Do you find yourself rapidly muttering expletives under your breath every time you engage in any type of mainstream media? Have the phrases “in solidarity with”, “hegemonic” and “social construct” come to replace filler words like “um” and “like” in your daily lexicon? Is there a collective groan from your closest comrades every time you say “that was so problematic”? Do their groans become more pronounced when you call them comrades? Do you fantasize endlessly about the radical restructuring of our current social, economic and political orders? Have you found yourself yelling “viva la revolución!” in the mirror by yourself? Are you longing for a space where you can meet like-minded people to promote your **“reverse-racist/misandrist/feminist-killjoy/commie/environmental-vegan-hippie-shit” agenda?
Well, you’re in luck! There are many places right here at UBC to cultivate such aspirations. Or even learn if you’re new to all of this. Below is a list of the Top 10 Talon-Approved Initiatives on Campus.
1. AMS Resource Groups
The AMS Resource Groups are student-run and aim to support and showcase the diverse backgrounds of their memberships. Located on the second floor of the SUB, there is also a shared lounge space for folks to hang out in. Did you know they also provide funding opportunities? Contact one of these groups to find out more! Some of these resource groups include:
The Social Justice Centre (SJC)
The SJC serves as an organizing and research space for activists and advocates at UBC. They work towards progressive social change by raising awareness about social justice issues and fostering students with the techniques to engage in activism. UBC activist legends have it that the most dramatic cases of resistance on campus have occurred with the help of this leftist student hub.
Pride Collective at UBC
The Pride Collective offers educational and social services dealing with sexual and gender diversity to the UBC community. They also provide support to those who self identify as asexual, bisexual, gay, intersex, lesbian, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, queer, questioning, those who do not identify and allies. Down with the cis-tem!
Colour Connected Against Racism
Created in 1994 to fight institutional and other forms of racism on campus, Colour Connected organizes various events on issues pertaining to Indigenous people and people of colour. After a few years, this group has undergone a revival — look out for ways to get involved with resisting racism on campus!
2. First Nations House of Learning at the Longhouse
Located in the Longhouse, the House of Learning directs many initiatives designed specifically for First Nations students including advocacy services, advising, counselling and support services. Also check out the First Nations Studies Students’ Association’s blog (http://blogs.ubc.ca/isujblog/) that showcases the written and creative works by Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in the First Nations Studies Program.
Sprouts is a non-profit and volunteer-run café on campus bringing organic, local and fair trade food to UBC students. Their two most popular initiatives include Community Eats, a by-donation lunch on Fridays, and The Sprouts Box, an on-campus fresh produce delivery service. Both will rock your socially-and-environmentally-conscious tastebuds!
Seedlings – ‘an offshoot of sprouts’ – is a cafe on the top floor of the Thea Koerner Graduate Centre that specializes in raw, vegan, and healthy vegetarian food. Because it’s 100% student volunteer-run, prices are affordable, making it one of the best study spots on campus!
4. RAGA (Race, Autobiography, Gender, and Age) Student Network
RAGA is an informal, independent, and volunteers-run group that strives to centre and support Indigenous students and students of colour, recognizing that racialized students face additional barriers in the academic institution. Working collaboratively with community organizations to promote social justice, RAGA organizes conferences, workshops and other public events. Sign up for the mailing list to stay informed about events, as well as activism and other calls to action in the city!
5. Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC)
SASC is working towards creating a safer campus through “supporting survivors of all sexual orientations and all genders, including women, trans* people, and men.” They provide both short-term emotional support services and also frequently hold workshops and events. Smashing patriarchy by centering survivorship!
This group is inspired by the global climate movement fostered by 350.org and strongly support aggressive global and national action to address the climate crisis. One of their biggest campaigns is Divest UBC, urging UBC to divest from fossil fuels. Thanks to the group’s efforts, 76.9% of voters in the 2014 AMS elections were in support of divesting. Stay tuned for the next stages of their campaign and their continuing quest for climate justice!
7. The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the UBC Farm
The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems “integrates interdisciplinary academic, community, and production programs to explore and exemplify healthy and sustainable food systems.” The farm itself is 24 hectares of integrated farm and forest lands. Managed by the Centre, both of these programs seek to explore and model themselves around new paradigms of sustainable communities through research, community engagement and food production.
8. Cinema Politica
Cinema Politica UBC, a part of the larger Cinema Politica network, “showcases documentaries that critically engage in social, environmental, economic and gender issues.” Presenting independent voices in the film community and animating discussions, their events are free and open to everyone. Be sure to check out the next featured documentary at the Norm Theatre!
9. Solidarity For Palestinian Human Rights UBC (SPHR)
SPHR is a non-profit student-based organization established on the principles of social justice that advocates upholding the rights of Palestinians in “the face of human rights violations and all forms of racism, discrimination, misinformation and misrepresentation.” Their work involves awareness-raising, advocacy, non-violent direct actions, and the promotion of Palestinian identity, culture and history. Watch out for their biggest event later in the year, Israel Apartheid Week, that aims to shed light on Israeli settler colonialism, occupation and apartheid.
10. The Terry Project
The Terry Project is a game-changing initiative at UBC. A cross-faculty program that aims to “educate undergraduate students on pressing global issues like climate change, poverty, conflict and disease”, they consistently host engaging events centered around these topics and beyond. Check out the weekly Terry Podcast – a radio show that critically engages with local and international issues. And watch out for the TEDxTerry Talks happening this October — you can still apply to be a speaker; deadline is Friday September 26th!
…and last, but not least, The Talon affirms that The Talon is indeed a place to meet rad people, duh. In all seriousness, there are many involvement opportunities for folks interested in writing critically about UBC-related news. If you’d like to submit a piece, check out our submission guidelines and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For visual design and all other opportunity inquiries, feel free to email us too!
Viva la revolución!
**ordained by none other than the PC Police™