By Al Downham
Posters advocating for white students were taken down by the Ryerson Students’ Union [RSU] Monday after being spotted on multiple local university campuses.
RSU president Andrea Bartlett was informed about derogatory posters at approximately 9:15 a.m. by Ryerson staff. Bartlett received calls from University of Toronto Students’ Union [UTSU] about the same posters. RSU, equity services and campus facility staff are scanning campus for remaining posters.
“We definitely don’t condone any of those signs,” said Bartlett.
The posters — also spotted at York University and University of Toronto [U of T] — contain a link to Students For Western Civilizations’ [SWC] website, accusing York University of “corruption” for allegedly lacking conservative instructors.
According to their website, the SWC is “composed primarily of students and alumni from Toronto universities.”
RSU Vice-President Equity Rabia Idrees described the initiative as “ridiculous,” calling Ryerson, U of T and York University diverse, international and multicultural.
Ryerson is never specifically cited on the site. However, a white power group previously appeared on campus in 2007 when a Facebook group entitled, “I’m a White Minority Group @ Ryerson” surfaced. It was taken down shortly after.
“This does not have a place on campus, or anywhere, in general. A place is not for a specific race,” Idrees said.
Despite being “counterproductive” towards marginalized groups on U of T campus, Sania Khan of the UTSU’s vice-president equity said she doesn’t think the right-wing group “poses a threat right now.” The posters come a week after U of T received threats towards female faculty and students, causing the university and Ryerson to increase security.
“We wouldn’t want an organization like this to manifest on campus,” Khan said. “We don’t know their capabilities or how aggressive they are.”
Bartlett and Khan said Ryerson, York and U of T representatives are issuing a collective statement.