3Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013
Alumni proﬁting off current students
By Angela Hennessy and Jackie Hong
Ryerson’s contract with MBNA bank is putting a dent in student credit.The school proﬁts off every stu-dent who signs up for a Master-Card with the presence of the bank on campus.MBNA partners with Ryerson’s Alumni Association and comes through what is called an “afﬁn-ity partnership” which blocks any other bank from offering a similar service at Ryerson and also pro-motes the product.“Offering exclusivity on campus creates a partnership which ensures an advantageous ﬁnancial return for the university, which is plowed back into programs, services, and student awards for our commu-nity,” said Tyler Forkes, executive director of alumni relations.However, cash-strapped stu-dents in Ontario already face an average of nearly $40,000 dollars in debt upon graduation, not in-cluding any personal and private
The guys who give you a t-shirt for answering questions? They’re signing you up for a credit card, and Rye gets a cut
loans. Some people argue that of-fering students more credit isn’t the answer and the school shouldn’t be promoting it, much less proﬁting off it. “Credit card companies seem to target students, as many stu-dents need money and are usually strapped for cash. These compa-nies fail to properly alert and ed-ucate people, especially students about the danger of signing up for the card,” said vice president of education, Rochelle Lawrence.Most students are not aware that simply ﬁlling out an applica-tion will negatively affect their credit and MBNA does not warn students about this. Forkes argued that this was “common knowledge” when asked why this isn’t the practice of on campus solicitors. Many people are not aware this could be a problem.“It’s illogical that it could do that (negatively affect credit) because you couldn’t get a card unless you have good credit,” said Ryerson president Sheldon Levy.“There are many negative impli-cations like high interest fees and rates that students are now aware of once they use these cards, then companies further weigh students down with added debt,” said Law-rence. In 2012 the on-campus event marketing of this product received 2054 responses and 1336 ac-counts were created. So far 2013 has seen another 1240 accounts created through this program.The program largely operates through table space rentals on campus where representatives for MBNA solicit students. “The revenues are very impor-tant, as they fund the vast majority of programs and services that we extend to all students upon gradu-ation,” said Forkes.The average interest rate offered with this card is 19.9 per cent, which is high rate but still stan-dard when offering credit to people who have none. As an alternative to credit, other banks, such as TD, offer VISA debit cards, which al-low students the freedom of hav-ing a credit card for things such as shopping online or booking ﬂights, but without the risk of borrowing money at a high interest rate. Ryerson’s suite of afﬁnity part-nerships currently includes MBNA for the Ryerson MasterCard; TD Insurance Meloche Mennox, Man-ulife Financial and the Canadian signature Wine Company.Ryerson would not release fur-ther details about their contract, such as how much they proﬁt from each student because it is conﬁden-tial to the bank.
Student credit automatically takes a hit once the MBNA credit card is signed up for.
PHOTO: JESS TSANG
Hockey team suspended for boozing
Drinking during New Jersey trip sees team forfeit two games, one coach no longer with team
The Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team playing a game earlier this year.
Ryerson Athletics handed the men’s hockey team a seven-day suspension Monday evening af-ter a two-week-long investigation found that Rams hockey players drank alcohol during an Oct. 18 pre-season trip to Princeton, N.J.According to Ryerson’s director of athletics Ivan Joseph, the as-sistant coach to the men’s hockey team, Lawrence Smith, has been re-lieved of his duties and head coach Graham Wise has been suspended for four games. The hockey team will also forfeit its next two games as a result of the suspension.Following the Rams ﬁnal exhi-bition game against the Princeton Tigers, Rams players violated a clause in the student-athlete hand-book which states: “Alcohol may not be consumed by Rams athletes or staff for the duration of road trips (from the time of departure until the time of arrival back in To-ronto).” “Long story short, they were in the hotel room, they were drink-ing alcohol,” said Joseph. “No, al-cohol can be [consumed] anytime time when you’re representing uni-versity, we have a zero-tolerance policy... They admitted their re-sponsibility in it, and this is some-thing we’ll look to rectify.” All but one player on the team are of legal American drinking age, which is 21. Numerous attempts were made to contact coach Wise. He declined to comment. Joseph said that assistant coach Smith was not present in the play-ers’ hotel room during the incident.
made numerous attempts at contacting Ryerson’s Human Resources department to determine exactly why Smith is no longer employed by Ryerson. At the time of print, no one from HR had responded to those requests.In addition to forfeiting games against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Queen’s University this week, the team and coaches will not be able to use the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) for the length of their suspension. The team will not have access to the weight room, the therapy room, their change rooms and their dressing rooms.The team was notiﬁed of the consequences the evening of Nov. 4 at approximately 4 p.m. in a play-ers-only meeting.“From our point of view, we made mistakes no question about it. We recognize the rules and we broke them, and we accept our punishment,” said men’s hockey team captain Andrew Buck. “All I can say is we didn’t do anything illegal, but we broke rules and now we have to pay the punishment for it.”Bryan Crawford, executive direc-tor of Ontario University Athletics (OUA), said incidents like this hap-pen once a year at the most.“We’re pleased that [Ryerson] has taken the steps to address that code of conduct breach and that’s about all there is to it,” said Craw-ford. “OUA student athletes have a standard to uphold and they need to uphold that standard to repre-sent both themselves and their in-stitution and the league that they play in as a whole.”A source close to the team who did not want to be identiﬁed told
that he felt viliﬁed by the media’s reaction to the sus-pension.“We are being seen as drunken hockey players that went out of control on a U.S. road trip and that’s not true at all. We were in our hotel rooms, watching couple movies, having a couple beers, bonding,” said the source. “That’s how our hockey culture is. If you go play hard and you go have some beers, you go to bed, you wake up the next morning, and you do it again.”Assistant captain Brian Birkhoff said that he has never seen the team consume alcohol on road trips dur-ing his two years on the team and that there were no outside guests in the hotel room at the time.“It stings, obviously,” said Birk-hoff. “We were on a great run but we broke the rules. We’ll take it in stride here, learn from it and we’ll be better because of it.” “It’s disappointing to see a per-son whose put so much into our program like Lawrence Smith, no longer be with us,” said Buck. “We come back next Monday and our record is 5-4. And that’s all we think about and hopefully we come back and win a bunch of games.”From our standpoint, we’re fo-cused on winning hockey games and we learned from the mistakes that we made, and we accept the punishment,” said Buck.