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Multi-faith awareness levy

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After the tragedy of September 11, it has become increasingly apparent that an underlying prejudice towards various faith groups exists. It rose to the surface in the form of a racist and sometimes violent backlash.

This prejudice is primarily based on ignorance and stereotypes propagated by the mainstream media. The aftermath of last year’s terrorist attacks showed that collectively, we have not done our work to educate the campus community about each other’s faiths.

Since there is no faith equity office at this university, a referendum question was introduced for next week’s Students’ Administrative Council elections, asking students if they would support a $1 one-time-only, refundable levy for multi-faith activities and awareness initiatives on campus.

The levy would help create a SAC-administered fund that campus groups and individual students could apply to for grants to support projects that aim to eradicate the ignorance and prejudice surrounding various faiths.

It should be noted that this levy would in no way be used to fund multi-faith prayer space, which the University of Toronto is committed to providing at multiple locations across campus.

The university is also currently raising its own funds for the construction of a dedicated Multi-Faith Centre.

If we would truly like to live without the fear and prejudice currently surrounding various faiths, then $1 could go a long way to help raise multi-faith awareness.

Paid only once, the price of a can of pop would truly make our campus a better place to live and study. (Besides, if you later feel that it’s too expensive, you can always get a refund!)

From Monday, March 25 to Wednesday, March 27, log into ROSI (www.rosi.utoronto.ca), click the “Elections” button and select the “Referendum” ballot. Simply vote “YES” for Multi-Faith Awareness!

For more information, contact [email protected]