Two weeks. Eleven challenges. Ninety students.
U of T Mississauga introduces 90 first-year students to the idea of “walking in another’s shoes” through a series of equity and diversity challenges that include having students walk barefoot, use wheelchair-accessible routes, and sleep on the floor.
Borrowed Shoes, a two-week initiative running on campus from January 28 to February 8, comprises daily challenges and reflection activities designed to enhance an appreciation of accessibility and poverty issues.
Borrowed Shoes is organized by mentors from utmONE — an academic support program for new UTM students — and targeted to students enrolled in utmONE during the 2012 fall term.
Stephanie Vega, program assistant for utmONE, hopes the Borrowed Shoes challenges will help first-year students experience realities that many Canadians live with every day.
“What is it like to walk for an hour without shoes? How does it feel to eat for only $6 per day? How easy is it to get to class without using the stairs? We really hope this initiative will build a foundation of understanding that students can develop throughout their university career.”
To follow the UTM Borrowed Shoes experience, visit its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/borrowedshoesutm