October 19, 2011The Eyeopener
Occupy Toronto takes over Rye
Protesters staged a demonstration against economic inequality and corporate greed at Ryerson aftera weekend of rallies in cities across the country.
Associate News Editor Carolyn Turgeon
Occupy Toronto came to cam-pus Monday to join with the previ-ously planned Anti-Poverty Rallyfor Ryerson’s Social Justice Week.The “Occupy” protesters wereinspired by Wall Street, where thedemonstrations against corporategreed and nancial separation be-gan a month ago thanks to a publiccall from Vancouver-based anti-corporate-magazine
.After marching from the nan-cial district to St. James Park onSaturday, protesters quickly lledthe park with tents and turned itinto their headquarters.Sunday brought the protestersclose to campus with a march toDundas Square.“We facilitate demonstrationseach and every day in Toronto,as we will with the Occupy To-ronto demonstration,” said Sgt,Dale Corra, 55 Division, before thesmall protest arrived.“People are exercising theirdemocratic right of free speechand there have been no problemsat this time.”Ian Sero, a rst-year new mediastudent, aended the events andwas a bit disappointed.“I wish there were more people,”said Sero, adding that he hopes thenewly-formed Canadian protestswill grow in number with time.Although signicantly small-er than the Occupy Wall Streetprotest, the Toronto rally is stillviewed by aendees as important.“The essential reason is the in-come disparity,” Sero explained.“If our neighbour is in bad shape,we will be in bad shape.”On Monday, the participantscame to campus, combining withthe rally on Gould Street to bet-ter project their overlapping mes-sages.Ryerson president Sheldon Levysaid he welcomes such demonsta-tions on campus.“It has been a very peacefulmovement so I certainly have nodiculty with it coming to cam-pus as a way of us participating inthe message that they are commu-nicating,” said Levy. “As they say,that’s what the Wall Street move-ment is all about — some sense ofsocial justice.”Eddy Bijons, a second-year the-atre production student, aendedthe on-campus rally.“Fundamentally the problemis the lack of regulation betweencorporate and government spend-ing,” said Bijons.He believes that, when peoplecome to Canada seeking a beerlife, they end up working mini-mum-wage jobs because of theirforeign university credits and thelanguage barrier, which he dubs“slave labour.”“They [corporations] have noregard for basic human needs,” Bi- jons said.Winnie Ng, CAW-Sam GindinChair in Social Justice and Democ-racy, believes the ght is about thewidening gap between rich andpoor.“We are transforming Ryersoninto a hub of social justice for thisweek,“ she said. “Occupy Torontois joining us as a sign of solidarity.”But Aaron Feintuca, a rst-year business management student,said he didn’t know the rally washappening and wouldn’t have at-tended anyway.“I don’t agree with what they’resaying,” he said. “People have totake responsibility for their ownactions and stop blaming the gov-ernment.”Carlyle Farrell, chair of globalmanagement studies, said the mo- bilization eorts are actually a wayof demanding economic equality.“My understanding is that theprotests have to do more with in-come and equality, it’s somethingstudents should consider,” saidFarrell. “I’m not advocating thatthey march and protest, but theyshould be aware.”Farrell believes that, despitetheir numbers, the protesters’ criti-cisms are misdirected.“The root cause of the problemis not the capitalist system, it’s thefailure of the governments to regu-late it.”
Protesters gather at Ryerson Oct. 17 at a rally in solidarity with New York City’s Occupy Wall Street movement.
PHOTO: CHELSEA POTTAGE
BY DASHA ZOLOTA
Geing locked out of residencecan cost students up to $300 in feesthanks to a new Pitman Hall lock-out policy.Until this year, Pitman chargedlocked-out students a at rate of $5to unlock their rooms. But this se-mester, students get one free lock-out and have to pay a fee that startsat $5 and grows by increments ofve for the next ve times theylock themselves out. If it happenssix to 10 times, students must paya at rate of $50 each time.After the tenth time — at whichpoint the total nes would amountto approximately $300 — the stu-dent is documented in the resi-dence disciplinary system and thefee goes up to $100.Chad Nuall, manager of stu-dent housing services, said the pol-icy was implemented when hous-ing noticed the maintenance stawas spending a signicant amountof time unlocking students’ doors.“Often there’s some sort of senseof urgency associated with lock-outs. They would be doing a joband pack up and go and do a lock-out and then have to come back,”Nuall said. “We started look-ing at the numbers and there had been people who had 30 lockoutsand, in some ways, we were think-ing that some people were takingadvantage of the $5 fee for doinglockouts.”The escalating fee was put inplace in order to discourage stu-dents from taking lockouts lightlyand to reduce the number of in-stances in Pitman. So far, the poli-cy has been highly eective and re-duced September lockout rates by30 per cent compared to numbersfrom last year, according to Nut-tall. Although October is not overyet, those gures are also down by37 per cent.Nuall also noted that the newpolicy doesn’t aect most studentsnegatively because the major-ity only lock themselves out aboutonce a year.“With the ramp up, our hopewas to cut o the folks who wereabusing the system and give theoverwhelming majority of stu-dents that just lock themselves outa freebie,” he said.But, eager to avoid steep charg-es, some Pitman residents havestarted fabricating their own back-up keys. A gift card punched withpaerns matching the desired keycreates a functional duplicate, ac-cording to students.Part of the reason is that Pitman’sautomated locks close each time astudent steps out, which can makeit easy to get locked out. Radioand television arts student SydneyNeilson said she has been lockedout at least 24 times. Each time,Neilson avoided charges by play-ing video games with her friendacross the hall, Salar Shoaiby, untilher roommates returned.“I’ve only called the [residenceadvisers] twice,” Neilsonsaid.Geing lockedout of an apart-ment can beas simpleas usingthe wash-room, saidfirst-yearnutritionstudentShoaiby.“Mostpeople lockthemselves out because they’reused to closing doors behind them in their ownhome,” she said.Accidental lockout charges canmount up under the new policy but Nual maintains it is a deter-rent and not a prot-generatingsystem.“There is the misconceptionthat we’re using this togenerate revenue,”he said. “Evenif it onlytakes 10-15minutesthat’sseveraldol-lars inlabour.This isnevergoing tocover ourcosts evenwith the in-creased charges.”
New lockout policy charges students up to $300
On Saturday, at least 15Canadian cities joined theOccupy Canada move-ment.It was organized in solidar-ity with the Occupy WallStreet demonstrations,where nearly 10,000 pro-testers have occupied NewYork City’s Zuccotti Parkfor the past four weeks.Demonstrations and rallieswere held in Toronto, Van-couver, Calgary, Halifax,Edmonton, Winnipeg,Montreal and Quebec City.In Toronto, the rally drewbetween 2,000 and 3,000people on Saturday andactivists have continued tostage several smaller dem-onstrations like the one atRyerson since then.
Occupy feverspreadsto Canada
Luke Kimmerer, frst-yeararchitecture science, gotlocked out.
PHOTO: DASHA ZOLOTA
The essential reason isthe income disparity.
— Ian Sero,frst-year new media