A night dedicated for creating positive space for Ryerson’s gay community was the first time Mohammad Riazi ever stumbled upon homophobic graffiti on campus.
“Everyone was in shock that someone would write it, especially during that night,” said Riazi, referring to the reaction of other members of RyePride when he informed them of his unfortunate discovery at the Queer Positive Pub Night on March 9, held at the Ram in the Rye.
Ryerson University received two reports this week of hate-graffiti scrawled on campus. In addition to the RyePride incident, security received a report on March 10 about racially-motivated graffiti written on a silent study poster on the 10th floor of the library.
Raizi said some of the graffiti that he discovered, written on the wall behind the urinal, referred to “burning gays,” declared Church Street shouldn’t exist and called the university “gay” for supporting the LGBT community. Campus policy is that all hate graffiti is covered up once it is reported, and is permanently removed within 24 hours.
While Ryerson security does release the general information whom hate grafitti is aimed at, they do not release details on what exactly the grafitti portrays or reads, said Imre Jurrlink, crime analysis and communications specialist for Ryerson Security.
“It’s important that people know that this happens, but you don’t want to repeat the message from these people,” said Jurrlink.
However, Fitzgerald Reid, co-ordinator of students against racism at Ryerson, said details about hate-motivated graffiti or other racial incidents on campus should be released so people can understand the severity of the comments and perhaps be more motivated to mobilize.
“If I got a hold of it, and I’m typing up a news letter, I would report it,” said Reid.
Rama Luksiarto, events co-ordinator at Rye- Pride, said this was not the first time he’d encountered homophobia on campus. At RyePride’s first event of the year, Coming Out at Ryerson, a group of students directed homophobic slurs at the participants.
“Outside of this positive space, there are still people who need to be educated about discrimination and harassment,” said Luksiarto, referring to the safe haven of the RyePride offices in the Ryerson Student Centre.
Since September, there have been seven reported incidents of hate-motivated graffiti on campus.
Last school year, security dealt with 12 incidents of hate-based graffiti.