For the third year in a row, Ryerson’s Multicultural Show will be held on a Friday, preventing Jewish students from attending.
The date falls on Oct. 21, that coincides with Shabbat, a Jewish religious day that prevents people from working.
“The main reason this is so concerning is because it doesn’t allow members to be involved in such a big event,” said Mitch Reiss, the President of Ryerson’s division of the Hillel, a group celebrating Jewish culture. “For an event that’s supposed to get everyone together, we can’t even attend.”
The mailing list for the Hillel students association, according to Reiss is around 500 students. Many of whom are being alienated by the RSU for having the event on a Friday, he said.
Caitlin Smith, the president of the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) said that she is aware of the concern from the students.
“We tried on two separate occasions to change the date, but [the Ryerson Theatre] is completely booked for October,” she said. “There’s nothing I can do now, we’re two weeks from the event.”
Reiss said that the issue has been brought up to past RSU presidents, but nothing has changed.
“Toby [Whitfeld] didn’t say anything, but there are a lot of groups and students that can’t participate,” said Smith. “We try to do a variety of events on different times and days to accommodate everyone.”
Smith who as president fronts a total of 27, 000 students says she recognizes the concern, but said, “it’s not in my control.”
“It’s important for us to recognize them all, but there’s no one day, time, or week that is perfect for everyone,” said Smith. “We don’t try to intentionally leave anyone out.”
Reiss said he knows that he can’t blame Smith, but he wants the RSU to “at least find out if we wanted to be involved.”
Photo: Lindsay Boeckl