A celebration kickstarts U of G’s blackhistory month
Black history month kicks of Our union. Our caucus.
“I have a dream today!”Perhaps the most emblematic words in the struggle or racialequality. Tey were uttered romthe steps o the Lincoln Memorialby the great Martin Luther King Jr.Back in 1963, he was speaking to anAmerican public that was dividedby segregation and prejudice, acrowd ull o doubt.He made them believe.Nearly 50 years later, those words have not lost their eect.And G.B. Olarewaju, a member o the C.J. Munord Centre, repeatedthose words in the UC courtyardon Feb. 5 at the University o Guelph. He recited Martin LutherKing Jr.’s speech as part o a Black History Month celebration.Although Olarewaju did notargue or civil rights or equalemployment opportunities, thecrowd appreciated his words allthe same. Tis was one o the many eatures o the hour-long event puton by the C.J. Munord Centre. Tere was also spoken wordpoetry, diverse speeches and dancesby perormers o varying racialbackgrounds. Te event was kickedo in style with the Caribbeaninspired belly dancing o CassandraFox, ollowed by the smooth b-boy skills o Ryan Antooa.According to organizers, all o the credit or putting on the eventshould go to the C.J. MunordCentre, a resource centre orstudents o colour. Yonae Rolle, a student lieacilitator at the centre, and Leon Johnson, outgoing president,shared their thoughts on Black History Month with the
.It’s election season at theUniversity o Guelph. But many students will go their entireuniversity careers unaware o theelected bodies in which they arerepresented, as well as the dierentavenues available or advocacy. Tis is completely understandable,as it can be quite a task to puzzletogether the distinct structures o these groups. It is important to beinormed about the possibilitiesavailable or students to voice theirconcerns. It is also important orstudents to be aware about what isat stake during the dierent studentelections. Te University o Guelph,like many other campuses, has threelarge groups with the sole purpose o representing students.
Te Central Student Association and the GraduateStudent Association
Te Central Student Association(CSA) and the Graduate StudentAssociation (GSA), both o which work as student unions, provideadvocacy at the university, municipal,
Tere are a lot of histories that go untold. It’s really important to bring those up and discuss them and tocelebrate other people’s histories and their achievements and to dothat throughout the year.
outgoing president,CJ Munford Centre
“I really eel it’s a time orcelebration,” said Rolle. “It’s a way to express your reedom and bringrecognition so more people know about [the history], so that morepeople can celebrate with you.”Her enthusiasm was Te University’s homepagementioned nothing in regards toBlack History Month, not evenunder Campus Events.However, Johnson explainedthat he eels Arican Americansneed this time to celebrateregardless. Rolle shared a similaroutlook.“It should not only be a month,it should be an every day thing orpeople o all colours, because itrepresents reedom,” said Rolle. Te more they spoke, the moreit became clear that this event wasabout more than just celebratinga culture’s history or one monthout o the year; it was, and is,about reedom, about celebratingprogress, all the time.C.J. Munord Centre will behosting another event at East own hall on Feb. 26. Accordingto Rolle, the event will be muchlarger than Friday’s event.“We’ll have ood rom theCaribbean, Span ood and Arica,cultural dances rom all over the world, poets, spoken word, moredancing and just basically anothercelebration to bring awareness,”said Rolle.For those who are hesitant toembrace a celebration like this one,Rolle encourages them to try new things.“o step out o your comortzone and experience the culture. You’ll surprise yoursel with how comortable you’d be,” said Rolle.“A party isn’t a party without a loto people!”
provincial, ederal, and globallevel. While the CSA representsundergraduate students, the GSAexists or graduate students. TeCSA is made up o ve electedexecutives with distinct portolios. Teir duties are managed by theCSA’s Board o Directors, whichis made up o representativesrom each o the colleges and vestudent organizations. Te CSA iscompletely unded by students, andthe executive commissioners are ulltime portolios. Tis allows them toconstantly protect students’ interestsin many dierent aspects, recognizingthat the interest o students may notalways be the same as the interestso dierent institutions. Troughcollective bargaining, the studentunion has been able to providestudents with the universal buspass, the student ood bank, thebike centre, trick-or-eat, and many other services. Te CSA and GSAare members within the CanadianFederation o Students (CFS), whichunites student unions rom all overCanada in order to create a unitedront in larger campaigns such as theDrop Fees and the askorce AgainstRacism campaigns. CSA executiveelections will run Mar. 8-12.
Te Student Senate Caucus
Te third body is the StudentSenate Caucus (SSC). Te SSC isa group o students elected by peersin their program to oversee theuniversity’s administrative decisionsand works to ensure student inputis present in all decisions made by the administration. Te SSC is parto the Academic Senate, the highestdecision-making body or academicmatters, which also includes aculty and administrators. Memebers o theSSC meet to discuss matters outsidethe Academic Senate meetings inpreparation or the next meeting.It is also important to note that you can be part o both SSC andCSA. In act, there are incumbentstudent union executives that arecurrently involved in the SSC.Furthermore, though the CSAdoes provide students with somerepresentation at the university level, the SSC has three seats (2undergraduate and 1 graduate) at theBoard o Governors, which is madeup o 24 seats and oversees the actionso the administration. Te Board o Governors is the highest decision-making body at the university andit theoretically looks to ensure theactions o the senior administration(the university’s president and vicepresidents) are in the best interest o all. It is also important to note thatthe university’s president sits andhas a vote on this board. Te Boardo Undergraduate Studies electionsruns until tomorrow. Te best way to learn about thestructure o your university is throughparticipation. Student representationcan be questioned time and timeagain, but i one is truly interestedin getting involved, one shouldapproach their elected representativesor attend open meetings such as theCSA Board o Directors meetings.Most importantly, make an eortto inorm yoursel on the variouscandidates’ platorm and why they seem to think they’re the best choice. Tese groups exist as tools or you.Use them.
G.B. Olarewaju spoke at Friday’s Black History Month celebration inthe UC courtyard.
undoubtedly part o the drivingorce behind Friday’s event. Johnson also brought an interestingoutlook to the atmosphere.“Tere are a lot o histories thatgo untold. It’s really important tobring those up and discuss themand to celebrate other people’shistories and their achievementsand to do that throughout the year,” said Johnson. “Tese thingshave brought us to where we are.I like the idea o having time tocelebrate history, because it doesn’treally seem refected in everythingelse growing up in Canada. Youdon’t learn very much about yourhistory.”According to Rolle, black history needs more recognition.“I you look on the student pageright now, do you see anythingstating black history month?” askedRolle.
According to the chairpersono the Ontario component o the Canadian Federation o Students (CFS-O), there willbe no reerendum held at theUniversity o Guelph in Marchon continued membership in theederation.In September, Guelph studentorganizers had circulated apetition requesting a reerendumto be held on membership inCFS-O on March 29, 30, 31.According to CFS-O bylaws,the ederation must receive apetition initiating a reerendumprocess six months in advance o the reerendum date. Te
confrmed inOctober that a process serverdelivered a package to CFSOntario on Sept. 29, includingthe petition and a letter romthe University registrar veriyingthe signatures o 10 per cent o the undergraduate student body,a CFS-Ontario de-ederatingrequirement.But CFS-O bylaws stipulatethat petitions must be deliveredby registered mail.Shelly Melanson, CFS-Ochairperson, told the
on uesday that the Guelphpetitions had arrived by registeredmail on Nov. 9.“Any petition that is goingto initiate a reerendum processmust be received six months priorto the date o the reerendum.Because this petition ailed tomeet the notice provision underArticle 5 bylaw 2, the petition isnot in order,” said Melanson.Melanson also explained therehad been problems veriyingsignatures and student numberson the petition, a problem thatcurrently mirrors the situation with the University o Guelphpetitions sent to CFS-National.In October, Gavin Armstrong,the CSA’s communications andcorporate aairs commissioner,told the
, “that it wouldbe very poor o CFS-Ontarioto deny the petition based onthe act that it was served by aprocess server and not registeredmail.”“We are currently looking intoour options and into the bylaws,”Armstrong told the