By Jessica Robinson, Editor-in-Chief
Welcome to winter semester 2017! Hopefully by now you’re getting settled into the pattern of your new schedule, and have a handle on your classes, etc. The past month has been an eventful one on and off campus, between the 25th anniversary of Model Parliament and the grand opening of the McEwen School of Architecture, the vandalism of the Laurentian campus sign and the American inauguration of President Trump.
I bring up the American inauguration because the events that have followed affect not only Americans, but Canadians and all global citizens. This newspaper is nonpartisan, and contributors and editors alike work hard to remain as objective as possible in their pieces; but as editor-in-chief of the Lambda, and as a person who is paying attention to global events, I feel that it is important to use my platform to address current events unfolding.
Regardless of your political stance, it is my hope that all members of the Laurentian community believe in basic rights and freedoms for all people, as outlined both in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Executive orders are being carried out in the United States to repeal the Affordable Care Act and ban immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations, which goes against both of those documents.
As a Canadian, it’s easy to feel unaffected, helpless, or both. But that is not the case, and it is counterproductive to think that way. Being members of a Canadian post-secondary institution of higher learning likely alludes to some form of privilege that we can each use to our advantage to make an impact, and get the voices of the oppressed heard.
Donating to charitable organizations can be difficult on a student budget, but even small donations contribute to a larger impact. Look for verified organizations that demonstrate clearly where the funds go. Try NCCM, the National Council of Canadian Muslims, or the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC).
If donating financially is not an option for you, donate your time! Contact your Canadian MP by calling or emailing asking them to publicly denounce the American government’s immigration and refugee ban. Look up the “Safe Third Country” agreement, and then ask your MP about advocating to repeal it. It’s also important to specifically contact our Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the uncertainty amid the global political climate; but it helps to find ways of being active and effective. As Canadians, we’re not helpless—we’re the ones who can start doing something right now.