On Friday, the UTMSU began to send out their Task Force Survey with the hopes of hearing personal recounts from students where they or others felt discriminated on campus. The anonymous survey covers five main sections on campus racism: racism in the classroom, campus life, residence life, student engagement and representation, and campus media.
The Task Force survey follows the Task Force on Campus Racism initiative that was first launched in the February of 2009 at George Brown College under the support of the Canadian Federation of Students Ontario (CFS-O).
The initiative was a student response to the increasing experiences of racism and discrimination on campus in a time where Canada’s demographics were rapidly changing. With over 17 hearings on 14 campuses, including UTM, a final report of the Task Force on Campus Racism was created in 2011 outlining the ways racism, or a mix of oppressions exists within the individual and institutional campus life.
Today, UTMSU’s Equity team is reaching out to students once more to see if the issues outlined in the report from over eight years ago have been addressed or if new or unaddressed forms of oppression are felt within the UTM campus.
“If there have been any circumstances where folks have felt racism on campus and it wasn’t addressed in the report, but it still exists, we want to know that” Arbaji told The Medium. “That’s the thing on campus, anything that does happen to students is individual, not a collective thing, therefore it’s not fully heard.”
“Our hope is that we don’t see a negative situation happening on campus, but it would also be a good way for folks to actually express what is happening to them if they haven’t been able to,” continued Arbaji.
The anonymous Task Force Survey has already been sent out to student groups and societies. In the upcoming days, the survey will be sent out to all UTM students.