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Volume 49 - Issue 13

January 20, 2016
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Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

NEWS

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

3

Paralyzed dance student aided by RU community
As Ryerson dance student Napu Boychuk walks down his road to recovery, numerous fundraisers aim to cover his medical costs
By Al Downham
After a drowning accident left
him paralyzed, one Ryerson
dance student is receiving help
from friends, family and the theatre school to cover substantial
medical costs.
“It’s a really heartbreaking
situation,” said Ryerson Theatre
School (RTS) chair Peggy Shannon. “Everybody flew into action
to do what we could.”
Napu Boychuk, 29, had been
dancing since adolescence, according to friend and Ryerson dance
alumnus Andrew McCormack.
Now in his final year of study,
Boychuk was featured in Ryerson’s 2014/2015 Choreographic
Works and Ryerson Dances.
“He always gives more to his
partner than he gives to himself,”
said fourth-year acting student
and classmate Cameron Walker
Fox Revett. “His style is kind of
athletic, very strong.”
However, on Dec. 13, the dance
student drowned at a beach in
Varadero, Cuba, after getting
caught in an undercurrent.
Boychuk was resuscitated, and
quickly taken to the hospital for
emergency spinal cord surgery,
where he had his fifth and sixth
vertebrae aligned. He initially lost
use of his limbs with seawater and
sand in his lungs and stomach.

A photo update of Napu Boychuk by his relatives.

“I was heartbroken for him,”
said fourth-year acting student
and classmate Brooke Morrice.
“Especially as a dancer, it’s always
hard to hear when a dancer has a
physical injury. That disables their
livelihood.”
With limited internet and phone
availability, many of Boychuk’s
friends and family back home
learned about the accident at the
beginning of January through
posts by his sister, Tuutalik.

PHOTO COURTESY: FACEBOOK

“I didn’t actually realize until
much later,” said McCormack. “I
thought it was fake. I was actually
hoping it was fake and a scam.”
Tuutalik, who steadily posts
Facebook updates on Napu’s condition, wrote that Cira Garcia —
the hospital treating her brother
— is providing “amazing” treatment.”
However, she added his emergency travel insurance was cut off
Jan 7. With medical costs from

Dec. 13 to Jan. 7 amounting to
$19,500 U.S. Napu’s family started an online fundraising campaign
soon after.
“I don’t want to use the word
dreadful, but I can’t think of a
better word,” McCormack said.
“Something so bad, negative to
happen to such a great person.”
When friends, family, and Ryerson community members found
out about the incident, others also
decided to raise money to cover
the medical costs and a plane ticket home.
McCormack, for example, is
helping organize one fundraiser
event at Scallywags, where Napu
worked as a part-time bartender.
Another fundraising event occurred on Jan 16. in Iqaluit, hosted by John Manzo — a local dance
teacher and friend of Tuutalik and
Napu.
“We wanted the arts community to help them out because
they’re very involved,” Manzo
said. “When he was here [last], he
was telling me his love for dance
and hoping he’d get a chance to
dance here in Iqaluit with our
group.”
Ryerson students and staff also
collaborated in creating a fundraiser under the RTS.
“It was a team effort,” said
Shannon, who made the first donation to the RTS initiative. “He’s

really in dire need so we just need
to help him.”
Since Napu was older than most
students at RTS, some students
know him as a kind classmate
ready to offer advice and experience.
“Truth be told, we were all terrified little first years at the time,”
Fox Revett said. “Having someone come in who was super chill
about it, that was completely new

“Especially as a dancer, it’s
always hard to hear when a
dancer has a physical injury.
It disables their livelihood.”
to us.”
So far the fundraisers have cumulatively raised over $14,000.
And as of Jan. 16, Tuutalik wrote
that Napu is off a ventilator and
IV drip and is now sitting up. He’s
also regaining movement and feeling in his limbs. Napu will stay
in Cuba for therapy until at least
mid-February.
“He’s just always happy and
trying to make others laugh,” said
McCormack. “Especially if other
people aren’t in a very good mood,
he’ll try to lighten up everyone’s
day. It’s just so consistent — all
the time.”

Students waiting months for counselling
By Keith Capstick
Wait times for the school’s counselling services can stretch to three
months based on a “triage appointment” assesement, in which students’ personal safety is determined
by counsellors.
Students that are not experiencing safety concerns or struggling
with day-to-day tasks are asked to
wait up to four weeks for an intake
appointment after their original triage appointment, on arrival. Once
there, they are again assessed and
paired with a long-term counsellor.
Students struggling with day-to-day
tasks have their wait time expedited to one-to-two weeks. Students
that are “not experiencing safety
concerns” are asked to wait two
months or longer.
Students with serious safety concerns and recent trauma are allotted same-week intake appointmens.
The centre maintains 10 same-day
appointment times per week for
students in urgent need.
“When you’re dealing with mental illness, every day can feel like the
worst day and it can’t always wait,”
said Cassidy Allison, a fourth-year

RTA school of media student, who
waited a month for counselling.
The Ryerson Centre for Student
Development and Counselling
(CSDC) currently staffs 15 counsellors, an additional two consulting
psychiatrists and six graduate students in addition to one psychiatry
resident. The staff service more
than 30,000 undergraduate students as well as graduate students.
Lavinia Tea — a third-year creative industries student — found
that in her experience the staff
were helpful once they were available, but said it was evident that
the offices “were extremely understaffed.”
“I went to counselling services
and at the time the earliest they
could have given me for an intake
appointment was a month, so I said
fine,” Tea said. “The thing with
mental illness is that even if you’re
deemed low-risk, that can change
at any time.”
Tea was originally scheduled to
have her intake appointment approximately two months after she
first sought out counselling, only to
have it cancelled at the last minute
and delayed for another month.

Ryerson offers group therapy
sessions to speed up wait times for
students who are willing to participate. But Tea stressed the importance of finding someone you can
build a rapport with and meeting
with them right away.
“As a student that’s struggling
with mental illness it’s extremely
frustrating because I turned to
counselling because I felt like I
needed to do something now,” Tea
Wait times for counselling services have students frustrated. PHOTO: CHRIS BLANCHETTE
said.
Sarah Thompson, the CSDC’s
clinical coordinator, said that short- son said, in a written statement to finance commitee in which he plans
ening wait times is one of the cen- The Eyeopener. “We’re not there to bring students’ biggest concerns
yet, but we know that access to to the administration.
tre’s top priorities.
One of those concerns, McGee
According to Thompson, the someone who can answer quesCSDC staffs an extra counsellor tions and provide direction same said, is mental health services at
Ryerson.
during the final six weeks of each day is best.”
“Wait times at the counselling
Of Toronto’s three major uniterm to lower wait times during
their highest volume weeks, close versities, Ryerson and the Univer- centre are crazy. Basically, if you’re
sity of Toronto’s St. George campus not in a position to hurt yourself
to exams.
The CSDC is also looking to cre- have 15 full-time counsellors and immediately you’re going to wait
ate as many same-day services for York University has 17, although weeks, sometimes months,” McRyerson is the smallest of the three Gee said.
students as possible.
He also added that the diver“We continue to explore pos- schools. York also staffs five addisibilities for same-day support for tional counsellors with a specializa- sity of counsellors needs to be addressed, as some students feel the
students, including the possibility tion in mental health.
On Jan. 26, RSU vice-president counsellors they’re matched with
of speaking to someone for 15-20
minutes to receive some immediate education Cormac McGee has a “can’t understand their lived realisupports and next steps,” Thomp- meeting with the university’s macro ties.”

editorial

4

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

On resolutions
By
Sean
Wetselaar
Forgive me while I engage in a brief,
January cliché, but I’m going to talk
about New Year’s resolutions.
If you’re a student, you’ve probably heard or read a thousand posts
PHOTO COURTESY: ANTHONY CRAMP/ CREATIVE COMMONS
Fireworks, because New Years. You get the idea.
about the best ways to keep up with
your resolutions, or how to maintain a tough new workout regiment
in the new year. Or any other number of generic pieces of life advice.
These might seem silly to you
(most of them probably are), but
Editor-in-Chief
Online
Michael “Poet and do know it”
there is a nugget of wisdom to be
Sean “treas-HAIR” Wetselaar
Igor “Series of tubes” Magun
Friedman
gained here. Students are young,
Tagwa “Shrimp fighter” Moyo
Brittany “AppSnatcher” Rosen
many are living on their own for
News
Lee “Third online wheel” RichNoella “Apple farmer” Ovid
the first time, and your university
Keith “capSICK” Capstick
ardson
Justin “HitchBOT’s child”
years are a time to think about the
Nicole “Stage six?” Schmidt
Chandler
Al “Body Snatcher” Donwham
General Manager
Noushin “Rude email” Ziafati
adult you — that includes habits like
Liane “Pho sure” McLarty
Victoria “Resurrection” Shariati working out, eating well and lots of
Features
Melissa “Ansel Elgort obsessed” the other classic resolutions.
Farnia “Fam? Fam” Fekri
Advertising Manager
Bennardo
Thinking about who you want to
Chris “Why did I come in here”
Mitchell “So cool” Thompson
be is definitely an important part of
Biz and Tech
Roberts
Nicole “Haters gonna hate” Di
these years of your life. But I think
Jacob “Roll the” Dubé
Donato
it’s a conversation we should be havDesign Director
ing all the time, not just while we’re
Arts and Life
J.D. “Cloudy days” Mowat
Karoun “Choir geek” Chahinian
Playing the part of the Annoying sleeping off New Year’s Eve hangIntern Army
Talking Coffee Mug this week is overs. It may be an argument you’ve
Sports
Gracie “Goodbye” Brison
Sean Wetselaar’s decision to — dare
Devin “Hearthstone” Jones
Mikayla “Farewell” Fasullo
I give voice to the horrific deed? —
Ben “Hydrate” Hoppe
cut his hair.
Communities
Victoria “Thanks” Sykes
Alanna “Firstie” Rizza
The Eyeopener is Ryerson’s largest
Contributors
and only independent student newsPhoto
Allan “Quick turn around”
paper. It is owned and operated by
Annie “CMYK” Arnone
Perkins
Rye Eye Publishing Inc., a nonJake “Hand cream” Scott
Dan “True boss” Rocchi
profit corporation owned by the stuChris “-tmas socks” Blanchette
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dents of Ryerson.
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Fun
Lindsay “I have no idea” Chris- Our offices are on the second floor
Skyler “Funtribulations” Ash
topher
of the Student Campus Centre. You
Robert “Long gone” Mackenzie can reach us at 416-979-5262, at
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heard before — but I really believe
that your time at university should
be a period dedicated to bettering
yourself, to moulding yourself into
that asshole that you one day hope
to be.
Try to think of it this way. If you’re
at Ryerson, there’s a good chance
that you’ve chosen a program based
on a lifelong passion, or an area of
study that has always inspired you.
Take that inspiration and work at it.
If you’re a writer, write every day.
If you’re a photographer, live with
your camera around your neck. If
you’re an engineer, reconsider.
I know that sometimes honing
your craft, or taking care of all those
other parts of adulthood that sometimes get left behind, like diet, can
be a struggle. And sometimes New
Year’s Day is a good excuse to refocus yourself on the things that matter,
like Cheetos.
But, two-thirds of the way through
the month, it’s time to start looking
ahead, and keeping those habits up
all year. It’s been a good break, but
the holiday is over.
I guess I just want to say this: Welcome back, Ryerson. Let’s get back
to work.

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

NEWS

5

RU Tired of paying for unpaid work?
By Fatima Syed
By the time fourth-year fashion
design student Sydney Allen-Ash
graduates, she will have completed
400 hours of unpaid internship
work — a placement she found and
applied to on her own and pays
$700 for as a course requirement.
To compensate for the free
time she spends at her placement,
Allen-Ash does up to 25 hours of
freelance and contract work each
week as a necessity, in addition to
classes. This is a schedule that’s
all too familiar for many Ryerson
students.
On Jan. 17, RSU vice-president education Cormac McGee
launched a petition asking the Ontario government to recognize that
organizations are benefiting from
free labour instead of hiring paid
workers. More than 500 people
signed the online petition in the
two days following its launch.
“It’s not just free work but
you’re literally paying thousands
of dollars in tuition to go and
work for a company for free,”
said McGee.

One unassuming hipster intern had too much coffee last night and wants to get paid for his hours of work.

The Government of Ontario is
developing a new funding formula
to better distribute operating grants
to universities. In a government report released in December 2015,
it was recommended that funding
should be used to improve student
outcomes — in part by increasing
experiential learning. McGee will
be speaking with the lead policy

advisor to the Ontario Ministry of
Training, Colleges and Universities
on Jan. 25. They will be discussing
a possible long-term investment
through the new funding formula
for unpaid internships that students do as a credit requirements.

It’s not just free work but
you’re literally paying thousands of dollars to go and
work for a company for free
Instead of asking companies to
pay at the risk of positions being
cut, the RSU is exploring other
alternatives; including minimum
wage pay, a travel allowance
or getting rid of the course fee.
“Some sort of investment would
really help students ... we have a
huge contingent of people doing
40-hour-a-week internships for
nothing and doing the same work
people get paid to do,” said McGee. “We don’t want businesses to
cut students, that’s why the money
has to come from the province.”
For a lot of students, internship
opportunities are the most practical experience they get during their
four years at Ryerson. Of the nine
undergraduate programs in the
Faculty of Community Services,
eight have unpaid internship requirements. Social work students
have some of the highest demands,

PHOTO: annie arnone

with 864 hours needed throughout third and fourth year. Alyson
Rogers, a fourth-year social work
student who will have completed
the required hours by the end of
the school year, deals with extreme
fatigue, stress and other negative
mental health issues as a result of
trying to balance her workload.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” she
said. “We want the placements for
the experience, but they are putting students in poverty.”
Almost all Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) programs offer an unpaid internship,
but students studying fashion, creative industries, professional communication and interior design are
required to do one to graduate.
“The upsetting part is unpaid
internships are becoming a status
quo in the culture of the industry,”
said Allen-Ash. “FCAD is complacent in following unfair and exploitative industry standards, then
making it out to seem like their
hands are tied,” she later wrote
via personal message.
FCAD Dean Charles Falzon
said he thinks internships should
be paid, but noted that the value
of a good internship often “more
than compensates for the absence
of pay.” This includes encouraging a culture of mentorship among
industry professionals who might
not be able to pay, but are willing
to provide students with practical
experience in their profession.

“I think there’s this balance between the best learning possible,
the best reputation possible and
the best job opportunities possible,” said Falzon, who added he’s
working to create more workplace
opportunities for Ryerson students. “I understand the conundrum. But I just don’t think it’s
black-and-white.”
Ryerson interim president Mohamed Lachemi says experiential
learning is part of the curriculum
for 95 per cent of programs at
Ryerson. “Ryerson really gives a
lot of importance to experiential
learning for students,” he said.
“Our position is always to encourage paid internships for students
… however, the decision isn’t ours
because the hiring is done by external agencies.”
While students are charged for
unpaid internship courses, the
school notes that time spent interning would amount to the same
time spent in classes if these placements didn’t exist. These courses
can cost anywhere from $700 to
upwards of $1,500 dollars, depending on the program. Fees are
used to pay faculty coordinators
and other administrative staff.
Students in the faculty of community services have coordinators responsible for finding them
a placement and making all of the
arrangements. Most FCAD students, however, are in charge of
finding their own internship.

The upsetting part is unpaid
internships are becoming a
status quo in the culture of
the industry
Allen-Ash said she had little
help from the school of fashion,
aside from emails sent out with
workplace opportunities accompanied by a disclaimer: “Jobs are
not vetted or authorized as internships prior to posting.”
“All we can do is promote paid
internships,” said Lachemi. “We
cannot close the door for unpaid
internships.”
With files from Nicole Schmidt

ENG building
room floods
A faulty sprinkler head in the
George Vari Engineering and
Computing Centre caused flooding on the first, second and third
floors, damaging two classrooms
and several offices and labs. The
flood happened on Jan. 12 and
most classes have been temporarily moved to the Victoria building. There is not yet an estimated
ENG 105 and 106 flooded this past week.
cost for the damage.

PHOTO: annie arnone

NEWS

6

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

WHAT YOU MISSED: WINTER EDITION

PHOTO: CHRIS BLANCHETTE

Here’s what went down over the holidays while you argued with your racist uncle
Rye prof dies in
fatal stabbing
near campus

Wendy Cukier to
be president of
the badgers

On Dec. 15, Mark Ernsting, a Ryerson professor and cancer researcher,
was fatally stabbed on an evening
walk down McGill Street. Police described the stabbing as a “random
attack” and “a crime of opportunity.” Ernsting worked in the faculty of engineering and architectural
science. The accused, 21-year-old
Calvin Michael Nimoh, faces firstdegree murder charges.

CONTINUING
STUDIES

Wendy Cukier, Ryerson’s vice-president research and innovation, will
be taking over as president of Brock
University effective Sept. 1, 2016.
Cukier has accomplished a lot during
her three decades at Ryerson. She was
influential in helping the school transition from a polytechnic to a university. She also founded the Diversity
Institute and, most recently, was a
founding member of Lifeline Syria.

Presidential
search, to be
continued...
On Dec. 1, Sheldon Levy left Ryerson
after 10 years as university president.
There’s still uncertainty over who will
be his permanent replacement, but
in a Jan. 11 update, the Presidential
Search Committee said they’re making “good progress.” For now, former provost and vice-president academic Mohamed Lachemi has taken
over. The university expects to have a
new president before summer 2016.

Continuing Studies @

OCAD UNIVERSITY
Art / Design / New Media
Evenings / Weekends / Online

PHOTO: KEITH CAPSTICK

RSU takes heat over layoffs and
restructuring
When the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) eliminated its Executive Director
of Communications and Outreach position on Dec. 1, they let go of two employees and pissed a lot of people off in the process. A long list of groups released public statements in response to the restructuring. Highlights include:

The Continuing Education Students’ Association of
Ryerson (CESAR)
CESAR didn’t want to financially contribute to an “irresponsible and antiunion student executive,” so the Board of Directors passed a motion to
boycott the RSU-run printing service, CopyRITE.

The Ryerson Feminist Collective
After the layoffs, the Ryerson Feminist Collective withdrew its application
to become an RSU student group, announcing that they “do not support
an RSU that values ‘saving money’ over two people’s livelihoods for no
tangible reason besides ‘restructuring.’”

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 1281
CUPE made a Facebook post urging readers to contact RSU President Andrea Bartlett to protest the move. “We are not going to let members be attacked like this,” read the statement. “Bartlett is now attacking a woman’s
legal right to take approved pregnancy leave without fear of termination.”

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Anti-Racism Coalition
Ryerson’s Anti-Racism Coalition urged Bartlett to reinstate the two employees due to “serious equity issues” surrounding the layoffs. According
to the coalition, the restructuring is “a cloak for unjust dismissal.”

University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU)
On Jan. 14, UTSU said in a public statement that their willingness to engage with the RSU has been “severely undermined.” When the RSU “demonstrates an institutional commitment to the principles of equity and good
allyship,” the UTSU said the two student unions could resume working
together as they have in the past.

NEWS

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

7

Q&A with Natasha Campagna
The Eyeopener spoke with the new RSU general manager about the controversies surrounding last semester’s restructuring
By Nicole Schmidt

The staff and students in the building have really helped me through
As part of the Ryerson Students’ the transitioning process and are
Union (RSU) restructuring plan, helping me become more familiar
a new, full-time general manager with the position.
position was created last semester
to help new executives transition Have there been any surprises, or
into their roles and oversee finan- things you didn’t expect?
I had a good idea about what
cial operations.
Natasha Campagna, former it [the position] was coming into
student engagement and business the role, especially because I’ve
development coordinator of the been involved with the Ryerson
Ryerson Commerce Society, was community and I’m a Ryerson
hired for the role and started on alumni. There haven’t been any
Nov. 30. One day later, the RSU surprises.
eliminated the position of executive director of communications A lot of student groups and outand outreach, laying off two side organizations have released
employees due to financial con- statements about the RSU restrucstraints. Several people have since turing. Were you expecting to
expressed disapproval and voiced receive any backlash before you
concerns. The Eyeopener spoke started the job?
with Campagna about the new The restructuring happened on
position and how she’s been han- the second day that I was officially in the position, so I had no
dling the negative attention.
idea about it. I found out the day
How are things going with the po- that it happened when everyone
else did.
sition thus far?
I think that the position is going great so far. I’ve been learning How have you been dealing with
a lot. Everyone in the building has the negative attention?
I’m a very calm person, I don’t
been able to teach me something
new, or something about the RSU think reacting is the best way to
that I didn’t know about before. go. It’s very important to keep a

level head and make sure you’re
not letting the negativity get to
you. It’s important to keep moving forward and know that there’s
work to be done. I want to quiet
out the noise and really focus on
the betterment of the organization.
Is that going to be your mentality
going forward?
Everyone has questions. It’s important to state the facts and show
students that what happened isn’t
something that’s illegal like people
are saying. I’m focusing on what
the RSU is doing well at, instead
of the negative.
In the statement the University of
Toronto Students’ Union released,
they accused the RSU of hiring
you because you’re a “close friend
and political ally.” What are your
thoughts on that?
I did know Andrea like I know a
lot of people on Ryerson campus,
but by no means were we close
friends like everybody thought going into the position. I think I was
the only person who applied for
the position from Ryerson, and I
think it’s important that the person who got chosen for this role

A Message from Interim
President Mohamed Lachemi
Welcome to a new term and a new year
at Ryerson. I look forward to working with all
members of the community as we continue
to build momentum and move our university
forward in 2016.
Have a great term and a great year!
Mohamed Lachemi
Interim President

Natasha Campagna is the RSU’s new general manager.

PHOTO: Jake scott

understands the Ryerson commu- the executives and the board as
well as the initiatives they have
nity.
planned, and continue to learn
Do you have any further comment more about the RSU and ways
to improve the organization. The
on the restructuring?
I have no comments right now. past month or so has been about
learning and absorbing. Further, I
Going forward into the semester, think I’ll be able to see where the
hiccups are and improve on them.
what are your plans for the role?
To ensure that the RSU is continued to be put back in the hands This interview has been edited for
of the students. I want to support length and clarity.

FEATURES

8

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

Remembering

Mark

Ernsting
Adjunct-professor, biomedical engineer,
cancer researcher, husband, friend.
By Jacob Dubé

Mark Ernsting. Photo Courtesy: Shyh-Dar Li/OICR

E

laine Wilson was wrapping gifts in front of the TV in her
home on McGill Street when she heard something outside. It
was just after 9 p.m. on Dec. 15, she had just come home from
work and it was too dark to see anything. About an hour
later, she looked out of her bedroom window and saw police tape tied
to a tree in her front yard. Toronto police were on the scene, and she
heard that somebody had been stabbed.
Her close friends, Robert Iseman and Mark Ernsting, lived just a
street away, so she sent them a text letting them know about the stabbing. Iseman called her right back to tell her that Ernsting, his husband
of five years, had not come home from his nightly walk.
Worried, she approached a cop on the street to find out if they had
seen the victim.
“He doesn’t look like he’s doing too good,” the officer said.
When she asked about Ernsting, the officer told her that he could
have been a witness to the stabbing, and in that case he would have
been taken to the precinct for questioning, unable to use his phone.
Wilson called Iseman back and he met her near the scene. Together,
they approached another officer and told them they were getting worried.
“Okay, we’re concerned here. My friend, and my friend’s husband
here, he’s not home, and he’s never home this late,” Wilson recalls saying.
The cop told them to go home and wait, that they would be okay.
They were waiting at Wilson’s home when they found out the victim
had succumbed to injuries in the hospital. It was around this time that
Iseman found Mark’s wallet, along with all of his identification, in his
bag. He hadn’t taken it with him on his walk.

Wilson and Iseman spoke to a third officer to say that they wanted
to go to the precinct, speak to the witnesses and see if Mark was with
them. The officer began questioning them about him. They matched
his name to his driver’s license photo — confirming that it was Mark
Ernsting who had died.
“It was easily the worst moment of my life,” Wilson admits.
According to Toronto police, Ernsting was on his nightly walk on
McGill Street when a man approached him, attempted to rob him and
stabbed him.
He was 39. He was a biomedical engineer and an adjunct-professor at
Ryerson University. He’d been married to Iseman for five years, but they
had been together for 10. Wilson had met him soon after she moved to
Toronto — they had been friends for over 15 years. She started calling him Wendell, referencing the nauseous Simpsons character, after he
laughed so hard at a joke once that he threw up. He died on Dec. 15.

“It was easily the worst moment of my life”

E

rnsting worked for the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
(OICR) as a biomedical engineer, while also serving as an adjunct professor in the faculty of engineering and architectural
science at Ryerson.
He was working on a drug delivery system, smaller than a red blood
cell, which would release if subjected to a certain temperature. Practically, it could be used to target the release of chemotherapy drugs exclusively in a tumour, which would minimize the infamous side effects.
“When you do get cancer, your immune system is already weakened. Attacking it with more drugs does nothing but weaken it further.
So that does play a huge role in the outcome of these patients,” says
Eno Hysi, a graduate student in biomedical physics at Ryerson. “Even
though they might be cured of their cancer, they’re still sick because of
the effects of chemotherapy.”

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Hysi says that the research he’s doing now wouldn’t be possible without Ernsting’s contributions to the invention.
“He was a great guy. We would work very late in the lab at night,
and he would always offer to give us a hand if we had any difficulties,”
he says. “It’s going to be a big gap to fill. Not just because he was a
great guy, but because he was a brilliant researcher.”
Ernsting’s death came as a huge shock to Hysi, who passes by McGill
Street several times a day. “You hear about robberies, but not robberies
gone wrong.”
The accused, 21-year-old Calvin Michael Nimoh, was arrested within
an hour of the incident and has been charged with first-degree murder.
According to homicide Det. Paul Worden, the charge was upgraded
from second-degree to first on Jan. 7, after evidence of forceful confinement was found. According to the CBC, Nimoh was also charged with
robbery, assault with a weapon and carrying weapons dangerous to the
public peace, in relation to another violent robbery earlier that night.
hyh-Dar Li worked with Ernsting at the OICR since 2009.
Their relationship began while Ernsting completed his training at the OICR for two years, then decided to stay with the
institute — despite receiving other job offers. Together, they coinvented the chemotherapy delivery system.
Around the time when Li’s daughter was six-months-old, he held a
party at his home. He says that she was beginning to recognize people,
and became more selective about who she would let near her. Amazingly, he says, she was always drawn to Mark.
Just a day before Ernsting died, the two were still exchanging
emails about their research. Ernsting sent Li a couple of questions
on Monday, but he wasn’t able to respond before he heard the
news of Mark’s death on Wednesday.
“That’s really shocking, because I remember Mark told us
how safe Toronto was,” Li says, explaining that he moved to
Toronto from the United States. “We were always wondering how safe the city was, and can we feel safe walking on
the streets at night. And Mark was always very positive.”
Li had a friend in the United States who also died after a robbery two years ago. Since the events of Dec. 15,
Li double-checks his doors every night to make sure that
they’re locked. “I never thought this would happen again
to my friend.”
Li says Mark’s dream was to get their invention to the stage
of clinical trials. The OICR is taking over with the project.
“I hope he knew how much I appreciated working with
him,” he says.
n their last annual camping trip, when Wilson and a
friend arrived to the site, Ernsting was already there,
alone, and the entire campsite had been set up. All that
was left was wine and dinner.
“He was a MacGyver and a boy scout. This guy didn’t have a lazy
bone in his body,” Wilson recalls. “It was like a 12-man tent. He just
said he needed help putting the fly on.”

S

9

Pimages

Li (left
)

and
Ern
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Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

“It’s going to be a big gap to fill. Not just
because he was a great guy, but because he
was a brilliant researcher”

A

long with the camping trips, Ernsting often went mountain
climbing with his husband.
“He was like zero per cent body fat and in the prime
of his life when this happened. Very healthy guy,” Wilson
says. “He maybe drank wine, but other than that, clean guy. I always
said I would die before this guy.
“I never thought I’d outlive Wendell.”
His mountain climbing skills came in use one day when Wilson had
to move her bedframe up to her third-floor apartment. He attached
the frame to climbing ropes and hoisted it up from the outside. “If it
weren’t for him, I’d be sleeping on a mattress on the floor,” she says.
Even when they had nothing planned, Ernsting, Iseman and Wilson
would meet up once a week to cook a gourmet dinner together. Wilson said that the couple would do everything in their power so she
wouldn’t feel like a third wheel.
“There was no hiding it. They were both crazy about each other,”
she said. “I know Rob is going crazy without him. If Mark went on
a short business trip, Rob would go a little crazy and invite me over,
in lieu of Wendell. They would even Skype. They were a really, really,
really adorable couple.”
One morning, Wilson was making a sandwich, preparing for work,
when she cut her hand open. She was home alone. She called Ernsting
and in no more than 60 seconds, he was there.
“You’re a doctor,” she said. “Tell me how bad it’s going to be.”
“You’re fine. Did you give blood in high school?” Ernsting asked
her. She said yes. “That was a bag of blood. You really haven’t lost
that much.”
He took her to the hospital, where he stayed with her.
“I know it’s things that friends and neighbours do but we were very
close, like family,” Wilson says. “We talked about getting old and
looking after each other, and when that happens. We were like family,
here, together.”

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biz & tech

10

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

HitchBOT retiring in Ottawa Museum
By Justin Chandler
HitchBOT, a robot famous for
hitchhiking across Canada in
2014, is settling down in the country’s capital. The robot, which is
managed through collaboration
between Ryerson and McMaster
universities, will become part of
the Canada Science and Technology Museum’s permanent collection when the Ottawa museum
reopens in November 2017.
The robot that will be on display at the museum will be the first
HitchBOT, the model that travelled from Halifax to Victoria in
21 days. A second version of the
robot, HitchBOT 2.0, was created
for international travel. The first
model came back from its crossCanada trip “transformed,” said
Frauke Zeller, co-creator of HitchBOT and assistant professor of
professional communication at Ryerson. HitchBOT returned from its
journey adorned with stickers, jewellery and drawings. “We wanted
to preserve that,” said Zeller.
Zeller calls the museum’s request to keep HitchBOT a great
compliment. She said she hopes
her team can work with the museum to make HitchBOT as engaging in the museum as it was
on the road.
“A lot of people think museums
look for old things,” said Tom
Everrett, curator of communications at the Canada Science and

illustration: jake scott

Technology Museum. But he said
the museum also likes to collect
items that are significant now and
will continue to be later.
Everrett said he will work with
Smith and Zeller to find an interesting way to integrate the photos
HitchBOT took and the metadata
it collected into the exhibit. He
said a challenge will be keeping
HitchBOT accessible so that it can
interact with people.
“We didn’t want it to be a funeral,” said Everrett of HitchBOT’s
stay in the museum. He said he prefers to call it “active retirement.”
HitchBOT was conceived in
2013 by Zeller and David Harris Smith, assistant professor in
the department of communication studies and multimedia at
McMaster Uiversity. The robot
is managed by Zeller, Smith and
about 14 students, half of whom
are from Ryerson.
HitchBOT was designed as a
social experiment to ask if robots
can trust humans. The project reverses the commonly asked question of whether or not humans can
trust robots, an important question that “we should never stop
asking,” Zeller said.
HitchBOT has a bucket for
a torso, blue pool noodles for
limbs, yellow gloves for hands
and yellow rubber boots for
feet. Its head is made up of
LED screens and encased in a
clear dome. A solar panel wraps

HitchBOT will be retiring to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa.

PHOTO courtesy: tom Everrett

around its belly.
The
three-foot-tall
robot
weighs about 25 pounds. It’s designed to be heavy enough to resist wind when sitting by the side
of the road, but light enough to
be lifted into vehicles. HitchBOT
is incapable of moving places
on its own. It’s equipped with a
camera and 3G internet so it can
share photos on social media. The
robot charges with solar panels
or can be plugged into car lighters for power. Its team can track
it via GPS.
After HitchBOT’s successful
trip across Canada, the team created a second model. The second
HitchBOT had the same look as
the original. The only changes were
an icon to indicate when it needed
recharging and upgrades to its language software.
HitchBOT 2.0 went to Germany
for 10 days in February 2015 and
the Netherlands for three weeks in
June 2015. It was dismembered in
Philadelphia in August 2015, just
two weeks into its journey across
the United States causing sadness
and outrage on social media.
Zeller said she and the team were
shocked by HitchBOT’s destruction. Before the Canadian tour,
people kept asking the team if they
were worried something bad would
happen to the robot. The team replied that the risk was part of the
experiment to learn if robots can
trust humans, Zeller said.
But HitchBOT was treated so
well in Canada, Germany and the
Netherlands that when it went to
the United States, Zeller said she
was not worried for it.
“When they sent us those images of HitchBOT [with] the
arms torn off, it wasn’t nice,”
Zeller said.
Because of the substantial
amount of time and effort needed
to manage HitchBOT, the project
has been put on hold, Zeller said.
The team will determine what to
do next in the spring
“Expectations are so high. It’s
not just some little project you
can run on a small budget now,”
Zeller said.
Eyeopener double Ad.indd 1

2016-01-17 6:43 PM

Biz & Tech

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

11

Rye wins spots in winter exhibit
By Noella Ovid
Ryerson University’s department
of architectural science has two
winners in the 2016 Winter Stations design competition.
The installations being displayed in next month’s exhibition
are Lithoform by Rémi Carreiro
and Aris Peci and Flow by Victor
Huynh and Calvin Fung.
The second annual design competition requires architects to convert
lifeguard stands into temporary pavilions, while responding to Toronto’s long and unpredictable winters
in this year’s theme of freeze/thaw.

The exhibition is set to run around
lifeguard stands from Feb. 13 to
March 20 across the Kew, Scarborough and Balmy Beaches.
Brought together by RAW Design, Ferris + Associates and Curio, the winter festival was created
to encourage Torontonians to celebrate the city’s winter waterfront
landscape.
“We knew the city had little
money for such things as new lifeguard stands, why not run a competition to get new ones?” wrote
Ted Merrick, director of Ferris +
Associates, via email.
A total of seven teams have been

WINTER
OPT-OUT

DEADLINE

for the
Members'
Health &
Dental Plan

All full-time students just starting classes in the Winter
term are charged a fee of $197.00 for the Members'
Health and Dental Plan. The charge is reflected on
your tuition fee statement and is a pro-rated amount
for health and dental benefits provided by the Plan.
Benefit coverage is from January 1st, 2016 until
August 31, 2016.

selected to build their shelters in
the upcoming exhibition.
“Our students look not only at
design but ability to design, as opposed to just designing a pretty picture,” said Vincent Hui, the professor behind Ryerson’s teams.
Fourth-year undergraduate students Carreiro and Peci entered
the competition in the academic
category as Ryerson University’s
faculty of engineering and architectural sciences. The team used
Rhinoceros, a 3D modeling program, to create their piece with
everything designed to minimize
the amount of construction done
outside in the cold weather.
“We wanted to contribute
something contextually relevant
to our climate and location. With
that in mind, we developed a design influenced by the effects of
frost wedging, where the continual freezing and thawing of water
forms gradually deeper fissures in
stone,” Carreiro said via email.
Lithoform is designed to mimic

Flow, one of two Ryerson exhibits at Winter Stations.

the process of frost formations with
wedge-shaped chimneys that allow
colourfully filtered light through to
the interior wood structure.
“Architecturally, our installation offers a more hands-on experience for the user. It allows them
to engage with the installation and
touch it, feeling the soft interior in
sharp contrast to the hard exterior
shell,” Peci wrote via email.
Graduates Huynh and Fung
were also chosen by the jury for
being successful in the international category.
Based on redesigning the singular ice crystal, they aimed to create Flow — spiky, slot-fitted wood
connections that mimic the geom-

THE DEADLINE TO OPT-OUT ONLINE
IS FRIDAY FEBRUARY 5, 2016
AT 5:00 P.M.
NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS DEADLINE.

The Winter term application to
opt-out will be available ON LINE
via www.mystudentplan.ca/rsu as
of DECEMBER 15, 2015.
The Winter 2016 opt out refund will be applied to your
RAMSS account as of March 1, 2016 ***
If you remain on our plans with Green Shield, all claims are retroactive to JANUARY
1st- you will show active in system as of MARCH 1, 2016. Hold on to any original
receipt for expense during the waiting period and come to our office and submit a
manual claim to get reimbursed AFTER March 1st.

Any questions, please contact Dawn Murray,
RSU's Health & Dental Plan Administrator
at 416-979-5255 x2311
or email at: health@rsuonline.ca

etry of snowflakes.
The shelter will take a wave-like
form with a partial arch, resembling domed snow structures like
the quinzee (a shelter made by hollowing out a pile of settled snow).
While there is no single type of final design outcome, the changing
properties of the star-shaped module are to reflect the relationship
between solid and liquid water.
“The material is able to exhibit
that theme of freezing and thawing being fluid and loose, but also
freezing together and being solid,”
Fung said.
They have entered their design
into competitions and Fung will
be using it for his thesis project.

Hey kid, wanna buy some code?
ZerotoStartup offers a program to teach kids and teens about the business of tech

New students starting in the Winter term only can
opt-out. If you did NOT opt out on line in fall term you
cannot apply now for winter term deadline.

If you are a new student just starting
classes in the January 2016 Winter term
and have comparable coverage of your own,

photo Courtesy: calvin Fung

Youth aged 12 to 17 learn how to code and build websites. photo courtesy: david kwok

By Jacob Dubé
In a changing business landscape,
more and more people have resorted to creating their own jobs
in technology. ZerotoStartup, a
program based at Ryerson University and business firm Celestica, offers a class to teach youths
aged 12 to 17 useful skills to
make it in the technology world.
Anandhi Narayanan from Celestica and recent Ryerson graduate David Kwok founded ZerotoStartup. It was created after a
report from global management
firm McKinsey & Company was
released, detailing how low the
unemployment rate was among
youth aged 15-24 in Toronto, almost double the national average.
A team — including former Ryerson president Sheldon Levy­—
came together to try and solve the
problem, and ZerotoStartup was
created.
“Canada is known to be great
users of technology. We love our
technology and we always buy
them, we never create them,”

Kwok said. He says they created
the 13-week program to help kids
develop their ideas.
“They can have an idea, but
where do you create? Where’s
the next step?” From February to
May of last year, Kwok and his
team worked on creating the content for the curriculum. They then
spent a couple months testing the
program on pre-existing camps
and workshops to get feedback. In
July, they began signing people up
for their inaugural program that
ran from Sept. 19 to Dec. 19.
The program was funded by
Celestica and through Ryerson’s
Brookfield Institute for Innovation
and Entrepreneurship.
During the final week, teams
of students pitched their ideas
to a group including representatives from Ryerson’s DMZ, the
city of Toronto, Celestica and the
non-profit STEAMLabs. Though
there isn’t any cash prize, the organizations offer additional resources, mentorship and time to
work on the products and startups they’re interested in.

Kwok says that he didn’t realize
how important learning how to
code was until later on in his studies, but that it’s necessary for the
kids and teens to have the tools to
create their ideas.
“If they’re able to understand
how technology works, it opens
up a whole new world of possibilities for them. I think that’s
what’s exciting for these kids, to
really understand at a young age,”
Kwok said.
In the future, Kwok said they
want to add fashion technology
and wearables to their curriculum to make the program more
accessible to girls, as well as encourage more boys to get into
fashion.
ZerotoStartup already have
about 15 kids signed up for their
February to May program, according to Kwok. He says that this
time around, they plan to run a
smaller group to allow more communication.
“We’re thinking of running with
about 20 kids, so we’re able to sit
down and mentor them and guide
them. Help make the experience
better for them,” Kwok said.
Though ZerotoStartup is getting international requests to license their curriculum, they’re
concentrating on replicating their
program locally in Mississauga,
and finding people they trust to
teach the content.
For more info on ZerotoStartup, including their curriculum and
their created youth startups, visit
www.theeyeopener.com.

SPORTS

12

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

Rams basketball gunning for top spot
By Allan Perkins

The Student Campus Centre

COMMUNITY
BUILDER
AWARD
Applications Open
This award is designed
to recognize students
within the Ryerson
community who have
contributed to campus
life and building
community at the
Student Campus Centre
as demonstrated
through exceptional
volunteerism.
Awards are available to
all undergraduate
students, all continuing
education and
certificate students, and
all graduates students
who are enrolled and in
good standing during
Winter 2016.
NOTE: Members of the Ryerson
Students’ Union and the Continuing
Education Students’ Association of
Ryerson or the Ryerson Student
Center Board and seniors enrolled
through the Chang School are not
eligible for this award.

Monday, Jan. 11, 2016
at 9am

Applications Close
Monday, Feb. 22, 2016
at 9pm

SUBMIT YOUR
APPLICATION
ONLINE:

When the Ryerson women’s basketball team set an all-time program record for most points scored
in a regular season game with 99
last Wednesday, head coach Carly
Clarke sat on the bench with folded arms, clearly displeased. After
the game, she described herself
as being “pissed” at how the last
minute of the game went. She said
they gave up too many offensive
rebounds and didn’t move the ball
well on their final possession, both
of which she considers unacceptable.
Even after rolling to a 99-61
victory over the York Lions and
setting a record, Clarke said there
was room for improvement. Not
perfectionism — but being critical
of themselves on each possession
and always striving for more, even
when more seems hard to fathom.
It’s that kind of attitude that has
earned the Rams the second overall
ranking in the country.
As of December, the Rams were
at number three in the Canadian
Interuniversity Sport (CIS). Last
Tuesday, they updated their rankings, with Ryerson at number two,
overtaking McGill University for
second place in Canada. After a
loss to Queen’s University Saturday
night the Rams have dropped to
fourth.
Despite the fall it’s been quite the
season for Ryerson. A blistering
6-1 start and a handful of blowout
wins have made the women look
destined for a deep playoff run.
With three of the their top four
scorers — Keneca Pingue-Giles,
Silvana Jez and Mariah Nunes —

in their last season in the Blue and
Gold, winning for the Rams comes
with a sense of urgency.
The Rams’ attitude of constant
improvement and critical self-reflection is something they’ve been
building all season.
“Specifically we’re really focused
on the process and making sure
that we’re getting better every single day,” Clarke said.
Clarke added that the priority
for each possession is to be the best
that they can be in every trip down
the floor, as well as on defence.
“We’re really valuing, appreciating and connecting at a new level I
think on the floor and off the floor
and we’re playing with and for
each other,” she said.
It may sound easier said than
done, but so far the Rams are actually doing it this season.
After the record win, Nunes
said it wasn’t the point total that
she was impressed with, but how
they shared the ball that night and
how many people contributed,
with all 11 Rams who saw playing
time putting points on the board.
“I think the details and just
making sure we’re focusing on
the little things and just the experience of even going to the CIS
Championships, that all helped us
take our game to the next level,”
Nunes said.
So even in the wake of a 38-point,
historic win, Clarke is able to find
areas for improvement. It’s Clarke’s
attitude and a determined Rams
team that will find them once again
pushing for that top spot as they face
off against both Carleton University
and the Ottawa GeeGees January
21 and 22.

ryersonstudentcentre.ca
Successful applicants will be notified
by March 18, 2016

Annual awards:

$500 x4

for Continuing Education
students

$2,000 x3

for Undergraduate students

$2,000 x3
for Graduate students

The Rams have five home games left on the year.

PHOTO: Tagwa Moyo / aLLAN pERKINS

Sports

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

13

‘Consistency’ key to Rams’ playoff success
With only seven games left in the regular season, Wise and the Rams are pushing for a playoff spot with an explosive special teams
By Daniel Rocchi
Through the first three quarters
of the regular season, the Ryerson
men’s hockey team have struggled
with consistency.
According to their head coach,
these final weeks are for leaving the early season behind and
proving they’re a playoff-calibre
team.
“We’re a good team, [but] we
have to work at being good,”
said head coach Graham Wise.
“We cannot go into any game
thinking ‘we’re good.’ We have
to go out there and prove that
we’re good.”
Prior to the start of the 20152016 campaign, Wise pinpointed
consistency as the key to a successful year.
“We have to … understand that
you have to work hard right from
the get-go through 28 games to be
successful,” he told the Eyeopener in October.
Ryerson opened 2016 with
a resounding 9-1 victory over
archrival U of T, but dropped its
next two games to Waterloo and
Lakehead. The Rams managed
to split the back-to-back against
Lakehead with a 6-3 road win on
Saturday night for their fourth
win in their last ten games.
Special teams have been partially to blame for the Rams’ inability to find consistency. Ryerson’s
powerplay ranks fourteenth out
of 19 OUA teams, and seventh in
the West division. The penalty kill
is fifteenth in the league and only
Toronto and Lakehead are worse
in the West.
But the Rams special teams
have shown new life in the new
year.
In four games through 2016,
Ryerson has already scored five
powerplay goals on 19 opportunities. The penalty kill, meanwhile,
has killed off 17 of 20 opposition
powerplays. The Rams have also
exploded for four short-handed
goals in January, leading the OUA
with six.
Ryerson has already scored five
powerplay goals on 19 opportunities. In fact, Ryerson is tied for
third in league powerplay percentage in January with only McGill,
York and Carleton more efficient
on the man-advantage.
“You get into the playoffs and
late into seasons, the teams that
are sound defensively, get good
goaltending and have strong special teams are usally the teams
that win,” said assistant coach
Johnny Duco.
First-year goaltender Taylor
Dupuis has been solid in net with
fifth-year Troy Passingham out
with an injury. Passingham started all 27 games for Ryerson last

season, but hasn’t played since
Nov. 28. He didn’t travel with the
team to Lakehead, and Wise gave
no timetable for his return.
Dupuis is 3-3 in Passingham’s
absence, with a .925 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average over that span.
Captain Michael Fine continues to lead the Rams offense in
goals (11), powerplay goals (4)
and points (20), but Ryerson has
enjoyed scoring depth this season.
Five Rams have scored five goals
or more, and 20 of 25 skaters
have at least one.
Ryerson returns home this

week with a 10-11-0 record after collecting a crucial two points
in Thunder Bay, Ont. Saturday’s
win moved the Rams into sole
possession of sixth place in the
10-team OUA West.
The top eight seeds qualify for
the playoffs, and Ryerson, Laurier, Brock and U of T are all within
four points of one another.
With only seven games left,
Wise says it will take strong systems and structured play to ensure the Rams are playing past
mid-February. And with what the
Rams have done so far, the playoffs aren’t far off.

The Rams look poised for another playoff run.

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The role of the human gut microbiome in depression:
Pathophysiology and impact on treatment
You are invited to participate in a research study that
is looking at changes that happen in your body when
starting or changing an antidepressant

You may be eligible to participate if you:
are between the ages of 18 – 60
have problems with depression
not currently taking a psychiatric medication
You will be reimbursed for your participation
For more information call Asem Bala 416-351-3732 ext. 2301 or
email asem.bala@wchospital.ca

PHOTO: Farnia Fekri

arts and life

14

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

Oakham House Choir performs at Carnegie Hall
By Olivia Bednar
The Oakham House Choir performed in a collaborative concert
at Carnegie Hall in New York City
on Jan. 18 representing not only
Ryerson, but all of Canada.
Alongside 280 singers, the
Oakham choir participated in
“The Music of Karl Jenkins: A
Concert for Peace.”
“We feel very proud,” said
Brenda Millar, the choir manager.
“They [were all] wearing Canadian pins that one of our members
got from their MP.”
The choir festival was organized
by Distinguished Concerts International New York and they invited choirs from all over the world.
“It’s the opportunity to perform
on a large stage and work with
professionals,” said Millar. “This
performance at Carnegie Hall is
very exciting and many of those

who [were] able to go said it [had]
been on their bucket list of things
to do.”
The choir performed Jenkins’
classic “The Armed Man: Mass
for Peace” and had the chance to
rehearse personally with the composer in New York City a few days
prior to their performance. Music
director Matthew Jaskiewicz used
Jenkins’ presence at the concert
as inspiration to perfect the piece
over a six-month rehearsal period.
“We [were] very excited that
Karl Jenkins of that masterwork
[was going to be] there,” Jaskiewicz said. “He is like a God in the
chorus scene.”
Jade Chiasson-Hould, the student president of the choir, also
said simply being invited to perform was “a great honour” and an
opportunity to “share [their] love
of music.”
“It was an experience of a life-

The Oakham House Choir performing at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
time,” said Millar. “We will treasure [this] as we carry forward
[the] many lessons [we] learned
to our rehearsals and concerts at
Oakham House and beyond.”
The Carnegie Hall performance
wasn’t the choir’s only milestone,
2015/16 also marked their 30th

anniversary. Jaskiewicz and former Ryerson English professor
Marie Dowler established the
choir in 1984.
“That was a long time ago and
it was a tiny group which eventually grew and became what it is
now,” said Jaskiewicz.

PHOTO courtesy: Oakham House Choir

“I find it unbelievably amazing
that the Oakham House Choir
has reached such a milestone with
its 30th anniversary,” ChaissonHould said.
The choir currently has approximately 80 singers and is always
looking for more people to join.

RTA thesis film shines light on stigma surrounding mental illness
By Lauryn Pierro

PHOTO courtesy: subaqua productions

Eric Osborne portraying the character Mattéo.

A group of fourth-year RTA students highlight the difficulties of
coping with mental illness in a
small town in their thesis film, “If
a Bird Cannot Swim.”
Set in Midland, Ont., the story
captures the struggles of a broken
French Canadian family crippled
and silenced by the stigma surrounding mental health and gender identity.
Coylan Subben, the writer and
director, based many elements of
the film on different periods of
his life and many of the characters on people he grew up surrounded by.
“I kept discussing [the thesis
film] last summer and started envisioning characters. There was
this one incident that marked me
— this girl was having a panic
attack and her family [wasn’t]
pulling through for her and that

started building up the inspiration for the main character, Noemi,” said Subben. “I saw a lot of
these elements of depression and
not being able to control your life
in myself and my friends growing
up.”
Their choice behind Midland
as the setting is due to the large
population of French Canadian
families there. Danielle Pirita, one
of two producers, wanted a rural
setting to further highlight the
family’s struggles.
“The idea of mental illness in
a big metropolitan city makes it
slightly easier to deal with in the
sense that you have so much access to resources and support,”
said Pirita. “However, in a small
town with people who have a
more traditional way of thinking,
it’s stereotypically harder for people to deal with someone having a
mental illness.”
Art Director Gabriella Bevilac-

qua was in charge of the film’s
overall appearance and decided to
base it in an old Victorian home in
Midland.
“For the film, we did a 1960s
aesthetic, a very vintage sort of
feel,” said Bevilacqua. “Because
we were filming in Midland, it has
a nostalgic, charming feel and I
thought it complimented the setting.”
The film took five days of shooting to realize Subben’s vision, and
the group is now in the process of
applying for festivals around Canada and Europe to showcase. To
fund their project the group hosted a Halloween party at BLND
TGER on College St. and a portion of the proceeds went towards
production, while approximately
$1,000 was donated to the Family Association for Mental Health
Everywhere (FAME).

To read the rest of the article
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Don’t forget to APPLY to GRADUATE!
Nov 1 - Feb 22 (no fee)
Feb 23 - Mar 11 ($50 late fee)

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fun

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

illustratioN: Katie Swyers

Art attack

Adult colouring books must be stopped

By Skyler Ash
Were you one of many adults to
get a “stress-reducing” colouring
book this holiday season? Think
twice before you sharpen your
pencils, experts warn. Studies
have found adult colouring books
that promise to lower your stress
levels are actually doing the opposite.
In a clinical study run over the
course of three days, it was found
that participants’ stress levels increased by 40 per cent while they
were colouring.
“Colouring just isn’t healthy
for adults. That’s why most adults
aren’t artists, it’s a risky lifestyle
full of unknowns and stressors,”
said Dr. Renee Lynch, the leading
researcher for the study.
The study revealed that all par-

15

stress me. The thought of even
looking at a picture makes me
sick.”
“My kids love colouring, but
I don’t,” said Evie Stacks, a
36-year-old mother of two who
participated in the study. Stacks
said that she can no longer bear
to sit at a craft table when her
kids are drawing. Stacks said her
heart rate “soars” at the thought
of having to sit and colour with
her children.
Dr. Lynch said that the symptoms displayed by Razzle and
Stacks — sweating, shaking,
nausea and increased heart rate
— are all indicators of stress
­
brought on by colouring.
Elizabeth Tyre, a 39-year-old
lawyer, said that she was given a
Paris-themed colouring book to
complete during the study. “I still
lie awake at night thinking about
those stupid little cobblestone
streets,” said Stacks.
Elliot Lightlake, a 25-year-old
student in the business management program at Ryerson University had to leave the retreat
suddenly when he collapsed
while colouring a butterfly. Police say he suffered an art attack.
“They were taking him out
on the stretcher and he just kept
screaming that the butterflies
were getting him,” said Tyre.
“It was scary. It made me realize
what colouring can do to people
and how bad it can get.”
“We ended up burning all of
the colouring books on the third
day,” said Dr. Lynch. “They just
couldn’t handle it anymore. It
had to be done.”
Tyre said she was the first to
throw her book in the fire. “[I]
just sent that thing right back to
hell where it came from,” said
Tyre.
Dr. Lynch recommends that
adults who own colouring books
also purge them in a burning
pit of hellfire. By doing so, “the
stress will burn away too.”

Capricorn (Dec 22 — Jan20)
Stop, just stop with all the lies.
You know what you did, now go!
I never want to see you again!
Aquarius (Jan 21 — Feb 19)

Cancer (Jun 21 — Jul 22)
Talk to a stranger— tell them to get
a job, or to start contributing positively to society.
Leo (Jul 23 — Aug 22)
You know that thing you did in
Saturn is aligned, something good
the fifth grade that was really
will happen. Maybe your mother
embarrassing? We’re judging you.
will finally say she’s proud of you!
Pisces (Feb 20 — Mar 20)
Virgo (Aug 23 — Sep 22)
Hey little fish, you’re good. Keep
So, this is a little awkward, but umm
on swimming, fish, keep swimming. … there’s something in your teeth.
Aries (Mar 21 — Apr 19)
Everyone can see it.
Always look good. In the words of Libra (Sep 23 — Oct 22)
Leslie Knope: “Google Earth,
Let all your worries go this week.
always takin’ pics.”
How else are you supposed to make
Taurus (Apr 20 — May 20)
room for all those new worries?
Scorpio (Oct 23 — Nov 21)
No offence, but I hate you. Get it
together.
Of course people like you! You’re so
Gemini (May 21 — Jun 20)
nice and really cool!
Study more (last semester was Sagittarius (Nov 22 — Dec 21)
shameful and I’m not above calling Do you think Scorpio bought that
your parents).
crap? Probably, that vain bastard.

Sudoku
Drop off your completed sudoku with your contact info to The
Eyeopener office (SCC 207) for a chance to win a $25 Starbucks card!
Good luck, nerds!

ticipants experienced a significant
increase in their production of
adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine, the three major stress
hormones.
Dr. Lynch said that the stress
increases she saw in the participants of the study were unhealthy.
“When the body releases these
hormones, it can be harmful, especially when you’re trying to relax,” she said.
“I can’t justify sitting down for
three hours to colour a tiger,” said
Matthew Razzle, a 27-year-old
accountant. Razzle said that the
thought of even picking up a coloured pencil puts him in a cold
sweat.
“When I colour, I just get nervous. All the lines on the page seem Want to write for the fun section?
so small and I get the shakes,” said Email fun@theeyeopener.com for
Razzle. “Colouring doesn’t de- more info!

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Contest closes Friday February 5th at noon.
Many thanks to Standard Luggage for donating their excellent product.

16

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

FREE

WIFI

IN THE
FOOD
COURT

Need a break from your books for a quick bite or refreshment?
10 Dundas East is just around the corner to satisfy your craving.
We’re only a short walk from class, right at Yonge & Dundas.
Baskin Robbins
Blaze Pizza
California Thai
Caribbean Queen
Chipotle
Curry & Co.
DAVIDsTEA

Harvey’s
MII SANDWICH CO.
Now Open

Milo’s Pita
Opa! Souvlaki
Poptopia/Yoyo’s
Yogurt Café
Real Fruit
Bubble Tea

Sauté Rosé
Starbucks
Subway
The Beer Store
Express
Tim Hortons
Wine Rack

Restaurants
Jack Astor’s Bar & Grill
Milestones Grill & Bar
Shark Club
Spring Sushi

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