Photo courtesy Wikimedia commons/Matthew Bisanz

Students react to Ryerson’s unethical investments

In Business & Technology, Multimedia /

By Alfea Donato

Last week The Eyeopener reported on how Ryerson’s endowment fund, made up of donations, is used to invest in 111 companies, of which 44 are involved in ethical controversies.

From Nike’s sweatshops and Enbridge’s oil sands, to Toronto Dominion (TD) Bank’s discrimination against Iranian-Canadians and Nestlé’s abuse of power, students in an informal survey said they were unaware of the controversies and condoned Ryerson’s unethical investments.

“It’s not really how I want to be represented or thought of when I say I go to Ryerson, and I’m therefore then associated with all these things I didn’t even know was happening,” said Kadyan Winkley, fourth-year criminology student. “I didn’t know we supported companies that did such horrific and profound things to other human beings.”

First-year fashion communication student Emma Surmon wants Ryerson to stop investing with Nike, Inc., the sports apparel company that has

“I don’t think Ryerson should invest in things with sweatshops. I think that as a really progressive school that we have to be aware of these things and really promote better work and ethical standards,” Surmon said.

Second-year civil engineering graduate student Sogol Bandehali was affected by TD Bank’s closure of Iranian-Canadian accounts. Her family had multiple accounts with TD Bank for five years without any problems. After her parents sent money to her brother, Bandehali’s parents’ joint account was closed because of “mysterious transactions” to Iran.

While Ryerson investing in TD Bank isn’t something Bandehali said should stop, she said the school needs to be more aware of their investments’ problems.

“I prefer studying in an institute that at least considers these issues…they’re going to consider it and solve this problem because the majority of international students at Ryerson are from Iran,” Bandehali said.

Second-year civil engineering graduate student Sogol Bandehali was affected by TD Bank’s closure of Iranian-Canadian accounts. Her family had multiple accounts with TD Bank for five years without any problems. After her parents sent money to her brother, Bandehali’s parents’ joint account was closed because of “mysterious transactions” to Iran.

While Ryerson investing in TD Bank isn’t something Bandehali said should stop, she said the school needs to be more aware of their investments’ problems.

“I prefer studying in an institute that at least considers these issues…they’re going to consider it and solve this problem because the majority of international students at Ryerson are from Iran,” Bandehali said.

Hear student responses

Kadyan Winkley

3.-KadyanWinkley4crimju

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/122331717″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Aaron Kong

4.-AaronKong1philo

 

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/122331816″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Diane Bell

5.-diane-bell-1GCM

 

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/122331896″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Emma Surmon

1.-Emma-Surmon-fashion_communication1

 

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/122332024″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Erica Francis

2.-Erica-Francis-socialwork-year1

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/122332241″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Michael Barta

6.-michael-barta-btm2

 

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/122332363″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

 

Sogol Bandehali

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/122316675″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Comments

  1. I posted a suggestion for divestment on SoapBox and was surprised how much pushback I got on the topic. If you’re concerned about the ethics of Ryerson’s investments, join the conversation on SoapBox.

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