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- Dalhousie Student Union
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The Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) has its roots in student-led associations dating from 1863 that provided services to and represented the interests of Dalhousie students. In 1899 the General Students’ Meeting became known as the University Students’ Council, continuing to organize social events, publish The Gazette (for which they had accepted ownership in 1869), and operate the reading room. By 1912 the council was also nominally in charge of student discipline and administering funds for student clubs and organizations.
By the late 1950s there was a movement to establish a permanent facility for student activities; in 1957 Dalhousie students voted $20,000 to establish a student union building fund, and in 1960 they voted in favour of a $10 fee increase to help pay for its construction. On 8 November 1968 the Student Union Building (SUB) was opened.
The Dalhousie Student Union has been associated with a number of larger student organizations, including the National Federation of Canadian University Students (later known as the Canadian Union of Students), the Atlantic Federation of Students, and the Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations. The DSU is supported through student fees and revenues generated via food and other services, investments and contracts. The union’s executive and council are elected annually and have the authority to approve and implement budgets and expenditures on behalf of the student body.
The union represents students to external organizations and governments and is granted three seats on the Dalhousie Board of Governors and six seats on the Senate. By tradition, a member of the executive takes one of these seats, while the remainder are filled by elected students, each of whom who also holds a seat on the DSU Council.
As part of its mandate the DSU supports and funds over 250 student societies and hosts numerous events, campaigns and programs. It facilitates services such as health and dental plans, student legal counsel and student advocacy, and employs and manages both full- and part-time staff to operate the SUB, the campus bar, research, communications and reservations for building facilities.
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