Author: Georgia Lin

In conversation with American first-year students

In conversation with american first-year students Words by Georgia lin Photos by Hana Nikcevic In the wake of President Donald Trump’s demagogic administration, there has been talk about influxes of American students who wished to flee to Canada in the hopes of getting away from irreparable identity politics and dangerous far-right ideologies. Having immigrated to the United States and subsequently to Canada, I’ve felt deep distress and anxiety about Donald Trump and the GOP’s discriminatory policies since the election. In “Trump’s America,” minorities and immigrants live in fear: white supremacy and xenophobia are no longer ostracized beliefs. I was curious whether Trump’s presidency impacted the post-secondary directions of American students. I spoke to three first-year students from different regions across the United States about their choice to attend UofT, what it means to be an American living in Canada, and their thoughts on U.S. politics today. Gil Hamel Which state are you from? Did you have any connections with Canada before coming to UofT? I’m from New Hampshire. My dad is Canadian; he’s from Montréal. I’ve visited Toronto a couple times a year since I was born, but I’ve never lived here before. Why did you choose to come to UofT instead of a post-secondary institution in the U.S.? I grew up in a pretty small town, so going to a huge school in a big city like Toronto...

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Seeking a sense of community outside of cultural clubs

The pressure to immediately immerse yourself into university as a first-year student is overwhelming. Combined with the recent rise in discussions around finding and creating identity, the compulsion to conform is enormous. I care deeply about my heritage as a Taiwanese immigrant, but I’ve yet to discover a comfortable community based around my ethnicity.

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VUSAC Fall Elections 2017: Jared Connoy, Sustainability Commissioner Candidate

The Strand chatted with Jared Connoy, candidate for Sustainability Commissioner in the 2017 VUSAC fall election, to ask about his platform and goals if elected.   The Strand: Why are you running for VUSAC Sustainability Commissioner? Jared Connoy: I’m running for Sustainability Commissioner because I’ve dedicated my education to the environment. I’m doing a double major in Economics and Environmental Science, with a minor in Environmental Studies. I’ve done work abroad doing scientific research and data collection, and I dedicate all my free time to the environment. It’s my passion and I love the Vic community, so I’d like to bring the two together.   Can you elaborate on the environmental work you’ve done on campus and abroad?   Abroad, I was doing data collection and population tracking for an organization that does environmental work called Osa Conservation, based in the Costa Rican rainforest. On campus, last year I was the Lower Year Representative for the Environmental Students’ Union, and I’m now the Treasurer. I’ve also been involved with UTEA, which is the University of Toronto Environmental Action. Working abroad was definitely incredibly important for me in making a physical connection with the environment. I’ve highlighted throughout my campaign the importance of having a genuine relationship with the environment so people can really feel that and take it into their lives, career, and discipline—whatever it may be. However, my...

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