Douglas Students’ Union Winter Updates – 

To all our valued members, new and returning to Douglas College,

The winter semester is just around the corner and we are working hard on preparations to welcome you to a new semester. While this year has been very different, the Douglas Students’ Union is still here to support and represent you through our services, campus life and advocacy work.

We hope that everyone is continuing to stay safe and taking care of themselves. There have been so many changes over the past 9 months and we want to make sure that everyone is prepared for the coming semester and know that we are here for you. 

Over the summer, we made significant changes to our services to transition online. Throughout the fall term, members have accessed our services online and in-person. As the majority of course delivery will continue online, we will continue to offer our services to students through online drop-in sessions, virtual meetings, email, and phone, and we will continue to be here in-person for those that require direct in-person access so that we can meet the needs of all our members.

In-Person Services

  • Following the provincial health authority guidelines and WorkSafe BC guidelines, we have made changes to our spaces to ensure the safety of all our staff, directors, and our members entering the building. 
  • While in the building and on campus, wearing a mask is now mandatory, we encourage the practice of proper hygiene by washing your hands or using the available sanitizer, and maintain social distancing measures by following the appropriate signs found within the building. 

Office Hours

  • New Westminster Office – Our front desk is located on Level 2 of the DSU building on the New Westminster campus. Our front desk is now open Monday through Friday from 10am to 3pm
  • Coquitlam Kiosk – Our Kiosk in the AB building on the Coquitlam campus (located next to security) is now open Monday through Friday from 10am to 3pm.
  • Coquitlam Office A1190 – The offices and lounge located in A1190 will be accessed by appointment only until further notice. If you require the assistance of a DSU staff member, please email info@thedsu.ca to set up an appointment. If you require assistance with lockers, your health and dental plan, or general DSU inquiries, please visit our Kiosk in the AB Atrium.

Virtual Front Desk hours 

Lockers

  • Lockers will be available for members at a cost of $10 per semester. Members can access the locker rentals through the New Westminster DSU L2 office and the Coquitlam Kiosk. All payments must be made by card, as the DSU will not be accepting cash at this time. Updates on our website at http://www.thedsu.ca/our-services/lockers/

Clubs

  • Clubs are currently operating in a virtual setting instead of on campus, but are a great way to get involved and to meet fellow students at Douglas College. All students are welcome to join a current club, or to start their own. To learn more about the active clubs, you can join our virtual club fairs (happening mid-January) or head over to our website https://www.thedsu.ca/club-collective/. 
  • For those wanting to start their own club, club registration packages are available January 4th and are due back, completed, by Thursday January 28th. For more info about starting your own club, please email clubs@thedsu.ca.

Services to Support you while you are off campus

All our services can all be found at  http://www.thedsu.ca/services/ 

  • Health & Dental Plan (including Legal Assistance Plan) 
  • GOeVisit Healthcare 
  • Deals App 
  • Emergency Food Bank 
  • DS App 
  • Here2Talk

DSU Handbook Dayplanner

  • The DSU offers free handbook dayplanners for members. This year, we have been offering a mail out service for our handbooks. To date, nearly 1800 members have received theirs mailed to their home. If you would like your handbook mailed to you, we will mail it anywhere within Canada. To have your handbook mailed to you please fill out the form here: https://forms.gle/qdbCbQUiZB7gsibZ9
  • The handbook dayplanners are also available for pick up from the DSU building or kiosk. 

Food Bank

  • The DSU Food Bank is an emergency service for those needing short term assistance. To ensure the safety of our staff and all our members by minimizing the amount of traffic in our building and face to face interactions, we have transitioned the service online. The Food Bank will be available to all members starting January 18 with confirmation of enrolment. Members will be able to access the Food Bank twice per semester at http://www.thedsu.ca/our-services/food-bank/

Emergent and Emergency Needs Fund

  • This past spring, the Douglas Students’ Union re-allocated $100,000 towards the Emergent and Emergency Needs Fund with Douglas College. Students facing financial hardships can apply directly for the funding at financialaid@douglascollege.ca.

Lounges and Study Spaces

  • Currently the lounge and study spaces in the DSU building remain closed until we can ensure proper physical distancing measures can be maintained to keep our members safe during their time on campus. We are committed to working towards opening the space with proper measures in place so that members can make use of the quiet study spaces while they are on campus.

Ombudperson Service

  • The DSU Ombudsperson provides a safe, confidential and informal environment for students to discuss conflicts, complaints or disputes. The DSU Ombudsperson can also provide support and assistance with interpretation of Douglas policies and procedures.
  • Students seeking support can access the DSU Ombudsperson by email, phone, video calls, and drop in sessions through ZOOM. Students can contact the Ombudsperson directly through http://www.thedsu.ca/our-services/ombudsperson/ to set up an appointment or to access the Virtual Drop-In Sessions. Keep an eye out on our social media and website for updates!

U-Pass 

  • The U-Pass BC program was reinstated September 1, after working with TransLink, the other participating post-secondary institutions and student associations, and with continued support from the Province of BC.  Students who are registered in on-campus classes, co-op or practicum placements that are a minimum of three credits will continue to be eligible for a U-Pass BC and will be charged the U-Pass BC fee. This means that the majority of students, who are taking online classes only, will I not be eligible for a U-Pass BC and will not be charged
  • Students that are facing financial hardships as a result of not being eligible for the U-Pass and require assistance can apply to the Emergency and Emergent Needs Fund at financialaid@douglascollege.ca.

Advocacy Work 

The entire Douglas Community of students, faculty and staff, are collectively facing challenges due to the global pandemic that has uprooted many of our established processes, teaching methodologies and plans. The transition to online delivery was swift, for some it was an easy change, for others, barriers have become apparent and we are all doing our best to adapt to our new normal. The uncertainty of current and future employment for students and worry about physical health adds to the anxiety that we are all experiencing.

  • This semester, the DSU met with Douglas College Administration and shared learning challenges students are facing from online learning in the summer and fall semesters. We presented a report that outlined specific challenges that included online teaching standards, learning environment, evaluations and communications. Administration and the DSU will continue to work together to find solutions and address challenges that students are facing. 
  • We hosted a series of Douglas College Budget 2021-22 Consultation Zoom Chats, which gave students an opportunity to express and share their thoughts on the Douglas College budget and their suggestions and priorities. The DSU also created a space on the website for students to provide additional comments for the 2021-22 Douglas College Budget. We will incorporate the feedback into the DSU Budget Submission to Douglas College.
  • We continue to advocate for students to the decision makers at Douglas College. If you ever have any issues, please feel free to reach out to us board@thedsu.ca 

We are listening and will continue to listen to you and your concerns. We are working hard to address your concerns at all levels. As we move forward, we will overcome challenges together. We appreciate all your feedback and we are committed to continue to work hard to adjust and improve our services, in-person and online, to better help all of our members and advocate for more affordable and accessible post-secondary education. 

Thank you for your understanding and patience while we continue to work to support you as best as we can during the winter semester.

If you have questions or would like to access our services, please don’t hesitate to reach out and get in touch with us:
info@thedsu.ca
@thedsu6
www.thedsu.ca

Sincerely,
Your Douglas Students’ Union Board of Directors