson Green Earth Club, KDrop Club, Muslim Student Association, Sci-Fi & Fantasy Club, and MedLife. Other new clubs are starting up on an interim basis: Dawson Anatomy (a Nursing club), Development Club, Dawson Freedom Alliance, Dawson Invests, We Ship Entrepreneurship, Dawson Vocal and Instrument Club, and a Japanese Cultural Appreciation Club.
Yimaj Baharun, Vice-President of Student Life with the Dawson Student Union, says that he is currently booking space for the clubs to meet while waiting the reopening of the club spaces in November.
Vaccines required and protocols followed
All student life activities organized by CLL and the DSU follow the COVID health protocols. Students who wish to participate have to show a valid vaccine passport.