Just as the YFS has hosted fun and inclusive events on campus, we are also committed to various equity and campaigns initiatives. Whether it is through awareness campaigns and outreach or solidarity initiatives, as YOUR students union we are devoted to fighting inequality, discrimination and marginalization in not only our campus but in our communities. We also recognize that our membership comes from a variety of different backgrounds and identities, which shape different campus experiences. As a member, you are exposed to more than one-way to getting involved
1. COMMITTED TO FIGHTING FOR EQUITY NOT EQUALITY
We live in a society where equality exists on paper but not in reality, this is why there will always be a constant struggle for equity and equitable rights and policies.
The YFS has been committed to the fight for equitable and saf(er) spaces for learning and growing not just on our campus, but in our communities as a whole.
We recognize that there are various groups on campus that are either privileged or disenfranchised on a variety of levels, hence why it is important that we provide the resources necessary in moving forward.
2. IDEAS HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD
Social revolutions are based on transformative ideas. These liberating ideas force us to confront the injustices of our world like occupation, discrimination, degradation and marginalization. This generation has seen a rise in atrocities like
wars, genocides and a variety of injustices around the world. But this generation is also one that demands freedom and justice.
We hope to introduce students to equity based issues in creative ways, as well as to empower students to see their
potential in breaking the cycles of inequity that, in our complicity, we unknowingly perpetuate and become victims to.
3. GET INVOLVED!
If you are interested in getting more involved in combatting the various forms of oppression that exist, don’t hesitate to contact us or our community service groups. We hope that you join us in our attempts to work towards a more inclusive, safe and equitable campus this upcoming year.
Below is a list of major equity initiatives undertaken by the YFS. Please click the respective topics for more information.
We Recognize that all forms of oppression continues to effect our members and that it plays a key role in systemic discrimination on and off our campuses, especially to those from marginalized backgrounds. Knowing your rights can be a life saver in times of crisis. Whether it be at school during a rally, filing or receiving a student code complaint, to just walking on the sidewalk and getting stopped by the police, knowing your rights can be extremely helpful in dealing with these situations.
That’s why the York Federation of Students (YFS) has committed to hosting a variety of Know Your Rights workshops throughout the year. It is highly important that our members know their rights in order to combat systematic discrimination in all its forms.
Below we have compiled fact sheets on different areas of know your rights:
The YFS Activist Assembly is a daylong series of one hour workshops that will address issues including access to education, environmental justice, racism, gender- based violence and more!
The YFS is proud to bring you even more Women’s-Only Gym Time at the Tait McKenzie Centre. This specialized gym time provides women with a comfortable and safe space to participate in recreational activities from weight training to aerobics, and everything in between.
Incorporation of Women’s-Only Gym Time has become a growing trend in the recreational programming of many campuses and fitness companies and we are pleased to provide it at York.
Women’s Only Gym Time at York University was first started in 2010 due to the hard work and constant lobbying efforts of the YFS. This year the
YFS was able to achieve even more times and services.
Women’s Only Drop in Fitness Schedule
Dates: September 15th – December 19th & January 12th – April 17th
(Exclusion dates: Monday October 13th, Monday February 16th, & Friday April 3rd)
No means No is a campaign of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) to raise awareness and to reduce the occurrence of date rape and dating violence. Although it is a campaign that was developed 10 years ago, it is an issue that is very relevant on our campus today.
The incidents of sexual assaults this past year have highlighted the need for a deeper look at issues around sexual violence on our campus and in the communities that surround us. The YFS will continue to push for METRAC as an external safety auditor, and insure that student's voices are heard when it comes to finding solutions to safety issues on our campus.
The YFS believes that a safe campus means
much more than installing lighting and security cameras. A safe campus means looking at safety and security through a holistic lens, changing cultural values on campus, building community, providing proper anti-oppression training to all members of the York community, as well as enhancing existing mechanisms.
Click here to view any materials and resources from the No Means No campaign. Together, we can make a safer campus where no one needs to be afraid.
Xpressions Against Oppression (XAO) seeks to create those transformative and revolutionary ideas through meaningful dialogue and organic discussion, while taking into account our lived experiences. XAO is an annual weeks of events that presents workshops, discussions, and performances of various topics related to social justice and equity issues.
XAO aims to educate, engage, and empower students to take action of issues that affect not only the general York community but the world as a whole.
See upcoming XAO events: www.yfs.ca/equity/xaoevents.
The York Federation of Students has continued its ongoing commitment to human rights and anti-discrimination by offering anti-oppression training to a variety of student clubs and groups on campus.
Anti-oppression training allows students to understand power, privilege, and forms of oppression while defining the diversity of our campus. Anti-Oppression Training, and working under an anti-oppression framework allows organizations to operate in a fair, equitable and accessible manner. This training also provides participants with skills that can be utilized to identify issues of inequality, inaccessibility and discrimination before they develop into major
conflicts and/or disputes for the organization.
Recognizing the success and implications of such training, we have further extended this offer to College Councils and Clubs in order to help elected representatives and members have a greater understanding of diversity, anti-oppression, and equity in order to serve their respective membership more efficiently.
One of the initiatives behind bringing you a handbook designed exclusively to introducing issues of equity to students is part of this active raising of awareness, as well as to empower students to see their positive potential in breaking the cycles of inequity that, in our complicity, we unknowingly perpetuate and become victim to.
In August 2008 representatives of over 300,000 college and university students voted to strike a Task Force on Campus Racism. This campaign of the Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario follows the 2006-07 Task Force on the Needs of Muslim Students which identified not only incidents of Islamophobia but also racism and other forms of discrimination on college and university campuses across Ontario.
In order to fully address some of the issues that arose from the report on the needs of Muslim students, along with a number of incidents of racism on campuses across Ontario in recent years, the Federation launched a Task Force focused on experiences of racism in the post-secondary education system in Ontario.
The Task Force consists of nine members who travel to hearings across the province and take statements from racialised students, faculty and staff about their experiences on campus and possible solutions to racism. Participants' statements can range from individual incidents to experiences of and perceptions about systemic racism in all aspects of the college and university experience.
Following these hearings the Task Force will prepare a report summarizing the content of the hearings, identifying themes, and making recommendations for various institutional and governmental agencies.
For more information on Equity Initiatives and on how to get involved....
Contact: Alexandria Williams, Vice-President Equity
Phone: 416-736-2100 ext. 20253