Trent University, a campus rife with political discourse.
This past year, the discussions that have taken place on campus have created movements many students may not even be aware of.
From Trent Lifeline re-emerging on our campus, to articles criticizing Self- Love week and feminism, we are not short of hot topics and opinions.
It was a discussion on a Trent Facebook group however, that indicated the change in our trademark liberal atmosphere. Towards the end of the last school year, the Trent University Politics Society was dismantled due to a few individuals being harmful and disruptive.
Some were not even students attending Trent, but Alumni who felt a leftist hegemony exists at our campus, and aimed to tear down any meaningful discussion that occurred on the page.
We are all familiar with trolling, but what occurred on the page was much worse. Baiting people into arguments, the topics were diverted to the subject of abortions and the Israel Palestine debate, and if your opinion fit into that ‘leftist hegemony,’ you were insulted and demeaned.
Eventually, the page was shut down, and some were left traumatized by the vicious attacks that took place.
Out of that came a movement to create safe spaces for discussion. Sara Ostrowska, editor of Arthur, created Trent Politics. Those disruptive individuals who repeated the same behavior were not allowed on the forum, and they in turn defaced her.
Her face was photoshopped onto the body of an SS Officer, all because she was a strong woman who had taken away the platform for these bullies to perpetuate racism, sexism and hate through anonymity online.
Those people will claim that what they said shouldn’t be classified as racist or any of these things, but I was personally called an Islamofascist on the TUPS page.
That wasn’t even the worst of what occurred on there, but it caused me to create an online space as well. A space where those that wanted to discuss the issues could without being insulted.
This year I founded the Trent Feminist Society, having seen a growing attitude towards feminism that does not reflect the values of the student body that attends this University.
However, there wasn’t a group like this that existed on campus, and once it started I was met with an overwhelming response of people who craved this conversation. Often, I was met with those that identified as feminists, but were shamed by their peers for being so.
I kept the group closed, so that what happened on TUPS would never occur on the Facebook page. You need a Trent email to access it, and I kept the promotion fairly limited. However, after the article “A Call For Love” was published, I feel it is time to advertise the club to it’s fullest.
Creating the Trent Feminist Society has been my proudest achievement this year. The FB group has gained over 70 members, and meeting every week with these individuals have been inspiring and educational.
We are a group of men and women who deeply care not only about the issues our campuses are facing, but what is going on in the world as well.
It is an LGBT safe space, and we have a great deal of fun when we get together and support each other to achieve our goals.
Whether you’re a student who is passionate about equality, politics or gender, this is the place for you. Our conversations have surrounded topics from the stigmas men face in sports, Sochi, Lululemon, body issues, tuition fees, to the differentiation process that our school is facing.
We recently had a member present on homosexuality in Anime, and I have a keen interest in gender roles in videogames.
If you are finding it hard to love yourself, we will offer the positivity and love to help you achieve that.
And no, we are not a group of man- hating whatever the stereotype is. Some of us also talk about how we one day want to have kids, as the “Call For Love” article would criticize feminists for not wanting, but how the economy has made that much more difficult now that it ever was.
We talk about the real issues that face us every day, and I couldn’t be prouder of what we are and what I am—a feminist.
We are hosting an event on March 20 at 5pm in OC 203. Marina Nemat, an accomplished author and speaker, will be our guest lecturer. She is an activist and public speaker, having written memoirs of her time spent imprisoned in Iran for her views.
If you are interested in joining the Trent Feminist Society, look me up in the MyTrent email and you will be added to the group. Even if you are not interested in being involved, but are someone facing oppression, our door is open always open.