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Disorientation Week 2016 presents: Mapping Resistance

Disorientation Week 2016 presents: Mapping Resistance

Disorientation Week 2016 Presents….

Mapping Resistance
September 19 – 23

An annual alternative orientation week. All events free and open to students and the community. All events are held in barrier free spaces. Specific access info is included with each event. ASL-English Interpretation is confirmed for the Silence is Violence film screening (Monday September 19) and the Harm Reduction panel (Thursday September 22). Live-captioning will be available at the Social Justice Research workshop (Tuesday September 20).

Campus sexual assault. Cuts to city funded services. Prioritizing corporate interests.

Many of us are familiar with each of these, and yet they regularly fly under the radar (often, on purpose) of those who should be most concerned about them. We need to take institutions to task, when they fail to take the concerns of students seriously, when they fail to provide the services people need, or make it difficult to access services, when they are built to maintain an oppressive system that works against the interests of so many folks in our communities. And when the government, the university, the city, won’t give us what we need, we often need to build it for ourselves, developing alternatives, cultivating skills in our communities, and taking care of each other.

This year’s Disorientation Week focuses on the organizing that blossoms out of holding institutions accountable when they are being maintained through privileging some while oppressing others, and when they are looking towards the bottom line rather than the greater good. If they will continue to ignore the issues many communities care deeply about, they should expect our resistance!

Monday September 19

12:30 PM – 2:30 PM: WORKSHOP – Fighting for 15 and Fairness at the University of Toronto! Students and Workers Unite!

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, room 3312
252 Bloor Street West

Description: The fight for a $15 minimum wage and fair labour laws that protect all workers has been gaining traction in Ontario. Many young workers continue to work part-time, contract, precarious jobs that at minimum wage barely cover their education and living expenses. The changing workplace review which seeks to review and update labour laws in Ontario is currently being conducted by the provincial government. This is an opportunity for us to push for a 15 minimum wage and fairness at work for everyone! Come out to learn more about the coalition of unions, non-profits, students and labour activists that have joined forces on the Fight for 15 campaign, what it’s fighting for and how you can get involved.

Facilitator: Justin Kong is a Masters student at the University of Toronto that has been involved with the Fight for 15 and Fairness Campaign.

Access Info: Wheelchair accessible. Single stall, gender neutral washrooms located on the fifth floor of this building.

3 PM – 5 PM : WORKSHOP – Know your history, know yourself
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, room 3312
252 Bloor Street West

Description: How to write in “Baybayin”, the ancient script that was widely used in the Philippines prior to Spanish colonization.
1) To introduce participants to the history of Baybayin and teach them how to write words and phrases using this script.
2) Have participants discuss the impacts of colonization and reflect on ways to decolonize the mind individually and as a community.

Facilitator: Anakbayan Toronto
ANAKBAYAN is Philippines-wide, comprehensive, national democratic mass organization of the Filipino youth. It seeks to unite the youths from different sectors of society to advance the cause of national democracy: workers, peasants, fisherfolk, urban poor, students, out-of-school youth, women, professionals, migrants, Moros, Christians, etc. ANAKBAYAN holds the belief that Philippine society today is not truly free nor democratic. It is under the control of U.S imperialism, along with local landlords, big capitalists, and corrupt gov’t officials. The National Democratic Struggle seeks to realize true national liberation for the country and the realization of the democratic rights of the people.Access Info: Wheelchair accessible. Single stall, gender neutral washrooms located on the fifth floor of this building.

7 PM – 9 PM : FILM SCREENING & TALK: Silence is Violence: Sexual Assault at the University of Toronto
Fitzgerald Building, UofT, room 103
150 College St

Description: A screening of the Hunting Ground with organizers from Silence is Violence, UofT opening the event with comments on sexual assault at UofT, stats on reporting on campus (2014/2015 – 137 initial complaints, 0 disciplinary actions on record) and barriers students, staff and faculty face when coming forward with complaints of sexual violence. The event is meant to introduce students to the resources and networks Silence is Violence is developing on campus.

Following the film, we’d hold a brief Q&A period about the film, some of its issues and how it applies (or doesn’t) to Canadian institutions.

Access info: This space is wheelchair accessible. ASL-English Interpretation is confirmed for this event. This film is captioned. Content Warning: Silence is Violence will be screening The Hunting Ground, which covers content related to sexual violence on campus, violence against women and policing. Our speakers are survivors of sexual assault who will recount their experiences of sexual violence and barriers to reporting through their institutions. We are screening the film with captions and active listeners on site.

Tuesday September 20

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM: WORKSHOP – Anti-Oppression 101

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, room 3310
252 Bloor Street West

Description: In this interactive keynote, Lukayo will use anecdotal stories and group work activities to explain oppression, privilege, and how folks can work together so that no one’s left behind.

Facilitator: Lukayo Estrella

Access Info: Wheelchair accessible. Single stall, gender neutral washrooms located on the fifth floor of this building.

3:30 PM – 5:30 PM: WORKSHOP – Social Justice Research: The Bursary for Students with Disabilities Information Campaign
Health Sciences Building, 155 College Street, Room 100

Description: This workshop will highlight the importance of community-led research for community organizing and will demystify the research process. We will cover research elements such as (1) coming up with a research question, (2) refining the research question and scope by seeking counsel and advice from community leaders, elders and/or lawyers, (3) how/why to conduct community consultations, (4) filing Freedom of Information requests, (5) the value of strategy sessions and campaign planning, (6) information sharing and advocacy. All 6 steps will be illustrated by using SBA’s Bursary for Students with Disabilities Information Campaign as an example of social justice research. We will share both the steps that we have taken and what we have learnt along the way.

A brief note about the Bursary for Students with Disabilities Information Campaign: The Bursary for Students with Disabilities and the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Persons with Permanent Disabilities (BSWD/CSG-PDSE) is meant to provide up to $10,000 of funding for accessible software, hardware, other assistive technologies and disability-related services for eligible students. However, due to the lack of transparency around the bursary, as well as the inconsistent funding levels both between students at U of T, and across universities in Ontario, SBA decided to undertake a research and information campaign to find out more about the fund and the guidelines that govern it’s distribution. In addition to disseminating information about the bursary, one of the end-goals of this campaign is to advocate for a more inclusive, and transparent adjudication process as well as the creation of an appeals process for the bursary.

Facilitators: Fady Shanouda, Fiona Cheuk, Nadia Kanani from Students for Barrier-free Access (SBA)

Students for Barrier-free Access (SBA) is committed to advocating for an inclusive and accessible campus environment. The SBA Centre is a drop-in space for U of T students, staff, faculty and community members to meet, hang out, study, and learn about accessible education and disability justice.

Access Info: Wheelchair accessible. Live-captioning will be available. Accessible and gender-neutral washroom located on the same floor as the event room. Please note that this will be a scent-free space.

6 PM – 8 PM: PANEL -Fight Tuition Fees with Your Student Movement
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, room 12-274
252 Bloor Street West

Description: Students across Canada will be going ALL OUT on November 2nd to demand universal access to college and university! All students regardless of their race, socio-economic background, or immigration status have a right to access post-secondary education. Tuition fees should not be a barrier to post-secondary education in Canada. To equip students with the tools of resistance and key information on the Fight the Fees Campaign, the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU) has invited two remarkable speakers from the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario (CFS-O) to run an interactive panel around OPIRG’s Disorientation theme “Mapping Resistance”. This panel is open to all students and community members and will include a skills-building component!

First, there will be an overview of the Fight the Fees Campaign and #alloutnov2 with practical examples of how students across Ontario are demanding accessible post-secondary education. Second, Hildah Otieno, CFS-O organizer, will focus on the experience of international students. Together, both speakers will walk us through the ins and out of why your student movement matters, who is most impacted by high tuition fees, and how you can get involved in your student movement to demand free post-secondary education for all!


This event will feature Gayle McFadden and Hildah Otieno, two phenomenal CFS-O organizers!

Gayle McFadden is the National Executive Representative for the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. Gayle served three executive terms at Local 68-the York Federation of Students as Vice-President Campaigns and Advocacy and Vice-President Operations. Her duties ranged from membership education and mobilization to creating campaigns strategies and implementation plans. In her capacity as Vice-President Operations, Gayle was able to develop new cost-saving services for students at York University while managing over 300 ratified student clubs throughout the year. Gayle is a passionate student advocate and is currently completing her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at York University.

Hildah works closely with members at the local level to help them implement the campaigns and services of the Federation as well as resource their own local campaigns and initiatives. Prior to her staff role, Hildah served as the Ontario Representative on the National Executive of the Canadian Federation of Students and as the Vice-President Student Rights of Local 105–Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson. Hildah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy from York University and a Post Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Ryerson University, where she was enrolled as an international student.


Suzanne Narain, UTGSU Civics Commissioner

Cristina Jaimungal, UTGSU External Commissioner

Organized by the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU) in partnership with OPIRG and CFS.

Access Info: Wheelchair accessible. Single stall, gender neutral washrooms located on the fifth floor of this building.

Wednesday September 21

4 PM – 6 PM: OPIRG-Toronto Meet and Greet
OPIRG-Toronto office, 563 Spadina Crescent, room 101

Access Info: Wheelchair accessible. Single stall, gender neutral washrooms located on the first and second floor of this building.

Thursday September 22

3 PM – 5 PM : PANEL – History of Anti-War Activism in Toronto
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, room 2289
252 Bloor Street West

Description: With the upcoming 15th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan arriving soon, it is time to reflect on the ways people have resisted the invasion and occupation. Speakers Ricky Esguerra from BAYAN, Christina Fernandez, an experienced anti-war activst, and Hamayon Rastgar, a graduate student in Political Science at York University, will address the history of the imperialist war both in Canada and in Afghanistan as well as the ups and downs of the anti-war movement here in Toronto.

Access Info: Wheelchair accessible. Single stall, gender neutral washrooms located on the first and second floor of this building.

7 PM – 9 PM: PANEL – Carving out Space: Harm Reduction, State Recognition and the Future

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, room 4426
252 Bloor Street West

Description: Needle exchange. Safer Injection sites. Drug checking. Harm Reduction has been increasingly on the radar for the city of Toronto, and for good reason. Healthcare providers, academics, harm reduction workers and people who use drugs themselves have all have attested to the benefits of harm reduction programs. These programs are about meeting people where they’re at, and working to minimize the harms associated with substance use. It recognizes that drug use is a public health problem and not a criminal one; that problematic substance use happens for a reason and that recreational use does not need to adversely affect mental and physical health in most, if not all cases. Beyond educating people about the benefits of harm reduction, this panel aims to bring together organizers to discuss the tensions presented by various prominent issues, including implementing harm reduction frameworks in activist spaces, resisting “not in my backyard” politics in developing safer injection sites and reducing the stigma towards drug users, including medicinal marijuana users. This is an issue about legalizing natural human responses to the complexities of life and supporting, rather than punishing them. Harm reduction lies at the intersections of disability justice, mental health and race and class.


Lisa Campbell works as a cannabis consultant and is the former Outreach Director for CSSDP and Outreach Coordinator for the TRIP Project. She is also on the Board of Directors of DanceSafe.org a 501(c)3 based out of California which provides access to drug testing kits online.

Kyle Lumsden is a 4th year U of T student majoring on political science and sociology. He has worked for a criminologist at U of T for the past year and a half. He has been a CSSDP chapter at U of T and member of CSSDP’s national board. He has written articles on the topics of injection sites, psychedelics to treat mental health issues and alcohol harm reduction.

Lori Kufner, Toronto Raver Information Project (TRIP)

Access Info: This space is wheelchair accessible. ASL-English Interpretation is confirmed for this event.  Single stall, gender neutral washrooms located on the fifth floor of this building.

Friday September 23

12 PM – 2 PM: WORKSHOP – Who’s Running this Shit? 
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, room 8170
252 Bloor Street West

Following the Unit 1 Strike in 2015, the student action committee “Students First” developed events, workshops and programming to build solidarity between students at UofT and academic workers. Who’s Running This Shit? maps power-relations at the University of Toronto, looking at the role, interests and backgrounds of members on UofT’s Governing Council and other administrative roles (President, Provost, etc.), corporate partnerships on campus and UofT’s investment portfolio.

Facilitator: CUPE 3902 Rank and File Solidarity Network

Access Info: Wheelchair accessible. Single stall, gender neutral washrooms located on the fifth floor of this building.

7 PM -9 PM: WORKSHOP – Mushroom Growing
Centre for Women and Trans People, room 100
North Borden Building, 563 Spadina Crescent

Mushrooms are an incredibly diverse organism… From cremini mushrooms at the grocery store, to the profound psilocybe cubensis, to genetically engineered plastic eating mushrooms, their uses seem endless… They also happen to be incredibly easy to grow! At this workshop, you’ll learn the PF Tek method for at-home mushroom growing. It’s a simple method that lets you grow your own home supply of almost any kind of mushroom. This workshop will make use of spores from the lion’s mane mushroom. This mushroom has long been used for enhancing cognitive functioning and mood and is rich in antioxidants. At the end of the workshop you’ll take home your very own “mushroom cake” in a jar that will eventually sprout a generous supply of fresh mushrooms that you can use in your kitchen, or in a tea!


Antonio Cillero is a chemist, with a Masters from Queen’s University. He has had a long standing interest in mycology and is a member of the Toronto Mycological Society, as well as an active board member at the Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy. He writes about the interrelations between history, religion, culture, and drugs. Last year, he was on a team that translated Alexander Shulgin’s PIHKAL and TIHKAL to Spanish and most recently, he has started collaborating with infocannabis.org as their head translator.

Access Info: Registration will be required for this workshop. The workshop will be capped at 25 people. Please contact opirg.toronto@gmail.com for more information. Wheelchair accessible. Single stall, gender neutral washrooms located on the first floor of this building.

DisOrientation is an alternative frosh week organized by OPIRG and campus and community groups annually in September. disO aims to introduce new and returning students to the politicized side of campus life, including student activism, organizations on and neighbouring university grounds, and OPIRG’s own action groups. Typical disO events are public forums on current issues in the student community, radical campus tours and fairs with food, drinks, and music. We also offer a variety of workshops during the week to introduce students to campaigns and give them the skills and knowledge they need to jump into campus organizing, and take action on issues that matter to them.