Graphic by Masih K
Winter is coming, bringing with it Ryerson University’s long-awaited mass return to campus. The schools is confident in its health and safety plan. But others? Less so. According to a Ryerson Faculty Association poll, 68 per cent of respondents think winter is too soon for a return.
At issue? A lack of clear communication from the university, the adequacy of existing health and safety guidelines, the emergence of the omicron variant and Ontario’s rising case count.
In this episode of On The Record, we explore the university’s transparency—or lack thereof.
We’re joined by a special guest: our very own editor-in-chief, Elena De Luigi. De Luigi tells us about the flaw she’s found in Ryerson’s vaccine submission system, and the questions it raises about the sufficiency of the university’s safeguards.
1:26 — Ryerson’s plan for the return to campus
6:30 — The Ryerson Faculty Association’s response
9:15 — Ryerson vaccination policy
10:47 — Investigation into the RyersonSafe app
15:48 — Ryerson’s covid case reporting process
A few university responses trickled in after we recorded. Here are the highlights from spokesperson Jessica Leach:
- On why the university is confident in its vaccine system: “Community members are required to legally attest to the accuracy of their submission.”
- On the RyersonSafe app’s automatic greenlights: “Submissions to RyersonSafe are initially auto-approved to ensure speed of approval and access for our large population of community members.”
- On the followup to incorrect greenlights: “The affected community member is followed up with and non-compliance or false submissions are addressed accordingly.”
- On the value of QR codes if they’re not checked at every building: “QR codes are just one element of a multi-faceted approach to health and safety measures on campus.”
- On why the university doesn’t say where confirmed cases happen: “Given this small number [of cases], there is an increased risk of community members being able to determine the identity of an individual based on the location, date, and/or circumstances of the case information, even if information is shared anonymously.”
Who we spoke with in order of appearance
Ian Sakinofsky, president of the Ryerson Faculty Association
Jeffrey Siegel, air filtration specialist at the University of Toronto
Mohamed Lachemi, president of Ryerson University
Elena De Luigi, editor-in-chief of On The Record