On Monday, January 23, 2017, we met with the following members of the administration:
- Janice Winton Vice President, Administration & Finance
- Heather Lane Vetere, Vice-Provost Students
- Tony Conte, Executive Director Administration & Finance
- James Turk, Visiting Professor at Ryerson University and Director of Ryerson’s Centre for Free Expression
- Julia Shin Doi, Ryerson’s General Counsel and Secretary of the Board of Governors
We were also joined by Ryerson Students’ Union’s VP Equity, Tamara Jones, and Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson’s President, Rabbia Ashraf.
To our greatest disappointment, Ryerson University’s President, Mohamed Lachemi, was not present, nor were we given apologies or explanation for his absence.
Members of the administration acknowledged our demands and spent time defending why each one were not feasible. We were told that Ryerson is not looking for other solutions at this time.
This answer is absolutely shameful and we have no interest in entertaining it.
Every week, since September 2016, we have witnessed at first hand, students being harassed by anti-choicers, with graphic images, cameras and men from their camp addressing pro-choice students, staff and faculty members with judgement and lack of recognisance of their triggers. We ourselves, have experienced angst around coming to campus, hoping not to encounter anti-choicers’ horrific images and misleading pamphlets.
We recognize that, although standing and shielding students from these graphic images, week after week has provided a temporary solution to the problem, it is not a sustainable one. This is why we demand action.
On Monday, February 13, 2017 we are hosting a town hall meeting to provide students with space to direct their concerns to President Lachemi. The town hall will be a platform for students to speak on how they have been impacted by the anti-choicers’ presence. It will also be a space to list their thoughts on how they would like Ryerson Administration to address anti-choicers presence on campus and shift towards becoming a safer space for all.
To the students who have put themselves out there: From standing in front of the graphic images, to writing open letters in our student newspapers The Eyeopener and The Ryersonian, to sending us direct messages on the issue– We see you! We hear you! And we guarantee we will not stop, just because the administration doesn’t want to take our concerns to greater value.
To President Lachemi: We are waiting your attendance to our Town Hall.
The Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective