Ryerson code bans boozing, loose talk

Sep 18, 2008 04:30 AM

Paola Loriggio, Toronto Star Staff Reporter

Students at Ryerson University are contesting a tough new set of rules governing their behaviour on and off campus, calling it “paternalistic” and a violation of privacy.

An updated version of the university’s “non-academic code of conduct” came into effect Sept. 3 after heated debates between administrators and student leaders in the spring.

The code applies to student conduct whenever they “represent the university,” says the policy document. As well as criminal acts, students are forbidden from indulging in excessive drinking in public and malicious gossiping.

“We feel it’s an infringement on the privacy of students in order to uphold the Ryerson brand,” said Rebecca Rose of the Ryerson Students’ Union.

She said the code is laden with “muddy” language on such matters as when a student is “representing” the university.

Right now, there’s little the student union can do until the code comes up for review, possibly in a year, Rose said. “We’re going to be watching very, very closely.”

The university’s policies on student conduct came under scrutiny last March when a student was nearly expelled for running a Facebook study group that was felt to be spoon-feeding answers.

University administration could not be reached last night.

Student leaders at the University of Toronto, Trent and York have also been fighting imposition of non-academic codes of conduct.

At the University of Ottawa, students won. Last month, the administration withdrew a proposed code after months of controversy.



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