President Rhonda Lenton outlines York University’s sustainability goals

Photo by Tobias Weinhold on Unsplash

The University will expand the Office of Sustainability to help achieve net-zero sooner, and a significant reduction of direct and indirect emissions by 45 per cent by 2030.

Dear York community members:

There is no more pressing global priority than the need to embrace a more sustainable way of living. Through our teaching, our research and our own practices, York University has contributed substantially to our understanding of sustainability best practices which are as much about what we do as what we are purposely choosing not to do.

At the same time, we know that more needs to be done, and so, we are investing resources to drive and expand innovative initiatives in the next phase of our Sustainability Strategy, enhancing the ability of our community of changemakers to deliver.

I am pleased to share with you York’s ambitious plans for sustainability, which include achieving net-zero and significantly reducing the University’s direct and indirect emissions by 45 per cent by 2030. We will bolster this commitment by expanding the Office of Sustainability and by investing $1 million to advance sustainable innovation. You can read more in the full announcement.

York is committed to driving positive change for our local and global communities, and sustainability is a core value that is at the heart of everything we strive for. Together we are taking the action needed for future generations, the planet and for ourselves.

Today is an important new chapter for the next phase of our Sustainability Strategy and I invite all members of our community to get actively engaged both in the University’s evolving plans and activities, as well as off-campus opportunities, as we seek to affirm our commitment to live and work more sustainably. Consultations regarding the Sustainability Strategy are in process and regular updates will be posted in the months to come.


Rhonda Lenton
President and Vice-Chancellor

La présidente et vice-chancelière Rhonda Lenton décrit l’objectif net zéro de York

Chers membres de la communauté de York,

La nécessité d’adopter un mode de vie plus durable est la priorité mondiale la plus pressante. Grâce à son enseignement, ses recherches et ses pratiques, l’Université York a considérablement amélioré la compréhension des pratiques exemplaires en matière de développement durable qui concernent aussi bien ce que nous faisons que ce que nous choisissons délibérément de ne pas faire.

Nous savons toutefois qu’il reste encore beaucoup à faire. C’est pourquoi nous investissons des ressources pour stimuler et développer des initiatives innovantes dans la prochaine phase de notre stratégie de durabilité, améliorant ainsi la capacité de notre communauté d’artisans du changement à tenir ses promesses.

J’ai le plaisir de partager avec vous les plans ambitieux de York en matière de développement durable, qui prévoient d’atteindre la neutralité carbone et de réduire considérablement les émissions directes et indirectes de l’Université de 45 % d’ici 2030. Nous renforcerons cet engagement en élargissant le Bureau de la durabilité et en investissant un million de dollars pour faire progresser l’innovation durable. Apprenez-en plus en lisant la version intégrale de l’annonce.

York s’engage à susciter des changements positifs pour nos communautés locales et mondiales, et la durabilité est une valeur centrale de tous nos efforts. Ensemble, nous prenons les mesures nécessaires pour les générations futures, pour la planète et pour nous-mêmes.

Cette journée marque un nouveau chapitre important pour la prochaine phase de notre stratégie de durabilité. J’invite tous les membres de notre communauté à s’engager activement dans les plans et activités de l’Université et au-delà des campus, tandis que nous nous efforçons d’affirmer notre engagement envers une vie et un travail plus durables. Des consultations sur la stratégie de durabilité sont en cours et des mises à jour régulières seront publiées dans les mois à venir.

Sincères salutations,

Rhonda Lenton
Présidente et vice-chancelière

Take Our Kids to Work Day returns Nov. 2

Students huddled around a laptop

York University is participating in the annual Take Our Kids to Work program (TOKTW), initiated by The Learning Partnership. This is an annual event when Grade 9 students step into their future and get a glimpse into the working world, as well as document their experience in a final report for their teacher. The 2022 TOKTW day is set for Nov. 2.

Participation is open to all University community members / York sponsors and their grade 9 students – we encourage those who can, to join us!

Why support the TOKTW Day initiative?

  • TOKTW bridges the gap between the workplace and young people by introducing skills and knowledge they will need for the future careers.
  • TOKTW allows employers to explain to students’ what skills are most important in the workplace – communication, teamwork, time management and more!
  • The program gives employers a chance to promote their industry and professionals within it so that they can attract future specialists in their fields. It also gives students a glimpse into different fields that they may be interested in.
  • TOKTW supports York University’s collaboration with the TD Community Engagement Centre, committed to building a more engaged university and maintain interest of the surrounding community as an Anchor Institution.

What students can expect.

  • Students attending in person will join a guided tour to participating faculties and departments, followed by a luncheon, concluding with students attending their York sponsors workplace for the remainder of the day.
  • Students attending virtually will engage with panellists within various areas of interest, have the opportunity for questions and discussion.

Registration and event instructions

  • Any student interested in participating may use the link below to register for the sessions they wish to attend virtually.
  • Please register no later than Nov. 1. Registration can be completed by following this link.

Volunteers needed for York Spirit Day, Oct. 19

SpiritDay Day 2022 Rollout Featured image for YFile announcement of event

Do you want to be a special part of York University’s inaugural Spirit Day class photo?
Are you an active member of the community?
Can you hold a item of 30 pounds for a short period without assistance?
Are you available to be at the Keele Campus on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 11 a.m.? Or the Glendon Campus on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 3 p.m.?

If you answered yes to the above questions, please fill out the form below for your chance to be chosen as an inaugural York University Spirit Day Class Photo Ambassador.

York University Spirit Day Class Photo Ambassadors – Keele Campus form:

York University Spirit Day, 2022 Class Photo Ambassadors – Glendon Campus form:

York University hosting two community safety days, Oct. 18 and 20

Students stand outside of Vari Hall on York's Keele Campus

York University will be hosting Community Safety Days on Oct. 18 and 20. The events are an important part of the University’s ongoing safety awareness programming.

Community Safety Days highlight all the resources and groups that contribute to building a safer community at York University, which has a wide array of safety-related services.

To learn more about safety and the many resources available at York University, community members are invited to drop by Vari Hall at the Keele Campus between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 18, or the Centre for Excellence at the Glendon Campus between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 20.

Presented by the Community Safety Department, these events are part of the department’s mission is to ensure that York University continues to be a safe and welcoming place to study, work and live. The Community Safety Department approaches campus safety through a community-centric, holistic and intersectional lens, where everyone plays a role in safety and where individual contributions and initiatives play a vital role in promoting safety. Community engagement is a cornerstone of safety.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to download the York Safety App, which offers immediate access to all the University’s safety resources.

Show your York U pride at Spirit Day, Oct. 19

SpiritDay Day 2022 Rollout Featured image for YFile announcement of event

Spirit Day is an opportunity to make new friends, have fun and learn more about the ways you can get and stay connected to York University. Get ready to show off your #YUSpirit!

All students, staff, faculty members and course instructors are invited to join President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton to celebrate the importance of making connections. Get ready to show your York U pride by donning York University colours (red, white or blue) and connect with us for a day of games, giveaways and treats. Participate in a tree planting activity and learn more about the ways you can get and stay connected at York.

For more information about upcoming events or to submit an event, visit:

Keele Campus
The Harry W. Arthur Commons
Wednesday, Oct. 19
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Glendon Campus
Centre of Excellence
Wednesday, Oct. 19
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Affichez les couleurs de York le mercredi 19 octobre!

Tous les membres de la communauté étudiante, du personnel, du corps professoral ainsi que les chargés de cours sont invités à se joindre à la présidente Rhonda Lenton pour souligner l’importance d’établir des liens. Préparez-vous à montrer votre fierté à l’égard de l’Université York en affichant ses couleurs (rouge, blanc ou bleu) lors d’une journée remplie de jeux, de prix et de friandises. Participez à une activité de plantation d’arbres et apprenez-en davantage sur les façons d’établir des liens à York.

Pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements sur les événements à venir ou pour soumettre un événement, veuillez consulter le site Web :

Campus Keele
Harry W. Arthur Commons
Mercredi 19 octobre 2022
De 11 h à 15 h

Campus Glendon
Mercredi 19 octobre 2022
Centre d’excellence
De 11 h à 14 h

Nuit Blanche comes to York University’s Keele Campus

Mu Cephei, 2021. Image Credit: June Parsons, Allan I Carswell Observatory

On Saturday, Oct. 1, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., a collective of York University organizations and faculty present this multi-experiential program, including a public conversation with Dele Adeyemo and Nehal El-Hadi; live music performances by Exmiranda, Sydanie, and Keysha Freshh; immersive video projections by Jennifer Dysart, Agnes Meyer-Brandis, Chris Chong Chan Fui, Gayil Nalls; AR and VR interventions by Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning, Mary Bunch, Jenn E. Norton, and Michael Palumbo; and sculptural, sonic and video installations by Holly Ward, Lou Sheppard, Michaela Pňačeková, Deirdre Logue, and Jawa El Khash; and more.

The title Streams~ identifies shared commonalities between this concatenation of projects that translate and show us how elements in nature are contained and controlled; planted and extracted; forged and processed; displaced and discarded. Many of the works included in the evenings program examine how we occupy and interact with environmental ecologies from streams to stars as both subject and medium while others revamp and redirect streams of thought by scrutinizing how histories are conveyed, disseminated, and preserved; all share a social position that uses art to both disrupt and restore how we share the continuous flow of our experiences and knowledge. Streams~ are land, people, and consciousness. They can also be endless.

The AGYU shares the work of an esteemed group of artists and curators in alignment with the artistic vision for Nuit Blanche 2022 by University of Winnipeg Associate Professor of Visual Arts, Julie Nagam, (Métis/German/Syrian), who is the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts, Collaboration and Digital Media and the director of Aabijijiwan New Media Lab at the University of Winnipeg, which follows her “The Space Between Us,” an extensive research project addressing the complex social dynamics of diasporic communities commingling as a whole “to build new spaces and families, shifting their relationships and connections to each other and to place.”

Participating artists and curators
Dele Adeyemo • Mariel Belanger • Roberta Buiani • Mary Bunch • Dave Colangelo • Nina Czegledy • Patricio Davila • Lorella Di Cintio • Jennifer Dysart • Nehal El-Hadi • Jawa El Khash • Exmiranda • Kavi • Keysha Freshh • Chris Chong Chan Fui • John Greyson • Karina Iskandarsjah • Lou Sheppard • Lydia Johnson • Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning • Jean-Pierre Marchant • Janine Marchessault • Immony Menn • Agnes Meyer-Brandis • Lisa Myers • Gayil Nalls • Hodari Newtown • Jenn E. Norton • Joel Ong • Michael Palumbo • Patricia Pasten • Michaela Pnacekova • Sydanie • Holly Ward • Jay YoungDeirdre LogueGrace Grothaus  • Brian HarrisHrysovalanti MaherasRaewyn Turner  

Program schedule
7 p.m. to 7 a.m. – All installations and exhibitions are open. The majority of programs are located around the central core of York’s Keele Campus surrounding the Harry Arthur Commons and the York University Subway Station.

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.Trans-epistemic Mapping with Dele Adeyemo and Nehal El-Hadi. Location: The Nick Mirkopoulos Screening Room, Accolade East Building (ACE 004). Doors open at 7 p.m.

7 p.m. to midnight – Night sky viewing at the Allan I. Carswell Astronomical Observatory. Location: Petrie Science and Engineering Building, third floor.

11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.Vanguard Voices in Hip Hop featuring Exmiranda, Sydanie & Keysha Freshh. Location: The Harry Arthurs Commons (across from Vari Hall).

A booklet and map will be produced by AGYU and distributed throughout the evening. The majority of sites are wheelchair accessible. For special accommodation, contact Huaihong Li, administrative assistant, AGYU, by email at

Collaborating organizations at York University
Art Gallery of York University
Allan I. Carswell Observatory
Archives of Ontario
Peripheral Visions Lab
Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology
School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD)

Travel to the Keele Campus
The best route is to arrive by TTC using Subway Line 1 to York University Station, which will be running all night. It is wheelchair accessible and close to many of the Nuit Blanche projects. Event parking is available in the York Lanes and Vanier parking lots, payment can be made through the HONK Mobile app.

Streams~ Nuit Blanche 2022 at York University is coordinated by the Art Gallery of York University led by Clara Halpern, assistant curator, and Jenifer Papararo, director/ curator with support from Mallory Silver, events and communications coordinator and Shawna Teper, assistant director, government and community relations at York University.

Archive/Counter-Archive projects curated by Janine Marchessault and produced by Asad Raza. Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology program is curated by Joel Ong.

Student Systems Renewal Program to engage York community through new website, blog

Students involved in group work

York University’s Student Systems Renewal Program (SSRP) has launched an updated website and a new blog.

The bilingual website will be a hub for students, faculty and staff to learn more about SSRP projects and timelines. The site includes resources including an FAQ section and a glossary to help the York community better understand the impacts of this transformative program.

The SSRP blog offers the latest information on the program and its progress. The goal is to ensure technological information is presented in a way that is meaningful and clear. This fall, the blog will offer a short series on the systems launching in 2023 that highlights how these new systems and processes create positive change across York.

The SSRP is a multi-year program to transform technology and its related processes so students, faculty and staff can efficiently complete their administrative and academic work.

“Specialized business and technology platforms have inspired innovative potential in the world of higher education,” says Carol McAulay, SSRP executive sponsor and vice-president of finance and administration. “At York, we are using advanced cloud-based platforms and leading-edge processes to facilitate transformational change through the SSRP and blazing a trail in the Canadian higher education sector.

“We are engaging and working closely with our community members to enable this systems renaissance, and we will continue to communicate with our community to ensure sustained awareness of the program’s progress. We encourage community members to share feedback at any time.”

The SSRP is made up of seven projects, each offering comprehensive solutions that position York positively for the future:

  • Constituent Relationship Management: an engagement tool that will manage the recruitment, application and admission of future students and connect current students to advising supports. The recruitment and application aspects of the solution are targeted to launch in summer 2023.
  • Next Generation Student Information System: an integrated solution that will transform the student and staff experience by providing an easy way to manage everything required from enrollment through to graduation and continuous learning. The project will launch in phases, starting with Financial Aid, Awards and Scholarships in summer 2023.
  • Data Management & Analytics: this project will set a data governance framework, enabling data to be configured and migrated to new platforms.
  • Enterprise Integration Platform: this project isa cloud-based platform that will streamline integrated access to key systems.
  • Government Reporting: a project on investments in York’s data management and analytics capabilities that will enable existing government and institutional reporting as well as elevate York University’s ability to leverage key information to make informed decisions.
  • Identity & Access Management: high security solutions that will give users appropriate access to the information they need and enhance York’s overall security.
  • Mobile & Portal: a single starting point for students to interact with York systems on their mobile devices.

New processes and systems will contribute to many of the priorities set out in York’s University Academic Plan, which include providing global learning and research opportunities for students, supporting innovative curriculum delivery and developing connections to experiential learning opportunities.

Explore the SSRP website for more detailed information on its project suite and the intended benefits, and reach out to the team with any questions at

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation events planned for University community

Image shows Ross building bathed in Orange light

Friday, Sept. 30, marks the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (formerly Orange Shirt Day). The day honours the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.

The York University community is encouraged to reflect on the legacy of Canada’s residential school system, its impact on Indigenous Peoples and what it means for the present and future.

There are three events planned to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

York community members are invited to attend a lecture by Algoma University Professor Paulette Steeves on Thursday, Sept. 29. Steeves is the Canada Research Chair in Healing at Reconciliation at Algoma University. There will be a breakfast for Indigenous graduate students and faculty members on Friday, Sept. 30, followed by a virtual panel discussion that will be open to all York community members. 

Specific event details

Thursday, Sept. 29  
The guest lecture by Steeves is titled “Reclaiming and Rewriting Indigenous Histories of the Western Hemisphere (the Americas).” The lecture will be held in the Congregation Room on the fourth floor of the Second Student Centre on the Keele Campus. The lecture will run from 4 to 5 p.m. EST.  

Friday, Sept. 30 
There will be a networking breakfast with Indigenous graduate students and faculty and Steeves. This event is by special invitation only and will take place in the Second Student Centre, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. EST. For more information, contact Faculty of Education Professor Susan Dion, associate vice-president, Indigenous Initiatives, by email at

There will be a panel discussion following the breakfast that will be focused on the theme “Reflecting on the Legacies of Residential Schools: What it means for our present and our futures.” The panel discussion will be a virtual event and will take place from 11 a.m. to noon. It will be moderated by Dion and will feature reflections by York University community members.

And finally, the official 2022 Every Child Matters Orange t-shirts are available at the University Bookstore with all proceeds going to the Orange Shirt Society. Zoom backgrounds will also be available on the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation website and can be downloaded and uses for the day.

For more information on these and other events, and for resources to support individual learning, visit York’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation website.

Journée nationale de la vérité et de la réconciliation

Le vendredi 30 septembre marque la deuxième Journée nationale de la vérité et de la réconciliation (ancienne Journée du chandail orange).

Cette journée est l’occasion de rendre hommage aux enfants qui n’ont jamais pu retourner chez eux et aux survivants des pensionnats ainsi qu’à leurs familles et leurs communautés. Nous encourageons la communauté de York à réfléchir aux conséquences du système des pensionnats sur les peuples autochtones et à ce que cela signifie pour le présent et l’avenir.    

Trois événements sont prévus pour marquer la Journée nationale de la vérité et de la réconciliation. 

Les membres de la communauté de York sont invités à assister à une conférence de la professeure Paulette Steeves, titulaire de la Chaire de recherche du Canada en histoire autochtone – vérité et réconciliation à l’Université Algoma. La conférence de Mme Steeves aura lieu le jeudi 29 septembre. Un déjeuner sera organisé pour les étudiantes et étudiants de cycle supérieur et les membres du corps professoral autochtones le vendredi 30 septembre; il serasuivi d’un débat virtuel ouvert à tous les membres de la communauté de York. 

Précisions sur les événements

Jeudi 29 septembre  
La conférence de Mme Steeves s’intitule « Reclaiming and Rewriting Indigenous Histories of the Western Hemisphere (the Americas) ». Elle aura lieu de 16 h à 17 h HNE dans la Congregation Room au quatrième étage du Second Student Centre sur le campus Keele.    

Vendredi 30 septembre
Déjeuner de réseautage avec des étudiants de cycle supérieur, des professeurs autochtones et Mme Steeves. Cet événement est sur invitation seulement; il aura lieu de 8 h 30 à 10 h (HNE) au Second Student Centre.  Pour plus d’informations, contactez la professeure de la Faculté d’éducation Susan Dion, vice-présidente associée aux initiatives autochtones, par courriel à

Après le déjeuner de réseautage, il y aura un débat d’experts sur le thème « Reflecting on the Legacies of Residential Schools: What it means for our present and our futures ». Le panel de discussion sera un événement virtuel qui aura lieu de 11 h à 12 h. Il sera animé par Mme Dion et comprendra des réflexions des membres de la communauté de l’Université York. 

Des tee-shirts officiels orange Every Child Matters 2022 sont en vente à la Librairie de l’Université; tous les bénéfices seront versés à la Orange Shirt Society. Le personnel pourra également télécharger et utiliser des fonds d’écran Zoom pour cette journée.

Pour obtenir plus d’informations sur tous les événements et des ressources pour appuyer l’apprentissage individuel, visitez le site Web de la Journée nationale de la vérité et de la réconciliation de York à