By Eric Lam
“Five quit team, cry coaching foul”
One of the five women’s basketball players who quit the team, alleging coach Sandra Pothier made racially insensitive remarks, says administration has tried to silence her.
Julia Ounphongxay was scheduled to speak at the students’ union’s “Is Ryerson Racist?” forum two weeks ago, but was warned by an administrator “there would be serious consequences” if she attended.
Ounphongxay and her teammates — including former athlete of the year Amanda Redhead — attended the forum, but didn’t participate in the discussions. Afterwards, she got an apology from the same administrator, who called it a “miscommunication.”
As for Redhead, she no longer wants anything to do with the situation, saying “I’m fed up. Nothing has been done.”
Pothier — who continues to coach — issued The Eyeopener a notice of libel following our story, but we have not received any further corespondence.
“Professors stuck without pay, not legal Ryerson employees” — AND — “TAs waiting weeks to get paid”
Delays in processing contracts left more than 100 teaching assistants and several Ryerson instructors without pay for more than a month.
In October, almost 160 TAs were left without their paycheques. Then in February, more than 20 sessional instructors — mostly radio and television arts — encountered the same problem.
By early March, all of the instructors received their money and an apology from the dean of FCAD.
On top of the pay delay, instructors weren’t able to access Blackboard or Podium when classes started since they weren’t legal employees. Donald Elder, the CUPE representative for Ryerson sessional instructors, called the situation “embarrassing.”
A CUPE representative says all of the TAs have been paid — except for some minor delays. Wha-whan.
“Students vulnerable to American Patriot Act”
Ryerson is still investigating vulnerabilities in its databases, said Julia Hanigsberg, secretary to the Board of Governors.
In November, Ryerson students were greeted at the newsstand by the smiling face of U.S. President George W. Bush and the knowledge he could be reading their essays through Turnitin.com. The popular anti-plagiarism website kept its servers in the U.S., leaving student data vulnerable to access through the 2001 Patriot Act.
Dave Mason, president of the Ryerson Faculty Association, had voiced concerns at a December academic council meeting. But Ryerson didn’t get around to dealing with the issue until February, when President Sheldon Levy ordered an investigation into possible vulnerabilities in Ryerson’s databases.
Recently, Coke-university relations took a blow when almost 65 per cent of students at the University of Guelph voted in an online referendum to remove Coca-Cola as their exclusive pop provider.
In January, The Eyeopener obtained a copy of the secret contract between Ryerson and Coca-Cola, which kept Pepsi products off campus. Ryerson will receive $765,000 over five years, using the money to pay off the school’s capital debt, fund scholarships, athletic bursaries and marketing.
Ryerson’s contract comes up for renewal in 2009.
“Loreto sued for $425,000 while supporting Nipissing president”
A $425,000 defamation of character lawsuit filed against Ryerson Students’ Union VP Education Nora Loreto in January has been dropped.
Loreto, now the RSU’s president-elect, doesn’t know what happened to her co-defendants. Loreto wasn’t put off by the suit, and said she wasn’t afraid of doing the same in the future.
“It’s important for students’ unions to stand together,” she said. “I was proud we were able to take that stand.”
Todd Fearnley, an unelected staffer at Nipissing University Students’ Union, claimed Loreto and two others started a smear campaign against him after Marsh was deposed in a motion where Fearnley cast the deciding vote. Loreto wrote a letter on behalf of the RSU protesting his ouster.
The most anticipated issue of the year returned to its nipple-laced roots this year with its Victorian-themed paper. For the first time, almost the entire issue was devoted to the cause.
“Ryerson Hates You”
The Eyeopener’s third annual magazine hit stands in February and was one of the most successful issues in our history. Update: Ryerson still hates you, RAMSS still doesn’t work and caf workers will most likely be locked out of work this summer.
“Facing off with hate”
The shit hit the fan when the Sonian ran a front-page story that let a renowned racist spew his hate. The Eyeopener satirized the following week in its annual parody issue.
“Strangers rob student, throw him down stairs”
Two weeks ago, a 19-year-old student was sent to hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries after being robbed by two non-community members and pushed down a stairwell in Jorgenson Hall.
Police are still waiting for Ryerson security to provide them with security camera footage, but believe they have identified the suspect. The student has recovered.