07 March 2009

2770) How To Get The University Management Bully Forced to Apologize ?

Or "What Has Been Happening After Turkkaya Ataov's Lecture At Ryerson University? "

Following Action Alert Has Been Issued For Armenians In General & Armenian Students' Association Against The Ryerson University,
Editors

Please Take Action Immediately
We Are Making Progress
Please Pass On To Your Friends


End the Cycle of Genocide

Dear Friends,
As you are already aware, the Department of Sociology at Ryerson University and the Federation of Canadian Turkish Associations organized an evening lecture on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at Ryerson University . The subject of this lecture was "Elaborations on Turkish strategies to dealing with issues around Armenian allegations and beyond", which was delivered by Professor Turkkaya Ataov, a leading denier of the Armenian Genocide who was invited from Turkey .

In response to the emails that have been sent to the Department of Sociology, the Faculty of Arts and Science and the Provost, both the department and the provost have issued statements. The department´s statement mentioned that the position of Ryerson University , the Faculty of Arts and the Department of Sociology is that Genocide experienced by the Armenian people is unquestionably part of the historical record and their suffering is undeniable. It also said that Ryerson University does not support arguments denying genocide in any form, by anyone.

However, the Provost, who speaks on behalf of the university in these matters, has issued an unacceptable statement in his part. He continues to argue that the despite the fact that the Armenians too have suffered genocide, a university cannot restrict freedom of speech. In his statement he does not state that the acceptance of the Armenian Genocide is Ryerson´s position and he only says that "The University is aware of Prime Minster Harper's statement on behalf of all Canadians that the Armenian Genocide is a historical fact." Moreover he offers no apology.

In a meeting that the ASA of Ryerson had with the Provost of Ryerson, they were able to convince the Provost to reconsider his position. He will respond in a week.

It is now our job to pressure the Provost´s office in order to ensure he reconsiders his position and finally offers some closure after the unacceptable event that took place on February 18.

Here is what we need you to do:
a) Please email the President of the University, the Provost and the Vice Provost, Students.
Dr. Sheldon Levy - pres at ryerson.ca
Dr. Alan Shepard- alan.shepard at ryerson.ca
Heather Lane Vetere - hlvetere at ryerson.ca

b) Make a follow up phone call.
Telephone Number: 416-979-5066

Also follow up on your email by calling the Provost's office and leaving a brief and polite message on the voice mail or to Dr. Alan Shepard's assistant who usually answers. Summarize the ideas expressed in your email. This is an integral part of the action alert as it is very important that our message is put forward and Dr. Shepard feels pressured enough to reconsider .

In your letter you should include:

-Our problem is that the Department of Sociology at Ryerson University co-sponsored this event; we understand that many groups and individuals practice their freedom of speech on the campus but the university does not sponsor these events nor do they allow groups from outside the university to come and hold events especially those who have controversial views.

-The Turkish Government used Ryerson University as a platform for their international denial campaign. The responses by both the Provost and the department say that "best ways to refute disturbing or wrong ideas is by openly challenging them with intellectual arguments." However, this did not take place, as it was not only a one sided lecture that took place, the victims of the crime who were left to stand up for themselves were not even given an opportunity to do so.

-Make it clear that Ryerson University must apologize for failing to challenge the disturbing views held by Ataov, must condemn denial, and must make their stance on the Genocide Clear and in turn further themselves from the denialist professor who they sponsored.

- The statement issued by the Provost's office was unacceptable and did not cater to the issues presented in letters from the community.

-We believe that a university has a fundamental responsibility to educate its students.

- We believe that simply allowing incorrect statements of history to go unchallenged is not consistent with that responsibility.

-Denial of the Armenian genocide is an attempt to rewrite history and inconsistent with the historical record and the truth.

-The administration of Ryerson University should exercise its own right to free speech and expression by making a statement recognizing the truth of the Armenian genocide and take steps to ensure that it does not sponsor these types of events in the future.

Please take action immediately we are making progress. Please pass on to your friends.

We greatly appreciate your continued support!

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