Ryerson statue

Ryerson University seeks community input to help choose its new name

Members of the community have until Dec. 7 to weigh in on potential new names for Ryerson University. The feedback and insights shared throughout the next three weeks will guide the University’s Renaming Advisory Committee in their process of developing a shortlist of potential names.

This shortlist, along with rationale for the selections, will be submitted to the university president and Board of Governors for a final decision by the end of the 2021/2022 academic year.

The easiest way for most people to participate is through an online anonymous survey. The survey includes questions such as: Do you want the university’s new name to reflect an aspect of its mission or values? Do you want the university’s new name to reflect its place or location? Do you want the university’s new name to honour a notable person?).

Individuals could also email the committee (renaming@ryerson.ca), mail a letter to the Toronto research firm, or even share their thoughts on social media using the hashtag #NextChapterName.

Here are a few ideas that have popped up so far:

In August, Ryerson’s Board of Governors accepted the 22 recommendations put forward by the Standing Strong Task Force to guide commemoration at the university and to address the legacy of Egerton Ryerson.

Egerton Ryerson is considered one of the architects of Canada’s destructive residential school system.

In June, a statue of Egerton Ryerson that sat outside the school grounds on Gould Street was vandalized and then pulled down after the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

At the beginning of September, Ryerson University President Lachemi announced the establishment of the University Renaming Advisory Committee, consisting of individuals with a variety of perspectives, experiences, and identities.

The recommendation to rename the University was considered a necessary step to recognize “the harm caused to community members by the ongoing commemoration of Egerton Ryerson, the impossibility of upholding our institutional values while commemorating Egerton Ryerson, and the necessity of advancing reconciliation.”

Article exclusive to TRNTO