On September 24, a video surfaced that appears to show UTSC psychology professor Steve Joordens playing a pornographic video on the projector screen by accident.
The incident, which apparently took place at the start of the lecture, was recorded by one of the students in the class via a Snapchat video and subsequently posted onto Reddit, where, along with many memes made about the event, it instantly went viral.
“When I saw the [pornographic] video, I was surprised,” the original poster, a first-year student studying Philosophy, wrote to The Varsity.
“I was not expecting that especially this early in the morning… I found the whole situation funny and he made a lot of people laugh. ”
The class, which was reportedly PSYA01 — Introduction to Biological and Cognitive Psychology, had about 500 students in the lecture hall. As seen in the video posted by the student, many students in the class were laughing, though others could be seen walking out of the room.
In a statement to The Varsity, Joordens wrote, “With respect to the event that happened prior to my class on Monday the 24th, I want to be clear that what happened was completely unintentional and I feel absolutely terrible about it.”
“I have apologized to my class and now I want to move on. Thanks to my students, colleagues and my amazing family for their support and understanding.”
Don Campbell, Media Relations Officer at UTSC, told The Varsity in a statement that the university is aware of the incident and are looking into it, but that they can’t discuss personnel matters.
“We encourage students who may be feeling unsettled by the incident to speak with their registrar or staff at the Health & Wellness Centre,“ Campbell said.
Joordens started teaching at UTSC in 1995. Since then, he has won numerous teaching awards including the Canadian Post-Secondary #EdTech Professor of the Year in 2017 and the 3M National Teaching Fellowship in 2015.
“Everyone makes mistakes so I can’t blame him,” said the student who posted the video. “I hope nothing bad happens in the future and this can just be a thing to laugh about, I hope his job isn’t affected or anything in his personal life either.”
Editor’s Note (September 25, 2:10pm): This article has been updated to include a statement from UTSC.
Editor’s Note (September 28, 12:20pm): This article has been updated to include a statement from Joordens.