Dorvault focuses on community

Jul 10, 2003, vol. 27, no. 6
By Howard Fluxgold

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Given his background, it is not surprising that the new Simon Fraser student society president Wade Dorvault is focusing on bringing a greater sense of community to his constituents.

Dorvault, the first aboriginal to hold the position, has already earned a community economic development certificate from SFU. He has put it to good use in the eastside Vancouver community where he lives, working with social housing advocates and aboriginal organizations.

A member of the Gitksan First Nations centred in Kispiox in northern British Columbia, Dorvault says his election campaign was “based on space issues and creating a community” of students at the commuter campus.

“I want to encourage students to become stakeholders in their community here at SFU and not just look at what the student society is doing for them.”

A fourth year communication major, Dorvault hopes that by conducting more events such as a summer barbecue, and a large annual general meeting in the fall, students will come to experience the university as more than a place to take classes.

He is also lobbying the university administration for access to more space for student activities such as recreation and meetings for clubs to organize. “University is not just about earning a degree. I want students to have an opportunity to participate more fully in the life of the university.”

Another issue facing Dorvault and the student society is the implementation of the UPASS that students approved last year and are in the process of organizing for September.

Dorvault also relishes his role as an advocate for First Nations students at the university. “Aboriginal issues drove me into student politics,” he explains. “We've just started an aboriginal issues working group in the student society and the First Nations student association is currently planning our second annual fall feast.”

While Dorvault has lightened his academic load for the coming year, he says he's looking forward to graduating. “I have no particular plans, but I do like project work where there is a beginning and an end. It allows me to make a contribution and move on to something else.”

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