Anna Dubinski, this year’s KSU presidential candidate, is no novice in university politics. She has been the first year representative, vice-president of student life, and Board of Governors representative, and with these two and a half years of council experience under her belt, Dubinski has become one of the more outspoken members of council, with strong convictions and positions on several committees.
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Although she is a part of the KTS, Dubinski said at a council meeting in September that the KTS’s request for money to put on a season was “concerning,” as the KTS doesn’t normally require funding for the season itself. Although, as the meeting minutes say, “she supports the KTS to the core of her soul,”she felt that this type of funding may not be sustainable.
Dubinski at one time supported the idea of spending up to $1500 to send students to Powershift – $50 a person for up to 30 students. Dubinski is also on the Galley’s Board of Directors, and was the SLVP during its creation, and says that the amount of radical change she’s experienced in the union – such as the creation of the Galley – makes her want to “make sure that the rug isn’t pulled out from under us in respect to big changes.”
The Watch: You’ve been on the KSU, from what I’ve seen, your entire university career. So, do you think that gives you any different qualifications from what other people might have?
Anna Dubinski: I don’t think it’s a make it or break it kind of situation. I do think though, looking at the other candidates who are running for other positions, we have one other person who’s running who’s been on the executive before. And so … if I’m elected, there’s a possibility that there will be no one else with any experience on the executive, and I do think that’s invaluable. I think that if everyone was on the executive for the very first time all in the same year that that could be quite chaotic. So definitely, in general it’s not a make it or break it kind of situation, but I do think my experience will really help in moving very quickly in changeover times, and if elected I think that will really help the speed at which we can get the year rolling.
W: Do you have any concrete plans, assuming you get the presidency, that you’re thinking of implementing?
AD: I think in the short term … my mindset, because of my position in the past few months as Board of Governors representative, … has been on a lot of university politics, a lot of university governance, and I think there are a couple really topical things going on right now that do need to be addressed in a big way …. I think the discussion of governance and the Strategic Plan are immediate things that we’re going to be needing to do a lot of outreach with. And as much as, I don’t know if this language will work much for your article, but something like the Galley is kind of like a sexy thing, it’s very tangible, it’s something very new, it’s very exciting. So in some ways, talking about a Strategic Plan isn’t as sexy as the implementation of something like the Galley, but this is a plan that will change King’s forever, this is a plan for the next five years, this is an incredibly important and exciting opportunity. So that’s something that’s on my radar.
And finally, I think there is a discussion that needs to be had, especially coming out of our discussions about the athletics fee, is the way that we communicate in this college between groups, between the students and administration, between the students and faculty, between the faculty and administration. This is something that we need to visit. I think the students need to talk about that. I think we need to talk about that as a whole to our university.
W: Communication was a really big topic at the speeches last night, so what do you think about that? What are some ways that communication can be improved between the students and the KSU, and the KSU and the administration?
AD: I’ll start with between the union and the university administration, and I think that the athletics fee is a very perfect example of this …. This is not something that the students necessarily wanted, but I know that as someone on the Board, and as someone coming from this perspective on the union, going forward we are really excited to work with our university and work with Dalhousie now that we’re in it. We really want to be involved in the way this is going to look like, because this is a huge investment for our students. We are going to be paying for this for a really long time. And I have been extremely disappointed in the way that this has been carried out.
I don’t think there is time to go into details, but most recently there were consultation sessions for students about the new athletics facility, and not only were they not held on the King’s campus, they weren’t advertised to students at King’s. They weren’t advertised by the Dal offices, nor were they advertised by our own offices, and it was the KSU who had to bring this to the attention of our university. And this right off the bat is really frustrating, right, because we’re now entered in this fee that was not preferred by the students in the first place, and now we’re not being given opportunities to talk about it. So that is I think a good example of how we need to improve communication, not between the representatives and the university, but between the university and the whole student body. That’s something that needs to be improved a lot.
Within students, that’s an interesting question. It came up a lot. I can’t speak for the executives this year, but in my second year, when we were working with the Galley, I placed an extremely high emphasis on communicating with students, and in terms of tactics …. I don’t know if there is anything different we can try, I think I would encourage students to think about it as a two way street. Student representatives can make the information as available as they can, but that means the students who want that information need to go get it, if that makes sense. It’s an interesting discussion we need to keep having, because it’s not the information isn’t trying to be made available, we’re really trying, and I hope that a lot of students try to respond to those efforts.