WRITTEN BY: Thenuka Thanabalasingam, Representative Council | University of Toronto St. George Tamil Students’ Association
Photograph: Team picture from TSA’s annual formal, December 22, 2016
Picture Take By: Untitled Photography
The University of Toronto St. George Tamil Students’ Association (don’t worry there’s an abbreviation! UTSG TSA) is a student-run group that works to represent the Tamil students on our diverse campus. Throughout the year, we host a number of events and programs that showcase the various nuances of our rich culture. Although it exists as a platform to celebrate the Tamil culture, the UTSG TSA welcomes students of all ethnic backgrounds and continues to make a conscious effort to be as inclusive as possible.
When I first considered joining the UTSG TSA, I was excited by the opportunity to be active among the Tamil diaspora. Having been largely disconnected from my cultural community growing up, I was looking to connect with my peers that could relate to the unique experiences that come with being born to Tamil immigrants. After joining as a Representative Council Member, I realized that I would be taking away much more than a sense of community.
Being involved in the UTSG TSA has made me appreciate the value of good team dynamics. In this past semester, we have hosted nearly six events (some in collaboration with other campus groups). Our ability to repeatedly organize and execute projects with success stems from the healthy friendships that have been formed between the members of our team. This camaraderie fosters creative open discussions about project ideas and gives each member a sense of ownership and responsibility for the group’s success. Everyone enjoys working in this team and, as a result, are always willing to contribute to its success. As I go forwards in building my career, the UTSG TSA will serve as a reminder to prioritize building positive relationships with colleagues.