UTMSU’s Ministry of Equity hosted another Disorientation: eXpression Against Oppression Week last week. The activities included a trip to a food bank, discussions on food accessibility and mental health, and an open mic night.
“eXpression against Oppression gave students a safe and an open platform to discuss topics not normally touched upon in the classroom,” said fourth-year student Shefa Obaid. “The Ministry of Equity must be a voice for those who feel oppressed and marginalized, and these events did just that.”
At the food panel, students shared their complaints about the campus food system and discussed ways to improve it.
“I wanted to find more information and see what I can do to challenge the system,” said Tasneem Abdelhaleem, UTMSU’s accessibility coordinator. “We have a voice. We have a capacity to challenge the administration.”
“It felt that my voice was finally going to be heard,” added second-year student Brittany Veljkovic.
Wednesday’s open mic night featured musical and poetry performances to encourage students to express themselves through art.
“Art is the best way of tackling oppression,” said Frishta Bastan, a third-year political science student. “Performances in the open mic attract people’s attention, and this could inspire them to do something.”
The discussion on mental health aimed to deconstruct popular views on mental health, and emphasized that disabilities are not always visible.
The week also featured a Jail and Bail event, in which students volunteered to be handcuffed and were granted “bail” only once they had raised $25 for Free the Children.
“The experience was amazing, knowing that all the money would go to Free the Children. People were really goofy for doing this!” said second-year student Vinay Kumar, who volunteered to be handcuffed.
The Disorientation events concluded with an International Women’s Day celebration on Friday.