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John Mather


Ryerson is a university obsessed with image. And last Tuesday, the school’s PR machine toiled to ensure that the redesign of the Image Arts building be picked up and splashed across major newspapers.

The plans are ambitious and if completed, it will be the most impressive building on campus. If the media had picked up on the redesign, Ryerson would have scored another in a series of PR victories that improves the image of the school nationally, just like Sam the Record Man.

But that didn’t happen. Instead, TV crews crowded Ryerson yesterday waiting to hear the outcome of the Chris Avenir appeal — you know, the one where the school moved to expel a student for administrating a Facebook study group.

I’m sure if you polled random students around campus — including the dozens of high schoolers visiting Ryerson during their March Break — most would know diddly squat about the new Image Arts building.

They would, though, know about this boneheaded move to expel Avenir. This should serve as a reminder that behind all the fanfare that is the Master Plan, and beyond all the hype about Rye High’s burgeoning reputation, what matters most is how the school treats its students.

Univeristies are becoming increasingly business and expansion oriented. Unfortunately, as is often the case when vanity becomes the top priority, quality of service suffers.

Avenir got lassoed by administration not based on a business decision, but what seems to be a shoddy policy call.

Perhaps the school should spend more time monitoring how the school is treating its students. That’s what the media seems to care about.

Or maybe, the media is to blame for endlessly chasing bad news stories where the university attacks a helpless student. Nah, that can’t be true.

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