Content warning: discussion of suicide.
The theme for the Comment section of the final issue of The Varsity Volume 139 is — unintentionally — student power.
Current Affairs Columnist Meera Ulysses advocates for a student strike in response to the Ford cuts; Arts and Science Students’ Union President Haseeb Hassaan advises incoming and future student leaders; former Varsity Photo Editor Nathan Chan discusses the controversial university-mandated leave of absence policy (UMLAP); members of Fight for $15 and Fairness UofT discuss labour resistance; and the Editorial Board reviews all of the student union elections this year.
This should not surprise readers. This semester, U of T students have increasingly expressed frustration toward student leadership, the university administration, and the provincial government for their failure to adequately represent students and student needs. It is often in the context of highly contentious and sensitive events that interest in writing for the Comment section peaks. We are honoured to be an outlet where students can articulate their outrage.
When Volume 139 began last summer and the UMLAP was approved, we published several opinion pieces on the topic given its significance to the student community. The very first issue of the volume featured an op-ed reviewing the approved policy. In this final issue of the volume, a number of suicides on campus in the last year has restored focus on the UMLAP, as you will read in Chan’s op-ed.
This circularity — that we are back where we started — might frustrate readers and suggest that nothing has changed. But student resistance persists nonetheless. It always renews itself. It never seems to be down for the count.
That is why The Varsity will always be there to tell the story of student power — and to enable U of T community members to tell it in their own words. Onward to Volume 140’s version of that story.
— Ibnul Chowdhury
Comment Editor, Volume CXXXIX