Let’s Have A Toast, A Toast To Me

I hope you are here for the right reason.

mecuteI was first published when I was 17 years old in an online e-zine called Truth.Explosion.Magazine., a e-zine for photographers and writers that collaborated together to have their work seen worldwide. I ran with that feeling, you know, the warm fuzzy feeling that sticks in your stomach when you first get published.

But after that, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. I ran around like a headless chicken at Guelph University for a year looking to get my degree in English. After a year I realized I was more interested in writing, rather than reading. I left Guelph, and attended J-School at Sheridan College. I was taught the ropes of journalism by an amazing cast of professionals who hailed from the Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail.

While I was at Sheridan I became involved with a magazine called TRAVIS, which ended up being the best college magazine in Canada. Seriously, find a better magazine, I dare you. TRAVIS took over my life, I lived and breathed magazines and I fell in love with feature writing and the art of storytelling.

They put me to work over at TRAVIS, and I wrote endless print and online content suited for students who loved culture and entertainment. I managed writers and edited content for this publication that was published six times a year. When I graduated I won an editorial excellence award from the college itself. I was excited, really damn excited.

TRAVIS life was amazing. I ended up becoming the Editor-In-Chief of that magazine for a year. We even won an Applied Arts Young Blood award for our efforts. I performed final looks, wrote extensive features on the arts culture at Sheridan, and made connections with endless young professionals.

During my college days I also interned at a magazine called Chill, writing sports and Dad-friendly features for this magazine that is distributed through the Beer Store. It’s a slick magazine  and I even contributed as a freelancer. Through Chill I also trickled my way into a magazine called Golf Canada. Through GC, I picked up my first national byline, with my words showing up in golf clubs in British Columbia, all the way over to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

On the side, I also wrote news for Oakville’s best online news source Oakville.com.

I wasn’t done there, as I ended up enrolling in York University’s Professional Writing program, with a double major in Communications. After my first year, I wound up throwing my resume into a hat at Excalibur, and was hired as their managing editor, or EEO, as they call it.

It was here where my passion for newspaper grew tremendously. I came from a magazine background but found a passion for the thrill of hard news, community debate, and black and white pages. I edited, wrote, reported, and offered up my experience to volunteers who had zero writing experience. Tailored content for the web, tweeted, shouted, Youtubed, WordPress-ed, all while getting my university degree.

After that, I had the privilege to become the paper’s second two-year Editor-In-Chief after a 50 history. I shouted even more, directed, edited, and acted as a leader for a staff of 12 paid employees. I had the time of my life bringing my unique passion to this weekly newspaper, and had the final say on over 50 issues of Excalibur.

It’s been an honour, and I wish it could last forever.

Now I look to bigger and better things as a graduate with five years of experience in publishing, a bonafide university education, and the practical skills from internships and college. I am set to take on any challenge that I may face.

That’s my story, let’s chat if you need to know more.


The Nitty Gritty on Netflix and Chill -Excalibur Centrespread

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-12-25-48-pmView the Pdf here: NetflixAndChill

View the online version here: Excal.on.ca/the-nitty-gritty-on-netflix-and-chill/

Presidential Profile: Initiating The New Sheridan President

To read this profile on Sheridan President Jeff Zabudsky, click.

By Michael Burton

“Coffee?” she asks me.

“I, uh, um, ab—” I stumble over my words, and stare back at her with a lengthy awkward silence. I call this the deer in the headlights look. “Oh, no thank you.” The receptionist just offered me coffee, but I was barely able to get a sentence out. This is going to be good, I thought to myself as I walk into a large, intimidating office.

I’m nervous—I’ll just go ahead and admit this—as I’m about to sit down with the new Sheridan president, Dr. Jeff Zabudsky. I’ve never met him before. He’s only been around for a couple of weeks. But make no mistake; he’s the new sheriff in town. He’s a true Sheridan Bruin.

“The president will see you now,” the receptionist says to me, probably laughing to herself. Zabudsky, a dark haired, suit-wearing man with an inviting face, takes my hand and shakes it.

“Coffee?” he asks. “Oh no, thank you,” I say quickly. Maybe a little too quickly. Coffee seems to be popular in these woods. By now everyone in this office thinks I’m afraid of coffee.

“So, TRAVIS Magazine” he says, stirring his coffee. And that sets everything in motion.

We begin our chat discussing his career leading up to Sheridan. Zabudsky, 46, graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism some years ago. From there, he worked in radio for 10 years at CJRT 91.1, which plays jazz and classical music. You can tell as you listen to him go on in his radio-friendly voice. He’s affable in person, hardly intimidating like his title at Sheridan might suggest. President, that is.

Throughout his radio career, Zadusky worked heavily with college-produced radio programs that focused on distance education. He helped create the materials to complement distance learning back in the day. He’s been involved with out-of-classroom learning since the start. Before the Internet, before all those fancy bells and whistles were put on your MacBook. Back when distance education utilized the radio and when materials were sent out in the mail.

Over his career, Zabudsky saw every corner of Canada. He worked in Nova Scotia as a distance education specialist. He was vice-president of academics at Sault College in northern Ontario. Then onto President of Red River College in Winnipeg. A post he gave up in January to take the reins at Sheridan.

“I think Sheridan is lucky to have him,” Catherine Rushton says, now interim President and CEO of Red River College. “Here, he was very good at linking the college to the community and increasing the college’s profile with the city of Winnipeg. He’s extremely energetic, personable, dynamic, positive and very committed to college education. He will bring all those things to the table.” Along with all his experience, Zabudsky also bring a healthy dose of know-how in education with his Ph.D in educational policy studies from the University of Alberta.

“You learn different perspectives on things,” Zabudsky says, reflecting on his travels across Canada. “Different ways of looking at the world, different provinces do different things with education. You learn from it. It was a great experience. But it’s nice to come home.”

Zabusky is home—his family lives in Southern Ontario—and was blown away by the warm embrace from the Sheridan community. Signs were draped across both campuses welcoming him to his new stomping grounds. Not bad for his first day on the job.

“Sheridan has a fine reputation, not just in Ontario, but right across the country,” he says through a smile. “I wouldn’t have come back to Ontario to just any college. It had to be the right place. I’ve come to many new jobs, and I really have a feeling that this is the perfect place for me, at the perfect time of my career.”

I wouldn’t have come back to Ontario to just any college. It had to be the right place. — Dr. Jeff Zabudsky

So the big question, which he must have anticipated: What’s next for Sheridan? Upfront, it sounds like Zabudsky has quite a plan. “Sheridan will be a much larger institution in the coming years,” he says first in the macro sense. “We’ve got to grow.”

With the addition of the Mississauga campus, Sheridan is going to get bigger, more diverse in both its programs and students. There will also be demographic changes as Sheridan is seeing an aging student body. There will be more programs offered, particularly more degrees offered. Students will be continually integrated into the workforce and there will be more applied research.

Distance education is a big point in Zabudsky’s strategic plan for Sheridan. There will be more of it. He also plans to make it more effective for as many prospective students as possible.

“I want this organization to be one of the leading edge technological facilities in Canada. I need to set that compass and say that’s the direction we’re going in,” he says. “You can’t have good education without a good teacher,” Zabudsky further notes.

“People think you can take materials, put them online and suddenly you don’t need a teacher anymore. Nothing can be further from the truth. Good education to me is about a strong relationship between faculty and students. Everyone who recalls the best experiences in their education was about those interactions between the teacher and the student.”

Zabudsky faces a big challenge ahead of him—students are becoming even more integrated into social networking tools. We, students, are a complicated breed, but we are the future regardless of how distracted and networked we are.

“I think there is something to be said for the multi-tasking nature of today’s emerging students. Technology can be a distraction, but we have to figure out together—faculty and students—how we make this new world of technology work,” Zabudsky notes. Yup, we’re talking about the lovely world of Facebook. We’re talking about how students can’t seem to get through a lecture without double-clicking their news feed. But I’m only basing this on personal experience.

So what’s the answer? We can’t close the laptops—we paid for this technology; it’s integrated into our learning. Are we really learning as we Tweet, Stumble and update? “There’s a certain point when you’re not learning, just because there is so much going on,” Zabudsky admits. “I think people who grew up without technology are pretty linear in our thinking.”

“We have to acknowledge that technology may have changed how people are learning. It’s a bit of give and take with the traditional faculty saying,  ‘This is how you learn.’ But we have to adapt to how the next generation learns.”

It’s all about the big picture. By working with technology and things like Skype and Facebook, Sheridan’s learning experience will become even stronger, even more current. “Students are going to be solving problems of tomorrow. That’s going to be a big deal and we need to work together. We will be viewed across the country as a leader with technology. We will be innovative and looked upon as an institution by industries that want to work with Sheridan.”

A scary thought, graduation. Growing up, getting a job, entering “the industry.” But that’s Zabudsky’s aim; to make it an easy, successful transition into the workforce. But just in case, he has some advice to spread as graduation looms for many of the student body.

“Follow your passion,” Zabudsky says. “Say yes to everything, get as many experiences as possible. Embrace everything. Immerse yourself, run for student government and get involved.” This isn’t the first time someone suggested that I say yes to everything. It’s good advice.

“If you don’t test yourself, you won’t know what you’ll love.”

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Seeing Red- Chill Magazine Toronto FC Feature

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In just six short years, the Toronto Football Club has grabbed hold of Ontarians and turned us into crazed soccer maniacs – and thank goodness for that.

A sea of red. It’s what you see at a Toronto Football Club (TFC) home game. With over 21,000 fans packing into BMO Field, there’s something in the air that unleashes pure passion from the everyday person.

Flags are waved, fans jump up and down in unison and the entire stadium claps and chants together as one entity.

Strangers hug each other and supporters paint their faces – some even have the TFC logo tattooed into their skin.

But, one must wonder, how did we get to this point? How did people from all walks of life become frenzied football supporters? And why has Major League Soccer (MLS) in Toronto taken off like this?

Well, the most obvious answer is that, in Toronto, professional sports are more than a big deal. With the Maple Leafs, the Raptors, the Rock, the Argonauts, the Marlies, and the Blue Jays having strong followings in their respective leagues, it just might be our destiny to wholeheartedly embrace professional soccer. But what we have now goes beyond a mere embracement. Fans are exceeding expectations, and may potentially create the best type of problem for executives: growing pains.

The amount of fans that have taken interest in the TFC has been so great that there’s talk that they might soon out-grow BMO Field – a facility that already holds 21,140 fans. To put it in perspective, the Air Canada Centre only holds 18,819 for Maple Leafs games.

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“I don’t think this fan base was handed to us,” says Paul Beirne, Senior Director of Business Operations at the TFC. “I think it existed, and we were the catalyst for groups of like-minded people to find one another, allowing them to express themselves together.”

Regardless of how it all came to be, the organization is certainly grateful. That’s why they focus their efforts on listening to their fans and considering their feedback.

“There are hundreds of devoted individuals who are working until midnight before a game preparing banners and flags,” Beirne says. “It had to happen in Toronto because of the makeup of our city. So many people in Toronto are from somewhere else, and everywhere else is a football nation. The script writes itself.”

Fans come from all nationalities and all walks of life. Housewives and businessmen, soldiers and retirees – they all come together for the sake of football in Toronto.

“That’s the beauty of football,” Beirne exclaims. It creates a common vocabulary across generations and cultures. The TFC unleashes something in people that allows them to be louder and more vocal than they’ve ever been.”

Supporters raise red TFC flags against the beautiful Toronto skyline night in and night out. They stand shoulder-to-shoulder and bounce up and down to the beat of a bass drum coming from section 113. You can even smell the fresh cut grass as the ball clunks against the players’ cleats. Needless to say, it’s a unique sporting experience – one that’s only in Toronto. And, the best part is, it’s all organic.

“We don’t pipe in crowd noise,” Beirne says. “We don’t hand them the flags and banners. We don’t tell them what songs to sing or when to sing them. We’re well known for our atmosphere. We have an atmosphere where fans can be comfortable unleashing whatever sound or visual that they want to unleash.”

And that’s just what TFC fans do – unleash. They’re creative, too, evolving into four different divisions of fans. These supporter groups, or ‘ultras,’ as they’re referred to by hardcore devotees – are recognized as official supporter groups by the TFC. Each has different duties and roles during home games. Oftentimes, they compete with each other to be the loudest, but, at the end of the day, they’re all there for the same cause – to support their team.

The enthusiasm that TFC fans share has grown and branched out far beyond BMO field. Bobby Brasz is the leader of the U-Sector group of fans (see sidebar), and he goes the distance. Literally. He’s adventured to Columbus, Ohio with 2,000 fans to help cheer on the TFC. More recently, he travelled to Montreal with close to 1,000 fans to watch the TFC play against the Montreal Impact.

“Toronto will always be known as the big bad dog in this country,” says Brasz. “I think that Toronto fans embrace that, as much as Montreal fans might hate it.”

Brasz has been supporting the TFC since day one. He won a TFC dream job through a competition put on by the club. Today, he works full-time with the TFC and, on game days, he’s a die-hard supporter of his club. He says that Canada has followed in the footsteps of Toronto after TFC success, and stimulated the expansion of MLS into Montreal and Vancouver.

“We were the first professional club in Canada and that’s just another thing everyone else is going to hate on us for,” he says. “Vancouver and Montreal have now had a chance to see how it’s done here, and improve upon what we’ve done. TFC soccer is a different beast than some of the sports in North America. Football fans tend to be a lot more passionate towards the game. They feel a lot more connected to the game, so, when you come down to the stadium, you feel like you’re effecting the play and what’s happening on the pitch. That kind of connection really brings people out.”

And that’s what it really comes down to. The TFC has provided a unique and passionate sports experience. They’ve created a lasting bond with their fans, and given them endless amounts of reasons to cheer, wave flags and shout until they lose their voice.

There’s no reason not to get excited about the TFC. With the passion seen by thousands of TFC fans, it’s just a matter of time before TFC-mania becomes the next big thing in Toronto. So, get your game face on – and paint it red.

– See more at: http://www.chillmedia.co/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=325:seeing-red&catid=11:sports&Itemid=378#sthash.px11CM1l.dpuf

One Shot With Andrew Mark

Andrew Mark left us speechless with this year’s cover photo. He got the shot that sent shivers down our spines, and left us wanting more. Thanks, we hope our magazine can do your work justice.

“I’m really grilling you on a Monday morning,” I said.

“Yeah, but it’s 1 p.m.,” Andrew Mark said as we chatted at one of the many coffee shops in Oakville. It feels like morning, but it isn’t. This coffee shop is bustling with chatter, people carrying shopping bags and sipping on espresso. I’m asking specific questions about his work, and how he managed to pull off one of the most stunning shots we’ve seen all year.

“It’s a personal creative,” Mark said.

“I know this girl from way back and I asked her if she’d be interested in going out and just shooting. We just had the most phenomenal day. That shoot alone was probably the most successful shoot I’ve ever done.”

“I just saw it and made it happen,” he said.

His photo was the perfect fit for our cover. The girl, her smile, the serene and warm feeling of Mark’s photo couldn’t be better. It screams for your attention, while being incredibly easy on the eyes. A one-in-a-million shot if you ask me, something that could never be recreated, even if you tried.

Are we lucky for having such a spectacular cover? Well no, there is no luck involved. We call it talent, careful planning, and a wild obsession for challenging yourself to do better. We’ve searched long and hard for the perfect photo for this issue, and it wasn’t easy. Mark walks away with $200 for his hard work, and a couple bragging rights he may or may not use.

This photograph beat out close to 200 other photos. It was chosen as the best by Sheridan photography professor David White, and the staff here at Travis. Mark is into his 2nd year of photography at Sheridan, married at 20 years of age and originally from St. Catharines. He literally knocked our socks off with his work – we had to go looking for them. And if you’re interested, you can see more of his work online alongside his stellar wedding photography.

“It’s like a full on photo shoot,” Mark said describing his passion for shooting weddings. “Everyone is dressed up you, got the makeup on, you got the stylist going. You have the whole reception hall decorated. I’m not a traditional shooter by any means. I’m so far from traditional wedding photography that I see it as more of a fashion shoot than romantic or ooey gooey.”

Mark hopes to be shooting weddings full time when he graduates, starting up a business and making an impact in the Niagara region. When the wedding season slows down he plans to do more commercial work, and hopefully start a second business to focus on commercial photography.

“I just really like the ability to make a business out of it. For me photography is just as much of a business as it is about photography,” Mark said. “If you can’t make a business out if it you’re going to flounder. I’ve been able to start up a wedding business that is going to help me go somewhere with my career. That will get my name out there, and bring in cash to fund any further development.”

“It’s a really big industry and you don’t need 50 grand worth of cameras to start up,” he said. Mark is hoping to take advantage of Niagara’s reputation as a wedding hot spot, and build his list of clients from there.

“It’s super competitive, anyone can pick up a camera. It’s the only profession where on the weekend anyone can go out and take some pictures. You don’t hear people saying, ‘Well on the weekend I went up to Boston and did some brain surgery.’”

“You have to be good, but there’s work out there. Especially in the wedding industry, it starts with personal connections and develops. It’s still an art, and you need personal ways of doing it,” he said. “If you can sell your personality and style there’s a market for you. Even if it’s the same thing everyone else is doing. If you do it different, better, or you have a unique way of doing things, there’s your market.”

The tools he’s been given by the Sheridan photography program have inspired Mark’s outlook on the industry. Sheridan has developed a reputation as one of the best schools for applied photography in Canada, and that’s why Mark ended up here.

“I heard it was the best, I didn’t apply anywhere else,” he said. “If I was going to go to school for photography, it was going to be Sheridan. My cousin-in-law graduated from the program. I just decided it was going to be Sheridan or it was going to be nothing.”

As for influences on his own work, he cites Rob Campbell a photographer from British Columbia. He tries to stay away from contemporary shooting, and bring his own style and view into every shot. “The idea is to blow your mind with every shot. Every shot has to just rock,” Mark said. “It’s between perspective, lighting and angles. To document the day and do it well you need incredible light and incredible perspective. With that, you’re going to succeed in the business.”

With the knowledge Sheridan has provided, coupled with Mark’s own personal drive, it’s easy to see that he’s going to make an impact on the industry. His style is unmatched – and his own professionalism is going to push him into bigger and better things. But it’s one step at a time just like the rest of the students here at Sheridan. After graduation he is going to be thrown into a world of professionals and amateurs battling for position in one of the most competitive industries in Canada. It will be Mark’s own passion for his craft that will separate him from the masses. His love for all things related to photography will make him shine brighter than every kid out there with an SLR and a Facebook page.

“It just developed into a hobby, a passion, and then a career,” Mark said explaining why he is still shooting. “It’s hard to put my finger on why I love photography. I could go into anything and enjoy it, but photography just worked.”


The Success Of NCAA Sports In America

The NCAA’s Division I basketball tournament, affectionately nicknamed March Madness, continues to do what it does best – grab the attention of sports fans across North America and not let go.

With 68 different college basketball teams poised to challenge one another in the elimination-style tournament, throngs of fans will fill college stadiums across the United States to support their school.

Last year’s March Madness championship game between Butler and Connecticut drew over 70,000 people to the Reliant Stadium in Houston Texas. The average attendance of a Kentucky NCAA basketball game is over 23,000 – more than the average NHL game – while many Canadian universities fail to even report attendance statistics for their home games.

But, why is that? Why are college sports in America so successful? And why aren’t they in Canada?

“I think there are a lot of communities in the United States that don’t have professional teams to branch out to. They are much more prone to follow their college,” said Peter Tiernan of BracketScience.com, an online source for statistics and information on NCAA basketball.

Tiernan resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan and holds season tickets for Michigan Wolverines games. He’s a freelance sports writer, and he’s been to his fair share of college games – including a few held here in Canada. In fact, after attending a game at Western University, he was really concerned with the turnout.

“They’re struggling to get a crowd,” he said. “At half time, you look across the stadium and there’s just not a lot of people there. It felt like a big high school game.”

In other words, Canadian college sports lack a major following. And without that following, they lack that fullhouse atmosphere. And without that, it’s almost passionless.

“Our passion goes so far back,” he said. “People affiliate with their college. They stick with that affiliation and I think there’s a lot of promotion and money behind college sports in America.”

And you can really see that passion shine through during March Madness. It brings students, alumni, employees and local residents together. It really is more than simply rooting for the home team.

“College basketball definitely rivals pro basketball,” he said. “College basketball is passionate. The games are much more intense, and some might even say that the NCAA tournament is better than the Super Bowl, as it goes on for three weeks. Even if you’re not really a sports fan, there’s still that culture. And, frankly, I like the college game. It’s more pure. Especially in basketball.”

Pure – it’s a good word, really. It perfectly describes the players and their mindsets. College sports take place well before the seven-figure contracts, the shoe endorsements and the lavish team travel. There’s no trade deadlines and no free agency. College athletes view their sports as exactly what they are – games.

“People look back to college and high school and there’s a purity with the game that they can affiliate with,” he said. “These people are close to something that you could maybe achieve, while the professional game is more of a business. College sports is a business too, but we can delude ourselves that it’s a little bit purer.”

It seems so simple. Go to school, express team spirit, stay in touch with your alma mater. Tiernan, though, insists that it’s not that straightforward – that there is actually no special formula for Canada to boost the public’s interest in a team or a league.

“It has to come organically,” he said. “It’s also a numbers game. There are 345 teams in Division I basketball, so Americans are bound to affiliate with one of them. There’s going to be a team within a 50-mile radius from where any American is. Is it that way in Canada? No. That’s part of it. There are just not a lot of teams.”

In 2009, Duke generated over $29,000,000 in revenue. CBS blogger and contributing writer for ESPN.com Eric Angevine feels that the identity that college teams possess helps drive interest, revenue and attendance.

“If you’re in Alabama, there’s a difference between someone who loves the University of Alabama and somebody who loves Auburn,” Angevine said. “They are both in the same state, but it’s a huge part of their identity whether they went to the school or not. I would actually bet that the majority of people who love Auburn or Alabama probably didn’t go to college at all. They just live in Alabama and identify with them regionally.”

Angevine also believes that this identification and support for NCAA sports goes far beyond school spirit.

“I think the game day experience has a lot to do with the specific school,” he said. “For one thing, college basketball is our feeder system for our professional sports. We never developed sport academies or developmental systems like they have in Europe. Our two most popular sports – football and basketball – are things that grew organically.”
Another belief as to why the sports are so successful in terms of viewership and attendance is that, with several teams making it, more fan bases are involved early. There’s also the fact that some of the not-so-great teams participate – something that all sports fans love.

“The NCAA tournaments are unusual because people tune in to the first couple of rounds because they want to see upsets,” Angevine said. “People like that ‘David Vs. Goliath’ thing. But after that, they really like to see it come down to traditional powers.”

While NCAA hockey, basketball and football become increasingly more popular in the United States, it will take time for the Canadian college markets to develop their own identity. And when we do it, it’s clear that we have to do it organically. However, with the right support from students and fans, time will shape Canadian college sports. With a little luck, our teams will, one day, rival college sports in America.

Steps That Canadian Schools Can Take To Boost Interest In College Sports

> Develop identity and learn from American tournaments like March Madness and Frozen Four.

> Be patient and let fan bases grow organically. Reach out to alumni and make an effort to tell the stories behind games and players.

> Reach out to students and hear feedback on ways to improve the game day experience.

> Invest money in promoting sporting events and let school spirit grow by putting together teams that win.

> Develop rivalries with other schools that create storylines and unforgettable game experiences.

> Encourage passion and invest in athletics throughout the entire school.

York Takes Legal Action Against Toronto Life

Fall issue of Excalibur. Our editorial board was tipped off that York was planning on suing Toronto Life for their feature entitled Fortress York.

The gloves are off, sort of.

York is considering taking legal action in response to an article entitled “Fortress York” published in the October issue of Toronto Life.Written by Katherine Laidlaw, the article provides a timeline of sexual assaults at York over the last 10 years and claims the Keele campus is a “hunting ground for sexual predators.”

Mamdouh Shoukri, York’s president and vice-chancellor, said during a visit to the Excalibur offices that the university has to stand up when they see an article like the one in Toronto Life.The meeting was intended to increase dialogue between Excalibur’s editorial board and the president about issues on campus, extending into the topics of safety on campus and the article published in Toronto Life. The cover of the October issue of Toronto Life includes the jump-line, “Why There Are So Many Rapes at York U.”

“The article treats York as if it is a place where there are uncontrollable events of rape,” says Shoukri. “The statistics don’t support that.”

Laidlaw writes in her feature that York has become a nightmare for students and staff. Laidlaw writes she interviewed dozens female York students, and “every one of them blamed the campus’s problems on its design and location.” She also mentions that the school is bordered by “seedy” strip malls and the Jane and Finch community, all cited as potential trouble spots.

York takes a hit in the October issue of Toronto Life with the feature entitled Fortress York.
Shoukri responded to the article publicly on YFile on September 17. He writes in his response that the article “presents a wholly distorted picture of women’s safety on the campus of York University.” Shoukri also claims the article uses out-of-context statistics that will foster an atmosphere of fear within the York community.

“York is safe,” he adds in his response. Shoukri also writes it is false to categorize all of the incidents at York as rape, and that sexual assault under the Canadian Criminal Code is broad and covers an extremely wide range of sexual offences.

According to York, the university’s media relations team worked with Laidlaw over several months.

Joanne Rider of York media says the school also provided statistics that demonstrates York is safe within the context of the broader city and other universities. Rider also notes that several other sources provided perspectives for the Toronto Life piece, including the Toronto Police Services, who were not included within the published article.

Toronto Life did not respond to multiple email requests from Excalibur for comment.

Michael Burton
Executive Editor (Online)