UTSU Spring Elections 2016

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As the semester comes to an end and elections season has been intense in all of the faculties and colleges, the election that affects all students at UTSG and UTM has now begun: the UTSU Spring Elections. For the next few days, students can exercise their right to vote for a UTSU that they feel will make a difference for them and cater to the needs that they want. As the Architecture, Landscape, and Design Director running on the slate HelloUofT, I wanted to talk a bit about my experience and why I think that it is extremely important to vote in these elections.

As a first year, I did not involve myself in and around campus simply because I did not think that I had neither the personality nor the courage to speak up about the lack of representation and involvement of my faculty. It was only after my friends invited me to join their group that I took the steps to put myself out there. Working with the slate has definitely been a lot different than just listening to them talk to me at a public place on campus. I have seen the raw, intense emotions of individuals who truly want to make UofT a place where the students feel included and engaged. I have seen a group comprised of seven executives and over fifteen directors instantaneously care for each other as soon as we all met. The experiences from our leaders inspires us to push harder and fight for the things we believe in, and I can honestly say that if these group of people can care immensely for people they’ve only just met, I am confident that they can put this love and strive into a UTSU that will not only listen to their students, but give back and give more reasons as to why UofT is such a fantastic school.

I encourage everyone to vote these next few days. Online voting is open until 6:30pm on the 24th at www.utsu.simplyvoting.com .

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Exercise your right to vote and get ready to say hello to a UofT that says hello back!

An Extremely Short List of the Top Shows on Netflix Right Now

NOTE:  there is no specific way in which these TV shows are ordered; they are all amazing in their own way.

Master of None
This new Aziz Ansari comedy is undoubtedly the best new show on Netflix right now. So, you know, start off with bang right? What I like about it is that it’s fresh and unique. I can guarantee you will not find another show on TV (or rather Netflix) comparable to this. While most shows attempt to grasp every single tiny laugh from its audience, Master of None is confident enough to let the viewers decide on their own terms what’s funny and what’s not. And it works. This hilarious and thoughtful TV show about an actor navigating through the world of show biz and his personal life is a must watch for all.

House of Cards

When I talk to people, some of them still tell me they haven’t seen or heard of House of Cards. Others don’t say anything about House of Cards because, well, I don’t always talk about TV to other people. But that’s not the point. The point is that people still haven’t watched this show, and that’s a scandal (haha Netflix reference). House of Cards is Netflix’s Mona Lisa. It is, in all its essence, its masterpiece. Politically charged, this is a story about a man’s rise to power, and all the immoral, illegal paths he takes to get there. With Kevin Spacey as the lead, they can do no wrong. Please do yourself a favour and watch the first season. I promise, you will not regret it.

Chef’s Table

For those who enjoy learning about food and the chefs who make it, this is the show for you. Chef’s Table is a documentary-type show that explores the idea of beauty in food. The show brings you around the globe, each episode interviewing different world-renown chefs and showcasing their unique take on the food they create. It’s amazing, highly educational and you will finish watching it with a new sense of admiration towards food.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

While this show isn’t as intellectually stimulating as the previous two, I can assure you B99 is just as much of a joy to watch. Brooklyn Nine-Nine follows a team of detectives led by a newly-appointed captain in the 99th precinct of the NYPD. The nonstop goofy humour produced by the show’s cast, including Andy Samberg, never fails to make me laugh. If you’re in for a good time, this is the show to watch.

Well there it is, my extremely short and indisputable list for the top shows on Netflix right now. Get watchin’.

Pulse 2016: All You Need to Know

“Mental health is tricky because its about really knowing who you are and being able to say that you need help in a surrounding where you think so many other people are stable.”-Sophia Shim

Needless to say, it takes a lot of courage to ask for help.

One of the most challenging parts of dealing with mental health is coming to terms with the fact that no one is invincible. On the outside, we may seem on top of everything, put together, ahead of the game and confident, but on the inside, no one knows how we truly are feeling. Coming to the realization that we must take care of our minds as much as we take care of our bodies is something that society has not come to terms with yet. We’ve seen the major changes that things like the introduction of the Health & Wellness centre at the University of Toronto, as well as the addition of Mental Health Awareness Month – and it’s about time. More and more students seem to catching on to the progress that the university has made. “On campus there are many options if you are in need of help, whether it be provided by your college or UofT as a whole”, says second year student, Sophia Shim.

One initiative, founded by Joanna Huang and Michael Bray of the University of Toronto aims to create a sense of community in the Toronto student population and encourage discussion about mental health in the GTA. Pulse, founded in 2013, has fundraised for three years to bring attention and create a positive space for discussing mental health in our community. “There is nothing I am more passionate about as I am mental health. It’s an issue that touches the lives of everybody, in one way or another.”, says Joanna, “The entire topic is muffled. It’s blanketed by a thick layer of societal stigma, and completely devalued. People don’t talk about it. I’ve struggled with my own mental health, and I find it very difficult to talk about. But I have no trouble talking about a sprained foot, so why should this be any different?”

Since it’s founding, Pulse has been partnered with Oolagen, a Toronto based organization who’s mission is to “listen, engage, assist, and empower young people to recognize their own strength and values”. Located on 65 Wellesley Street East, Oolagen provides counselling services for all ages and provide residential homes for people aged 14-18. Oolagen also provides on site school support in for three different Toronto high schools, giving students access to mental health services when they cannot otherwise. “[Ooolagen is] also planning to expand their services to cover university-aged youth”, says University of Toronto Pre-Medical co-president Alissa Mirochnitchenko. The Pre-Medical Society is partnered with Pulse as one of their main supporters on campus.

www.pulsetoronto,com
Pulse is on the 18th – get your tickets at www.pulsetoronto.com

Both Oolagen and Pulse are promoting mental health and discussion to Toronto, and have been gaining momentum ever since their start. “Pulse 2015 has raised over $2000.00 for Oolagen… This year, we will strive to surpass our previous earnings and continue to further increase awareness for mental health!” says Pre-Medical Society Co-President Victoria Malysmiuk. On March 18, Pulse and Oolagen are partnering again to bring an amazing fundraiser to Orchid Nightclub. As the campaign’s slogan states, “Good music. Good company. Good cause”, it’s sure to be a fun evening for an important charity. “We hope that our annual fundraiser, Pulse, remains a reminder for individuals to critically think about their own mental health and seek help if they feel out of balance.” Says Victoria and Alissa.“I think that my biggest goal this year was to make the discourse around mental health positive- we are all students and we all understand that university can be physically, mentally and emotionally draining at times. In my eyes, events like PULSE are important because it brings students together to have positive, happy experiences.”

Additional information about Pulse, Oolagen, and this year’s charity fundraiser can be found at the following sites:

www.pulsetoronto.com

https://www.facebook.com/events/1537362533224023/

http://oolagen.org/

We hope to see you on the 18th!

UofT Science Rendezvous is BACK!

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Are you ready for another year of FUN science activities? We’re back with more fun, more experiments, and more science!

Never heard of Science Rendezvous? You sure are missing out! Science Rendezvous is a FREE, Canada-wide science street festival aimed at highlighting and promoting science in all its aspects. Meet with world-class researchers, participate in hands-on experiments and activities, watch amazing demonstrations of the integration of science, architecture, and human ingenuity, and most of all, have fun while experiencing science in a whole new way! Want to learn more about us? Head to our newly designed webpage by our talented graphic designer, Science Rendezvous!

Our exec team has been working very hard since December to put this event together. Want to know the most updated information about our event? Like our Facebook Page! You’ll be the first to know what we have in line for you this year (and maybe we’ll post some teasers just for you).

We are also on Twitter and Instagram! Definitely follow/like us, because you never know, we might post some cool stuff that’s exclusively for our fans. You don’t want to miss out!

I hope you are as excited for this event as we are! Hope to see you on May 7th! Join us and RSVP NOW!

The Intimacy of Strangers

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How do you get to know a person? You talk to them, right? Hi. What’s your name? What do you do for a living? Where are you from? Most relationships start with small talk, but there’s an intimacy to being strangers to someone that can’t be described with a single word or phrase. Because of clashing schedules and busy lives, many of us have spent at least one moment or another alone, whether it be studying in the library during a break, grabbing a quick bite or even commuting to school. When I’m not zoning out looking through a window or burying my nose in a textbook, I like to think about the endless possibilities to be had with strangers. As Alice Munro put it, it’s like “looking into an open secret, something not startling until you think of trying to tell it.”

Just the other day, I was waiting in line to order at Subway. I wasn’t sure what to order, so I decided to listen to the guy in front of me and copy his exact words. “One six-inch sub of the day on honey oat bread, please.” I noticed a slight tremble to his voice. Was he nervous to order? Was he, also like me, unsure of what to order? Or maybe he was just so hungry he couldn’t think properly. I wondered what it was.

Walking towards the 510 Spadina streetcar from the northbound subway, I trailed down the path where street musicians often play for small change. I happened to be right behind a girl who seemed to be my age. I figured we’d both walk by casually but then she reached into her purse and tossed in some loose change. Did she always participate in this random act of kindness? Or was the music especially deserving today? Was this something her parents or guardian had taught her to do? I wondered what it was.

I didn’t think much of these thoughts until we discussed Alice Munro’s Open Secrets in English Class (ENG215 if anybody is wondering). Through the few observations the narrator makes on a couple, she begins to wonder about the possibilities behind them and this startled her. We can see so much without even saying a word. We can choose what to say and what decisions to make, but at the end of the day, it’s the little things we do that reveal our open secrets.