The UTMSU held its DisOrientation event last week to unite students on campus who share a passion for various initiatives in politics, equity, and social justice. Several workshops, lectures, and activities were held, each looking to spread tolerance and understanding among students.
The themes incorporated in DisOrientation Week ranged from racism to raising awareness of the effects of stigmatization to the situation of aboriginals in Canada. There were workshops designed to inform students about self-defence and, in one workshop called “Beyond the Binary”, to show the importance of respect for transgendered people.
“I think [these are issues that] we all need to work on. It’s always great to take a political stance on things that we really believe in,” said Ruba El-Kadry, UTMSU’s VP Equity. “It is also an opportunity for students to hear the opinions of others and to educate themselves on different issues that they may not know too much about.
Most universities already have a DisOrientation Week, so I thought it was about time UTM had one as well. Ours has more of a focus on equity and diversity, which I think applies more to our campus and suits our student body more.”
DisOrientation Week has undergone extensive planning since July. El-Kadry expressed her satisfaction with the turnout and the fact that people seemed interested in the events. The organizers were able to touch on many important topics.
UTMSU is planning the annual Xpression Against Oppression Week for the end of October.