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'1 Love UTSC' campaign takes off

by Don Campbell

A new student union campaign is spreading the love by uniting all UTSC students under one banner.

Launched by the Scarborough Campus Students' Union (SCSU) in early November 2011, the '1 Love UTSC' campaign is the brainchild of city studies, human geography and economics student Ayan Talukder.

“If you look at the I Love New York and 1 Love Toronto campaigns, they were all about bringing together different communities as one,” says Talukder. “That’s what 1 Love UTSC is all about – creating a sense of community that all UTSC students can appreciate.”

Members of 1 Love Toronto had no problem with lending the concept to the UTSC campaign, which is non-profit. Once a logo was created, t-shirts were made to see whether UTSC students liked the new brand. That’s when the popularity of the campaign exploded.

“We were looking for a creative and relevant brand that represents the whole UTSC community, something to bring us together on a happy, high-spirited level,” says Pagalavan (Pags) Thavarajah, president of the SCSU.

When the campaign was first posted on Facebook it went from less than fifty ‘likes’ to more than a few hundred in only a few hours.

“When you buy clothing on campus most of it only has the U of T logo, and the U of T name recognition is great, but we wanted something our students could wear that shows proud support for the UTSC campus in a fashionable way,” says Thavarajah.

It’s not only students getting excited about the new swag; staff and faculty are also scooping up shirts and tuques. And the enthusiasm has spread to other campuses, with members of the student union at St. George and Mississauga, as well as York University, expressing interest in doing something similar.

“It’s been a powerful campaign that’s gone viral and the support has been just amazing,” adds Thavarajah.

Recently, UTSC students organized a skating event at the Harbourfront Centre under the 1 Love UTSC banner, helping various community groups collect a combined 12,000 gift donations for CTV’s Toy Mountain in the process. The plan is to organize more 1 Love UTSC events this year.

“Hopefully we can move forward with it and organize more events that promote the UTSC community as a whole,” says Thavarajah.