|Motto||Tentanda via (Latin)|
|Motto in English||The way must be tried|
|Endowment||$338 million (CAD)|
|Location||Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Campus||Urban / suburban,
185 ha (457.14 acres)
|Affiliations||AUCC, CARL, IAU, COU, CIS, OUA, CUSID, Fields Institute, Ontario Network of Women in engineering, CBIE, CFS, CUP.|
York University has approximately 54,000 students, 7,000 faculty and staff, and 260,000 alumni worldwide. It has eleven faculties, namely the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, Faculty of Science, Lassonde School of Engineering, Schulich School of Business, Osgoode Hall Law School, Glendon College, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Fine Arts, Faculty of Health, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Faculty of Graduate Studies, and 28 research centres.
York University participates in the Canadian Space Program. The Faculty of Science and Lassonde School of Engineering are Canada's primary research facility into Martian exploration, and have designed several space research instruments and applications currently used by NASA. York has pioneered some of the first PhD programs in Canada, in various fields including women's studies. The School of Social Work is recognized as having one of the most socially responsive programs in the country. York University's business school and law school have continuously and consistently been ranked among the top schools in Canada and the world.
- 1 History
- 2 Gallery
- 3 Academics
- 4 Campuses
- 5 Student life
- 6 Transit
- 7 Campus safety
- 8 Presidents
- 9 Chancellors
- 10 Noted alumni and faculty
- 11 Controversies
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 Bibliography
- 15 External links
York University was established in 1959 as a non-denominational institution by the York University Act. which received Royal Assent in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on 26 March of that year. Its first class was held in September 1960 in Falconer Hall on the University of Toronto campus with a total of 76 students.
The policy of university education initiated in the 1960s responded to population pressure and the belief that higher education was a key to social justice and economic productivity for individuals and for society. The governance was modelled on the provincial University of Toronto Act of 1906, which established a bicameral system of university government consisting of a senate (faculty), responsible for academic policy, and a board of governors (citizens) exercising exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority in all other matters. The president, appointed by the board, was to provide a link between the two bodies and to perform institutional leadership.
In the fall of 1961, York moved to its first campus, Glendon College, and began to emphasize liberal arts and part-time adult education. It became independent in 1965, after an initial period of affiliation with the University of Toronto (U of T), under the York University Act, 1965. Its main campus on the northern outskirts of Toronto opened in 1965.
Murray Ross, who continues to be honoured today at the University in several ways – including the Murray G. Ross Award, was still vice-president of U of T when he was approached to become York University's new president. At the time, York University was envisaged as a feeder campus to U of T, until Ross's powerful vision led it to become a completely separate institution.
In 1965, the university opened a second campus, the Keele Campus, in North York. The Glendon campus became a bilingual liberal arts college led by Escott Reid, who envisaged it as a national institution to educate Canada's future leaders, a vision shared by Prime Minister Lester Pearson, who formally opened Glendon College in 1966.
The first Canadian undergraduate program in dance opened at York University in 1970. In 1972, Canada Post featured the nascent institution on 8¢ stamps, entitled York University Campus, North York, Ont. The first Canadian PhD. program in Women's Studies opened with five candidates in January 1992.
Its bilingual mandate and focus on the liberal arts continue to shape Glendon's special status within York University. The new Keele Campus was regarded as somewhat isolated, in a generally industrialized part of the city. Petrol storage facilities are still located across the street. Some of the early architecture was unpopular with many, not only for the brutalist designs, but the vast expanses between buildings, which was not viewed as suitable for the climate. In the last two decades, the campus has been intensified with new buildings, including a dedicated student centre and new fine arts, computer science and business administration buildings, a small shopping mall, and a hockey arena. The Rexall Centre tennis stadium, built in 2004, is a perennial host of the Canada Masters tennis tournament. As Toronto has spread further out, York has found itself in a relatively central location within the built-up Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and in particular, near the Jane and Finch neighbourhood. Its master plan envisages a denser on-campus environment commensurate with that location. Students occupied the university's administration offices in March 1997, protesting escalating tuition hikes.
On November 6, 2008, the York University Senate suspended classes because of a strike by CUPE Local 3903. The local represents contract professors, teaching assistants, and graduate assistants. Classes resumed on Monday, February 2, 2009 after back-to-work legislation was passed by the Ontario Legislative Assembly (see: 2008-09 York University Strike)
Rexall Centre (non-York facility)
York has educated some of the current and past directors and CEOs of Canada's major banks (Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal), the largest and most prominent media networks in Canada (CTV Television Network, Rogers Communications, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), and numerous judges, diplomats, and senior politicians including a former Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Appeal of Canada, the Minister of Finance of Canada and the former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations. Astronaut Steve MacLean was educated at York University in the physics department and later taught there before going to work at Stanford University.
York's approximately 2,450 full-time faculty and academic librarians are represented by the York University Faculty Association. Contract faculty, teaching assistants, and graduate assistants are represented by CUPE Local 3903.
For the 2012-2013 academic year, York received 40,943 undergraduate applications; approximately 11,000 students accepted admission offers and were enrolled maintaining a high school entrance average of 75.9%. For graduate admissions, the average GMAT score for candidates admitted to the Schulich School of Business is 663. The average LSAT score for candidates admitted to the Osgoode Hall Law School is 162.
York University has over 120 undergraduate programs with 17 degree types (BA, iBA, BSc, iBSc, BBA, iBBA, BEng, BES, BDes, BPA, BFA, BAS, BEd, BDEM, BHRM, BScN, BSW) and offers over 170 degree options. They admit to 30 international degrees offering international language study and opportunities to study abroad at more than 100 international universities. In 2012, 8,238 Graduate applications were received and 53,198 Undergraduate applications. Its international students represent over 150 countries around the world. York University is one of the few universities to offer a GAP year for students who wish to travel abroad, study religious development or work and still keep their offer. York also allows students who are having immigration or financial difficulties to defer their offer for up to one year.
|ARWU Social Sciences||101-150|
The 2013-2014 Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed York 276-300 in the world, placing 16-17 in Canada. The 2011 QS World University Rankings ranked the university 364th in the world. According to the 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) rankings, the university ranked 401-500th in the world. In terms of national rankings, Maclean's ranked York 9th in their 2014 comprehensive university rankings. The Higher Education Strategy Associates ranked York 8th nationally in Social Sciences and Humanities.
Several of York's programs had also gained notable recognition both nationally and internationally. In the QS World University Rankings 2013 ranking of history departments, York was place thirty-third in the world, and third in Canada. In the Corporate Knights 2011 ranking of teacher-education programs in Canada, York had placed fifth. York's Osgoode Hall Law School ranked second in Canada, in Maclean's 2012 ranking of Canadian common law schools. In the Corporate Knights ranking of law programs in Canada, Osgoode Hall had also placed second. In the QS ranking of law programs, York had placed 42nd in the world, and fifth in Canada.
The Schulich School of Business had also gained national and international accolades. In the Corporate Knights 2011 rankings of MBA programs in Canada, the school had placed first. In the same year, the Corporate Knights had also ranked the school third in Canada for undergraduate business programs. In Beyond Grey Pinstripes 2011 rankings of MBA programs, York had placed second in the world, and first in Canada. In Bloomberg Businessweek's 2010 rankings of the best business schools outside the United States, Schulich had ranked seventh, the second highest of any Canadian business school. In Forbes 2010 rankings of the best two-year MBA program outside the United States, Schulich had ranked 10th in the world, the highest out of any Canadian business school. In CNN Expansion's ranking of MBA programs, the school had ranked 18th in the world, placing first in Canada. In the Financial Times 2011 ranking of MBA programs, Schulich had ranked 49th in the world, and third in Canada. In The Economist's 2011 full-time MBA rankings, Schulich had ranked ninth in the world, and first in Canada.
York University has eleven faculties, including the Faculties of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (which was formed in July 2009 by the merger of the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies and the Faculty of Arts), Science, Health, the Lassonde School of Engineering, Education, Fine Arts, Environmental Studies, the Schulich School of Business, Osgoode Hall Law School, Glendon College, and Graduate Studies. Some faculties' programs overlap: for instance, more than one house separate mathematics departments, although some of these are being merged; the Schulich School of Business offers undergraduate and graduate International Business Administration programmes and the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies offers a Bachelor of Administrative Studies with streams in Accounting, Business Research, Finance, Human Resources Management, Management, Management Science, and Marketing, as well as a minor in Business, to be taken in conjunction with a major in another discipline. The Schulich School of Business offers undergraduates with the option of pursuing a BBA or iBBA program with a component of mandatory exchange. Also, the Glendon and Schulich units are offering or are in the processes of preparing to offer degrees in public policy and administration. The University administration has, however, taken steps in some cases to unify departments in separate faculties, in part to support York's efforts to brand itself as a university focused on interdisciplinarity. For example, the Faculty of Health, opened on 1 July 2006, houses the School of Health Policy and Management, School of Kinesiology and Health Science, School of Nursing, and the Department of Psychology.
York University offers the first and largest graphic design program in Ontario York/Sheridan Design (YSDN). It is a four-year University degree delivered jointly by the two leading educational institutions of design in Canada (York University and Sheridan College), and is recognized throughout North America for maintaining the highest academic and professional standards.
The Osgoode Hall Law School moved from a downtown location to the York campus in 1969, following the requirement that every law school affiliate with a university. The law school has several flexible degrees available, including the Osgoode-NYU JD/LLB degree in conjunction with New York University School of Law. Osgoode Hall Law School of York University has been ranked the top law school in Canada in Canadian Lawyer magazine’s 2008 Law School Survey.
York University's Faculty of Graduate Studies offers graduate degrees in a variety of disciplines, and there are several joint graduate programmes with the University of Toronto and Ryerson University. It is the second largest graduate school in the Province of Ontario.
The Ph.D. students in the Social and Political Thought  program have won the award for best PhD thesis in Canada. The School of Women's Studies at York University offers a large array of courses in the field, some of which are offered in French. The Canadian Centre for Germanic and European Studies is co-housed at York University and Université de Montréal. The Centre is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service.
Research centres and institutes
- Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry
- Centre for Research on Biomolecular Interactions
- Centre for Research in Earth and Space Science
- Centre for Research in Mass Spectrometry
- Centre for Vision Research (CVR)
- York Institute for Social Research
- York Institute for Health Research
- Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies
- Canadian Centre for German and European Studies
- Centre for Feminist Research
- Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies
- York Centre for Asian Research
- York Centre for International and Security Studies
- Centre for Public Policy and Law
- Centre for Refugee Studies
- Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean
- Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability
- Institute for Research on Learning Technologies
- The Jack and Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security
- LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research
- The City Institute at York University (CITY)
- Global Labour Research Centre
- The Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples
- York Centre for Education and Community
- Institute for Science and Technology Studies
- Muscle Health Research Centre
- Sensorium: The Centre for Digital Arts and Technology
- Centre for Research on Language Contact
- York Centre for Field Robotics
The Art Gallery of York University houses the permanent art collections. The collection of 1500 objects includes Canadian, American, Inuit, and European mixed media, multimedia, installations, painting, photography, prints, drawings, sculpture, sketchbooks, film and video.
The Faculty of Fine Arts offers programmes such as design, ethnomusicology, cultural studies, visual arts, music, dance, and theatre. York's Jazz Department was once overseen by Oscar Peterson. York also has a joint Bachelor of Design program with Sheridan College. York's Departments of Film, Theatre and Creative Writing (which is not affiliated with the Faculty of Fine Arts) offers programmes in film production/directing, acting, and writing respectively, producing many award-winning graduates. The founders of Toronto's Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival and CineACTION film theory magazine were graduates of York's Faculty of Fine Arts.
York offers a Space and Communication Sciences undergraduate degree. York’s Centre for Vision Research has developed a ‘virtual reality room’ called IVY (Immersive Virtual Environment at York) in order to study spatial orientation and perception of gravity and motion. The Canadian Space Agency and National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) use this room to strengthen astronauts’ sense of ‘up’ and ‘down’ in zero-gravity environments. The room is a six-sided immersive environment made of the glass used in the CN Tower’s observation deck and includes walls, ceiling, and a floor made of computer-generated pixel maps. York's Faculty of Science and Engineering most recently took part in the 2007 NASA Phoenix Mars Mission.
York is also the only university in Canada with specialized programs in meteorological sciences at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
- Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS)
- Faculty of Education (ED)
- Faculty of Environmental Studies (ES)
- Faculty of Fine Arts (FA)
- Glendon College (GL)
- Faculty of Graduate Studies (GS)
- Faculty of Health (HH)
- Osgoode Hall Law School (OS)
- Schulich School of Business (SB)
- Faculty of Science (SC)
- Lassonde School of Engineering (LSE)
- School of Communication Arts
- Computer Studies
- Biological Science and Applied Chemistry
- Corporate and Technical Communications
There are five libraries at York University. Four of these libraries constitute the York University Libraries system: the Scott Library, Steacie Science and Engineering Library, Peter F. Bronfman Business Library, and the Leslie Frost Library (on Glendon Campus). The fifth library, the Osgoode Hall Law Library, reports to the Dean of the Osgoode Hall Law School. The Scott Library also contains within it the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections, the Map Library and the Sound and Moving Images Library. Although the Archives of Ontario moved to York's Keele campus in April 2009, it is not affiliated with York University Libraries.
York's primary campus ("The Keele Campus") is located in the north of the City of Toronto and bordering York Region. It is the largest post-secondary campus in Canada at 457 acres. Most of the University's faculties reside here, including Liberal Arts, Fine Arts, Business, Law, Environmental Studies, Science and Engineering, Education, and Health. All together, nearly 50,000 students attend classes on the Keele campus.
York has over 200,000 living alumni. Although a large number of alumni live in Ontario, a significant number live in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Alberta, New York, and Washington, D.C. York also has over 25,000 alumni overseas.
Glendon College, a bilingual liberal arts faculty which conducts its own recruitment and admissions and hosts its own academic programs, is also housed on its own campus on Bayview Avenue in North Toronto. Glendon is the only university-level institution in central Southern Ontario that offers university courses in both French and English; others elsewhere in Ontario include the University of Ottawa and Laurentian University in Sudbury. A shuttle bus runs regularly between the Glendon and the Keele campuses. Glendon students are free to take courses at the Keele campus (and vice-versa). However, there are students who consider getting from one campus to the other to be inconvenient, and thus the attractiveness of this option is not universal.
While most of the Schulich School of Business and Osgoode Hall Law School programs are offered at the Keele Campus, both of them maintain satellite facilities in downtown Toronto. Schulich operates the Miles S. Nadal Management Centre, while Osgoode Hall has a Professional Development Centre located at 1 Dundas Street West.
York University has over 54,000 students: about 48,000 undergraduates (approximately 38,500 of which are full-time and 7,500 part-time) and 5,900 graduate students. Many students come from the Greater Toronto Area, but there is a sizeable population of students from across Canada and abroad, making York one of the most international universities in Canada. To serve this large population, there are 290 student clubs and organizations; six student-run publications and three broadcast programs; six art galleries; 33 on-campus eateries; and a retail mall. Undergraduate students at York are represented by the York Federation of Students, a student-elected body that sponsors most of the clubs, and engages in lobbying with the university administration as well as the provincial and federal governments.
Colleges and residences
York has nine undergraduate residential colleges:
|Colleges of York University|
|Motto/Mandate||Academic Affiliations||Undergrad Population||Namesake|
|"Technology and the Arts"||Schulich School of Business, Economics, Business and Society, Cognitive Science, Communication Studies, Psychology||4806||Norman-French for pipe or pipestem.|
|"Self, Culture & Society"||Anthropology, Environmental Studies, French, Geography, Italian, History, African studies, East Asian studies, Social Work, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, South Asian Studies, International Development, Urban studies||4185||The Group of Seven, often referred to as "The Founders of Canadian Art"|
|Bilingual Liberal Arts||Liberal Arts, English, French, Public Policy||approx. 3000||A combination of "glen" meaning "valley" and "Don" for the Don River.|
|Public Policy & Social Sciences||Political Science, Sociology, Law and Society, Criminology, Public Policy, Health and Society, Labour Studies||5128||Colonel Samuel McLaughlin, businessman and philanthropist.|
|Professional Studies||Human Resources, Administrative Studies, Information Technology||unknown||Newest college at York University.|
|"Science and its Place in the World"||Natural Sciences, Engineering, BSc. Kinesiology, Science and Technology Studies (formerly Science and Society)||6261||Dr. Norman Bethune, Canadian doctor and Chinese hero.|
|Language and Sport||English and other Languages, BA. Kinesiology, Health Science||4336||The Stong family lived on the land now occupied by the Keele campus.|
|Humanities||Children's Studies, Classical Studies & Classics, Culture and Expression, Hellenic Studies, Individualized Studies, Jewish Studies, Liberal Studies, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Social and Political Thought, all Undecided Majors in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies||6909||Georges Vanier, Governor-General of Canada.|
|Fine Arts||Fine Arts||2574||Robert Winters, Canadian Cabinet Minister and York's first chairman.|
|Glendon College acts as both a faculty and a college of the university. New College was created in 2009 to accommodate the creation of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies.|
The Village at York University
The Village at York University  off-campus student housing area has become a popular area of accommodation for many upper-year and post-graduate students, and the area has had a large amount of attention particularly for large parties hosted by students, including the annual Battle of the Village kegger held in March. There have also been many reports of the level of noise pollution from late-night parties from students living in the area. Safety has also been a pressing issue.
The Village is a residential neighbourhood within the City of Toronto, occupying about 130 acres beyond the south boundary of York University's property. Residential dwellings in The Village are privately owned, and homeowners in this community are City of Toronto taxpayers. York University participates in the Village At York Town and Gown Committee, with representatives of residents of The Village; the York Federation of Students; Toronto Police Service and Toronto Fire Service, as well as other key municipal agencies and the local Councillors' office. This committee addresses concerns of residents, students, the City and the University, such as community safety and by-law enforcement and compliance.
Newspapers and other publications
Colleges and some programs also have individual newspapers or magazines. They include: The Flying Walrus (Stong College), MacMedia (McLaughlin College), The Pipe (Calumet College), Artichoke (Winters College), SOFA (Spotlight On Fine Arts), The Lexicon (Norman Bethune College), The Vandoo (Vanier College), The Phoenix (Founders College), Pro Tem (Glendon College), Obiter Dicta (Osgoode Law School), and The Insider (Schulich School of Business).
Existere – Journal of Arts and Literature (est. 1978) is a national publication with local and international contributors. It is financed by Vanier College Council. The journal publishes short fiction, poetry, non-fiction and art from novices and seasoned veterans. Several major writers got their early start in Existere.
YorkU Magazine (est. 2003) is the official magazine of York University. It is published 3 times a year in both a print and digital format.
The University is represented in Canadian Interuniversity Sport by the York Lions. Beginning in 1968 York's sporting teams were known as the "Yeomen", after the Yeomen Warders, the guardians of the fortress and palace at the Tower of London, otherwise known as Beefeaters. Later, the name "Yeowomen" was introduced to encourage women to participate in sports. Popular sentiment ran against this name scheme, however, as many students were fond of noting that a "Yeowoman" was fictitious, neither a real word nor having any historical merit. In 2003, after conducting an extensive internal study, the University replaced both names with the "Lions", as part of a larger renaming effort, and a new logo, now a white and red lion, was brought into line with the university's new visual scheme. The name change also brought York University in line with the 92% of other Canadian universities which use a single name for both sexes' sports teams. Ironically, students often refer to the female Lions teams as the "York Lionesses", even though the name "Lion" is intended to apply to both sexes.
York offers 29 interuniversity sport teams, 12 sport clubs, 35 intramural sport leagues, special events and 10 pick-up sport activities offered daily.
York University has several athletic facilities, some of which are used for major tournaments. These include a football stadium, 4 gymnasia, 5 sport playing fields, 4 softball fields, 9 outdoor tennis courts, 5 squash courts, 3 dance/aerobic studios, 6 ice arenas, a swimming pool, an expanding fitness centre and the new Rexall Centre (home of the Rogers Tennis Cup).
In 2005, plans were made to build a new football and soccer stadium to host the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League and future football tournaments. These plans were scuttled, however, when a deal was signed by the Argos to remain at the Rogers Centre.
At sporting events, and in a host of frosh week events on campus, students are often heard singing and chanting the cheer "Deep in the Heart":
- Deep in the heart of the York U Jungle,
- You can hear the Lions rumble,
- Oo Oo, YU YU, Oo Oo, YU YU
Another York Fight song that is used at Homecoming games is:
- The red and white are waving over the field
- Our team is fighting with the spirit that will not yield
- Rah rah rah!
- Hail to thee O York U
- We'll fight for you
- Once again the Lions will reach victory!
There are also college songs, particularly from the friendly feuds between Stong College and Bethune College, and the infamous Winters College and Vanier College cheer songs.
Fraternities and sororities
With both fraternities and sororities operating on campus, York University is home to a vibrant "Greek" community. Though the organizations are not officially recognized by the University, they do provide member students with valuable experiences throughout their post-secondary academic careers to supplement campus life. Many lifelong friendships are forged through these societies, which place a great deal of emphasis on academic achievement, leadership and philanthropy.
Over the years, fraternities and sororities have operated unofficially on campus:
- Alpha Epsilon Pi (ΑΕΠ) - (Eta Pi Chapter)
- Phi Delta Theta (ΦΔΘ) - (Ontario Delta Chapter)
- Sigma Alpha Mu (ΣΑΜ) - (Delta Omicron Chapter - inactive)
- Kappa Sigma Fraternity (KΣ) - (Colony - active)
- Delta Pi (ΔΠ) - (Alpha Chapter)
- Delta Psi Delta (ΔΨΔ) - (Gamma Chapter)
- Delta Zeta (ΔΖ) - (Delta Pi Chapter - inactive)
- Sigma Delta Tau (ΣΔT) - (Gamma Omicron Chapter - inactive)
Phi Delta Phi (ΦΔΦ) international legal fraternity, at Osgoode Law School, was given special dispensation when the law school became part of the university, as the fraternity's history with the law school dated back to 1896, and is recognized at York.
York University is sometimes referred to as a "commuter school". Over 65% of the students and staff have home addresses in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), particularly in York Region and downtown Toronto. Many students are opting for public transit owing to York's high parking fees. York intends to increase the fees for parking to combat congestion around campus and to support the goal of making Toronto more environmentally friendly.
Close to fourteen hundred buses move people through the campus each day. An extension of the Yonge-University-Spadina line of the Toronto Subway is currently under construction. It will run directly under the campus, creating new stations at Keele Street and Finch Avenue (as Finch West station), at the centre of campus (as York University station), and at Steeles Avenue, interfacing with York Regional Transit (as Black Creek Pioneer Village station).
York University's Glendon and Keele campuses are served by the TTC. The Keele site is also served by York Region Transit buses (both regular and Viva) from the immediate north, GO Transit express buses from several other Toronto suburbs and colleges or universities (such as Sheridan College and UOIT) along with Greyhound buses for regional transportation. Transportation Services operates a shuttle service to GO Transit's York University train station on its Barrie corridor. As of November 20, 2009, express buses on the highly frequent 196 York University Rocket Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) bus route now use the dedicated York University Busway to transport students from Downsview station to York Lanes in about 15 minutes. It consists of bus-only lanes on Allen Road and Dufferin Street, and bus-only roadways through a hydro corridor north of Finch Avenue West, and along the east side of the campus. As of September 20, 2010, the Züm Route 501 provides service from Bramalea Terminal in Brampton to York University.
York University is physically located in a diverse area of Toronto. York University Department of Security Services provides security services on the university's campuses. York Security Services provide uniformed security staff which consist of campus liaison officers (community services unit) and the Investigative Unit which works closely with the Toronto Police Services. The investigative unit and Toronto Police Investigative Units and 31 Division work jointly on serious investigations. Patrols are conducted on foot, bicycle and vehicle. The security service is a member of the Ontario Association of College and University Security Administrators (OACUSA) and the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). The campus community is over 55,000 people.
The department uses marked Ford Crown Victorias which are clearly identifiable with low-profile LED roof lights. The department responds to all calls for service, however incidents of a criminal nature should be reported to Toronto Police. Uniform security staff can be clearly identified by their dark cargo-style pants, red shirt (York University colour) and black exterior body armour (bulletproof vest covers). Residence watch staff are also posted nightly at all undergraduate residence buildings to provide an extra level of protection. As part of the campus safety system a student escort service is available to all members of the community. The escort staff are students hired on a part-time basis. In an emergency escort staff have immediate communication with Security Services.
In June 2008, the university announced it had commissioned an external safety audit after a string of rapes on the university campus. During frosh week 2007, two men entered a campus dormitory and raped two students. The victims were 17 and 18 years old at the time. A lawsuit filed claims that "the entrance door to the college and to the residential room areas of the college were virtually wide open to the public at large". The next year, in January 2008, another student was sexually assaulted in the stairwell of a campus building. In May 2009, a contract security guard was shot at a York University campus pub, The Underground.
In April 2010, a 20-year-old student was sexually assaulted while walking to her apartment, located minutes away from the main campus. The incident, described by police as "particularly severe" and resulting in "very serious" injuries for the victim, was particularly notable as it occurred just a week after Daniel Katsnelson was sentenced for the 2007 rape on the university campus.
The incident further reignited criticism against the school for continued delays in releasing the campus safety audit, which was first announced nearly 2 years prior. On March 31, 2010, less than a month prior to the April 2010 incident, the campus newspaper, Excalibur published an article lambasting the school administration for delays in releasing the audit. A spokesman for the university responded that the school is still "anxiously awaiting" the report.
In April 2011, campus security was temporarily increased following the murder of a 23-year old Chinese overseas student in the York University Village. The university temporarily hired paid duty Toronto Police Officers to patrol the campus. On August 26, 2011, York University announced that in response to recommendations in the METRAC Safety Audit, the University will be modifying the service delivery model for York Security Services (YSS) personnel. Members will be trained and issued with handcuffs and batons. Cruisers are to also be equipped with "silent partners" for transporting arrested persons.
On November 20, 2012, York University initiated the intervention capable delivery model for security services. Having been certified after undergoing training in August 2012, personnel were equipped with handcuffs and batons, and began wearing a dark grey uniform, replacing the red uniform, to signify the change in role for the community. York still does not train its security staff to the level of special constables, giving them police powers on campus, like other universities in Ontario including, Western, Waterloo, WLU, Brock, Carleton, U of T, Guelph, Windsor and Fanshawe College.
On March 6, 2014, Toronto Police and EMS responded late at night to a shooting at the York University Student Centre. Two women were found at the scene; one had been shot and suffered non-life threatening injuries and another received minor (non-gun-related) injuries from the suspect. A suspect was seen running from a campus pub and remains at large.
- Murray G. Ross, academic 1959–1970
- David Slater, economist and civil servant 1970–1973
- H. Ian Macdonald, economist and civil servant 1973–1984
- Harry W. Arthurs, lawyer and academic 1985–1992
- Susan Mann, historian and academic, 1993–1997
- Lorna Marsden, academic and politician 1997–2007
- Mamdouh Shoukri, academic, 2007–present
- Wilfred A. Curtis, RCAF air marshal, 1959–1968
- Floyd S. Chalmers, publisher, 1968–1973
- Walter L. Gordon, federal cabinet minister, 1973–1977
- John P. Robarts, premier of Ontario, 1977–1982
- John S. Proctor, banker, 1982–1983
- J. Tuzo Wilson, geophysicist, 1983–1986
- Larry Clarke, founder of SPAR Aerospace, 1986–1991
- Oscar Peterson, jazz piano great, 1991–1994
- Arden Haynes, businessman, 1994–1998
- Avie J. Bennett, businessman, 1998–2004
- Peter deCarteret Cory, jurist, 2004–2008
- Roy McMurtry, politician and judge, 2008–Present
Noted alumni and faculty
Violation of academic freedom
In the aftermath of an academic conference that took place in 2009, titled "Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace", which explored the possible models of statehood for Israel/Palestine, including the one state model, concerns were raised about the way the York Administration has handled the political pressure. Some of the organizers accused the York administration, mainly the then Dean of the Osgoode Hall Law School and the Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation, of putting undue pressure on the organizers in order to force them to change the content of the conference, invite or disinvite some speakers. The accusations were supported by documents and emails that were obtained through the Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act.
The York administration appointed former Supreme Court of Canada Judge to review the issue, but the Iacobucci Review was problematic, and the terms of reference for the review were seen as an attack on academic freedom. The whole issue is being investigated by the Canadian Association of University Teachers.
In response to the allegations made, a University spokesperson said that the University should be judged the fact that event took place despite the pressure not to hold it, and that there is always internal discussion as part of the planning of all events. He added that "In the end, this conference did go on and we do not feel that academic freedom was breached." Vice President and Provost, Patrick Monahan, said, about these allegation that "Justice Iacobucci has looked at that and he doesn’t see any purpose in conducting further inquiries. Obviously there are a lot of different views about it.” Yet, it seems that the Iaccobucci Report is seen by many faculty members at Osgoode as controversial. In a letter from the Osgoode Hall Faculty Association, the Association said that it "considers the Iacobucci Report to be unsound and unreliable." The Association also said that "the Report both jeopardizes academic freedom and fails to consider the troubling conduct of the York officials."
Intimidation of Pro-Israel groups
On February 11, 2009, approximately 100 pro-Palestinian students reportedly initiated a near-riot against a group of Jewish students during a news conference where speakers called for the impeachment of the York Federation of Students (YFS) executive. According to witnesses, the demonstrators, which reportedly consisted of members of the YFS and Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA), shouted “Zionism equals racism!” and “Racists off campus!” One witness stated that “a riot broke out. They [YFS supporters] started banging the door and windows, intimidating Jewish students and screaming antisemitic slurs.” The students barricaded themselves inside the Hillel offices, where protesters reportedly banged on the windows and attempted to force their way in. Eventually police were called to escort Jewish students through the protesters. The claims of anti-Semitic slurs were not reported by the media that were present at the time, as many believe that this accusation lacks credibility.
Krisna Saravanamuttu, York Federation of Students' vice-president of equity, who took part in the protest, denied that the protesters shouted anti-semitic slogans, stating that "That is categorically false. I heard nothing of that nature at all." He did however, confirm that the protesters shouted "racism off campus" and "students united will never be defeated." Some York faculty and students have rejected these claims of anti-Semitism as media spin and exaggeration 
In May 2009, York adjudicator Janet Mosher, who is an associate dean at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, ruled that two York students, Krisna Saravanamuttu and Jesse Zimmerman, had violated the Student Code of Conduct due to their behaviour at the protest, which she described as “exclusionary and offensive” and which promoted an atmosphere of “hostility, incivility and intimidation.” Mosher noted that both students participated in the protest which pursued a group of Jewish students to Hillel’s lounge in York’s Student Centre, and swarmed outside shouting taunts. On a video of the incident, Saravanamuttu was shown clapping and apparently leading a chant of “Whose campus? Our campus!” as well as participating in a chant of “Racists off campus." Saravanamuttu was fined $150 and both he and Zimmerman were given an official reprimand and human rights training.
In February 2010, the campus group the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and My Canada applied to use university space to host the Imagine With Us coalition event consisting of pro-Israel speakers. The University replied that the event could only proceed under certain conditions (which ultimately led to the event's cancellation when the organizers declined to comply with the terms):
- the organizers would be required to pay for security, including both campus and Toronto police;
- the organizers must provide an advance list of all program attendees and advance minute-by-minute summaries of all the speeches; and
- No advertising for the program would be permitted on campus.
These conditions drew criticism because they were not imposed on the organizers of Israel Apartheid Week which was being held on campus the same month. York's decision drew sharp criticism from David Frum who wrote in the National Post that "Since the anti-Israel people might use violence, the speech of the pro-Israel people must be limited. On the other hand, since the pro-Israel people do not use violence, the speech of the anti-Israel people can proceed without restraint." A York University spokesman subsequently told Frum that "all student groups that request university space" must meet "precisely same requirements" but that while the “process” and the “protocols” that were the same, a “needs-based assessment” of each particular case is necessary. Frum subsequently criticized the "utterly arbitrary ad hoc decision-making of a fathomlessly cowardly university administration." Frank Dimant, CEO of B'nai Brith Canada also sharply criticized York's justification, arguing that "York’s continued appeasement of anti-Israel agitators at the expense of Zionist Christians and Jews is unacceptable.”
Professor Ed Morgan of the University of Toronto criticized York, citing a 1992 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that struck down a county government's increased fee for police protection for a controversial speaker because "speech cannot be financially burdened, any more than it can be punished or banned, simply because it might offend a hostile mob." Regarding the situation at York, Morgan wrote that "It's bad enough that there are "hostile mobs" on our campuses; making others pay for that hostility only rubs salt in our wounded freedoms." Prof. Howard C. Tenenbaum, also of the University of Toronto, wrote that York "has lost all stature as an academic institution whose remit is to provide for full academic discourse, freedom from hatred on campus and freedom of speech, unless of course that freedom only includes unabashed hatred for the State of Israel." David Murrell of the University of New Brunswick wrote that "Everyone has a supposed right to free speech at York University – so long as groups can afford to pay security against leftist intimidation."
York University has a history of faculty and teaching assistant strikes. In 1997, there was a faculty strike by YUFA that lasted seven weeks. At the time, this was the second longest strike in Canadian University history.
Key issues in the strike included retirement, funding, and institutional governance. In 2001, teaching assistants and contract faculty went on strike for 11 weeks, when the university broke its own record. The central issue in the 2001 disruption was the administration's proposed attempts to remove tuition indexation language.
A strike beginning on November 6, 2008 concerned a variety of institutional grievances, including job security for contract professors, elimination of the Non-Academic Student Code of Conduct, creation of whistleblower protection, and fund indexation. On January 20, 2009, CUPE 3903 defeated a forced ratification vote that would have ended the strike. On January 24, Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty announced a rare Sunday recall of the provincial legislature in order to pass back-to-work legislation mandating an immediate end to the strike. On January 29, the York University Labour Disputes Resolution Act was passed in the provincial parliament on a count of 42–8 ending the long 85-day strike and setting a precedent for future university strikes in Ontario.
Issuance of parking tickets
Toronto City Counciler Howard Moscoe claims that York University is illegally issuing parking tickets to persons parking on York University property. Legally the City of Toronto is the only regulatory body allowed to issue parking tickets. York University refuses to surrender student transcripts to students who have failed to pay parking fees. York University spokesman Richard Fisher states "It's identical to when you renew your taxi or driver's licences. Unless you pay your fines, you don't get it [renewed] and that's because that's their last opportunity to actually get you before you depart. And I think we are in the same situation."
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