Since the beginning of the year, I have been reading The Medium, and I find a strong trend emerging. Every week in the Opinion section, there is some form of UTMSU-bashing. Usually, this comes from the Editor-in-Chief, but sometimes from letters submitted by students too. I am not too sure why this is occurring, as my experience with UTMSU has been the polar opposite of what I’m reading, and I am afraid that students seem to be hearing only one side of the story.
I wasn’t involved with UTMSU until this year, when I became a frosh leader. I saw how, during that week, the executives of UTMSU spent literally 24 hours a day working to ensure that the event was a success. The amount of work they were doing reflected the dedication that they have, and this inspired me to try and make some time to check out what UTMSU is all about.
I go by the office almost every day, to either try and help with whatever they need, or just to chill out in the office. Honestly speaking, the executives at UTMSU, as well as the people who are always in the office, are always working, whether it is planning and executing campaigns and services, outreaching to students to get their input and get them involved, or just answering questions (academic or otherwise) from the students who come by.
And it is because of these people that I decided to get more involved in the UTM community. They’ve shown me that yes, I can make real change on this campus. I decided to run for the Erindale College Council because I wanted to take that step to help others on campus. And speaking of ECC, it was UTMSU, not the university, that was encouraging people to nominate themselves. And it was UTMSU, not the university, that was trying to find solutions to the (many) problems that came up during the nomination process.
I’m not sure why The Medium goes out of its way to take a swipe at UTMSU. From what I have personally seen (and like I said, I’m around quite a bit), UTMSU takes every step they can to help students, on a personal level, as well as on a wide-scale level, through their campaigns and services. I have also seen them do everything they can possibly do to try and outreach to students, to get their input on the work that they do.
So this is the message I have for students who are reading this: Please check out what UTMSU is about before believing all the letters that get printed in The Medium. Usually they’re good, but when it comes to UTMSU, it seems that they will do whatever they can to make UTMSU look bad. Go into the UTMSU office, talk to the executives and board members, and come out to their meetings. I guarantee you will come out wondering why The Medium prints what it does.
And to the executives of UTMSU, I would like to congratulate you on all the successes you have had so far, and I know you have had more than a few. And I would like to thank you for all the hard work you are putting in. You’re changing the lives of people who are going to this school. I know you changed mine.