By Keith Capstick
Ryerson has more reported incidents of sexual assault on campus than any other university in the country, according to a study conducted by CBC News.
Ryerson has had 57 reports of sexual assault on campus between 2009 and 2013 —the years covered in the study — which is 24 more than the University of Toronto (U of T).
More than 700 reports of sexual assault on university campuses were filed during that time period. But sexual assault experts quoted in the CBC story say that 700 is a low number, and that it likely has something to do with schools doing a poor job of encouraging students to speak up.
U of T, York University, Humber College and Ryerson were all ranked in the top 10 schools with the highest number of reports.
CBC also warned readers not to draw conclusions, adding that the purpose of the study was to inform parents and students.
“Experts say the figures can have more than one meaning, and for that reason caution against coming to conclusions based on the raw data or the per-capita comparisons,” the CBC wrote, in the story.
In a separate post, CBC provides a similar disclaimer.
“The survey is not a scorecard. It is not a scientific study. While the format is a list, please note that institutions cannot be directly compared because their definitions, methods of gathering, and reporting differ,” the CBC wrote.
Ryerson provided a statement providing response to the study, saying “any number above 0 is unacceptable,” and that an “informed community is a safer community.”
“Ryerson is strongly committed to making our university a place where we can all feel, and be, safe,” the school said in a statement.
When asked what she thought about the CBC study Heather Lane Vetere, Ryerson’s vice provost students, also said that any number of reports was unacceptable, but it’s important to keep in mind the school’s location.
“There are some incidents reported in our number that are not members of our community. So if someone on a street near our campus was assaulted and was reported to our security they would be included in our numbers as well,” Lane Vetere said.