A student uprising took place in a Ryerson classroom last week when a professor ordered a student who arrived late to leave.

The incident, which occurred in a database systems class Oct. 28, led to the professor calling security, an action that several students protested before walking out of the class.

“A guy came 20 minutes late to our database class and the professor told him to leave,” said Myles Songolo, a student in the class. According to Songolo, the student returned to the classroom minutes later.

The professor, Anastase Mastoras, then threatened to call security if the student did not leave, calling the student’s tardiness “disruptive.” The student then allegedly replied that if the professor hadn’t called attention to the issue, it would not have been a distraction.

That’s when the professor called security.

“After the professor called security, he stopped teaching, which caused a few other students to claim that the professor was disrupting the class,” said Songolo.

Songolo said that once security was called, other students spoke up against the professor’s decision, which prompted an argument lasting 10 minutes.

“Most of the class called out in protest, attempting to prevent the guy who was late from being removed from the class,” said Songolo.

With the threat of being forcefully removed by security, the student then decided to leave. Many of his classmates followed in protest. Their departure coincided with the arrival of campus security.

Tanya Poppleton, manager of security and emergency services, said in an email reply to questions about the incident: “Security staff were called to a class; however upon arrival individuals has been in the process of leaving on their own.”

Ryerson president Sheldon Levy said he has the same understanding of the chronology of events and that the student wasn’t removed by security.

“Security was called by a professor regarding an incident with someone in their class, but by the time security arrived, the student had decided to leave class on their own along with some fellow students,” said Levy.

Another student who was in the class said the student whose late arrival sparked the incident had attempted to reason with the professor.

“The student said he was there to learn, was not bothering anyone, and was paying money for the class,” said the student, who wishes to remain anonymous.

He said one class member told the professor that many students commute to class and that it was the professor who was the one being disruptive.

“Five minutes later, five to six security guards came to take the student away so most of the class got up and left,” he said.

Neither Mastoras nor the student who was late to arrive have responded to requests for comment.


Pema was a reporter for The Ryersonian. She was formerly at The Peterborough Examiner. Pema graduated from the Ryerson School of Journalism in 2015.