Edition Four 2020 Editorial24 November 2020
You may notice I am holding a printer in the photo below. Not an advertisement for Canon but a poke at the UMSU for being silly sausages. They have spent more time harassing Farrago than representing the students they have made so many promises to. I had to stand up in council and call out other representatives for forgetting that. You made a promise. A promise to represent others. Keep that in mind when you speak.
As we’re well into the semester, I want to touch on the burnout many of us carry — for me, a sickening sense of not working hard enough, compounded by our isolation. So, please take a moment to pause. That we live in a meritocracy is a myth that actively invalidates the structural barriers we have overcome. For BIPOC students, students with disabilities, queer students, and students experiencing misogyny, the path to success was not paved for you. That you are here is a testament to more than just your academic excellence. You are a force to be reckoned with. Kindly remember that sometimes a bad day isn’t a bad day, but the culminating fatigue from constantly fighting.
Anyone else just want to lie down on South Lawn and scream? There are so many things bigger than us happening right now: Black Lives Matter, #FreeTheFlag, #IStandWithTheQuarter, environmental collapse, the global pandemic itself and much more. Your student union has a responsibility to make spaces and opportunities for change with your SSAF funding. For the most part, this has been successful, but this year within UMSU has been a difficult one and it’s important to recognise institutional privileges, biases and voices. Look for what will be conducive for growth and change. This is a time to question what you need and what you want your representatives to be doing in their last months to combat genuine student issues as we continue stepping into this new covid-normal and a time where your voice is just as important as the loudest in the room. There are so many layers.
During this pandemic, slogans promoting togetherness have dominated the media. Often these sentiments were labelled naive. Yet, as 2020 delivers blow after blow, I’ve realised there’s some merit in believing we’re all in this together. Or at least, I believe that turning on each other and only caring for your own interests isn’t the answer. The inflated egos of humans are hurdles in the face of real change. When the powerful few neglect the needs of the many, we must band together to drown out the voice of injustice. Get perspective, see beyond your own privilege, and care about others.
Reader, don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.