Q&A with Director Christian Dunn

Eleni Batsios, Editor-in-chief

In the wake of the upcoming student government elections, I sat down with Christian Dunn, Director of Student Relations, to find out what student government means to him. 

I met with Dunn at the student government office, 364 University Center, while the student den was buzzing. Abraham Dabaja, Director of Media Relations, and Logan Lapeen, Director of Foreign Outreach, were also present.

Dunn was recently involved in the passing of the Oxford Remembrance Day bill.

B: Why was it important to you and UM-Flint to have an Oxford Remembrance day?

DUNN: It’s important to me because I am from Oxford, and it just shows support for the students that are from Oxford. It shows that we are with them and also providing resources like Counseling and Psychological Services and Student Government in case people should need them.

B: How did this bill come about?

DUNN: This is the one-year anniversary of the shooting, this was our way of saying we haven’t forgotten about this and we still care about the students. Our former Vice President, Shbeib Dabaja, really laid down the foundation. One thing that I really try to accomplish is providing either an action item or resources in every resolution and bill I help write. If there is a student struggling with any part of the Oxford event, they have easy access to resources.

B: Can you tell me about the Sexual Assault Awareness Resolution you helped write?

DUNN: Sexual assault is a very heavy topic and is not something that should be taken lightly. I wrote this to provide resources. We created a resource flyer with documents, we provided specific resources for veterans and we passed around statistics to support the resolution. I try to collaborate with other organizations on campus such as the Center of Gender and Sexuality, CAPS or the Student Veterans Resource Center as much as possible.

B: It sounds like a lot of resolutions are passed in cooperation with other organizations on campus. How does that work?

DUNN: For the Sexual Assault Resolution specifically, I reached out to CGS and asked them if they could provide any resources. Before we finalized the resolution, we sent it to them so that they could read through it to make sure it aligned with their goals and values. 

B: I want this story to promote student government and let everyone know they can come to Student Government with whatever needs they have. What can you say to reach out to the student population?

DUNN: I want all students to know that anyone can come to us even if we don’t have the answer. Because if we don’t we will find someone who does – we’ll point them in the right direction. We won’t forget about anything, we’ll follow up to make sure that their concern or problem was dealt with appropriately.

B: Is there anything that student government has done as a whole that you have been proud of?

DUNN: Inclusive Halloween was something that Abe worked with the Honors Program to achieve, and that inclusion is so important for UM-Flint. I was involved with posting a general resource guide on social media and around campus so that students were aware of everything the campus has to offer in terms of support. A former Senator created mental health resource cards and we pass those out when we are tabling in UCEN and post them around campus.

B: What would you say this student government stands for?

DUNN: This student government stands for providing resources. It’s hard to see it from an inside perspective because all of us work on so many different things, but no matter what the output is, it always aims to support students. 

L: I think we stand for opportunity. In all of our different projects, we all have a goal of making opportunities for people in the community or the student body.

DABAJA: The way that it boils down for me is that we amplify the voices of students.

Student Government’s office is open during UCEN’s working hours in room 364. To learn more about the organization visit its website here.