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Mar 22

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Ryerson University Students Subjected To Sexualized Hazing And Humiliation…

Yes, he's smacking her ass...

Yes, he’s smacking her behind…

I was walking out of the Eaton Centre this afternoon, at Dundas Square, when I saw a group of Ryerson students run past in what first appeared to be some sort of a group prank. There were two distinct groups- those who were wearing coveralls with “Ryerson Engineering” logos on them, and another group who were wearing either their underwear or t-shirts and shorts.

It was quickly apparent that the students in the coveralls were in-charge. Some of those in coveralls were spraying super-sized squirt guns on the scantily dressed students, others were yelling commands at them like drill sergeants. While some of the students were having a great time, it was obvious that others weren’t. You could see the mix of anger, humiliation and cold on their faces (it was about +1 Celsius at the time).

The leaders stopped the group when they arrived at the skating rink at Victoria & Gould. Then, in what looked like a spontaneous decision, one of the leaders told the unclothed students they need to get down on the ground and crawl/slither their bodies across the mixture of ice, slush, open concrete and water on the surface of the rink. Horrified, I pulled out my camera and started recording.

As the junior students pushed their exposed bodies across the ice, the leaders in their coveralls screamed out at them like drill sergeants. Most of the people on the ground were far from impressed- but, when they started to get up, the senior students would start pointing at them and yelling at them to get back on the ground. What was being done to these students was unhealthy, humiliating and glaringly abusive.

At one point, when most of those crawling had already crossed, a male student in a tracksuit (most were male) leaned over behind one of the half-dressed female students and smacked her on her behind. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

When all of the students had finished this miserable task, I asked one of the leaders what was happening. He told me that it was a “cross-leader initiation”.Ryerson University has very straightforward, and clearly written rules about hazing- specifically mentioning initiations:

“Students shall not engage in any act which endangers, or could reasonably be seen to endanger the mental or physical health or safety of a student, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization.”

What happened today appears to have clearly violated this policy. Equally, when the male student smacked the female student in the ass (in-public) this must be contrary to the school’s sexual harassment policy. Asking young women to run around in their underwear probably isn’t so kosher either.

Hazing is an issue that’s taken very seriously in Canadian universities, as is sexual harassment. In 2009, Ottawa’s Carlton University suspended an entire women’s soccer team for a hazing incident that supposedly included the use of alcohol. In 2005, Montreal’s McGill university cancelled an entire football season after a student was sexually assaulted with a broomstick. Fredrickton’s St. Thomas university had a hazing related death in 2010.

I shared this video on my Facebook and Twitter account this afternoon to gauge other people’s reaction to what happened. Everyone responded with anger and distaste. Toronto city councillor Shelley Carroll (and former trustee on the Toronto school board had the most perfectly succinct response:

Selection_999(004) Indeed, they totally crossed the line. It’s 2013 now and, somehow, students at Ryerson think it’s acceptable to haze and sexually humiliate their fellow students. There’s a serious problem, and an urgent need for an investigation…

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2013/03/22/ryerson-university-engineering-students-subjected-to-hazing-and-sexualized-humiliation/

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  1. undercoverkity

    Ok, please tell me that I didn’t see what i just thought i saw . Just tell that my eyes were playing tricks on me. I am wondering what the university is going to do about this once they get this video and your story, which they will. That idiot who slapped the female student on the committed an assault on her. Disgusting is all can say .

  2. johndoe

    This city fucking disgusts me. And no I’m not talking about this incident, I’m talking about you white knight fucks who get involved in things you have NO understanding of. These people consented to this, I have been through this along with hundreds before me. What the people in this video didn’t consent was having a video taken of them, posted on your youtube account, AND twitter. Get a fucking life and quit concerning yourself with things that do not involve you. The people involved were not pressured into doing this, this was done by choice.

    1. Ms. Divine

      Are you suggesting that perhaps peer pressure wasn’t involved at all? What about the slap on the ass, did the gentleman ask prior to doing it? Howabout the video that was taken by other people around the site? What are they going to do with it?

      And you’re in the public eye when you’re outside in… public. Be prepared for scrutiny.

      I think you really need to read up on the Stanford Prison Experiment and understand what the fuck you guys are *actually* doing.

      1. Nathan

        With all due respect, which is very little, telling us to read up on some Prison Experiment to understand what we are *actually* doing is a hilarious statement coming from someone who doesn’t have a clue what we are *actually* doing. All you have seen is a short clip and read a persons opinion of what we are doing. I have tried my best to sum it up in other comments which you are welcome to read.

        It is impossible to eliminate all peer pressure from an event such as this, because friends will want their friends to experience what they did (mainly because this is an incredibly fun event which only a short clip was shown and then misconstrued to be something terrible). However I will say that the organizers of this spirit building event in no way pressured anyone to participate or to strip, it was all up to the participants what they felt comfortable doing and it just so happened a good amount of our new leaders wanted to participate and in ridiculous attire.

        As for the ass slapping incident, it is unfortunate that he did it in a situation where bystanders were there to jump on it and blow it out of proportion. Both parties involved are quite good friends and the action was not seen as anything sexual, assault based, superiority based, or anything else you may want to label it. However it was a stupid thing to do in the type of world we live in (referring to how everything is overly scrutinized by outsiders). I will give you that. That girl, although seemingly having a pretty rough time in the video, had a wonderful time with the event as a whole not that any of you will ever see that. I personally have access to an album of 306 pictures taken during this event absolutely filled with smiles. Hers included, in a number of pictures. I would post it here, but I just know based on how he has responded to comments that the author of this article will find one picture of someone who has just been sprayed with a water gun and looks like he’s dying and that will be the cover picture of his next article.

        And your last point, “How about the video that was taken by other people around the site? What are they going to do with it?” I can only imagine that by site you mean the fountain that they were swimming across. The response is pretty simple, we have no control of what bystanders do. As for what they will do with it, they will probably misinterpret and propagate the story and spread some libel. Seems to be what happens in these situations.

        Fun fact: The organizer of this event has received a grand total of 0 complaints from participants, the ones who really matter in this instance. Not that you are even owed an explanation of what we do, but as soon as this article was posted, the coordinator of the event set up a way for people who participated to express any concerns that they may have. They were all told to please contact him directly either by email or in person if they felt they were treated unfairly in any way. This is because he feels like he must have made the event too hard on them if there are bystanders complaining. Needless to say, nobody did. So it’s a good thing that you journalists/commenters are here to be upset for them. Since they clearly aren’t.

  3. Arman Amin

    Before I start I would like to state that I am speaking entirely for myself, I am not speaking on behalf of any university student society or group. Just as a participant of past and current events.

    Having received your article from another participant of this event (in fact, the very girl who’s ass was slapped in the video), I can safely say that your article is based on a first glance and nothing more.
    Instead of spending the time researching finding out what was really going on, you just jumped on the assumption that engineering students are “hazing” their peers in a sexual manner.
    Not only is hazing illegal, but I do not approve of it in any shape or form.
    What you hastily called hazing is actually completely optional and not mandatory. We hold this event every year to not only invite these future leaders to step out of their comfort zone, but to have fun while doing it. If at any point they don’t want to participate, they have every right to back down and not be questioned or judged for their decision.

    When I was a frosh student, I was terrified of frosh week. 30 minutes into the first day the leaders made me feel like I belonged to something incredible. the leader who “slapped that girls ass” was the main reason I wanted to be a leader. His years of leading experience and charity work makes him a perfect example of what a leader is.

    Taking a clip out of context is possibly the worst thing a Blogger or journalist can do.
    You should learn the fundamentals of how to report before crusading against a group who have done nothing wrong.
    I invite you to research the event before fabricating a story that just ended up making light of the horrors of sexual harassment.

    1. Your Humble Narrator

      School policy makes no distinction if hazing is voluntary or forced…

      1. A Participant of the Event

        Being one of the people crawling in the slush, it was completely voluntary and just for fun. Although it was considered “initiation,” even if you did not participate you would still be admitted. The comments about slapping the female student’s rear end is simply a friendly gesture (similar to what you see on tv with football players doing so). You mean to say doing it to a male is friendly but doing the same to a woman is assault? Women should be treated as equal and have the right to choose what happens. If she was truly offended, Ryerson has an office that deals with assault and they would deal with it accordingly. Obviously in this case this was not an issue. Ryerson engineering is a family and we treat each other as such. Please try to find a participant of this event that would call it abuse or would agree that it has “gone too far,” and your article will gain my respect. Until then, please don’t post such biased articles to fabricate the story. Not only do you display and mention merely fragments of the event, but you fail to understand the real story.

        1. Bronwen

          Lots of people in cults also don’t see it as ‘abuse’, doesn’t mean that they are right. Your argument is invalid.

          1. Anonymous

            Just because a cult did something doesn’t make it wrong. Your argument is invalid.

  4. Arman Amin (@ArmanTheEng)

    Before I start I would like to state that I am speaking entirely for myself, I am not speaking on behalf of any university student society or group. Just as a participant of past and current events.
    Having received your article from another participant of this event (in fact, the very girl who’s ass was slapped in the video), I can safely say that your article is based on a first glance and nothing more.

    Instead of spending the time researching finding out what was really going on, you just jumped on the assumption that engineering students are “hazing” their peers in a sexual manner.
    Not only is hazing illegal, but I do not approve of it in any shape or form.
    What you hastily called hazing is actually completely optional and not mandatory. We hold this event every year to not only invite these future leaders to step out of their comfort zone, but to have fun while doing it. If at any point they don’t want to participate, they have every right to back down and not be questioned or judged for their decision.

    When I was a frosh student, I was terrified of frosh week. 30 minutes into the first day the leaders made me feel like I belonged to something incredible. the leader who “slapped that girls ass” was the main reason I wanted to be a leader. His years of leading experience and charity work makes him a perfect example of what a leader is.

    Taking a clip out of context is possibly the worst thing a Blogger or journalist can do.
    You should learn the fundamentals of how to report before crusading against a group who have done nothing wrong.
    I invite you to research the event before fabricating a story based on nothing but assumption.

    If your article has done anything, it just made yourself look like a fool.

    1. Your Humble Narrator

      I just saw your comment on YouTube. Arman, I don’t think you did much for your case calling yourself “the tall sexy guy in the video”…

      ArmanAmin

      1. Arman Amin (@ArmanTheEng)

        I just saw your comment on this site and I think you should lighten up.
        Nothing wrong with me stating facts. I figure someone has to.

      2. Abhinav

        He is tall and sexy. Ask anyone.

        Hell, just look at him.

  5. Nathan

    This is not hazing. It is a completely voluntary event. Every person who participated in this did so to “earn” their coveralls (covies). Had they chosen not to participate they would still have received their covies as some chose to. Therefore, your statement that we broke the following rule:

    (“Students shall not engage in any act which endangers, or could reasonably be seen to endanger the mental or physical health or safety of a student, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization.”)

    The dress code is also voluntary, but again most people choose to do it in underwear because that is how past years did it. It is the first of many bonding events and is not enforced however encouraged. It is very unfortunate that the day was too cold to do all of the events and caused discomfort.

    As for the sexual harassment issue, I will leave that as an isolated incident that should not reflect on the group. However just because I feel that it is ridiculous that an outsider has made so many assumptions with little to no actual fact I will include this for completeness. The two involved in the “incident” are good friends and the act was not seen as sexual harassment by the girl in the slightest and “slap” is far to extreme of a word for what I saw in the video.

    Now I just feel like responding to all of your assumptions. This was not a spontaneous decision. Every year we swim across the fountain. You asked one of the leaders what was going on, but you didn’t think to stop and ask any of the people actually participating. Had you, you would have found that they chose to do this and that most of them enjoyed the experience. There are post event interviews to prove it.

    1. Your Humble Narrator

      Regardless of if it’s voluntary, or if it wasn’t spontaneous to make students crawl through slush half-naked on a very cold day, hazing is completely banned by school policy. In fact, there’s no mention about ‘voluntary’ or ‘involuntary’in the policy- it just says hazing.

      As for the sexual harassment issue, I totally agree with you that it doesn’t reflect on all of the people there. But, do you think this sort of thing would have been as likely to have happened if this hazing event didn’t? In some ways, watching what happened yesterday was a lot like the Stanford Prison Experiment- the people who were given the power to be in-control stepped over the line.

      There’s a reason hazing is banned, because it can cause serious harm to people. Not showing-up has it’s consequences too…

      1. Nathan

        I’m sorry, but the school policy which you posted states:

        “Students shall not engage in any act which endangers, or could reasonably be seen to endanger the mental or physical health or safety of a student, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization.”

        The key phrase here is “for the purpose of initiation.” I’m sure you would agree as you highlighted it in red in your article. This rule only states that we cannot do these things for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization.

        Because the event had no effect upon whether they were becoming members of our organization we did not break the Hazing policy. I have many people who participated in the event who would be willing to testify to the fact that they were not forced to do any of this.

        Feel free to keep responding, but we have done nothing wrong in this instance.

        1. Your Humble Narrator

          In the video, Arman Amin admits that this is an “initiation”. No confusion here…

          1. Nathan

            I apologize that the one and only witness that you questioned was misinformed. Perhaps if you had chosen to actually be a journalist and asked the people in charge of the event, or shown even the slightest effort to dig deeper you would have arrived at truth. Instead you decided to write an article based off of as close to no factual information as possible and included a tweet you received from a public figure to add to it’s publicity.

            1. ottawafro

              I need you need to define the term “initiation” cause they are other definitions of this word that you are missing that applies.

              1. D

                initiation  
                Use Initiation in a sentence
                in·i·ti·a·tion [ih-nish-ee-ey-shuhn]
                noun
                1.
                formal admission or acceptance into an organization or club, adult status in one’s community or society, etc.

                So they were celebrating their acceptance into being frosh leaders, as they were already chosen.

              2. Steven

                Can you speak english please?

              3. Nathan

                It was a spirit building exercise that prepares potential frosh leaders confidence levels for the rigorous demands in self confidence expected during frosh week. We also make them yell/chant things because that will happen a LOT during frosh week and they should experience it before hand. They strip down because during frosh week they will the first people dying themselves purple to show the frosh how fun it is, and that requires stripping down in front of a crowd. They do ridiculous things because a large portion of frosh week involves getting the frosh excited about the school by doing ridiculous things. I will not define “initiation” for you because that wasn’t what it was. The frosh were all accepted long before this happened and those that chose not to participate are not thought any less of for the choice.

              4. Your Humble Narrator

                You may find it interesting to know that it was labelled as hazing even back in 2008…

      2. Taxi

        I think you misunderstand the point of this exercise.

        First I would like to say the man who slapped the ass of a girl I believe did it out of good consensual fun, considering most of the people participating in covies protest are good friends before the exercise . If it wasn’t the case then I encourage the girl to come forth if she in anyway felt uncomfortable, then the issue may be addressed separately from covies protest. Also the atmosphere of the engineering group is one of positive space and would ensure the appropriate measures are taken to discipline the accused and comfort/support the victim. I have had my ass grabbed and slapped in public before..just by walking on the god damn street. All by people I didn’t know and I was infuriated. So YES ass slapping happens even if this event did not occur.

        You can call it what you want but I will argue on the side of this not being hazing.These people will be accepted as leaders even if they did not do the event. And they would also receive their coveralls. It is more an event for bonding with one another and having good voluntary fun. They know what happens during the event as it is outlined before hand.

        When I did this event I had SO MUCH FUN 3 years ago. I leap frogged in underwear and a bra and underwear under my own choice and free will. I was not humiliated because I knew what I was getting myself into. I was an informed adult who wanted a bit of fun. If I felt uncomfortable I would totally be secure enough in my group and surroundings to inform the other leaders and know I would be supported. I laughed the entire event and did not see one other person in that group who did not.To this day I am very close with most of the people I did my protest with, it was my most memorable Engineering experience.

        Can you let people have fun. FUN this is what the event is. We are adults who know what we are doing. I know adults these days like to keep children on a god damn leash, but sorry I do not stand for that crap nor feel the need to be treated like a child. I feel more shamed by these post’s condescending nature. Sorry my naked body is inherently sexual and you feel the need to shame me for celebrating something while half naked.

        You may come from a cold political society but I choose to embrace the engineering society which is mature enough to know when to be serious and when to have fun. This event is not hazing its more like that dumb show “wipe out”, except instead of winning 50 grand I get coveralls. What can I say… I guess my standards are lower than yours.

  6. Abhinav

    1) I am one of the people crawling on that pond. I’m a third year student and this was a whole mixed bunch of 1st 2nd and 3rd year students.

    2) The OC left EVERY aspect of this up to us. We were INVITED for this OPTIONAL event.

    3) There was no official dress code. The people who are in their underwear did so of their own accord. I did not want to strip down, I told the people in the covies, and they said “OK”.

    4) At any point when I wanted to take a break, they said fine, go right ahead.

    5)AT ALL TIMES, I KNEW THAT I CONSENTED TO THIS AND I COULD QUIT AT ANY TIME.

    Honestly dude, we’re Engineering Students. We’re under a LOT of academic stress. The methods that we choose to unwind may seem strange to you. We may come across as the most insane bunch of people in the world. But you will not understand until you’ve spent 4 years of your life meeting deadline after deadline.

    There’s REAL issues out there to be covered. I would suggest you stop creating issue where there are none.

    Also, I encourage you to go back and ask those VERY SAME students how they feel about going through the initiation, and if any one says they were forced/coerced or whatever terminology you want to use, I will cut off my right pinky and give it to you.

    The reason that my right pinky is so valuable is because that is the finger on which I will get my Iron Ring when I graduate.

    1. Your Humble Narrator

      So, do you think that the female student who had her ass slapped consented to that?

      1. Abhinav

        1) Great way of dodging every single point I made and changing the topic. You sir, are a true journalist. Fox News could use you.

        2) I know every single one of those people in the covies. Go to ANY engineering faculty in ANY university, and you will find a similar espirit d’corps, if you will because we are in a DIFFICULT program.

        3) I really think you should follow up on this. If you’re SO passionate about how we were being treated. Come back down. Ask more questions. Bring more issues to light. Isn’t that what journalism is all about?

        4) As for the EXTREMELY specific incident that you have taken out of context of the girl being ass slapped. I am sure if any action is warranted, it will be taken.

        The slapper, if you will was the same person who was administering bandages, taking care of all the minor cuts or whatever on peoples elbows, knees etc. I distinctly remember, when I was out of breath during my run in the quad, he came up to me and asked, “You okay bro?”

        So, I think that you have played this very well to get attention to your blog, but for better or for worse, most of your new readership are RyEng students.

        1. Your Humble Narrator

          Did you honestly just say that the ass slapper is a good guy because he administered bandages to the people who he led to hurt themselves crawling through the melt of the spring thaw? (And all the nasty stuff found in that thaw).

          Honestly, you need to wake right up. If this is acceptable in the Engineering department then the department needs some sexual harassment (and other) training.

          Unbelievable…

          1. Abhinav

            1) Just to avoid confusion, this is a student society and not a department. Us engineers are a little OCD about using the right terminology and getting facts right and stuff like that.

            2) I’m saying you are a shitty journalist who refuses to respond to any of the direct points that I am making.

            And please, can you address the specific points? Because if you don’t then I’m going to assume that you concede that I am right.

            The last thing. It seems you have an obsession with asses being smacked. You seem like you’re interested in this and you claim to be a journalist.

            Come down to the university and ask the Engineering students and you can ask ALL you want about the ass that was smacked.|

            But judging by your responses so far, I’m going to go out on a limb and say you will come up with some clever dodge and change the subject…

            If I’m right I’m going buy myself a cupcake.

  7. AJ

    Female Ryerson Engineering student here,

    If the issue is about women being ‘sexualized’ I would like to clear some things up. I am a female engineer and I have participated in this event.

    This is a SPIRIT event, not a hazing. I remember being a ‘frosh’ and telling leader I was uncomfortable being in my underwear (since many students chose to do so). They told me that it is not mandatory to do so, only to have fun with the event, look silly or wear bright colours, it was up to me. At no point are you forced into anything you don’t want to do. You don’t even have to participate, and at no time did I feel that I had to. I had a female friend who did not want to participate and ended up watching, and everyone thought that was fine. Nobody harassed her or forced her to do anything.

    The “drill sergeant” yelling isn’t mean or degrading, the leaders simply yell ‘LOUDER”. It is a SPIRIT event, even at frosh week you can see spirit squads yelling “I CANT HEAR YOU!! LOUDER!” This is not in any way mentally damaging or humiliating, and is normally yelled at spirit events anyways. If you bothered to listen, you could hear the participants singing engineering/school songs.

    Nothing is random, the event has the exact same course every year, and participants KNOW what they are getting into. At any time they can say no to something, and it is just fine.

    These students also know most of their leaders from frosh week and school. Engineering is a tight community, and these students learn to trust and know their leaders. They are not being ‘humiliated by strangers.’

    Hazing; Force (a new or potential recruit to the military, a college fraternity, etc.) to perform strenuous, humiliating, or dangerous tasks.

    Notice the first word, FORCE. This was not forced in any way. New leaders are welcome to come and are encouraged, but in no way harassed, or berated until they do so.

    I would also like to comment on your ‘journalistic ability’. Journalism should be an unbiased account of facts, if you wanted to get a proper story, please talk to the people involved, ask how they feel, what this is for etc. before assuming. This entire article is nothing but your disgust of what you have seen from afar. Well, I can see a massive pillow fight downtown and say “THAT’S BARBARIC AND ASSAULT THIS IS HORRIBLE” But would ti be accurate? No. It would simply be a biased opinion, and not a story with factual evidence.

    You say some students looked angry and humiliated, based off what? Did you ask them, or did you assume for the sake of your argument? Please learn how to write a factual story before causing a major uproar on something you do not understand.

    Also, you should have gotten PERMISSION to take photos of these students. You’re posted photos and videos probably humiliated them more than the actual event.

    1. Your Humble Narrator

      1) The people yelling were’t yelling “I can’t hear you”, they were yelling “Get down, Get down!” to poorly dressed people who were scraping and injuring their bodies on the unsanitary spring thaw.

      2) Call it what you like- Spirit, good fun, or a team-building exercise. Regardless, it was still degrading and inappropriate.

      3) Ryerson’s policy may not be so well-defined, but most schools with comprehensive and well-written policies make it clear that both voluntary and involuntary hazing are unacceptable. If, by some reason, the students (and possible faculty) leading this aren’t disciplined due to this oversight in Ryerson’s policy- it won’t mean that what they did wasn’t wrong.

      4) Please let me know what facts I’ve got wrong here and I’ll gladly make a correction.

      1. Nathan

        1) I believe I was yelling “Swim!” for this portion. You missed the singing and chanting from earlier (along with everything else I might add) where people were yelling “I can’t hear you.” Though there probably were people yelling “Get down, Get down!” the same as how at the end of a race you would yell at someone to “Run!” if they started walking. They all finished strong and I am proud of each and every one of them.

        2) You would have to ask the participants as I won’t speak for them like you have. When I participated I didn’t feel degraded or inappropriate. I felt exhilarated and alive and pretty psyched for frosh week. I also felt proud to be a part of this awesome family.

        3) Ryerson’s policy is very well-defined, this is not hazing, and not wrong. I feel no need to go further in explaining this as I have explained it clearly enough in my other comments.

        4) I can not ask you to correct any facts because to this point you have posted no factual information about our organization or our event.

        I’ve had fun responding to all of your comments today, and watching you not respond to most of mine. I’m pretty sure this is the most popular one of your “Stories” has ever been based on the number of comments alone. You won’t be hearing from me again, at least not on your blog. You seem to be a very stubborn story-teller, but I hope that your readers will look at these comments and see how blatantly nonfactual your story is.

        1. Your Humble Narrator

          You need to learn how to be more patient, and less demanding. I’ve been writing a response to you all for the past four hours- it’s published now.

  8. Krissy Sauren

    I am speaking for the girls in the video, I believe I’m in there somewhere.
    Assault is defined as unwanted physical contact, and when we volunteer for this by definition it is NOT assault or harassment, or anything of the like. Just because something can be construed as sexual, such as slapping a girls ass, doesn’t mean it’s “bad”. We are all consenting, and we are all old enough to know where our limits are. I do not see anyone whose limits have been crossed, as they are free to leave if that is the case. This is also not hazing, as my friends Arman and Nathan have proven. If you’re going to post a story like this that accuses people of breaking laws and school policies, maybe you should do a little research first and ask the other people at the event what they think of it. You would find that we are all enthusiastic, if a little cold, and we would most likely yell “I wanna be a frosh leader” in response (not that this is required to do so, that’s just our team spirit). I would recommend you apply for Ryerson’s journalism program however personally I do not think you deserve to come to a school as amazing as Ryerson if you are willing to slander a group of amazing people on one quote out of context.

  9. Aashish

    If you want to write this as an OPINIONATED article, go right ahead. But don’t assume that you know exactly what’s going on here, because you obviously don’t. I participated in that event, wholeheartedly, and enjoyed it. What year am I in? First. I’d probably be one of the best people you could ask as to whether this was done for fun and comedy, and for me and pretty much everyone who decided to participate, it sure as hell was enjoyable. WE decided to strip down, WE decided to drag, crawl, or walk across the lake, and we knew what we were getting ourselves into. If you didn’tlike what you saw, by all means look away, disagree, but please don’t misinform. Stop killing all the fun. Yes, fun. This was fun. I would know, I did it, not you.

    Sincerely,

    A brand new Ry Eng Frosh Leader.

  10. Mika Clements

    Honestly, you should do some legitimate journalism and get your facts straight. Have you ever considered the possibility (and fact) that the man and woman you took a photograph of are friends, and that she found it totally acceptable? The fact is that this is covies protest, and it’s a lighthearted thing that people are encouraged to come out to, however it isn’t mandatory?

    This is slander against Ryerson Engineers, and their traditions. You took a picture, video and screenshot of a twitter comment, asked ONE question, and based on the response you received, fabricated a masterfully woven story meant to enrage and condemn. Congratulations, you’re successfully using peoples emotions to fuel your uneducated opinion so that you can stop something you know nothing about, but it makes you angry. Works (I use this term VERY loosely) such as this promote anger and distress in the community, yet they are unwarranted.

    The people there were all consenting adults who made their own decision to do what they did. There were no laws broken, and no one was hurt. It was their decision alone to partake. I don’t know how many different ways I can put this to make sure it sinks in.

    As for your future journalistic endeavors, I only hope that you ask more questions (Interview, I believe it is called) so you can get your facts straight and give an informed opinion to the people. Oh yeah, and maybe you could take this story down seeing as it is a work of fiction, and that you’re trying to ruin a tradition that many of us willingly go through every year.

    My opinions are entirely of my own, and do not necessarily (But they probably do) reflect the opinions shared by my fellow Ryerson Engineers.

  11. brotherwolf1

    Question to the person who was slapped….

    Did you consent to being slapped ?

    Were you made aware before hand that that you were going to get slapped ?

    What kind of message does this send to others?

    How would you react if this slap was perpetuated in some seedy bar ?

    Is this slap as shown not a demeaning act that somehow shows that it’s perfectly fine to slap a woman ( or anyone else ) ?

    If you worked in some bar and a customer slapped you in the same way / l place, would you accept that as part of the job ?

    i understand that the persons who participated in this event did so of their own choosing, that is not the issue . The issue here, as i see it is that by the act of slapping another person, it showed that one person is being power over another to do whatever they want and the person being , in this case , slapped, is powerless and must therefore accept the act of getting slapped.

    We live in the 21rst century people, we are supposed to be above the exploitation of others. Will we in 50 years continue to carry on this tradition of slapping others as a means of entertainment ? If so, one must wonder if we are really evolving to become better human beings.

    1. Jane

      Why didn’t the journalist ask her himself?

      Some of these engineers may be dating/good friends. You have no right to assume anything, just as I don’t.

      1. Your Humble Narrator

        Dating or not- it’s unacceptable to smack a woman on the ass in front of her peers. The fact she was in a vulnerable place, on the ground and in her underwear, and he was in a place of power at the moment. There are very few situations where this sort of thing is acceptable. Even in a swinger’s club (if they’re not in an intimate relationship) this behaviour would be looked upon with scorn…

        1. Jane

          I see where you are coming from, but unfortunately by not talking to this girl, you will never know how things really went. Maybe it didn’t bother her? Maybe it was a friend being playful? Everyone is different, and you have no right to talk for her, just as I don’t. Some women may feel degraded, some may feel that they are having fun. She was also not in her underwear as far as I can tell, it looks like shorts and a tank top to me.

          If this is also your main concern for the event, I don’t see why the entire event (and the students involved) need to be chastised for this one circumstance that bothers you. Clearly this was an isolated incident on which we have no information on. This woman is an adult, and if she was uncomfortable I’m sure she would have spoken up to the appropriate authorities (or to the man himself).

  12. Mr. Ocean

    Peyncil

  13. YouKnowWhoIAM

    You know, it’s funny how, quite literally, your whole article rests on one ass cheek.

    Get it?

  14. Winknsmile

    Guys……This isn`t forced. They will not be kicked out of school or be destroyed by doing this……I believe that people can make choices for themselves…..Seriously.

    1. Your Humble Narrator

      I don’t think anyone should be kicked out of school for this- but, whoever was behind this definitely need to be talked to. And, from the tone of some of the comments here, it seems that the engineering program has some serious problems with people who don’t understand that a line was crossed here…

      1. Brandon

        Why? Because adults cannot choose to partake in anything anymore, and need your protection? Why do the organizers need to be talked to? If everything is consentual, what did they do wrong by organizing an event adults can partake in? After getting a second view of what the participants were doing, how do you feel about the event? What would you say to the organizers?

        1. Your Humble Narrator

          It’s my understanding that the university will be conducting an investigation- so, I’ll leave it to them to make a decision. But, it’s very clear in the university’s rules (and the rules of schools across the country) that hazing is not allowed. There’s good reason for that, I’ll be writing another article soon to discuss…

          1. Brandon

            You completely ignored my questions, because you obviously cannot answer them. I don’t understand what you think you accomplished here. Stopped adults from choosing how they enjoy themselves in university? Of course Ryerson will conduct and investigation, they do if ANYONE submits a claim, they have to so they can ensure the safety of their students. It’s strange how you allow comments for discussion, but do not even bother discussing with the people posting, but only reaffirm your own opinion. Ryerson students are trying to inform you of what this was, and you could care less. Your opinion on what adults are allowed to do are more important than facts, apparently. Good job../sarcasm,

            1. Your Humble Narrator

              You need to learn to be a little bit more patient too. Please see my latest article, I hope it can provide you with some answers.

      2. Nathan

        I think Mr. Journalist that you have some serious problems if you don’t understand that you have crossed a line with your story. That is what it is, a story. You are spreading libel through misinformation about our actions and we don’t appreciate it. We are giving you the facts here so that you have the opportunity to reconcile what you have said, but instead you simply ignore the comments that do not benefit you. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, you are spreading a video you took of a bunch of people you don’t know without their permission. Had you asked you could have had a full interview with the people in charge of the event and gotten some facts in the process. But I would be willing to bet that your story would have died there.

        The comments you see here are a snapshot of the views of the participants of the event. It is their opinions that matter, not yours. This event has been happening for many years and has not to my knowledge received a complaint. Because although it may seem to you like it’s terrible it is rather enjoyable. How often do you get to step outside of your tiny little bubble of a comfort zone and do something truly ridiculous. As Taxi already stated, her covies protest was one of the highlights of her experience in engineering, and aside from frosh week itself, it was mine as well.

        When it comes to the University looking into the issue I actually appreciate this. They will see the facts that you failed to because it wouldn’t have made a good story. And they may make a public apology because you have stirred up some peoples emotions with your libel, but this event will continue to exist because there is nothing wrong with it. It prepares the frosh leaders for their new role.

        People have been talking about how this event uses pressure (peer or otherwise) to force people into a vulnerable position. First that isn’t the case as many people have already pointed out, and second, even if it did, so do many other school activities that are deemed perfectly legitimate. I play for a Ryerson Hockey Team and my team pressures me to block shots. I could be seriously injured, but it’s my choice and I do it gladly. The thing that makes it okay for me to block a shot is the same thing that makes this event okay: it is done by choice.

        Finally although I have tried to be nice and respect your opinions, I dislike the way that you have conducted yourself with regard to this matter. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone when I say that the first thing I notice in this comment section is that the best replies (Taxi, AJ, Mika) in this comment section are the ones that you choose to ignore in favour of responding to the people that might give you more of a story. This disgusts me. I realize that this isn’t a journalist site and that you just blog how you feel about particular things but ignoring fact to further your vendetta is simply unacceptable to me.

  15. RyeAlumnus

    Maybe check out the Ryerson code of non-academic conduct. C.3. Doesn’t really matter if this wasn’t ‘initiation’ or not. http://www.ryerson.ca/senate/policies/pol61.pdf

  16. RyeAlumnus

    Also, this

    “13. Hazing – Students shall not engage in any act which endangers, or could reasonably be
    seen to endanger the mental or physical health or safety of a student, for the purpose of
    initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in,
    a group or organization.”

    Again, Ryerson code of non-academic conduct. http://www.ryerson.ca/senate/policies/pol61.pdf

    1. Steven

      “for the purpose of
      initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in,
      a group or organization.”

      No one is gaining admission, they have already become leaders. As others have stated, yet everyone keeps ignoring these statements, this was a spirit event. No one is forced to partake, no one is pressured into being clothed the way they are. This event has nothing to do with anyone’s standing as a frosh leader. By the definition you’ve given, this does not qualify as hazing.

      1. Your Humble Narrator

        1. Nathan

          All you have now proved is that there were terrible journalists in 2008 as well. Surprise, surprise.

        2. Steven

          You can call it whatever you want, that doesn’t mean it is hazing. Next time you try and be an “activist” and fix whatever you think is wrong in this increasingly sheltered world, make sure you get your facts straight, talk to these people, see if they are as offended as you’re making them out to be.

        3. John

          You post a random video from some random bystander calling it a ‘hazing’ and call that your evidence? You are desperate to back up your claims now if you need to use other misinformed opinions. The funny thing is, the person who made the video called it a hazing, but I don’t think they intended it as a negative connotation, considering the music and all.

          And please, educate yourself:
          Definition of Hazing: The National Federation defines hazing as any humiliating or dangerous activity **expected of a student to belong to a group***, regardless of their willingness to participate.

          They already belonged, this was optional.

      2. RyeAlumnus

        Stephen,

        Well done on missing article C3 of the Ryerson Non-Academic Code of Conduct.

        “3. Threats and Harm to Health and Safety –Students shall not endanger, threaten, harm, or encourage others to endanger, threaten or harm, or act in ways which would reasonably be perceived to endanger, threaten or harm the physical and mental well-being of community members.”

        RyeAlumnus.

      3. RyeAlumnus

        Stephen,

        Also, I like that you missed the “reasonably be seen” section. It would appear judging from newspaper coverage today that this was part of the RyeEng’s antics to become a frosh leader, so that falls under the “for the purpose of admission into” part of the definition.

        Yes, one doesn’t have to participate, but it doesn’t diminish the severity of the event. Seriosuly, designing an event for student to crawl through slush in Lake Devo – a receptacle of all sort of waste including needles – seems sane, consensual, and safe? I get that these students are in their 20s and think they know everything, but RyeEng seriously can’t just go on a pub crawl or application forms to be a frosh leader?

        Choice has a lot to do with perception – simply because one is permitted to opt out doesn’t actually mean one feels comfortable opting out. I think there’s been enough jurisprudence developed on this distinction in Canada, the U.K., and the U.S.A from efforts to gain equality for women and minorities in the workplace. Efforts from which the RyeEng students directly benefit in this day and age. Seriously, grow up.

        1. Nathan

          Dear RyeAlumnus,

          As I have already stated in other comments, this event has nothing to do with admission into our organization. We had a total of 100 new frosh leaders this year, all accepted before this event took place. Only 50 people decided that they wanted to participate in this event. The ones who decided not to are not thought any less of, just as the people who chose to participate clothed are not thought any less of.

          The way that it works is that we don’t only accept the crazy leaders. The crazy leaders are good at getting people pumped up and into frosh week activities, because for most of the new frosh, they have been thrust into a completely knew dynamic all by themselves and unless they are engaged by somebody they will have to navigate it alone. Crazy leaders are good at that. Breaking the ice. Then we have the more reserved leaders who handle preparing the frosh for the mental and academic stresses that they will undoubtedly go through in Engineering. It’s about a balance of fun and preparation.

          As for the “reasonably seen to injure” section of the code of conduct you mentioned, I think that in regard to this situation applying that rule is completely ridiculous. I’m on a Ryerson hockey team. As currently 4 out of the 15 hockey team members are injured, I think we can see that hockey is clearly unacceptable under that particular article. But we live in a world where we can’t put boundaries on everything. People have the right to make some choices for themselves. To me this event does not pose any potential severe harm to the participants other than maybe some scrapes and a cold. I’m sure you could come up with some crazy hypothetical. But hey, so could I about just about anything that happens on campus.

  17. Raimund

    I seem to be having a bit of a difficult time accepting the legitimacy of your “reporting.”

    First of all, what kind of reporter uses the word “ass.” I can honestly say that if I were to use such terminology in a report I would promptly have my ass -as you so bluntly put it- raked over the coals.

    Second, not only did you not do your research, but you failed to cite your sources. You have a quote, but no person attributed to it. I am of course referring to “the tall sexy guy in the video” (seriously, did you LOOK at him? I mean DAMN), not the possibly photo-shopped tweet you posted an image of without a direct link.

    Third, if you truly were that horrified, why did you not go call campus security, instead of standing around with your cellphone (you should probably get a better one, terrible resolution and sound quality. Maybe you can get one bundled with photoshop) just like everyone else. As I am sure you are aware, being a hard-hitting journalist, that people often tend to show off when there are cameras. In a sense, you’re every bit as bad as those you are attempting to daemonize.

    Finally, you are not genuine, new, OR witty.
    Also, you blog skin is tacky. See? I can be petty and shallow too.

  18. Gentian Licenji

    I find this article very horrifying and informative at the same time. To be honest that is not the case since I am more aware of the situation that this blogger will ever be. I am not going to spend my time explaining to a “journalist/blogger?” what just happened, because let’s be honest that is a “journalist/blogger?”‘s job. I have one last thing before I close my comment. If there was any code of misconduct or any assault performed, the faculty body or students affected should and will bring up a legitimate legal case. Additionally I highly doubt that this article was ever published or edited professionally ,but I will add a useful link for the editor. P.S. Have a great day :)
    THE EDITORS’ CODE

    “All members of the press have a duty to maintain the highest professional standards…..
    …It is essential that an agreed code be honored not only to the letter but in the full spirit. It should not be interpreted so narrowly as to compromise its commitment to respect the rights of the individual, nor so broadly that it constitutes an unnecessary interference with freedom of expression or prevents publication in the public interest….”

  19. rraefyn

    Leave it to the herd mentality and the good old boys club to defend their stupid initiation rituals. Seriously, you don’t expect any sane person to believe that those who didn’t participate in your humiliation and obedience cult will be given the same respect or connections as the sheep who clamoured for the brass ring, or should I say iron ring. Spare us your glee club rhetoric. You are all jockeying for position here. Of course the women will agree with you because the alternative would amount to clique suicide. Nepotism rules in these professions. Go ahead and crucify me to your hearts content for pointing out the obvious and while you’re at it try designing a more interesting and respectful way to up the SPIRIT quotient. This one belongs in the wahoo’s forever trash bin. Alpha beta delta ipsi doodle dawn ya’ll.

    1. Your Humble Narrator

      So perfectly stated- thank you for sharing.

  20. Writer for the Telegraph

    This article does raise an excellent issue, although I do see that there is a lack of hard evidence here. If this article were to be done by a professional journalist, it would at the very least contain an interview of one of the “leaders” and one of the “protesters”. I have done some browsing and stumbled across an article done by a Ryerson journalism student on the event and said student managed to get an interview from a “leader” and a “protester” and the article has much more substance and truth too it as such. If a journalism student can do a better job than yourself, perhaps is is time to pursue a new career path or to move to a place in the world where this kind of journalism is the standard. I am just surprised that with all your experience and qualifications, you still do not seem to know what you are talking about.

  21. Silent Observer

    A question for the students involved.

    Your event is held in a public place, my 10 year old daughter and I are out for the afternoon and we observe this event. She becomes concerned.. how do I explain this.

    How do I erase this image from her mind as she grows..she now has the impression that it is perfectly normal to be slapped in public while being publicly demeaned, by a man in an obvious position of power.

    Harmless you say, really, what have these future leaders just taught my young daughter without my consent?

    Future leaders need to be very aware that their fun has consequences for others.

    What if that child was in my care after being removed from a violent abusive home situation, does your fun preclude her mental health?

    When you are in the public you have a responsibility to think of everyone’s rights not just your own selfish needs for a bit of “fun”

    After carefully reading all of the comments here I have observed selfish grandstanding, criticisms towards the author of this post… but not one of you have been adult enough to take some responsibility and apologize for the misconceptions or distress they might have caused the innocent public that were forced to observe this event.

    I find it somewhat ironic this event has occurred the same week as the verdict came in for the Steubenville rape case… the observers in that event thought that was innocent fun too, pictures were taken, bystanders watched..

    As future “leaders” think about those that you set an example for..one of them might be my 10 year old daughter..

    1. Guelph Gryph.

      I can understand where you’re coming from about your ten year old daughter, but when it comes down to it, you’re in a city of over 2.6 million people; if you take your daughter into public you can run into ANYTHING. The world isn’t going to be peach perfect for you to waltz around without some PG material or greater things happening. If your daughter see’s something vulgar in public then yea it’s still your responsibility to teach your daughter from right and wrong because whether you like it or not, she’s going to be exposed to things. You can’t go around deciding not to do anything because of what ifs. That’s where building a strong sense of character comes in so they no where they stand and don’t hinder and something that may not be right.

      And I’m sorry but I don’t agree or condone comparing this to the Stuebenville rape case acceptable AT ALL. A girl was sexually abused an raped while unconscious by a number of disgusting football players ( sport irrelevant) who were dragging her around like a rag doll. – in case you missed the story. These people are voluntarily participating dressing how they like, and have full reign speak up. There also guys crawling through that slush as well. I guarantee guys buts were slapped too. And if how they’re dressed bothers you, just think, what would you be exposed to if you want to the beach?

      Would you have responded the same way if they weren’t told to crawl on the ground? but just yelled at them while they were told to do jumping jacks or high knee’s as they ran? Or if a girl slapped her but instead? Or if a girl slapped a guys but and etc. ?

      And I apologize if anything I said seemed rude or as though it was attacking you. This is my opinion and I’m genuinely interested in what your rebuttal holds.

      Cheers- John.

      1. Silent Observer

        John..

        A few points actually.

        1. Read more carefully…. I have no 10 year old daughter. My comment was “what if”
        I’m a Mother of grown daughters and grandchildren. they’re very well adjusted living in large cities around the world with good paying jobs..

        2. The football players at Steubinville were considered “leaders” and were protected by friends coaches etc..
        Exactly what I see happening here by friends and fellow students of the the so called Engineering Leaders that are slapping women’s asses.

        Bottom line it is never acceptable for “leaders” to slap woman’s asses or touch them in any inappropriate manor under any circumstances but especially while these women slither on the ground in a subservient position..

        3. Telling me that it is a big city and this is something a child will see isn’t a great argument..what if I told the child the truth, it was a university rite of passage..do you think she’d be in a big rush to go to that University?

        That is not a leader.. that is a sexist jerk. It presents Ryerson University as having a really poor example of a code of conduct.

        1. Mooey

          So now you’re going to blame an entire school for something one kid did? That’s mature. Whether you like it or not this could happen anywhere. Not that i’m saying it’s right but it does.

  22. Jo

    You still don’t get it…

    In the summer, engineers strip down, dye themselves purple and run around the city. We do crazy things to let off the stress from school, it’s understandable that YOU will not understand. It speaks to your character when you blatantly ignore all the posters trying to educate you, though. You filmed one part of the event, and felt the need to “protect” these students. These students don’t want your “advice” or “protection”.

  23. Standing Water

    I’ve worked with engineers, and I think it is fair to say that some of them just don’t get some parts of life. I remember discussing education with an engineer with post-graduate level education, published in his field, and he said he “just didn’t get” poetry. Not some poetry, not Rilke, not modern poetry, but poetry in general—if he couldn’t quantify it, what did it matter? So from my experience, I think it is fair to say that the biases inherent in engineering school intake select a certain phenotype, one that might be very aware of the quantitative world but which is often unaware of the qualitative world. And this video is all about quality, not quantity.

    The quality of the ritual expressed in the video is disturbing. No matter how we might be able to quantitatively measure some actor therein at some point calling it “voluntary,” there is the quality of the activity. Why would any reasonable person subject himself or herself to such a spectacle? Non-sequiturs about ‘blowing off steam’ or about how the non-engineer ‘will not understand’ ring hollow in my ears.

    The commenter talking about people in public with children is not irrelevant—how do you explain something like this to a child, especially the ass-slapping? I can remember when the “boss chasing the secretary around the desk” trope was used in Cartoons, or, at least, I think I remember—now it isn’t. I’d say that ass-slapping should be similarly resigned to the litter bin. The sexual, sadomasochistic overtones are impossible to ignore. And that is something that does not belong in public. If you engineers want to rent a hotel ballroom, have a big orgy, I don’t care—but let’s keep it classy in public, k?

  24. Sarah

    “This city fucking disgusts me,” “What is the university going to do,” “how do you explain something like this to a child.” Alot of you people need to get the whole story and/or mind your own business. I think what’s alarming about this article is nothing that is contained within the article itself. It is the amount of prude, sheltered people in this City. Isn’t it a wake up call when society is becoming so over protective of the younger generation that they are known as the “bubble generation.” Name one thing you see in this video that is not seen on a public beach in the summer, in a football practise, or even on an Ellen Degeneres talk show.

    I am a female and graduated an Engineering course at a different univeristy. I went through numerous events similar to this and participated as both the half naked female crawling through the snow and the person dressed in coveralls giving the commands. In my opinion, if the University does decide to do something about this and choses to eliminate frosh week or punish these students and ban future events like this I think it is a huge mistake. It may appear to an ignorant outsider that these people aren’t having fun, are angry and humiliated but it is completely voluntary and despite what you think that person may be having the time of their lives. During my time at school there were many people who participated and many people who chose to sit out. Who are you to say how someone else is feeling. Going through these events with people gave me some of the greatest relationships I have to this day.

    Engineers are a quirky bunch. They are very cult like and that is proven by the IRC/IRS traditions. We like it that way and it works for us. Who are you to say what is right and/or wrong with the way we do things when you know nothing about it. I’m sure if I followed you around with a video tape I could find things that I could criticize and frown upon and write articles about how you should be punished. But that doesn’t happen because people let you live your life in peace, so let these students do the same.

    Toronto is a University City. It has alot of students and young people living there. There are going to be days when you see ridiculous things happening, deal with it. If you don’t like it move to the suburbs.

    Maybe you should think and take a step back the next time you decide to openly judge and criticize people you know nothing about. You could have cost alot of students future jobs and quite possibly even their education by making and ignorant, uneducated post and making a big deal out of something that shouldn’t be.

    1. Your Humble Narrator

      It’s not about being prude, and it’s not about the kids who are having fun- it’s about those people who aren’t having fun. Hazing is banned (even when voluntary) because it puts a minority of people through hell. In a voluntary situation people still end-up going despite the hell factor because they (rightly or wrongly) perceive they may be excluded if they don’t do it.

      Or, is it okay that these people get left out?

  25. Sarah

    From my understanding this was an initiation to become a frosh leader so 100% I think it is okay the people who chose not to do the activities get left out. In order to be a frosh leader you have to be outgoing, extroverted and willing to embarass yourself because to fill a role of a frosh leader these are the qualities that are most suited to welcome new students and make them feel comfortable. It seems this school went one step further and allowed the students who chose not to participate to still fill the roles if they wanted.

    In the real world that last option wouldn’t be the case. If there was a position as a journalist to cover a story in the middle east which would mean fully experiencing and embracing their culture and you wanted the position but are not willing to dress or act like them then you wouldn’t get the job.

    In the case of frosh week or other events that you call “hazing” they are not only voluntary people sign up to partake. There are always numerous events that you can choose and sign up to be part of. Some events involve displays of public humiliation, while others involve a game of frisbee in the park or a community theatre. Just because YOU only see or know of one of these events does not mean that the people who choose not to partake are “being left out.” They could be busy elsewhere enjoying activities more suited to their personality.

  26. David Wei X (@davxue)

    I am a student of McMaster Engineering and I am also a frosh leader. There’s a reason why we do these initiation kind of things behind the scene. It’s so that people don’t get the wrong idea and stigma that we’re punishing or peer pressuring groups of people to do certain things to belong. We do these kind of things because we can and we are willing. This is all in the name of our school and of our love for the faculty. Being a frosh leader isn’t for everyone, it’s not for the weak heart like the gentleman filming the video. It’s about being as much of a person as you can so you can help new students leave their families behind for the first time and help them integrate into a new one. We are engineers, and we need this family. Because when the work gets tough, the student body is all you have of keeping sane. So we are insane for brief moments of time like the example filmed here for our sanity as engineers and engineering students.

    1. Your Humble Narrator

      I’m an engineer, and I’m thoroughly disgusted by this…

      1. Valerie

        If you attended an engineering faculty with any schooling spirit or came out to engineering events, you would not be surprised or disgusted by this.

      2. engineer

        if you were ACTUALLY an engineer, you’d be aware of such events prior to this…

        1. Your Humble Narrator

          My school had a zero tolerance for hazing…

  27. The Hammer

    Ah, so is this practice for what will be done to frosh in the fall?

    1. Sarah

      No, not at all. I didn’t say that. I said it was for the frosh leaders. It is the job of the frosh leaders to do whatever they can to make students feel comfortable and welcome. That requires many displays of what some people could view as public humiliation.

      During frosh week, sure there are events that some would consider “public humiliation” that you can choose to partake or not. This is not the same event as you witnessed above but may mean other events. Such as dressing up wearing the colours of the school and parading around chearing different chears showing school spirit. In my opinion, I consider this humiliating so I chose not to partake in my school. Sure it doesn’t involve crawling on hands and knees through an icy sidewalk but the definition of humiliation is subject to personal opinion. Just because you, an outsider, may find something humiliating or cruel, does not mean that is the feelings of the people participating in the event. At the same time just because I chose not to be part of this event does not mean I felt left out. I had fun doing something else while the more outgoing people did that.

  28. Sarah

    You are thoroughly disgusted and I am not. To each his own. You have every right to have your own opinion but you do not have a right to say your opinion is more right than mine.

  29. pau

    Looking forward to you all being expelled

    1. Your Humble Narrator

      I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. But, if there are students still defending this now, it’s a distinct possibility…

  30. blazingcatfur2012

    Greg I love and appreciate your stuff as a rule, you know that, but in this instance I can’t agree, to me it’s just students being students.

    1. Your Humble Narrator

      Thanks for sharing your opinion. How I look at it is that the world would be a whole lot less interesting if we all agreed on everything. :)

  31. Nathan

    For anyone who would like an unbiased account of events including both sides from a real Journalist with sources and quotes and such, I refer you to the star:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/03/24/ryerson_university_engineering_student_group_under_fire_over_halfnaked_romp_through_slush.html

    1. Silent Observer

      Nathan

      Are you referring to “the star newspaper” that has the sexist practice of scantily clad women called the “sunshine girls” as your reference to a credible news source with “real Journalists” and balanced commentary?

      *rolling my eyes*

      1. A guy

        Silent Observer – the Star doesn’t have Sunshine Girls – you’re thinking of the Toronto Sun (hint: that’s why their called Sunshine Girls and not Star Girls).

        1. Your Humble Narrator

          True, but they have the anarchist promoting Antonia Zerbisias – that’s pretty horrific in itself…

    2. Silent Observer

      I might owe Nathan an apology I think I confused the Star and the Sun…mea culpa Haven’t lived in Toronto for a very long time..

      1. Nathan

        No harm done.

  32. Let's Try to Help

    I think that this highly publicized debate has been the wrong way to deal with this situation and people’s comments provide little help. Proclaiming this event as disgusting and demeaning results in others becoming defensive to the point where no one is actually able to look at the situation with a clear head.

    I have myself been one of the people running around in their underwear (completely my choice) as well as one of the people in coveralls. When I did both there was no crawling across the lake, and it was much warmer. The cheering was to get them to yell louder, and I always directed it jokingly at my friends who were laughing.

    I do see the value of some points that were raised though. As I have not attended in several years I do not see myself fit to pass judgement or defend their actions. Based off of comments though I have seen little to help find a middle ground for the ‘sake of fun’ or the view of ‘hazing’.
    The girl who had her bum slapped, may have been fine with it, but yes it can have an adverse affect on other people. Instead of condemning her and others for this, having the school set up a meeting with the discrimination and harassment office could help educate those who don’t understand why this is not a positive public display. A group being told they don’t have a place at their school because of something they did thinking it was harmless is far more detrimental than educating them and creating better leaders.

    At the same time having more ground rules and regulations for the group would help educate the leaders as well as the participants as to their rights what they shouldn’t do etc. I heard no complaints from my year but it is not up to me to assume this stands for everyone, and more education I believe would prove to make sure even harmless events do not escalate.

    conclusion: Any event can escalate to be deemed offensive, educating those involved in boundaries can help create a positive environment where they can still have fun. Calling people disgusting for something that they understand to be voluntary and fun does nothing to help the situation, just makes them more defensive. Instead of, “look at this hazing” or “it’s all for fun” why has no one said “maybe this went to far” or “what if this goes too far”. Policies are your friend and help everyone, outsiders, participants and organizers feel safe, knowledgeable, and part of a community.

  33. Anonymous

    Ryerson’s policy clearly states: “Students shall not engage in any act which endangers, or could reasonably be seen to endanger the mental or physical health or safety of a student, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization.” It doesn’t matter if it is voluntary or not: hazing is clearly against the policy either way.

    It is indefensible to argue that this activity was not hazing. The action that the young man took by smacking the girl’s behind is sexual harassment. Therefore, by definition (hazing: activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group), this initiation is considered hazing.

    I get why perhaps the majority of students would try to support something like this. Filled with angst (how far can we go without crossing the line?) and hormones, and maybe some people with a dominant/sadistic fetish, I can definitely see why it’s considered hot and heavily supported.

    Leave it to the hivemind mentality to justify and defend their stupid rituals consisting of nothing more but yelling at students crawling on ice half-naked on a cold day. Anyone that defends this as not hazing is deluding themselves and will undoubtedly fail to convince a sane person to believe them.

    I’m an engineering student by the way.

  34. SamJordan

    Everyone knows that you wrote this article just to get some attention to your blog. If you were seeking the truth, you would have interviewed the girl who was slapped and the guy. But guess what? You don’t really care, because you are looking for fame.

    Go find something better to do with your time.

    1. Your Humble Narrator

      No. In fact, I first just posted the video on Facebook with a simple question- “Is this okay”. The response I got from people was resoundingly aghast- including a member of our city council. It wasn’t until I saw how many people felt strongly about the video that I decided it was worth a story….

  35. kevin

    What I noticed in the video was there were no half-naked Muslim women wearing Hijabs and yet a lot of the men wearing the coveralls such as the guy shown slapping the white girl on the ass appear to be Muslim?

    1. RUSRS

      I think you’re on to something there, maybe those evil Muslims fled to Canada after 9/11 to attack our women? Someone should get fox news on the line.

  36. undercoverkity

    I am a student at Ryerson University, and have been , going on my seventh year this year. I have been proud to be a part of this community and have been very active within it. Yes, there have been a few bumps along the way but that is, , at least from my point of view, part of the whole overall learning experience.

    When i first saw this video, I as did many others, saw it for what it appeared as, a hazing ritual. There was no denying what took place, persons being humiliated by so called frosh leaders, persons being put at risk. Hell, one person even stated that he was putting band aids on those who hurt themselves. This alone suggests that they knew before hand that there was risk of physical injury. That alone is a violation of the non-academic student code of conduct.

    Further, I saw on the video a female student getting slapped in an inappropriate manner. That appeared to me as sexual harassment as I highly doubt that she consented to getting slapped.

    Actions such as this display is nothing more that out and out bullying and a show of power over another human being which, in my opinion n has no place at my school . What really stuck in me , however were not even the comments that i have read here over the past few days defending this action, ( although there are also comment denouncing it ) , no what really struck a cord with me was yesterday, when i was on the streetcar head home, wearing my Ryerson hoodie , something I wear often and with great pride. I was approached by a person i had never seen prior to this day, who asked me if ” i went to Ryerson and, if I was part of that disgusting hazing ” . i said that yes, I am a very proud Ryerson Student and further, NO, I was most certainly not involved in that disgusting act.

    So, to those of you who either participated in, or supported this action, you have, in my opinion, just lowered the reputation of not only the university, but also , cast a dark shadow on each and every student, each and every decent , hard working and respectful student that attends this great school today .

    I am going to continue to wear my Ryerson hoodie with pride , I am going to continue to enjoy each second I spend here ( and I plan to be here for a very long time ) and I am going to continue to speak out against this sort of oppression, loudly . This is my community and students are my community members. Members of my community where abused and humiliated last week by so called leaders who thought it was OK to exercise some of of power over them , then claiming it was for fun. If you want to have fun, get a hobby but don’t abuse my community members.

    The university will no doubt have something to say about this and I hope a strong message will be sent to ensure that this not only never happens again, but also, strong enough that it will deter anyone from ever even thinking of trying a stunt like this .

  37. Nathan

    New statement, pretty much sums up exactly what I thought was going to happen. I wonder why the presidents attitude changed so much, maybe because he has heard some facts now.

    http://www.ryerson.ca/ryersontoday/data/news/2013/03/20130325_president.html

  38. Anonymous

    I’m embarrassed to have this event influencing the reputation of my degree. As an aspiring engineer at Ryerson University, I have hopes to be working with individuals of strong values, that are passionate towards developing a better future. With this event and other experiences interacting with my peers, I feel as though there are quite a few in this field for the wrong reasons..

  39. Anonymous

    Additionally, if this is what my peers perceive to be ‘fun’ or a ‘fond memory’, they clearly rushed out of high school too quickly.

  40. Your Humble Narrator

    I didn’t see how race was relevant to this story. There’s no evidence to support that….

  41. Adam Nobody

    If you don’t think there is any evidence that race is relevant, then you don’t have any common sense, grenouf!

  42. Your Humble Narrator

    Well, then, I guess I’m ignorant. I’m open to learning though- could you please explain?

  1. Ryerson condemns engineering students’ event | The Eyeopener

    [...] Renouf, a writer who filmed the event and posted it on his YouTube page, blog and Twitter, said he was told by a student at the event that it was an initiation. Many students [...]

  2. Ryerson condemns engineering school underwear stunt | canada.com

    [...] attention was brought to the ritual after a video was posted by Greg Renouf — who publishes the blog genuiNEWity — with a description that read “Ryerson University Students Subjected to Sexual Hazing [...]

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