Humber journalism students Makayla Verbruggen and Kyshia Osei were confronted by campus security after a Starbucks employee reported that the two were filming in a public lobby, reported Humber News on April 14, 2022.
The confrontation stemmed from the college’s temporary use of space policy, which was implemented in 2019 to regulate events on campus. The policy requires anyone filming to apply for a permit – including student journalists, according to a college scheduling manager.
In a statement on April 19, 2022, the Canadian Association of Journalists demanded that Humber College allow student journalists to work on campus without interference.
Humber College apologized later that day, saying “the policy was never intended to prohibit student media from on campus reporting or carrying out their assignments,” and that student journalists would now be exempt from the policy.
The college also said it would issue student journalists with press passes and inform security that they don’t need a permit to work on campus, with the exception of some specific areas where the university says privacy is a particular concern.
Humber noted in the statement that some restaurants on campus have corporate policies that restrict filming.
Before Humber clarified the policy, college administrators confirmed in interviews with Humber News that students “filming, documenting, interviewing” needed a permit, but gave unclear guidance on how the policy would be applied.
Student journalists at Humber have raised concerns about the policy since 2021, when third-year journalism student Manan Nijhawan was told he needed a permit to interview athletes in the college gym. Humber News has identified nine areas on campus where student journalists say they have found their work restricted.