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TMU Lights program to let students shine a ‘light’ on different causes

By Dexter LeRuez

The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) community will be able to shine a spotlight on their causes through the school’s new TMU Lights program.

According to its webpage, the program “allows members of the Toronto Metropolitan University community to request colour changes…to highlight important themes, events, and causes.”

The webpage states that two lighting systems will be available for customization. The first will be the LED lights inside the lampposts on Victoria and Gould Streets, while the second system will consist of the lights illuminating the bridge connecting Kerr Hall and the Rogers Communication Centre.

Requests can be filed by groups and organizations through the proposal form, which asks applicants to describe the event, how the customized lighting will aid the cause or event and how it will promote inclusivity and diversity.

According to the form, applicants hoping to highlight their events will be limited to two colours from an array of colours.

The program’s webpage states that applications must be submitted at least 30 days before the requested dates for lighting changes to be considered. Within 15 days of the application’s submission, the university will inform applicants as to whether or not the lighting change has been approved.

Parnika Jaisankar, a second-year business management student, thinks the application period should be shortened.

“Thirty days is a lot of time,” said Jaisankar. “If it was a little [shorter], that would be nice, like a week.”

In a written statement to The Eyeopener, the university noted that 30 days “is not the minimum number of days required to consider a submitted request.”

The university added that “it just can’t be guaranteed that requests can be fulfilled unless they are submitted within the 30-day window. Each request is reviewed by an Advisory Committee, which requires some time and coordination, and if approved is then passed on to our technical team for implementation.” 

The webpage states that commercial requests, personal occasions and requests relating to political parties or candidates will not be considered for the TMU Lights program.

The university will continue to set the colour of the lights for several holidays including Valentine’s Day, Pride Month and Christmas according to the program’s webpage

Antara Navya Shorey, a second-year media production student at TMU who was born in India, highlighted the Hindu festival of Diwali—which is commonly referred to as the festival of lights—as an occasion she’d like to see celebrated through the program.

Even with possibilities for the new program running through students’ heads, for students like Adrien Kastelein, a fourth-year business management student, the TMU Lights program underwhelms.  

Kastelein believes the program “isn’t [that] big of a deal.” but recognizes how it could help students feel better represented.

“It doesn’t seem that hard to do,” said Kastelein. “It’s very doable and practical.”

Although Shorey is interested in the program, she is unsure how effectively the lights will represent events. 

“I don’t know how the colours are going to fully represent events,” said Shorey. “But for culture and maybe countries and ethnicities [the lights] would be interesting.”

**Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the applicants were limited to eight colours. This article has been updated to note that additional colours can be requested through the “other” section of the form. The Eye regrets this error.

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