Honorary degrees lack student input

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By Tamsin McMahon

Ryerson students can nominate someone for an honorary degree, but won’t have a say in who receives one.

Every year, the school awards honorary degrees to prominent Canadians — especially people who work in fields related to Ryerson programs.

RyeSAC’s executive assistant Dennis Loney noticed the academic awards and ceremonials committee, which decides who get honorary doctorates, had no students on it.  He thinks students should be represented on the committee and plans to bring up the issue at academic council’s next meeting Nov. 3.

“We’re told students should care about these things,” Loney said.  “Well then, shouldn’t students have a chance to choose someone?” he asks.

The committee is made up of 13 members representing Ryerson administration, staff and faculty.  Committee chair and Ryerson president Claude Lajeunesse and academic council secretary Kathleen Kwan were unavailable for comment.

Nominations opened earlier this year, and closed Oct. 19.

Last school year’s recipients include former Toronto mayor Barbara Hall and Titanic director James Cameron.

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