By Selina McCallum
Last night UWSA held a candlelight vigil in the CAW Courtyard to acknowledge the recent global tragic events. A few dozen students stood in a circle with their candles to remember people who have experienced racism, bullying and sexual violence.
Admira Konjic, Vice President of Student Advocacy of the UWSA, feels that this is a very dominant issue on campus as many students have been targeted.
“We are a melting pot of different cultures and I think that the stigma against different races portraying a certain behaviour needs to be squashed.” Said Konjic.
The turnout for the event was small and intimate. Konjic believes that to make a change the first thing to do is to participate.
“The biggest problem we have on campus is attendance. These are the spaces where students should come and voice their concerns” said Konjic.
Emmanuel Xorlali Klaye, a student at UWindsor, said that he was glad that only several dedicated students stood out in the cold to stand in solidarity because no one can overcome a challenge without struggling.
“All will be called, but only a few great will be chosen,” said Klaye.
Trina James, Treasurer of the Canadian Federation of Students, was one of the speakers who spoke about her experience dealing with racist professors during her time at University of Toronto. She also spoke about her friend who dropped out of school because he was tired of professors and students not using his right pronouns. James stressed that if students are able to recognize these situations, then change can come about for a better and safer campus environment for students.
Kathryn Pasquach, one of the Coordinators of the Aboriginal Education Centre, was the second speaker of the night. She spoke about her experience being bullied in her own community because she grew up in the city and not in the reserve. Pasquach highlighted that bullying happens to anyone regardless of race, creed, or colour.
Many other students gathered up the courage to say a few words about their own experience and why they believe standing up for each other is vital.
“The voices that we all have are super strong. I learned here from everyone today that resilience is what we should all acquire. Peace and love are all we should spread.” Said Konjic.
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