DisOrientation Week provides a different education for students

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By Phelisha Cassup

On Sept. 21-25, the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) partnered with the Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson to host the second annual DisOrientation Week.

The week aimed to immerse students in social justice, activism, action and knowledge by engaging them in workshops that catered to a multitude of student interests.

“A week like this gives students the opportunity to learn at their own pace — about issues of mental health, homophobia, islamophobia, racism, rape culture, food insecurity, and other forms of oppression, through very engaging [media] like fairs and performance nights,” said Rabia Idrees, vice-president equity. “It is important that we have DisOrientation week so that the drive and motivation to make a difference on campus stays alive in students and that this same drive is sparked in new students.”

Jonathan Leclerc, a second-year business student, said before the week’s events he “never really considered the importance of some of these topics — like considering food safety when voting. It is relevant and something to keep it in mind for election time.”

He was most impressed by the Wednesday night event, which gave students the opportunity to engage with experts on topics of food insecurity, poverty and the need for a student nutritional plan. He was also able to attend some of the week’s other events and said he “was very impressed by the diversity of the events.”

First-year undeclared arts student Shyelle Singh said she was glad that she “stumbled into these events. It’s nice to meet people who care about these topics. Goes to show that Ryerson doesn’t just care about partying and concerts, we come through for the important stuff too.”

The event organizers said that having just one student walk away with a new perspective will have them feeling accomplished and motivated to prepare for oncoming years.

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