Our Lives at U of T is a campaign that documents the struggles of students who have had a difficult time adjusting to life at the University of Toronto. The initiative consists of large banner featuring different students who contributed to Our Lives, and a reference to that student’s story, full versions of which appear on the campaign’s Facebook page. The posters can be found at Sidney Smith Hall, at the Koffler House, and at New College, among other places on campus.
According to campaign founder David Fishbayn, the stories aim to demonsrate that it is okay if you do not “get it right the first time” and that “alienation can be tackled by taking one step out of your comfort zone and trying something new.”
Our Lives at U of T is part of the Campaign for Community, which Fishbayn co-founded in April of 2014. As part of an independent study project, he anonymously asked students “how does U of T make you feel?” Many responded with statements such as “sad” and “lonely”. Our Lives at U of T was founded in order to bring these negative responses to light.
“While U of T has a very good academic reputation, the quality of student life could be improved upon,” Fishbayn noted.
Our Lives at U of T is aimed at establishing how U of T really is. Under the Boundless campaign U of T tells its students that they are special, that they are the future leaders of tomorrow, and that they are limitless. On the contrary Our Lives at U of T tells us that everyone fails at one point or another and that learning from these failures is necessary for success.
Fishbayn said that he would like to hold a ceremony which commemorates the students who contributed to Our Lives of U of T and that he plans to increase the number of posters on campus.