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First Trinity College Meeting addresses anti-racism, concerns of BIPOC students

Students elect first-year leaders, electoral committee for October elections
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The student society of Trinity College held its first meeting of the year. HAYDEN MAK/THE VARSITY
The student society of Trinity College held its first meeting of the year. HAYDEN MAK/THE VARSITY

This week, Trinity College hosted this year’s first meeting for its student society, the Trinity College Meeting (TCM).

During the meeting, student leaders discussed the importance of advancing anti-racism at the college. This follows a summer in which Black students came forward with their experiences of racism and marginalization at Trinity College. This led to the formation of the Trinity Anti-Racism Collective, which wrote an open letter with demands for reform.

At the meeting, students also ran elections to fill key positions on the first-year council and the Electoral Committee, which will be in charge of running the elections for several positions in October.

Anti-racism

The meeting began with an opening address from TCM Chair Anjali Ghandi, who noted the meeting’s virtual format and that all in-person events for Trinity students have been moved online. Ghandi further discussed the plan for TCM this year.

“The way that I want to make a more inclusive TCM is really ensuring that we are listening to those minority voices in the group,” Ghandi said to the audience of over 70 attendees. She further emphasized the importance of “listening and being respectful to those people that might have a different opinion… and really ensuring that [the meeting] isn’t a space where people will feel like they’re going to get heckled or going to feel disrespected.”

“I think too many times, a lot of people at the TCM will think that their experience at Trinity is the same as all the other experiences that other students are having, but that’s just not the case,” Ghandi continued. “So I really urge you to think about opening your mind and considering all perspectives when we come across motions this year.”

Opening statements from heads of student governance included statements of support in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) students.

Following Ghandi’s statement and opening reports from all sitting office-holders, Head of Arts Angie Luo discussed three Board of Trustees meetings which took place over the summer.

At one of these meetings, the TCM put forward an amendment to the mandate held by the college’s anti-racism task force, requesting them to specifically address action items from the Trinity Anti-Racism Collective’s open letter. The amendment did not pass. The board will meet again on October 1.

“It’s important for us to actively help dismantle discrimination and racism that these students face,” said Non-Resident Affairs Committee (NRAC) Head Cindy Lui, further recognizing the many BIPOC students who are commuters and committing to ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for all.

Elections

Elections for first-year representatives of the Equity Commission and the Student Capital Campaigns Committee (SCCC), as well as SCCC members-at-large took place during the meeting.

Elections for various positions within the Alumni Relations Committee and ratification of the chief returning officer, deputy returning officer, and Electoral Commission — who will be in charge of running the October elections — also took place.

As part of the October elections, Trinity College students are looking to fill three vacant positions of male and female head of College and male head of NRAC, for which nominations are due on September 28. These vacancies were the result of resignations that were in part owed to the discussions surrounding anti-Black racism and calls for accountability.