DCUSU Engagement and Development candidate Aaron Harper

by Kyle Ewald

Aaron Harper is a final year Multimedia student running for VP Engagement and Development hoping to focus on long-term goals for student engagement as opposed to one-year accomplishments.

These goals include the creation of a Volunteering Life Committee, more detailed clubs and societies information available online, and a long-term strategy for the SU to promote class rep elections and training and to create more opportunities for students to get involved in SU campaigns .

Harper said his past involvement in student government, DCU societies and SU campaigns made him interested in stepping into a larger role to confront bigger issues facing the student body.

In relation to the volunteering aspect of his manifesto, Harper said he wants to ensure that volunteering is seen as equally important to clubs and societies.

“Compared to clubs and societies, volunteering is kind of an after thought for students, so I would try to make it on par by amalgamating the Volunteer Fair and the Clubs and Socs Fair, so people coming in for the first time to the Clubs and Socs Fair see that volunteering is just as important as being involved in clubs and societies,” said Harper.

To demonstrate the importance of clubs and societies as well, Harper aims to implement profiles for each DCU club and society that provides information on the group’s purpose, contact information, social media accounts and how to get involved.

Harper also stressed the importance of creating a long-term strategy to improve class rep elections and training: “I would hope to create and implement a three year strategy for Class Rep training, so each year we can build on the training we get, and we have a way to ensure that we have the best class reps in the county.

“I think it’s important for students to know that it really means a lot to be a class rep as opposed to the same people going for it every year, the same people going for the same positions. Rather, it should be seen as a position that takes a lot of work, but there is also a lot of reward for.”

Harper said the main challenge he expects to face if elected is to ensure the new student hub building will be utilized properly to increase student engagement: “We have plans in place to make sure there is a long term growth and there is a place for people to not only hang out but there’s a reason for people to be there as well and it will be a huge challenge to get the most out of it because the lack of student space has really taken a toll on the community feeling in DCU.”

The final year communications student also hopes to improve student engagement by taking a stand against the high costs of accommodation facing students:

“I would push to ensure that the college, USI, and the government know we need affordable accommodation and you’re not going to get students having a well-rounded life in college without affordable accommodation because they can’t get involved in other aspects of college if they are forced to live further away.”

Kyle Ewald
Image Credit: Kyle Ewald