By Sidney Drmay
Vajdaan Tanveer has some big ideas when it comes to his time at Ryerson. “I hope that being at Ryerson means something. That it challenges us to be considered that urban university, that metropolis that is inclusive, forward thinking and progressive. To actually execute that and hold ourselves up to that standard.”
The third-year politics and governance student chose to go to Ryerson without realizing how much it would change his perspective on life.
“Initially being in the big city was something that attracted me a lot, having a place where there’s coffee shops and culture and you’re not stuck in the suburbs.”
“The other thing was simply being away from home,” Tanveer said. But it wasn’t just about being away from home; Tanveer recognizes his privileges and takes on the role of being an activist on campus.
“Being male in the city has its benefits and lets me access spaces I wouldn’t be able to access if I held other identities in terms of gender but, I also think that coming to Ryerson, and the people I’ve met and the knowledge I’ve gained, has helped me understand oppression and understand barriers to education and understand that there’s a lot of people going through a lot of things,” Tanveer said.
His activism began at the Racialised Student’s Collective (RSC). “It really opened my eyes as to how many barriers there are for people who are racialised and are marginalized in other ways and the amount of work that needs to be done to help other folks and to survive.”
This led Tanveer to get involved in other areas on campus as well.
“I used to be a coordinator at RSC so I’m interested in working with racialised people on campus in doing anti-racism work. I am also part of a group called Reignite Ryerson that does access to education work that’s something I’m really, really passionate about and something I want to do a lot of work on,” he said.
Tanveer also manages to make time for his work with Students for Palestine. He is passionate about his activism and recognizes how it has allowed him to grow as a person.
“I know that when I am done and get that piece of paper at the end of my term here at Ryerson that I know I’ve grown as an individual and I’m better for getting this education,” he said.
“Education is not limited to textbooks. Sitting down with people from the community and elders and taking in that knowledge is something that excites me. That’s why I appreciate being at Ryerson because its given me the opportunity to sit in rooms with people that have allowed me to increase my knowledge exponentially.”
Disclaimer: Tanveer is a current member of Reignite Ryerson, an oppositional group to the Ryerson Students’ Union.