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A recap of the most significant stories that we covered this year.
1. In September, six women reported being sexually assaulted on campus since the beginning of the school year. But after the Take Back the Block party on Sept. 17, the incidents declined. The block party followed the international Take Back the Night event, where women walk after dark to reclaim the city’s streets, saying they should be safe from harassment and assault.
After September, there were no reported cases of sexual assault until March 21, when a female student reported that a man had assaulted her inside the AMC building located at Yonge and Dundas Streets.
2. In November, a student group protesting a men’s rights talk at the University of Toronto (U of T) turned violent. The Ryersonian’s Jeff Lagerquist reported that protesters claimed the topics discussed at the event amounted to hate speech. One protester was held by police then later released.
In March, the Ryerson Students’ Union prevented three students from starting a men’s issues group on-campus. The Ryersonian’s Samuel Greenfield wrote an opinion piece, accusing the RSU of being unable to “tolerate ideologies that run counter to its own.”
But by the second U of T men’s issues talk in April, Greenfield witnessed masked protesters pulling the fire alarm to disrupt the event. His live blog coverage of the protest and the talk became our most-viewed story of the year on our website.
3. In January, The Ryersonian’s Kristine Wilson visited Oasis Aqua Lounge to document the events of a much-hyped student sex party.
The event, titled “Epic Sex Party,” was hosted by the University of Toronto’s Sexual Education Centre and invited university students from across the GTA to explore their sexuality in a safe, controlled environment.
Wilson discovered the event wasn’t as wild as the public had anticipated. Instead, the event was rather laid-back. There were condoms and lube dispersed throughout the venue, as well as pornography being played on TVs across the club’s walls.
4. The Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) hosted the Ontario Liberal leadership convention on Jan. 25 and 26. The event paid tribute to outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty, and elected Ontario’s first female and openly gay premier, Kathleen Wynne. The convention was one of the third-party events that Ryerson will host. The university invested $20 million in the building, and as of March, has only made $1.2 milllion in gross revenue.
The MAC is set to host the Grand Slam of Curling’s Players’ Championship on April 16-21. But it will need to host more events in order to break even.
So far, there are no third-party events scheduled at the MAC this summer.
5. After The Ryersonian’s Derek Kirk and Samuel Greenfield investigated a Ryerson student’s locker break-in in March, they discovered that the campus bookstore sold faulty locks that could easily be forced open.
They found that the Abus Security Tech Germany 78/50 combination padlocks, which were sold at the bookstore, could be broken into easily with an aluminum shim. Abus advertised their locks were “impossible” to pick open.
Their investigation led to the bookstore pulling all of the 78/50 models off its shelves. Abus has also withdrawn the “impossible” claim on its website.
The Ryersonian has contacted the Abus headquarters in Germany but has yet to receive an interview with a representative.
6. A group of engineering students captured the attention of a national audience in late March after videos of an initiation ritual surfaced online.
The ritual involved half-clothed students crawling through slush on all fours at Lake Devo as part of a spirit-building activity for future frosh leaders. Footage of a male leader smacking a female participant’s derriere was also caught in the video.
The event was condemned by school officials, who publicly denounced the practice.
An apology has since been issued by representatives of the Ryerson Engineering Student Society, which admitted the event got out of hand. There were no punishments given by university officials.
This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on April 10, 2013.