Check your privilege, dear reader

Dear Anglo-Saxons and other Colonialists,

Your tyrannical reign is over.

It comes as no surprise that some people would rally against progress and revolution in a futile effort to prorogue change and maintain the status quo. But it should also come as no surprise that all pinkish-grey opposition will soon be defeated with hateful rhetoric, institutional bias, and libelous aspersions.

The University of Toronto’s Student Union has publicly announced their intention to restructure their board of representatives and re-purpose their role in the community. The Union, responsible for distributing and siphoning funds accumulated from the ~45 thousand undergraduate students for their benefit, wants to replace their current power structure with “constituency directors.” The old system whereby colleges and certain departments enjoy board representation will be dissolved.

Earlier considerations for the new structure included population-based representation among the different colleges, or electing a colour palette of different reps from each sector of the University. They decided, instead, on creating a board defined by race, class, and sexual orientation.

Preliminary UTSU are chart.

Preliminary UTSU are chart.

The University of Toronto’s undergraduate population will now be represented by the following directorial sections: a) racialized students (you know what we mean); b) LGBTQ students; c) women; d) international students; e) indigenous students; f) disabled students; g) mature students; h) athletes; i) first-year students; and j) commuters.

For everyone else, too fucking bad. You’ve had your imperial moment in the sun. CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE.

If successful, the UTSU will provide Toronto students with arm bands designating each individual as a member of one of the aforementioned groups. This way, they can be easily identified should they require the Union’s advocacy or student services. Anyone who does not correspond to one of the ten proposed groups will be given a star-badge, indicating they’ve had generations of advocacy and can do just fine on their own (but still must pay the pertinent student fees). If, however, a student belongs to multiple groups, then they’re deserving of the added advocacy and enablement. Although the possibility has been discussed, the UTSU has not yet decided whether or not certain cafeterias, classrooms, and water fountains, will be made available only to select groups.

The Associated Press has proven intolerant, having already begun to beat-up the Student Union for this ambitious, open-minded initiative. The UTSU’s harshest critics argue that the UTSU shake-up has somehow left out thousands of students, including but not limited to second-year heteronormative white males. When asked to comment on this allegedly “glaringly bigoted” oversight, the student council demurred, whispering, “Jews count as racialized, I think. And if you’re really concerned, you could always find a way to qualify as disabled.”

The UTSU needs to stand its ground. It needs to stand up the ancient regime and show the world what academic institutions are really about: concretizing racial and class divisions, criticizing religious groups, and killing creative, rational thought.

If the UTSU is unsuccessful, then yet another opportunity for equality will have be thwarted. There is no reason why it should fail, however; we do, after all, live in a time and age where even our municipal politicians champion the cause, issuing slogans like, “I’m not male. I’m not white.” (GO CHOW!)

UTSU–May Darwin bless you, and may all your kale be fresh and tasteless.


zoe applebloSSom