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The Breakdown: UTSU Elections 2020, student aid, health and dental referenda

Two vice-presidential positions have candidates running unopposed, another with zero candidates

The Breakdown: UTSU Elections 2020, student aid, health and dental referenda

Content warning: mentions of suicide.

With its nomination period having begun on March 2, the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) election period is now in full swing. The voting period began on March 21 at 12:00 am, and will run until March 25 at 5:00 pm. Votes can be cast on the UTSU’s online voting portal.

For the UTSU’s most senior position of president, students will have a choice between Muntaka Ahmed, the union’s current executive assistant clubs; Arjun Kaul, the current vice-president operations; and Bryan Liceralde, a candidate who ran for the position last year.

The vice-president professional faculties race has no candidates, and two positions — vice-president operations and vice-president public and university affairs — are uncontested.

This election also features two referenda: one to establish a levy for UTSU’s student aid program and the other to increase the fee for the UTSU’s health and dental plan. The UTSU announced that this year it has “disbursed more than double the amount of student aid that was disbursed in the last 2 years combined.” In order to expand and guarantee the continuation of this program, the UTSU is asking for a $1 levy per semester devoted to student aid.

UTSU who?

The UTSU has been U of T’s official student union since 1901, and represents nearly 40,000 full-time undergraduate students at the St. George campus. The UTSU previously represented undergraduate students from UTM as well, until late 2018 when the UTSU and the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union agreed to separate.

The executive team is currently led by the president and six vice-presidents whose portfolios include operations, external affairs, equity, student life, professional faculties, and university affairs. The UTSU merged the portfolios of vice-president external and vice-president university affairs at the UTSU’s Special General Meeting on February 12, reducing the number of vice-presidential positions to five for the current election.

The UTSU is governed by its Board of Directors, which is made up of 16 college directors, 13 professional faculty directors, six directors from academic communities, one director elected by the Transitional Year Programme, and the executives.

According to its website, the UTSU’s two key functions are advocacy — such as lobbying the government and university in the interests of students — and providing students with services such as grants, clubs funding, and the health and dental plan.

UTSG undergraduate students are required to pay $49.80 in fees to the UTSU each semester, which are broken down into a variety of categories. These levies include support for the Downtown Legal Services and a fee for student buildings.

Due to the provincial government’s Student Choice Initiative, $23.73 of these fees per semester were previously deemed “non-essential” and students were able to opt out of them in the fall. Following the Divisional Court of Ontario’s ruling in November, which struck down the initiative, the UTSU’s operating budget was restored. Students must additionally pay $187.43 per semester to the UTSU in order to access its health and dental insurance plans, unless they have an equivalent health plan.

The UTSU has continually struggled with engaging with students, an issue that is not always shared by student unions at other universities.

Last year’s election saw three executive positions and 18 directorships go unfilled. The voter turnout was recorded at 4.2 per cent, and the subsequent by-election to fill the remaining positions had a voter turnout of 2.9 per cent.

Referenda vote

Recently, the UTSU has reported a large increase in health insurance claims. As such, the UTSU is asking to raise the fee for its health and dental insurance plan by an additional 10 per cent, on top of the 10 per cent increase already mandated by the UTSU’s bylaws.

The referenda is motivated by the claim that the “current fee will not be able to sustain the increasing costs of the Plan, let alone increase coverage levels to cope with student mental health difficulties,” according to a post made by the UTSU.

The student mental health crisis has been a major focus for the UTSU this year, as students have called on the university for greater support and more streamlined services. Since June 2018, there have been four publicized student deaths by suicide on campus.

This has prompted major protests and student advocacy, resulting in the creation of the Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health. While the task force’s work has led to a redesign of the university’s mental health services, other incidents, such as the controversy surrounding the university ombudsperson’s comments on the university-mandated leave of absence policy, show that many students are still dissatisfied with the status quo.

Editor’s Note (March 24, 2:20 pm): This article has been updated to reflect that the voting deadline had been extended from 5:00 pm on March 23 to 5:00 pm on March 25.


If you or someone you know is in distress, you can call:

Canada Suicide Prevention Service phone available 24/7 at 1-833-456-4566

Good 2 Talk Student Helpline at 1-866-925-5454

Ontario Mental Health Helpline at 1-866-531-2600

Gerstein Centre Crisis Line at 416-929-5200

U of T Health & Wellness Centre at 416-978-8030.

Warning signs of suicide include:

Talking about wanting to die

Looking for a way to kill oneself

Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose

Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain

Talking about being a burden to others

Increasing use of alcohol or drugs

Acting anxious, agitated, or recklessly

Sleeping too little or too much

Withdrawing or feeling isolated

Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge

Displaying extreme mood swings

The more of these signs a person shows, the greater the risk. If you suspect someone you know may be contemplating suicide, you should talk to them, according to the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention

UTSU executive candidates debate focuses on accessibility and equity

Debate moved online to encourage social distancing

UTSU executive candidates debate focuses on accessibility and equity

This past Wednesday, the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) held its executive candidates debate. In accordance with university recommendations against large gatherings, the debate was held over video conference. Candidates discussed topics ranging from the long-delayed opening of the Student Commons to how to decide which clubs receive funding.

The debate was moderated by Jacob Lorinc, who formerly served as editor-in-chief of The Varsity, and is currently a reporter at the Toronto Star.

A full debate, however, was not possible for the vice-president operations and vice-president public and university affairs positions, as they are uncontested.

President

There are three candidates for the presidential race: Arjun Kaul, Bryan Liceralde, and Muntaka Ahmed. They discussed different topics, including the opening of the Student Commons and how to mitigate the negative effects that the Student Choice Initiative (SCI) had on clubs’ funding.

The SCI was a provincial mandate that was struck down in November, which allowed students to opt out of incidental fees that were deemed “non-essential.”

All candidates agreed that opening the Student Commons — a project that was approved in 2007 — is crucial, though it may be delayed even more due to the COVID-19 precautions in place.

Ahmed focused on the student-facing side of the commons, and, if elected, said she would create a Student Commons management committee to collect student input. Her goal is to establish the Student Commons as a community hub that students can use to meet a variety of their needs — for instance, refilling one’s Presto card or withdrawing money from an ATM.

Kaul would seek to increase student engagement with the commons by publishing a guide of student services that would be available in the building, and also proposed creating a management committee that would include representatives from across campus.

Kaul suggested the incorporation of for-profit operations within the Student Commons. He would prioritize student jobs in its operations while working with surrounding businesses to create new sources of income for the UTSU.

Liceralde pledged to include a rooftop restaurant, space for drama groups to rehearse, and a computer lab.

On the topic of the SCI, the candidates agreed that in the case of similar policy returning, the president should work with campus organizations and clubs to ensure that they are able to continue operating using the UTSU’s more sizable resources.

Kaul suggested working on a case-by-case basis and meeting with club leaders. Liceralde would set aside 10–20 per cent of the UTSU budget to ensure clubs continue operations.

Vice-president operations

Current Vice-President Professional Faculties Dermot O’Halloran is running uncontested for the vice-president operations position.

On the topic of transparency in the UTSU budget, O’Halloran stressed that more transparency in finances is important for accountability; he suggested that this could mean increased engagement with the UTSU from U of T students — which has been a lasting concern in the union.

When asked if there is any part of the UTSU budget that he would cut, O’Halloran responded that he did not see anything worth cutting.

To ensure accountability and improve attendance within the Board of Directors — the governing body that oversees the Executive Committee’s functioning — O’Halloran said that executives and directors should maintain a less adversarial relationship. To achieve this, he would increase director involvement in UTSU projects.

Vice-president public and university affairs

Tyler Riches is running uncontested for the vice-president public and university affairs position. He currently sits on the UTSU’s Board of Directors as a University College representative.

This is the first year that the vice-president public and university affairs position has been offered, as it is a combination of two former roles: vice-president external and vice-president university affairs. When asked how he views the role, Riches responded that the role should be mostly about advocacy and making sure that student priorities are the focus of every platform.

In his opinion, the biggest concern for current students is feeling unsupported by the university. Riches further said that there should be more room for student voices in Simcoe Hall.

Riches also discussed what advocacy initiatives he would undertake as vice-president public and university affairs.

He hopes to advocate for more student grants from the federal government, and he would provincially lobby to get back the interest-free grace period for student loans and the free tuition program under the Ontario Student Assistance Program. In addition, he would lobby for rent control and support for sexual assault centres that have recently lost funding.

Vice-president equity

There are two candidates for the vice-president equity position: Vibhuti Kacholia and Alexandra McLean.

The two candidates discussed rebuilding trust and engagement in the UTSU within the U of T community.

On rebuilding trust, Kacholia would prioritize collaborations with other campus groups, such as the Black Students’ Association. McLean agreed, saying that the UTSU lacks engagement because they employ a “one-size-fits-all approach,” instead of tailoring outreach to specific communities.

The candidates proposed different strategies to improve equity at the UTSU. While Kacholia would increase transparency and presence by improving communication, and having a UTSU presence at all club carnivals, including college-based ones, McLean would create a diversity and equity first-year council to increase the focus on equity within the first-year community.

Vice-president student life

The two candidates running for the position of vice-president student life are Tasnim Choudhury and Neeharika Hemrajani.

Orientation was discussed at length, as it is a large part of the responsibilities of the position. Both candidates agreed that making it as accessible as possible is a priority.

Choudhury noted that it is an accessibility issue that the yearly clubs carnival and street fest are often congested. She emphasized that there should be a concrete backup plan for heat and rain, and that orientation should cater not just to first-years, but to returning students as well.

Hemrajani would focus on collaborating with student groups and colleges to create a more campus-wide orientation.

The vice-president student life is also in charge of recognizing and distributing funding to clubs. Candidates were asked about how they would handle funding controversial groups, such as University of Toronto Students For Life, an anti-abortion group, and the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), which has been accused of having contentious relationships with students from Hong Kong.

Both candidates agreed that they would likely not recognize these groups if they were to request recognition and funding from the UTSU. They both said that they would look at it on a case-by-case basis and lean on precedence.

Choudhury stressed the importance of free speech on campus and Hemrajani agreed that students’ opinions of clubs’ political stances should not factor into their recognition. However, they argued that some clubs do not add to a positive environment on campus, in which case they may not be recognized.

Residences shut down, take safety measures amid COVID-19 pandemic

Students with exceptional circumstances permitted to remain in residence

Residences shut down, take safety measures amid COVID-19 pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, most U of T residences have required students to vacate by this past weekend, unless they are undergoing exceptional circumstances: namely, if they have nowhere else to go.

Victoria College required that students leave by March 19, while New College, Innis College, Trinity College, University College, Woodsworth College, St. Michael’s College, UTSC, and UTM required students to leave by March 21. The Graduate House is requiring students leave by March 25.

Student Family Housing and Knox College have opted to keep its residences open.

Second-year New College student Lucy Zuo told The Varsity that the environment in residence was “bittersweet.” “There [were] friends supporting friends, friends helping friends move out, but that also means there are friends saying goodbye to friends, saying goodbye to memories that they thought they still had time to make,” Zuo said.

Common spaces have been closed off at a number of residences. At Trinity, Victoria, and St. Michael’s Colleges, the dining halls have been shut down, and students are required to take food out to their rooms.

Many residences have promised refunds to students who move out by the required date, but have yet to release details on the reimbursement. At Woodsworth College, students who move out by March 21 will receive a refund of $1,100.65.

Though Student Family Housing will remain open, it is putting extra precautionary measures in place. The residence is undertaking an enhanced disinfecting schedule. Common spaces, including the daycare, will be closed, and maintenance staff will be performing emergency repairs only.

A U of T spokesperson explained to The Varsity that requiring students to leave residence is in line with the university’s social distancing measures, so as to avoid putting too much of a burden on the health care system.

However, students with nowhere else to go will not be forced to leave. “We know how important our residences are to those students who call them home. U of T wants those students who need to stay here to be with us during this challenging time,” the spokesperson said.

The shutting down of residences is one of many measures the university has taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. U of T has also moved all classes to an online format. Most labs and libraries have been closed, and student groups have been asked to refrain from holding events at this time.

Letter from the Editors: Introducing The Varsity Equity Guide

Inviting your feedback!

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Grappling with how to do equitable journalism is no easy task. That is what we both discovered throughout the process of writing The Varsity’s new equity guide this year. Every time we answered one question, we would later find that three more, which required complex and nuanced answers, popped up.

Countless conversations and debates in the newsroom about how to best affirm human dignity reminded us that exercising patience with such a sensitive product is crucial. That might be the reason why this guide, which started as a five-page endeavour in June 2019, is almost six-fold in length at the time of its release in March 2020. You can now find the guide for your viewing on our webpage.

There, you will find guidelines on recognizing the intersection of prejudice, power, and identity; ethically reporting on trauma and stigma; and covering the pressing global issues of our time. We hope that this will prove useful not only to journalists at The Varsity, but also to any curious journalists who are looking to improve their reporting.

We believe that this guide has enormous value for the future of The Varsity. Language is power — as journalists, we recognize that the way we go about our work has real impact on the world around us. In consciously guiding the direction of the paper’s editorial practices to include, empower, and fairly represent marginalized communities at U of T, we hope to do right by them. In recent years, we acknowledge that we, in some cases, have not done enough.

We want to make clear that this guide is not, and will never be, perfect. Nor is it intended to be. But we hope for it to be a living document that will improve on a regular basis — it will be shaped and reshaped by future editors through consultation and collaboration with members of our community.

We could not have written this guide without the help and support of The Varsity’s masthead: their comments, questions, and feedback has been invaluable to the development of this document. Josie, our editor-in-chief, provided us with continuous encouragement.

We especially want to highlight the guidance that we received from various community members, including John Croutch, an Indigenous cultural competency training officer at U of T’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives; the Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office; the Sexual & Gender Diversity Office; and Students for Reproductive Justice. We have also consulted with countless online resources, which have been invaluable to us in constructing this guide.

Feedback — both positive and negative — is more than welcome. As noted before, the guide is not perfect, and neither are we. We are looking to continuously improve on both the guide and our subsequent reporting. We invite you to tell us what you think in this feedback form.

Let’s keep the conversation on equity going. Onward to a future where The Varsity can truly belong to everyone.

— Ibnul Chowdhury, Managing Editor & Ori Gilboa, Senior Copy Editor

The Varsity Volume 140

View this document on Scribd

Opinion: Bryan Liceralde’s dramatic campaign promises stand out in a sea of convention

Reviewing the candidate’s second go at the UTSU presidency

Opinion: Bryan Liceralde’s dramatic campaign promises stand out in a sea of convention

If you want to know why most students do not pay attention to student elections, read The Varsity’s presidential candidate profiles for the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU). The cliché of students not caring is by now a chicken-and-egg situation: students don’t vote because the unions don’t engage with them; unions don’t bother engaging because students don’t vote. Yes, we should try to be informed — but the current election offers little reason to.

While the candidates have had the opportunity to explain their ideas with more specificity during the executive candidates’ debate, their Varsity profiles and candidate statements should be sufficient to at least present the foundations of their campaigns.

The fact that these profiles are barely distinguishable from one another is worrying.

Both Muntaka Ahmed and Arjun Kaul speak grandly of improving student experiences and equity concerns, which are important. But they fail to explain exactly how their presidencies will tackle these issues in ways that distinguish them from previous executives’ efforts.

The only person to stand out is Bryan Liceralde, a second-time candidate who notes that he lacks experience in student politics.

Liceralde’s plans include making residence free for students whose families make less than $90,000 a year; enforcing that the UTSU take a neutral stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict and refuse to fund clubs that promote “violence” against civilians from either side; and using the UTSU as a platform for his personal “rants on music.”

Last year, he announced his campaign was partly an effort to win the Rhodes Scholarship. Absurd? Yes. Impossible? Likely. Not worth voting for? There’s the problem.

Liceralde stands out not only for the quixotic nature of his own promises, but also for the other candidates’ inability to articulate concrete proposals.

Unlike Liceralde, the more experienced candidates didn’t bother addressing anyone who is not already involved in student government.

I would like to know what you actually plan to do in office, and what you have to say to the thousands of students who aren’t sure you do anything at all.

With two out of three candidates already part of the current government, a picture emerges of an insular world that speaks only for itself, and to itself. This may not be a problem for students who are happy with business as usual, but it says nothing for those of us who struggle to understand why we should care.

Liceralde has no such problem. Not only did he cite the issues of grade deflation, breadth requirements, and Credit/No Credit — about which many students are opinionated — but he also expressed a desire to challenge Doug Ford’s postsecondary policies as a cornerstone of both this and last year’s campaign.

Being an outsider candidate, he does not limit himself to topics students only care about if they are already familiar with the UTSU’s operations. Who else takes a stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict in their statement, let alone a simultaneously authoritarian and neutral one? Who else sees the presidency as an opportunity to promote their music taste?

While Liceralde’s dismissal of Billie Eilish and The Weeknd as “overrated” is incorrect, it makes for a unique campaign issue. This candidate does not merely want to be the UTSU president; he sets out to challenge what the very office of president entails.

For the first time, I feel I have some understanding of that vocal group of Americans in 2016 who declared they would vote for Donald Trump just for the hell of it — just to see what would happen.

Liceralde’s policies may not make sense, but at least they sound nothing like the status quo. This is the jaded, nihilistic approach one takes when convinced the system, at best, doesn’t care about the people it represents, and at worst, shouldn’t exist.

If the UTSU is not such a system, I look forward to a candidate who will change my mind.

Jacob Harron is a fourth-year English student at Victoria College. He is an Associate Senior Copy Editor.

Opinion: A grace period would have helped us adjust to online learning platforms amid COVID-19 pandemic

Some faculty members lacked compassion for students during transition

Opinion: A grace period would have helped us adjust to online learning platforms amid COVID-19 pandemic

On March 13, U of T made the decision to cancel all in-person classes and move to online learning in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time of uncertainty and panic, many professors resumed coursework as scheduled.

However, one of my professors did not even postpone a midterm that was scheduled for the first Tuesday after the online switch.

A better alternative would have been cancelling a week of classes so that students could have been able to travel home, faculty members could have adjusted to the online teaching platforms, and everyone could have had a chance to acclimate to this new development.

This seems to be the logical next step in these kinds of circumstances. However, U of T did not cancel classes, and many students are now having to deal with not only the stress of COVID-19, but looming deadlines and new work environments as well.

For many, the transition from campus to computer is not as smooth as the university claimed that it would be. As someone who is in self-quarantine with four family members, finding a quiet distraction-free zone has proven to be immensely difficult — especially when considering the constant stress of news alerts and endless emails from teaching assistants and professors. As a result, my productivity has taken a dramatic hit — and it seems as though I’m not the only one.

How can we be expected to return to business as usual given the situation at hand?

After receiving the email that in-person classes were cancelled, I immediately made arrangements to return home. During that time, I was so wrapped up with moving out of residence and making sure that my family members were safe that academics were the last thing on my mind.

When I logged into my U of T email account the following Sunday morning, I was stunned to find that my economics midterm would likely continue as scheduled. I couldn’t help but think of the international students who had to return home, or the students who were either ill themselves or had a sick family member.

In the days that followed, these concerns were met with messages from the professor stipulating that students in those situations would be eligible to write a make-up test. However, for the rest of the class, the March 17 date remained, with very little information as to how the format would change with the switch to an online platform.

The university should have at the very least pushed test dates and deadlines to the following week.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that U of T made the right — albeit late — decision to move to online classes. However, they have failed to realize the full effect this has on students.

Not everyone has an ideal environment to work from home. Whether it be distractions, an inadequate internet connection, or a mere lack of motivation that comes with the absence of structure, it is unfair to expect students to perform at their usual level.

Even with the implementation of unlimited Credit/No Credit options for some faculties, the next few weeks could dramatically affect an individual’s academic performance. As a result, students will continue to worry about how their GPA will be impacted while they don’t even know what the state of the world will be two weeks from now.

Haleigh Andrew is a first-year Social Sciences student at St. Michael’s College.

Opinion: Student support systems suffer under the cancellation of student group activities

Necessary COVID-19 measures continue to complicate access to mental health help

Opinion: Student support systems suffer under the cancellation of student group activities

I am a graduate student currently working on research for my master’s thesis. I don’t have regular contact with any of my fellow colleagues, so I decided to join a new wellness group at the University of Toronto: Community Wellness Dialogue (CWD).

However, due to the university’s decision to cancel any non-essential gathering, the group’s first meeting had to be called off.

CWD organizer Stephanie Pflugfelder wrote, “I think that the university has an obligation to make tough decisions to protect its students, especially the most vulnerable amongst us. When it comes to CWD, we were disappointed to have to cancel the first group meeting because we feel that especially in trying times like this, it’s important to have a support system you can rely on.”

She also highlighted the importance of groups like CWD in helping to create connections to help “overcome some of life’s big challenges.”

I am currently struggling with anxiety and the pressures of graduate life. I had hoped that by attending the group’s meetings, I would be able to get support from fellow students. But at this time we don’t know when we might be able to have a meeting.

I understand the need to take precautions and prevent students’ exposure to COVID-19. However, that must be weighed against the need for student mental health support. It is especially important when graduate students seek out safe spaces and groups to help them get through the emotional challenges of solitary graduate life.

Considering the university’s aim to promote students’ physical and mental well-being, it needs to carefully think about the impact that these closures can have on struggling students. Many students are far from home and may not have close contact with their local support system, be that classes, group get-togethers, or in-person counselling.

In the future, the university should inform students about potential closures at least a week in advance, to give students more time to plan. I also hope that the university makes an effort to contact students who have sought help in the past, especially those who receive consistent care through the Health & Wellness Centres across campuses.

Ateeqa Arain is a second-year master’s student at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Opinion: Stay away from others — it’s the ultimate form of community care

The necessity of social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Opinion: Stay away from others — it’s the ultimate form of community care

Introverts like me have been preparing for social distancing since we were shy bleacher-type kids, so the break from face-to-face socializing during the COVID-19 pandemic might be a relief for many of us.

It was for me as well, at first. I’ve been staying home for the past few days, and plan to do so for at least another week. Though I haven’t previously been in contact with symptomatic people or travellers, I have commuted frequently and attended social gatherings prior to the widespread adoption of social distancing measures.

I’m thankful to have the privilege of freelancing from home and participating in online classes. I will probably go out to buy groceries, but I will only be seeing friends through my digital screens. I’ve started to catch up on some reading — not the academic kind — and I’ve been watching those weird made-for-TV movies that air on Global TV and the W Network. In the past few days and nights, I have also been going through bouts of anxiety and serious basketball withdrawal.

And yet, it is hard to stay away from other humans. Not everyone may be able to stay home and do classes online like I do, but, if you can, staying home could save someone’s life.

For the sake of our communities, it is important that we recognize this outbreak as what it has now been declared: an emergency. The number of confirmed cases in Canada is rising dramatically on a day-to-day basis, making it even more likely for you to be in contact with someone who has the virus.

That’s why people who attended a recent conference held by the Prospectors and Developers Association in Toronto must self-isolate and self-monitor for two weeks, as an attendee tested positive for COVID-19. Similarly, 20 per cent of NBA players, along with staff and officials, were asked to self-quarantine for two weeks after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert was diagnosed with the virus.

It has been proven that infected people without symptoms can still spread the virus, but not as much as people who have symptoms such as coughs, fevers, and difficulty breathing. This means that if you have no symptoms, you don’t have to self-isolate, but social distancing is still important.

Even if you are not experiencing severe symptoms, there is a chance that you may pass the virus on to someone with a suppressed or vulnerable immune system who might have a higher chance of complications, including death. Hospitals also have limited capacities, and having a large influx of patients will put great strain on our health care system.

With 424 cases — and rising — in Ontario, staying away from others is the ultimate form of care that we can provide our communities with in this rapidly evolving crisis.

In the individualistic North American culture, it’s easy to get carried away with our own personal fears and start panic-buying all the toilet paper in sight. But this isn’t necessary as there will be enough supply in the coming weeks.

If you have bulk-bought things, consider sharing them with others. If you are healthy and able, consider buying groceries for disadvantaged neighbours. These are trying times for everyone, and we may not even trust our leaders to protect us. That is why we must trust each other.

So remember, keeping two metres apart from others, avoiding gatherings of more than 50 people, and staying home when you can are all acts of love. Your community is counting on you, and in this difficult time we should all keep each other’s wellness in mind.

Hadiyyah Kuma is a third-year Sociology student at Victoria College.