By Sierra Bein
The Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) will be sponsoring a speaker to come to Ryerson Feb. 6, but will be charged $1,800 for hosting their event, “Are Men Obsolete?” Ryerson is charging CAFE a security fee after chaotic protests broke out at past events at the University of Toronto.
CAFE focuses on raising awareness to men’s issues on university campuses, trying to show an alternative perspective to gender inequality.
In the past, CAFE has been accused of promoting hate speech towards women.
The group has been charged security fees before at the University of Toronto, according to Iain Dwyer, a spokesperson for CAFE and a Ryerson graduate.
“Obviously we’re not happy to pay for security when we’re not the ones causing trouble,” Dwyer said.
Dwyer understands Ryerson’s stance but says that there haven’t been protestors at their past two or three events.
This will be CAFE’s first event at Ryerson, but Dwyer says it has a goal to create a group at Ryerson sometime in the future.
The event will feature Karen Straughan (commonly known by her online username Girl WritesWhat), whom was also a regular on an American-based website, A Voice For Men (AVFM).
“It seems rather one-sided and unfair,” said Jonathan Taylor, founder of A Voice For Male Students (AVFMS).
According to Taylor, protestors in the past created human barricades around the building where the event was held and have pulled fire alarms, forcing people to exit the building.
Last year, the RSU changed their policies for campus groups before a similar gender equality group could be formed at Ryerson. There were claims that the group had affiliations with CAFE and AVFM.
“It’s unfortunate that they’ve been given space on campus,” said Melissa Palermo, Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) president.
Former RSU president Rodney Diverlus was concerned the organization was a hate group and led the unanimous decision to block its official recognition.
The CAFE event will take place at 7 p.m. at the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education in the Peter Bronfman Room.