Dawson College

Dawson College (French: Collège Dawson) was the first English CEGEP (Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel, or College of General and Vocational Education) and is located in Westmount, just west of downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Dawson College is located near the heart of downtown Montreal in a former nunnery on 12 acres of green space. It is the largest English-language CEGEP, with a student population of more than 7,000 day students and 3,000 night students enrolled in more than 50 fields of study.

Originally, a Dawson College existed at the Royal Canadian Air Force Base, St. Jean (now Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu), Quebec, in the Eastern Townships (later the location of Le Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean). It was a satellite campus set up on September 26, 1945 by McGill University to handle the overflow registration of students after the Second World War and the returning veterans. Those students in the first 3 years of the Faculty of Engineering were taught there, thus relieving the McGill campus for the later 2 years for the degree course. That version of Dawson College was closed in May 1950.

The current Dawson College was the first English-language institution in the Quebec network of CEGEPs when it opened its doors to 1,200 students in the fall of 1969. The College is named for Sir William Dawson, a principal of McGill University from 1855 to 1893.

The College was originally housed in a converted pharmecutical factory at 350 Selby Street in Westmount. In 1970, a second campus (used mostly for Creative Arts programs) was opened on Viger Street just to the north of Old Montreal. Two years later, its third campus was opened near Parc Lafontaine. By 1988 Dawson either still or had also operated the Richelieu campus in St. Henri, the DeLorimier campus, the Victoria campus on McGill Street (in Old Montreal), with additional facilities on Saint Catherine Street among other locations.

In 1988, Dawson College occupied the former Mother House of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame. Full consolidation under one roof only happened in 1997, when the Selby building was finally closed. Extensive renovations transformed the century-old building into an attractive, modern, and well-equipped college, occupying an entire city block between de Maisonneuve Boulevard and Sherbrooke Street and Atwater and Wood Avenues in Westmount.

The Dawson Student Union (DSU) is the students' union representing the approximately 7,000 full-time students at Dawson. It funds, coordinates and regulates clubs and activities, as well as being a resource for students to direct them to appropriate departments or services or inform them of their rights and lobby for them, if necessary.

Melanie Hotchkiss resigned as president and the new president is *Unknown!

In April 2005, the DSU was accredited by the Quebec Government (as per R.S.Q. ch A-3.01) after the largest student turnout in the college's history. About 70 per cent of voting students voted in favour of accreditation (comprising about 26% of the total full-time student population). This makes the union independent from the college, as before it existed only by agreement with the college for the past 20 years. There were conflicts between the Dawson Administration and the DSU, but most were resolved. Still, the DSU has trouble working to establish itself as a functional, autonomous, accredited student union.

Dawson College has a very large number of clubs. These include religious and language-themed clubs, para-academic groups, athletic clubs, program-based clubs, cultural clubs and more. Dawson also has a radio station, CIXS, that broadcasts only inside the school, as well as a student newspaper, The Plant, which publishes every Thursday during term, with a circulation in 2005 of about 1250 copies.

The majority of the clubs are in the 2C wing of the college, which is on the ground level in the centre of the school, while the sports department is located in the H wing, in the south-west corner of the school. New clubs can be formed with the help of the DSU.

Dawson College, known nationally as the “Blues” has one of the largest intercollegiate programs in Canada. The Athletics facilities on campus are among the best of any in the Country. A large number of recreational and intramural programs are also offered to the student population.

Sports Offered to Students:


Rugby, Soccer , Basketball, Volleyball, Lacrosse


Rugby, Soccer , Basketball, Volleyball, Hockey


Cheerleading, Rowing, Cross Country, Golf

National Championships – Men’s Basketball

1975-Bronze, 1976-Gold, 1977-Silver, 1978-Gold, 1982-Silver, 1983-Gold, 1986-Bronze, 1987-Silver, 1988-Gold, 1992-Bronze, 1998-Silver, 1999-Silver, 2003-Silver

National Championships – Men’s Soccer

1984-Bronze, 1985-Silver

National Championships – Women’s Basketball

1984-Silver, 1985-Gold, 1986-Gold

On September 13, 2006, a shooting occurred at Dawson College. Kimveer Gill, a 25 year-old resident of Laval, Quebec entered the school armed with a variety of guns, including a Beretta Cx4 Storm semi-automatic rifle with a black synthetic stock. Gill began firing on students outside of the entrance and again in the Atrium, before committing suicide after being shot by police. Some witnesses reported to having seen a second gunman, a claim that has later proven incorrect by local police. There has been one victim who has died, 18-year-old female student Anastasia Rebecca de Sousa, as well as 19 other injured, 8 of them in critical condition.

The shooter was dressed in black trenchcoat and combat boots and wore a Mohawk hairstyle. Gill has already drawn comparisons to Columbine High School killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold for his style of dress. He was a member of gothmetal.net where he is seen holding guns and favored the video game depicting the Columbine High shootings. His member name is his actual name. A similar profile has been depicted on the website www.vampirefreaks.com, though it was taken down by the website administrators for reasons as of yet unknown. His profile name on that website is fatality666. Around 10:41a.m. that morning, Gill made a final entry on the Vampire Freaks and listed his mood as "No mood." He wrote "Whiskey in the morning, mmmmmm, mmmmmmmmm, good!!"

The media has developed a theory that Gill's motive was to copycat the Columbine High school shootings on April 20, 1999. Gill is believed to have been wearing military-style clothing (also worn by Columbine gunman Eric Harris), black boots, and a black trench coat. Students say Gill was calm and shot randomly.

The college was closed until Friday, Sept. 15, when teachers and support staff returned. Students were given access to the campus again on Monday, Sept. 18, and classes resumed the following day.

Other schools in Canada, including the four universities in Montreal, provided grief counseling for their students. Some had also put up special messages regarding this incident.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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