This is how Toronto reacted to Ryerson's decision to officially change its name
After months of public pressure, Ryerson University has finally announced that it will change its name, severing ties to the institution's namesake, Egerton Ryerson, an architect of Canada's blood-soaked Indigenous residential school system.
Reactions to the news have been largely positive. The general sentiment from students and faculty seems to be one of relief that the school will finally be renamed, a necessary step in relegating Ryerson's name and legacy to the history books.
BREAKING: Ryerson University will officially be renamed.— Naheed Dosani (@NaheedD) August 26, 2021
In case anybody forgot, Egerton Ryerson was a creator of Canada's residential school system that devastated generations of Indigenous peoples.
Calls to rename the school have been growing louder for months, amplified by findings of thousands of childrens' remains in unmarked graves.
Took awhile and many hands helped convince that this had to be done - name of Ryerson University will be changed. Very happy to see. Time to acknowledge the truth. 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 https://t.co/XPZ8opnAxl— Tanya Talaga (@TanyaTalaga) August 26, 2021
Tensions and demonstrations escalated sharply after these grim discoveries, culminating in an almost ceremonial removal of Ryerson's statue.
Students have been reacting en masse to the news.
Even thought my college is ass I’m actually proud that they are taking the step to change the name and realize the horrid things egerton ryerson did to the First Nations and aboriginals— Urvi ☾ ✩ (@rainberrynarry) August 26, 2021
Much of the student body had already been referring to the school as "University X", as student publications applied further pressure by vowing to change their titles.
Really happy that I won't have the name "Ryerson" on my certificate in a couple years time. https://t.co/3WUeWVbnG2— Trevor Heywood (@hey_trev) August 26, 2021
Alumni are also reacting positively to the name change while still showing pride for their alma mater.
I'm a proud @RTARyerson graduate, a former @ryersonrams 🏀player, and a former Board member of the @Ryerson_Alumni Assoc. But, for so many years, I was unaware of his genocidal colonial legacy. The truth wasn't taught, but I wish I'd done more to educate myself. https://t.co/OWxCOX0G6J— Aisha Wickham (@aishawickham) August 26, 2021
Other Ryerson alumni are wondering aloud if they can get a re-printed degree sans the racism.
Is Ryerson gonna send me a new degree with their new name???🥴🥴asking for a friend— Tish🇯🇲🇨🇦 (@JcanBae) August 26, 2021
Still, some think we are a long way from true reconciliation, with countless municipalities, streets, and other places named for people we should no longer seek to honour.
Renaming Ryerson University is a great first step...Now let's remove the name of every single person who perpetrated genocide from every single institution across Canada.— Dr. Amit Arya (@AmitAryaMD) August 26, 2021
Reactions were not universally supportive, with some suggesting that re-branding from a well-known name like Ryerson might affect the school's recognizability.
X university aka ryerson is having its name changed finally so here’s a reminder to some students that the name change won’t effect the way your diploma is viewed so stop trying to use that as an excuse to keep a racist name— Alexxus (@alexxus77) August 26, 2021
Others are concerned about who will foot the bill for what will certainly be a costly rebranding.
And who is going to pay for this I wonder...oh, how silly of me. Tuitions will be raised and the next group of students will bear the cost! Huzzah, progress!!— Flynn McTaggart (@MctaggartFlynn) August 26, 2021
Ryerson has not announced a new name, and plenty of unsolicited suggestions are, of course, being floated around online.
They are going to make RyHi official! It is about time.— Wayne Kozun (@wayner99) August 26, 2021
Some of these are serious conversations, but this is Twitter, so we also have to highlight the ridiculous ones.
I’d suggest they change the name from Ryerson University to School of Hard Knockers 🎓 pic.twitter.com/dv39ruASCD— Coronapocalypse N😷W (@coronapocaIypse) August 26, 2021
Some proposed names seem straight out of left field.
Ryerson is going to change its name to "A Different Guy Named Ryerson University"— Michael Kolberg 👺🤳 (@mikeykolberg) August 26, 2021
In this case, a call to rename the school for a defunct baseball team from Cleveland appears to take the "left field" saying to a very real place.
I think Ryerson should be renamed The Cleveland Spiders to right another, more recent injustice in the process— Jeepers H. Crackers (@bonedryankles) August 26, 2021
Do these names make sense? No. Are they hilarious? Clearly.
Woke U.— wakkamole (@wakkamole2) August 26, 2021
The Ryerson saga appears far from over, but for now, we'll just have to wonder what "University X" will be calling itself next.
Join the conversation Load comments