Starting June 1, 2021 our organization will be renamed to the Continuing Education Students’ Association of X University or CESAX.

Context

For years, Indigenous students, faculty, staff, and community members have been calling for our university to be renamed and for the statue of Egerton Ryerson to be taken down. 

In July of 2020, CESAX released an open letter in collaboration with Indigenous students and community members calling for the university to immediately remove and replace the Ryerson statue and condemning the charges laid against Black Lives Matter activists who were arrested for painting the statue pink in an act of artistic protest. The open letter has since received over a thousand signatures from members of the university’s community, including students, alumni, faculty, staff, and campus organizations. 

CESAX has continued to advocate for the removal of the statue and the renaming of the university, and has incorporated this campaign into our outreach efforts to educate our members around colonialism and Ryerson’s legacy. CESAX has continued to advocate directly to the university administration around this campaign to hold the university accountable to students. 

In May of 2021, the CESAX Board voted to change our name to the Continuing Education Students’ Association of X University (CESAX) in solidarity with Indigenous students leading the X University campaign and proactively renaming the university instead of continuing to wait for the administration to do so. 

X University Goal

The goal of the campaign is not to historically erase the namesake of the university, but to delegitimize his legacy and remove the continuous pain and trauma that Indigenous students, faculty, staff and community members have been forced to carry with them by being associated with the name of a man responsible for a legacy of violence. Further, the campaign seeks to show just how easy it is to change the name if there is the political will to do it. 

Instead of saying “Ryerson University”, you can say “X University”. All it takes is the political willingness to challenge the status quo.

More Information

Calls to Action

Introducing X University: An Open Letter To The Community From Indigenous Students 

https://yellowheadinstitute.org/2021/05/11/welcome-to-x-university-an-open-letter-to-the-community-from-indigenous-students/

As an Indigenous professor, Egerton Ryerson’s name haunts me 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-as-an-indigenous-professor-egerton-ryersons-name-haunts-me/ 

Letter from Indigenous faculty at X University

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZnBO6-LqnscK9NqKFV14t1w95ufQhXRTgEUsPhBdEow/edit 

Open letter from faculty at X University 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfZ0fUDSUCJn7qNsQyjYzEcJNshboAF-zXRTFTmkpV0-9Gw-g/viewform 

Open letter from staff at X University

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeu4DnsTMwp_fXwWfFkf0EEVju8Wc9M972WnLXWXUFexM2hYg/viewform 

Resources 

Now That We Know 

http://spacing.ca/toronto/2021/05/03/excerpt-indigenous-toronto-stories-that-carry-this-place/ 

Egerton Ryerson: Racist philosophy of residential schools also shaped public education

https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/egerton-ryerson-racist-philosophy-of-residential-schools-also-shaped-public-education

Thousands call for removal of Egerton Ryerson from university campus in Toronto

https://www.blogto.com/city/2020/06/removal-egerton-ryerson-statue-toronto-university-campus/ 

Actionables

The below sections are resources and suggestions for campus partners and groups to support the campaign.

University Academic and Non-Academic Departments

  • Update your email signatures
  • Ask Department Chair to send out an email or memo encouraging the change of:
    • Updating email signatures
    • Updating logos and branding
    • Providing office training on legacy of Egerton Ryerson and new communication standards 
    • Removing references to X University in communication
  • Sign on to the CESAX Open Letter to X University

Course unions, student groups, student societies

  • Serve a motion to officially update your organization’s name
  • Update email signatures
  • Update LinkedIn information and other social media
  • Update logo and branding 
  • Update social media handle and usernames
  • Update website domain name if possible and website graphics
  • Create a communications standards protocol for the name change
  • Create a culture shift and set clear expectations within the organization
  • Work to educate members about the reason for the name change
  • Sign on to the CESAX Open Letter to X University

Current Students and Alumni

  • Update your LinkedIn information, social media and resume to X University
  • Update your language use and help to share information about the X University campaign with classmates, alumni and networks
  • Email the chair and dean of your department about updating the department name
  • Sign on to the CESAX Open Letter to X University

Everyone

  • Show up to Indigenous solidarity actions and calls for resources
  • Follow wreckonciliation_x_university on social media
  • Donate to local Indigenous organizations, individuals and actions
  • Bring children’s shoes and to the Egerton Ryerson Statue