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#UofTGrad17: Trina James

Trina James says all students must attend the annual SCSU Boat Cruise at least once during their time at UTSC. It is one of the many events she has helped organise as an executive member of the student's union. (Photo by Noor Aqil)

If not for checking the wrong box, Trina James would not have made it to U of T Scarborough.

“I initially intended on going to UTM, however, selected the incorrect campus when enrolling into my program,” she says.

But she is happy that fate brought her to the Scarborough Campus where she graduated with a double major in Women's and Gender Studies and Political Science.

James served as VP of Campus Life for the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union for two terms and she says her work there was the most rewarding accomplishment at U of T Scarborough.

“I have had the privilege of working with so many different groups on campus that helped me develop into the person I am today,” she says.

She was also involved in the Imani Mentorship program on campus and has been involved in Orientation either by volunteering or organizing the event since her second year.

Where did you go to high school

The high school I attended was St. Marguerite d'Youville Secondary School in Brampton.

Why did you choose your program?

Since high school, I have always been critical of societal norms and how they shape the way we view ourselves and interest with others. I have also always had a strong passion for politics and how a government’s political views and agenda impacted its citizen at a domestic level as well as the international community. That is why I decided to do a double major in Women's & Gender Studies and Political Science. 

What was your favourite class?

Gender and Politics. It was a Political Science course taught by Professor Teichman. This class reignited by love for political science and gave me a space to apply many of the feminist theories taught in my gender studies program to the process of globalization. Through this class, we analyzed the process of globalization and the impact that Western feminist ideals had on the Global South.

What’s the best-kept secret on campus?

The valley, people need to explore this mysterious beauty. Unlike many other post-secondary campuses in the GTA, UTSC has the most beautiful and peaceful greenery I have ever seen. It is also my favourite study spot. 

What is a “must-do” on campus – what should every student do before graduating?

Every student must attend the SCSU Boat Cruise, it that one event that every student has been to at least once. Another must do is to explore the Doris McCarthy Gallery.

What are you passionate about? What would you like the world to know about you?

I am most passionate about ensuring space are accessible for ALL people. That can look different in a variety of different ways such as create classroom that are conducive for all learning styles, ensuring there are spaces for people from intersecting backgrounds to organize and create programming to empower themselves, as well as working with institutions for a post-secondary system that does not make accessing a higher education a financial burden on the student. 

What was your most rewarding accomplishment during your time here?

I have had the privilege of working with so many different groups on campus that helped me develop into the person I am today, it is so difficult to just select one. But, if I had to it would be winning the Letter Award. To me, this award symbol of my time at UTSC as well as all that hard work and growing I did while working with organizations like the Scarborough Campus Students' Union, Caribbean Connections, the Department of Student Life and the Imani Mentorship program.

What’s next?

After graduation, I will be doing some work with the Canadian Federation of Students Ontario as their Treasurer, as well as applying to a variety of Master Programs.

If we call you up in five years, where do you think we will find you?

I will hopefully still be doing work in the not- for-profit field. If not I will most likely sitting on a beach writing a poem or reading a book by Frantz Fanon. 


To read about more of the class of 2017 graduates click here

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