Students split over new name

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By Katherine Tam

Ryerson’s decision to rename one of its faculties has received a cool reception from some students who say the new name doesn’t reflect their work.

At a March 6 meeting, Ryerson’s academic council voted to change the name of the faculty of applied arts to the faculty of communication and design.

First-year new media student Amber Stechyshyn said the new name is too ambiguous.

“Communications and design can mean anything from information technology to English in communications to graphic design,” Stechyshyn said.

But Ira Levine, dean of the faculty, said the change was made to avoid confusion when students leave Ryerson.

“Alumni tell me that ‘applied arts’ sets them back,” Levine said. “It doesn’t exist anywhere else. It was a negative [thing] for those who were applying to grad schools. Employers were also confused.”

Stechyshyn agreed with Levine about the old name. “Applied arts also gets strange looks, so I’m not sure which sounds better.”

The business and technical communications program, fashion, graphic communications management, image arts, interior design, journalism and radio and television arts programs now fall under the new faculty of communication and design.
Some of those students in the faculty are against the name change because they feel communication and design doesn’t represent their program.

Other students, however, like the change because it calls attention to the broad range of skills they want employers to notice.

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