One Fare Program to launch Feb. 26

Student walking away from subway on York University Keele Campus

The government of Ontario has partnered with Greater Toronto Area transit providers to make getting to campus more accessible and affordable by integrating fares across systems.

Starting on Feb. 26, transit customers paying with a PRESTO card, PRESTO in Google Wallet, debit or credit card (physical or in a mobile wallet) will be able to transfer for free between the TTC, Brampton Transit, Durham Region Transit, MiWay and York Region Transit, due to Ontario’s new One Fare Program. Also, TTC customers paying single-ride fares connecting to and from GO Transit will benefit from a fare discount, making their TTC fare free.

“York University commends the Ontario government for eliminating the need for double fares by creating a more integrated fare system,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton. “The new One Fare Program will have a significant impact on our community, as over 74 per cent of our students, and most of our faculty and staff, commute to campus via GO Transit as well as the two subway stations on our Keele Campus. An integrated fare system will not only create a more affordable, accessible and efficient transportation network but also continue to provide a sustainable transportation option that will help to reduce our community’s carbon footprint.”

Metrolinx will be on the Keele Campus for a community engagement event on Monday, Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Vari Hall to discuss the new One Fare Program and the in-progress Finch West Light Rail Transit (LRT) line.

For more information on PRESTO, the electronic fare payment system available across 11 transit agencies in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and Ottawa, and how to obtain a PRESTO card, visit PRESTOcard.ca.

Turning it up: campus radio station wins national awards

old fashioned car radio tune dial BANNER

The campus-based frequency 105.5FM (CHRY-FM), serving the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) as VIBE 105, was recently named the 2023 Best Community/Campus Station in a Canadian major market by the Broadcast Dialogue Canadian Radio Awards (BDCRA).

VIBE 105 logo

The award is the latest point of pride for a broadcast that – especially since its rebranding in 2015 – has been a leader in spotlighting R&B, electronic and, notably, hip-hop. “You can’t tell the story of hip-hop in Canada without mentioning CHRY,” general manager and CEO Randy Reid recently told The York University Magazine.

VIBE 105 has grown into a national broadcast leader in majority Black media content, aimed at the growing Afro-Caribbean and racialized populations across the entire GTA with an average listenership of 425,000 during prime drive time.

The BDCRA’s Best Community/Campus Station award was given to the not-for-profit station for demonstrating broadcasting excellence as well as an ability to impact and engage with its campus and local audience.

That wasn’t the only award it received, either. The station was also was recognized with the 2023 Best Imaging Production award – despite competing with the largest commercial broadcasters in the country – for the creative and technical imaging efforts behind its campaign “Celebrating 50 Years of Hip Hop,” tied to a global initiative to celebrate the musical form.

“This is a culmination of years of work,” says Reid about the BDCRA’s recognition.

Broadcasting from the First Student Centre on the University’s Keele Campus, VIBE 105 is firmly rooted in the York community. It is supported, in part, by student levy contributions from the York University Graduate Students’ Association and the York Federation of Students, in addition to occasional work-study grants from the University. The station also provides experiential education opportunities for students, as well as people from the community surrounding the Keele Campus, to express themselves through media and the arts.

Pest control treatments scheduled for Feb. 16 to 18

Keele Campus walkway in winter

Pest control spray days at the Keele and Glendon campuses for Food Services-contracted areas will begin on Friday, Feb. 16 at 5 p.m. and end on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 5 p.m.

Work is undertaken using accepted practices and approved materials by Professional PCO Services, which holds an Eco Green Ergonomic Extermination certificate from the Ministry of the Environment. A work permit has been submitted and approved by York University’s Health, Safety & Employee Well-Being office.

Monitoring and treatment of component applications will be carried out in the Food Services locations listed below:

LocationCampusBuilding Name
Glendon Campus Marché CafeteriaGlendon CampusYork Hall
Glendon Campus Tim HortonsGlendon CampusYork Hall, A Wing
Bergeron MarketKeele CampusBergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence
Central Square CafeteriaKeele CampusCentral Square
Central Square Tim HortonsKeele CampusCentral Square
Central Square Booster JuiceKeele CampusCentral Square
Central Square Pizza PizzaKeele CampusCentral Square
Central Square StarbucksKeele CampusCentral Square
Central Square SubwayKeele CampusCentral Square
Centre for Film & Theatre StarbucksKeele CampusCentre for Film & Theatre
Dahdaleh CafeteriaKeele CampusVictor Phillip Dahdaleh Building
Dahdaleh Tim HortonsKeele CampusVictor Phillip Dahdaleh Building
Lassonde Palgong TeaKeele CampusLassonde Building
Osgoode Hall BistroKeele CampusIgnat Kaneff Building, Osgooge Hall
Stong College Orange SnailKeele CampusStong College
Stong College CafeteriaKeele CampusStong College
William Small Centre Tim HortonsKeele CampusWilliam Small Centre
Winters College Country StyleKeele CampusWinters College
Winters College CafeteriaKeele CampusWinters College
Grad LoungeKeele CampusRoss Building
PodKeele CampusCurtis Lecture Halls

For further information, contact John Leva, manager of grounds, fleet and waste management, Facilities Services, at jleva@yorku.ca; or Tom Watt, director of food services, Ancillary Services, at watttm@yorku.ca.

York campuses offer four vaccine clinics throughout February

A syringe with a vaccine bottle

To help keep the community safe and combat the spread of these respiratory viruses, York University is offering vaccination clinics throughout the winter season at both its Keele and Glendon campuses. Flu and COVID-19 vaccinations will be available at the following four clinics during the month of February.

Glendon Campus clinics

  • Tuesday, Feb. 13, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Centre of Excellence lobby.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 27, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Centre of Excellence lobby.

Keele Campus clinics

  • Wednesday, Feb. 14, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Central Square, Bear Pit.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 28, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Central Square, Bear Pit.

OHIP is not required at these clinics and vaccines are free of charge. The clinics are walk-in; first come, first served. Free masks and rapid antigen test kits are also available while supplies last. And for those who are curious, yes, it is safe to get both the COVID-19 and influenza vaccines at the same time.

Anyone with new symptoms of illness, or who has recently tested positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to complete the Ontario Ministry of Health’s self-assessment tool for further direction and guidance before visiting a vaccination clinic.

For those with questions regarding respiratory virus protocols, students can contact SCHW@yuoffice.yorku.ca and employees can contact SFCCM@yorku.ca. The hours of operation for these resources are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information about upcoming vaccination clinics, staff and faculty can visit yorku.ca/hr/covid19 and students can visit students.yorku.ca/health/communicable-diseases/covid-19.

Count yourself in and complete the Employment Equity Self-Identification Survey

survey red checkmark checkbox BANNER

York University has launched a revised version of its Employee Self-Identification Survey, which aims to provide a greater understanding of the University community and an up-to-date picture of its workforce demographics. The survey is now available in HR Self Serve.

 “The Employment Equity Self-Identification Survey allows York to identify gaps in employee representation and plays a crucial role in understanding our representation rates. This then factors into several processes, including our recruitment efforts and the thresholds identified in our collective agreements,” said Laina Bay-Cheng, vice-president equity, people and culture. “Data collection has been identified as an integral element of the DEDI Strategy, which calls for monitoring our proportion of equity-deserving groups to ensure representation in employment at all levels within the institution.” 

Employees have recently received an email with instructions on how to complete the survey. 

“With the survey now available through HR Self Serve, employees can easily update their self-identification responses at any time, in the same way they update any of their other personal details, like their address or emergency contacts,” added Bay-Cheng. “I encourage everyone to complete the survey and would like to assure the community that great care is taken to ensure confidentiality and that no individual can be identified in reporting, as all reporting is done on an aggregated basis. This is an important improvement to University systems. It’s an opportunity for employees to ensure they and their identities are fully and accurately represented.”  

The findings of the survey are reported on in the Annual Employment Equity Reports, and past ones can be viewed online.

Workshop explores relationship between art and anthropology

Audra Townsend art on display at gallery

Art exhibits can serve as powerful forms of public anthropology, putting on display an individual’s creative exploration of what it means to be human. As part of its Anthropology Beyond the Academy series, the York University Department of Anthropology’s Winter 2024 event will demonstrate just that by featuring the work of abstract and mixed-media artist Audra Townsend, a York alumna.

Audra Townsend
Audra Townsend

Titled Art & Anthropology, the Feb. 9 event will showcase Townsend’s artwork in the Vari Hall Rotunda from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by a workshop from 3 to 4 p.m. where Townsend will discuss her professional path and her work in exploring humanity through art. All are welcome to attend.

Townsend is a British-born, Jamaican Canadian artist based in Toronto, who believes art is a manifestation of our curiosity about the material world and an essential part of what it means to be human. A former Ontario public servant, she is a trained sociocultural anthropologist who currently works as a data privacy consultant.

“Anthropologists use art to explore the essence of lived experiences, enabling a more immersive and emotive engagement with the subject of their studies,” explains Othon Alexandrakis, Chair of York’s Department of Anthropology. “By integrating visual storytelling into their research, anthropologists enhance the accessibility and impact of their narratives, fostering cross-cultural empathy and promoting a deeper appreciation for the richness of human diversity.”

When Townsend examines the relationship between art and the human experience, she borrows from intuitive and tactile art forms. Her work is characterized by a dense network of criss-crossing and squiggly lines separating rectangles of multiple shapes made of different materials, earthy and celestial colours, and textures of sand and stone, among others.

“We are excited to welcome Audra back to the department for this exciting workshop,” says Alexandrakis. “Audra’s art is extraordinary. We invite the York University community to come meet Audra, hear about her journey, and learn about art and anthropology.”

To register for the workshop, visit Winter Workshop: Art & Anthropology w/ Audra Townsend. For more information about Townsend’s art, visit her website.

Call for nominations: Robert J. Tiffin Student Leadership Award

Students walking on Keele Campus in winter

The heart and soul of a university is made up of so much more than academics alone – it is the passionate teachers, the dedicated staff, and the students who go above and beyond to help make their community a more welcoming, inspiring place. The Robert J. Tiffin Student Leadership Award recognizes those students, whose leadership has contributed to the growth, development and vitality of York University. All York students, faculty, staff and alumni are encouraged to submit nominations for this award. 

Established in 2012, the award is named after Robert J. Tiffin, who served as York’s vice-president of students, for nine years. Through his strong leadership, dedication and integrity, Tiffin transformed his team into one of the leading student service organizations in the country, serving one of Canada’s largest student populations. 

Award nominees must be current undergraduate or graduate students who exhibit leadership, dedication, integrity, enthusiasm and the pursuit of excellence through their endeavours. Winners will be selected based on leadership and/or involvement in the York community and outstanding academic achievement. Recipients will be honoured at an awards reception, have their name permanently added to the awards display in the Vari Hall Rotunda, receive a certificate and have the award noted on their transcript. 

Winners – as was the case last year – span a range of faculties, degree programs, disciplines and fields.

Nomination packages are submitted online, using templated questions, and must include the following: 

  • a primary nominator submission (maximum of 500 words); 
  • a secondary nominator representing one nominating constituency (York University students, staff, faculty or alumni) not represented by the primary nominator (maximum of 350 words); 
  • a candidate submission that describes how co-curricular involvement at York University has affected their post-secondary experience and helped to enhance the quality of life on campus (maximum of 500 words); and 
  • a current resumé/CV, including detailed descriptions of involvement at the University, submitted by the student. 

The nomination package deadline is Friday, March 15. Submissions must be completed through the online submission form

Visit the Robert J. Tiffin Student Leadership Award website for more information. For any other questions, email the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students at vpstudents@yorku.ca.

York community invited to take dining survey

bowl of colorful food surrounded

As part of its ongoing commitment to enhance the dining experience on campus, York University Food & Vending Services invites all York community members to participate in a York University Dining Survey.

This survey aims to gather insights into community members’ experiences with the campus dining services – including the quality of food, variety of options, services, and overall satisfaction at residence and retail locations operated by YU Eats. Feedback is invaluable in helping understand preferences and areas for improvement.

The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete, and thoughtful responses will contribute to positive changes in campus dining experiences.

Upon completion of the survey, participants can enter to win one of five $200 Flex Dollars prizes (students) or one of five $100 Flex Dollars prizes (staff & faculty) to be put on their YU Card.

Those interested in taking the survey can do so by following this link or using the QR code above.

The survey deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 26.

Annual Jean Augustine Chair event shines spotlight on Black artists

Coco Murray performance during Word, Sound, Power 2023 (image: Anderson Coward)

Members of the York University community are invited to celebrate Black artistic talent during a showcase of performances on Feb. 7, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., when the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora presents Word, Sound, Power: An Annual Celebration of Black Artistic Expression.

The annual event celebrates the rich and diverse world of Black aritistic expression, promising to be a vibrant showcase of talent, creativity and cultural pride.

Carrington Christmas and Isaac Crosby
Carrington Christmas and Isaac Crosby

The event is open to the community and is free to attend. It begins at 5:30 p.m. with a welcome reception in the CIBC Lobby, Accolade East Building at the Keele Campus, and performances will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Tribute communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building.

The event’s land acknowledgement will be provided by Carrington Christmas, a York alumna, who is an Indigenous anti-racist educator and self-described “Aunty Extraordinaire” with Black Scotian-Mi’kmaw and German ancestry.

Andrea Davis
Andrea Davis

The ceremony will then be closed with an Afro-Indigenous blessing from Isaac Crosby, an agricultural expert of Ojibwe of Anderdon heritage.

Hosting and providing opening remarks will be Andrea Davis, a professor in the Department of Humanities, who recently received an honorary degree in recognition of her work advancing equity, access and justice in post-secondary education.

Also providing remarks before the performances begin will be Jean Augustine, the first Black woman elected to the Parliament of Canada; Samia Hashi, Ontario regional director of Unifor, which sponsors the event; and Robert Savage, dean of the Faculty of Education.

Among the featured performances this year are:

  • solo performances, including song and instruments, dance and spoken word, from students from Greater Toronto Area school boards;
  • a performance from the Oscar Peterson Jazz Ensemble;
  • a performance from the York University R&B Ensemble;
  • a spotlight artistic performance of the evening from Ian Kamau, an artist and designer;
  • a performance from the York University Gospel Choir; and
  • an Afro-Caribbean dance performance by students from James Cardinal McGuigan Catholic High School in the CIBC Lobby during the welcome reception.
Anika Forde and Karen Burke
Anika Forde and Karen Burke

This year’s Word, Sound, Power event is put on in partnership with the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, with primary sponsorship from Unifor. York’s Division of Equity, People & Culture has also provided funding support. The Faculty of Education – home to the Jean Augustine Chair – and the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, through faculty member Davis, also play a critical role in the event.

Anika Forde, research project manager for the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora, and Karen Burke, Chair of Music, were co-conveners of the event this year.

Those interested in attending can register for free tickets on Eventbrite.

Creative writing feedback available from writer-in-residence

female student journalist writing

No matter your profession, creative writing is a healthy way to disconnect from reality, stretch the limits of your mind and tap into your imaginative side. And regardless of your experience level, feedback is always beneficial. As part of the York University English Department’s Writer-in-Residence Program, esteemed Toronto author Emma Healey is offering appointments to York students, faculty, staff and alumni to discuss their fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction projects.

Emma Healey
Emma Healey

The Writer-in-Residence Program is aimed at supplementing the University’s creative writing courses by providing the community with access to a professional writer for personalized feedback and support, with a new individual being brought on each fall and winter term.

As the Winter 2024 writer-in-residence, Healey – whose most recent book, Best Young Woman Job Book: A Memoir (Penguin Random House Canada, 2022), was named a best book of the year by the Globe and Mail, Wired Magazine and CBC Radio – is available for four one-on-one manuscript consultations per week that might include editorial feedback or suggestions toward publication. Written submissions for review are due to her at least 10 days prior to each scheduled meeting.

In addition to the feedback sessions, Healey will serve the York community by hosting four public-facing, writing-related events throughout the term that allow her to showcase her expertise and knowledge as a working writer in Canada. Information about those events will be released as it becomes available.

For more details or to secure an appointment with Healey, visit the Writer-in-Residence Program web page.