Author: Amanda Gosio

Making friends in university: On-campus vs. Off-campus living

The university experience is one entirely determined by the individual circumstances of a student. Are you an international student? Are you a member of on-campus communities? Do you attend your classes often? Do you live on residence? Have you joined any sports teams or clubs? All of these factors, and many more, come to define your university experience. As a large aspect of the university experience is created through the friendships you’ve forged and the experiences you’ve gotten to share throughout the years, it is evident that factors defining your individual experience also come to define your ability to make friends. As a student who’s lived...

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The Strand reviews VCDS presents The Last Five Years

The Last Five Years is a two-person musical written by Jason Robert Brown that tells the story of the five-year relationship between Cathy, played by Nicole Dionne, and Jamie, played by James O’Connor. The musical opens with Cathy’s side of the story being told in reverse as she is at the end of the relationship and Jamie’s side of the story being told from the start. This structure allows for heartbreakingly beautiful scenes and dramatic irony. The audience feels conflicted in loving Cathy and Jamie as a couple with the understanding that their relationship is fleeting. This plot arch also...

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Abstinence-only sex education is harmful to students

I was on YouTube one Sunday evening when I came across a video on my recommended feed. It was titled “Sex Education: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO).” As a huge fan of John Oliver’s program Last Week Tonight, I decided to give the video a watch. It provoked thoughts and emotions that I thought this platform and its community could benefit from. To gain better insight regarding where these emotions originated, I believe an understanding of my upbringing is necessary. I grew up attending Catholic schools all the way to when I started my undergrad, here, at the University of Toronto. Some may envision Catholic education as sterile, and catholic schools as rigid places where students are taught by nuns. However, this image is inaccurate. There are some aspects of the Catholic education system which I find limiting to growing students, but overall, in many ways, I really loved the education I received. My public, Catholic education maintains a resemblance to that of the public education system in terms of the actual “education” part. Although my opinions regarding education on sex and abstinence may be attributed to the Catholic education system, I believe the issue is not limited to Catholic schools. It serves to highlight the problematic ways in which students are taught to understand sex and relationships across all school systems. Once, in my grade nine...

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The ROM unveils new exhibition

Art, Honour, and Ridicule: Asafo Flags from Southern Ghana   On September 20th I had the pleasure of attending one of the Royal Ontario Museum’s newest exhibits, Art, Honour, and Ridicule: Asafo Flags from Southern Ghana, followed by a lecture from Professor Ato Quayson discussing Ghana’s history as well as the cultural significance of these flags. This exhibit is part of a three-year project at the ROM that, strives to bring an African voice and history to the forefront of conversation in Toronto through different exhibitions. It exceeded my expectations. I entered the dimly-lit exhibition room, welcomed by the...

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