By Robyn Doolittle
Former Eyeopener editor Jordan Heath-Rawlings peaced out by saying “Fuck You Ryerson” in a farewell editorial. While I may have said this various times throughout the past year, the truth is I love this school. I love its small classes, its professors, and its small town everyone knows everybody vibe.
Know what I don’t like?
Last weekend I received an e-mail from the Nationalist Party of Canada (headed by our old white supremacist Rye alumni Don Andrews) nominating The Eyeopener for the Walter Duranty Award for “Obfuscating Propaganda Journalism,” because we ignored, “the desire of White students to have their own White Culture Club.”
The fact that these morons have our tiny university on the radar is truly heartbreaking. And worse, it’s because of a stupid Facebook group and the not-so-bright or funny Ryerson students who started it. Facebook – you know, where my dog has a profile. No seriously, Mozart Doolittle. Check it out.
Our coverage of five basketball players who quit over alleged racist comments, privacy concerns regarding turnitin.com and last week’s investigation into the Canadian Federation of Students are all stories the mainstream media has picked up — among about half a dozen others. Three of our pieces were nominated for a national student newspaper award — one of which won — and 50 per cent more of you are reading us every week.
So I must say, I’m fairly bitter that after everything we’ve accomplished this year, the 2006/07 school term will be remembered as the year white culture groups invaded Ryerson.
Both the National Post and the Globe and Mail have covered the topic, so now it’s out there. Perhaps it’s why last week, we got an unsigned e-mail from the Anti-Racist Action Toronto group, pointing our attention to a former Ryerson student who suspect (without any proof) may be leading a neo-Nazi revolution on campus. Just last month Nora Loreto — our student union president-elect — was the victim of death threats.
We’re in trouble here everyone.
Not because I actually believe there is any desire for a neo-Nazi movement on campus, but because outsiders think there is.
Over the summer, the Ryerson Students’ Union and university administration needs to come up with a plan to combat these ridiculous accusations. The student press needs to be responsible in its coverage, and students need to stand in solidarity.
In the fall of 2004, Ryerson was vandalized by anti-Islamic graffiti and death threats were sent to the presidents of the Muslim Students’ Association and Arab Students’ Association. Within hours, leaders at Hillel, the Muslim Students’ Association and the Arabic Students’ Association contacted one another and stood together. The incidents continued for nearly two months. the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and Al Jazeera picked up the story, but all the while, students at this campus — and not just from the groups aforementioned — produced a united front. The suspect was apprehended, charged with posting hate literature and sending death threats, and Ryerson healed.
We’ve been through this before. We can do it again.
Thanks for five wonderful years Ryerson. Thanks to all the editors and volunteers I’ve worked with through the years at the Eye. And a special thanks to our readers, in the most sincere, least corny and cliché way possible.