Purpose of the Douglas Students’ Union
Like most students’ unions in Canada, the Douglas Students’ Union has three main purposes:
- provide services to save students money and support student success;
- engage in advocacy to make members’ lives better, uphold students’ rights, and make post-secondary education more affordable;
- host events and activities to improve students’ experiences outside the classroom, and support a vibrant campus life.
The Douglas Students’ Union also aims to execute all of the above purposes in a manner the respects the funds provided to the organization by students, and is reflective of good governance principles.
The Douglas Students’ Union is a non-profit society incorporated under the BC Societies Act, and governed by a set of bylaws. The Students’ Union operates on both the New Westminster and Coquitlam Campuses, and is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of students elected each year.
History of the Douglas Students’ Union
The Douglas Students’ Union has a long and proud history of student organizing at Douglas College spanning four decades. Beginning with its incorporation in June of 1972, Douglas’s student organization has grown and evolved across the years, championing great successes, and weathering its share of difficult times. Important milestones include participation in the provincial fight against austerity in the early 1980s (Operation Solidarity), the construction of the Students’ Union Building in 1997, overcoming internal conflicts in the mid-2000s, and advancing the organization’s evolution in recent years.
Throughout Douglas’ history, students have played a strong role in provincial and national student organizing. In 1975, Douglas students helped found the BC Students’ Federation and played key roles in many important fights over the years, all aimed at keeping public education accessible and affordable for the diversity of students in our community. More recently, Douglas helped unite BC student organizations in gaining independence from the regressive structures of the Canadian Federation of Students, a move that has provided BC students greater ability to organize on their own behalf and execute self-determination over their campaigns, services and structures.
Today the Douglas Students’ Union exists as a dynamic organization, open to change and embracing of evolving governance, communication and internal structures that serve to enhance the student experience and promote student engagement. Douglas students have made substantial contributions to recent successful advocacy campaigns to eliminate fees for adult basic education, English language learning and for student from the foster care system, along with campaigns to fund open textbooks and reduce interest charged on government student loans. Well organized, properly financed, and with an engaged membership, the Douglas Students’ Union looks forward to continuing its history of overcoming challenges, and beating expectations.
*with thanks to Douglas College, the First 40 Years by Gerry Della Mattia for some content herein.