Temporary security shift after a scandalous semester

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By Siri Agrell

Ryerson’s department of harassment prevention services has made some administrative changes after director Janet Mays went on indefinite sick leave near the end of last semester.

Linda Grayson, Ryerson’s v.p. administration and student affairs, will oversee the department responsible for ensuring the campus is safe and secure.

According to Grayson, the change is not permanent and Mays will resume control of the office when she returns.

Under the temporary arrangement, issues of safety and harassment are being referred to Lawrence Robinson, head of security, and Ann Whiteside, a complaints officer for the university’s discrimination and harassment prevention services.

According to Whiteside, things are running smoothly under this new system, and the department is planning to expand by hiring a new employment and education equity advisor when Mays returns.

“I miss Janet’s talent, her feedback and her collaboration, but we’re working as best we can and I’m thinking she’s going to be coming back soon,” Whiteside said.

When reached at home, Mays declined comment on the state of the harassment prevention services office.

Last October, Mays came under fire after her department failed to issue a safety watch bulletin notifying students that a man had exposed himself to a female student in the library on Sept. 22.

Under official school policy, a safety watch bulletin should have been posted within 24 hours of the incident. The notice was not posted until Oct. 6 — 14 days later.

Following that slip-up, a letter was circulated to Ryerson and major media outlets by members of OPSEU, CUPE, RyeSAC and the Ryerson Faculty Association. The letter criticized Mays’ department for not informing students of safety risks on campus. On Oct. 18, Ryerson president Claude Lajeunesse circulated his own letter assuring the Ryerson community the campus was safe.

Last term Mays maintained that while mistakes were made in notifying students about the man who exposed himself in the library, Ryerson is a safe campus.


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