Interim Report 2021/22

DUSA began a transformative journey in 2019/20, and saw the undertaking of a new strategic planning process in 2020/21, in which both internal and external stakeholders were engaged to better understand the direction of travel to undertake so as to remain relevant, pioneering and inclusive. This year DUSA launched its new strategic plan and shared its vision toward the realisation of a kinder, greener and diverse global student community, creating lasting impact for generations to come.

The new DUSA Executive took up their positions on the 1st July 2021 and have been working hard on a range of campaign, projects and issues close to the students’ heart and to DUSA’s aspirations for the next five years. The Executive Team comprises:

• President – Dimitris Vidakis
• Vice President of Academia (VPA) – Zechariah Laari
• Vice President of Student Wellbeing (VPSW) – Catherine Coyle (to 31st October 2021), Amarachi Ejim (from 17th January 2022)
• Vice President of Representation – Samantha McElhinney
• Vice President of Student Activities – Josh Sutcliffe
• Vice President of Community – Laura Van Overbeek Crusells
• Vice President of Fundraising – Megan-Rose Birdsall

The DUSA Executive was elected during a time of uncertainty, with Covid restrictions often meaning remote working from DUSA and a remote student catchment base. Despite this, the Executive members worked hard to move beyond the restrictions and strived to provide constant support to the students.

The DUSA Executive has continued to pursue existing campaigns, such as Minds Matter Month, Academic Skills Week and National Student Week, and develop new campaigns, such as Femfest, Self-Love Week and Employability Month, and it also hosted new events, such as the first Student Climate Conference and the first Society Awards Evening. Its motivations and actions are aligned with the new strategic plan and designed to fulfil the aspirations of the 18,000+ University of Dundee students by creating welcoming, safe, and valued physical and virtual spaces for students to come together to socialise, be part of clubs and societies, learn, volunteer, work and access advice, guidance, and support. DUSA has a vision of a kinder, greener, diverse global student community, creating lasting impact for generations to come. The Association exists to represent students and provide innovative and excellent services that transform their lives.

DUSA are committed to creating an environment in which all staff, volunteers and members are supported to continuously develop their talents, skills, and knowledge. Our core values are:

• Dignity and Respect
• Community
• Honesty and Integrity
• Innovation

Moreover, the focus for the next five years will be as follows:

• Increasing Influence and Impact – through increased engagement with students and becoming more representative of our diverse student population, building on our strong student voice and representative network. Improving the learning and teaching and overall student experience.
• Develop Community – improve equality, diversity and inclusion through development of community and sense of belonging amongst students from different backgrounds and cultures.
• Create Opportunities – through providing students with volunteering, fundraising employment, social and extra-curricular activities to build support networks.
• Providing high quality student support – through providing students with advice, advocacy, guidance, support and representation on housing, welfare, wellbeing and academic issues.