Trash a treasure full of your private parts

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By Owen Ferguson

What did you order at the hub on January 6, 1997? Don’t know? We do.

What’s your academic standing, and what were your marks last term? Don’t know? We do.

How much money do you owe Ryerson? Have you opted out of the health plan? What classes do you have and when? Do you have any overdue library books? We know it all.

How? It seems Ryerson is continuing to dispose of student information without a thought for security.

Ryerson has a policy on student confidentiality, according to Keith Alnwick, Ryerson’s registrar. But members of The Eyeopener have proven Ryerson has breached that policy—for the second time in a decade.

On Thursday, The Eyeopener happened upon a large, lidless garbage bin in the Jorgenson sub-basement. It was overflowing with receipts from the Hub cafeteria.

These receipts listed not only what was bought, but the name and student number of the people who made the purchases—and in some cases—their residence room number and phone extension.

All the receipts were for purchases by students with meal plans.

Dr. Linda Grayson, Ryerson’s v.p. administration, said “We take confidential information of staff, faculty and students very seriously.” She said late Tuesday : “We take extraordinary measures to make sure information is kept confidential.”

But The Eyeopener has proven this is not the case.

This case is particularly interesting in light of the fact that seven years ago, The Eyeopener reported a similar case of neglect. Administration promised never to let sensitive information sit around in public.

“It’s totally inappropriate,” said Larry Gray, Ryerson’s v.p. of faculty and staff affairs at the time. “I will take steps to immediately stop it,” Gray said.

According to the school’s 1997-98 Student Guide, “Ryerson recognizes your right to privacy. Your academic record, address, phone number are not to be given to anyone except authorized personnel without your written permission.”

Alnwick said this is the first time he’s heard of the finding’s, and said he will investigate it further. He referred The Eyeopener to ancillary services Business Manager, John Corallo, but he could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

“It doesn’t appear this information came from the university’s electronic student information system,”  Alnwick said. So just what can you do with someone’s name and student number?

Well, a call to student records can get you their birth date—just claim you are the person whose number you have and that you think records has the wrong birth date on file.

Once you have that you can use Ryerson’s Automated Grade Enquiry Services(RAGES at 872-2000)to find out their academic standing and grades.

A trip to student services claiming you lost your student card will get you their timetable, along with a form that let you change it however you desire.

Go to financial services and get a copy of their fees statement (claim to have lost it), then go back to student services where, with a little pleading and lot of luck, you can get student card with your photo and the person’s name and student number(for a $30 fee). After that, use your imagination.

Are you worried?

 

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