September 26, 2020

By BEN STODDARD

Why was there a mini slutwalk in the middle of Conestoga College’s Doon campus on March 23?

It was part of the annual Diversity Poster event, which took place in the F-wing’s lobby. Seven students  held a mock slutwalk during which they wore protest signs to help display their poster topic.

Each poster was made and displayed to generate discussion about topics relating to diversity, social justice and equality. The event was put on by students in the human services foundation program and overseen by Debashis Dutta, the program’s co-ordinator.

“It’s really neat to see our students rise to the occasion and take on topics that aren’t often talked about,” Dutta said. “The students are required to argue and get creative. If they get people talking, they’ve done their job.”

There were 11 posters this year, including ones on: cyber racism, racial profiling for immigrants, religious oppression, inequality in education, same sex adoption, famous symbols which have tainted meanings, the shaming of women and victims of sexual violence, and misogyny.

Shaming is the act of making women feel guilty about being sexual, or making them feel ashamed after they’re raped. The slutwalk was started in Toronto last April to protest against this type of shaming. The misogyny group covered similar topics of strong hatred and discrimination toward women and how it’s still prevalent in North America.

In Canada it’s around twice as difficult for same-sex couples to adopt than heterosexual couples. In the United States it’s worse – most states won’t officially allow it. Mississippi and Utah in particular don’t allow non-married people of any kind to adopt, and they don’t officially recognize same-sex marriages. That’s not the only discrimination people still face.

Did you know that racial profiling is still prevalent in airports? Passengers of colour are often held in security if they are not Canadian or American citizens. This is especially true in the United States. One Conestoga College student said that she had been a victim of racial profiling in U.S. airports. For that matter, interracial marriage is still frowned upon and racist comments are rampant on social websites such as Twitter and YouTube.

Did you know that before the Second World War, the swastika was a symbol of peace? Did you know that First Nations students have a much higher failure rate in school than everyone else and many school boards don’t deal properly with children who have disabilities.

“This is the seventh year we’ve done the poster session,” Dutta said. “Before we’d have two or three presentations a week, but that seriously cut into class time. This is the same project, but now it’s open to the college and lots of people attend.”