By Michael Traikos
Ryerson’s student services are continuing to refuse to speak to The Eyeopener since the newspaper published a controversial Valentine’ Day edition.
“It’s awful,” said John Miller, instructor at The Ryersonian and director of newspaper journalism. “If this is the administration’s idea of being a role model, they’re not doing a good job.”
In a letter sent to The Eyeopener Feb. 14, Marion Creery, director of student services, stated that everyone under student services “will not respond to requests for interview or statements from the eyeopener (sic) until it’s Board of Directors can demonstrate satisfactorily that the eyeopener (sic) will live by the Code of Ethics of the Canadian University Press and respect our University’s policies on harassment and discrimination prevention.”
Student services includes the access centre, the career centre, sports and recreation, health services and many other campus.
The Eyeopener is not a member of the Canadian University Press and has asked Ann Whiteside, discrimination and harassment prevention officer, for mediation under the discrimination and harassment prevention policy.
“We are all aware of the responsibility of a free press,” stated Kenny Yum, chair of The Eyeopener’s Board of Directors, in a letter back to Creery. “But we also understand that within a democratic society — not to mention within learning institutes, the incubators of ideas and debates — that access to information, and officials, is critical.”
David Dubois, program director for sports and recreation, has gone along with Creery’s boycott and has encouraged many Ryerson athletes to refuse to comment to The Eyeopener.
Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as men’s hockey, were willing to speak to The Eyeopener last week. The women’s volleyball team, who is preparing for the national championships this weekend, refused comment.
After interviewing women’s volleyball team members, an Eyeopener reporter was told by head coach Arif Nathoo that he couldn’t use the comments “because of the boycott.”
“Individuals, like volleyball players, have the freedom to say what they want,” said Vince Carlin, chair of the journalism department.
“I can understand why individuals are upset, but as a believer in free speech and freedom of the press I have difficult in powerfully-led boycotts.”