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Volume 49 - Issue 17

February 24, 2016
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Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016

NEWS

3

Equity service centre privacy in jeopardy
Privacy policies within the RSU regarding email exchanges and computer monitoring a cause for concern, according to equity centres
By Nicole Schmidt
Discrepancies over privacy policies
within the Ryerson Students’ Union
(RSU) have raised concerns among
the equity service centres.
According to a set of staff guidelines sent out last month, no electronic data stored on RSU computers — including emails — should be
deleted. Additionally, employees “do
not and should not have any expectation of privacy in their use of RSU
computer resources” — all activity
can be inspected and monitored.
But privacy is an important part of
the one-on-one trust equity centres
operate on. RyePRIDE coordinator
Daniella Enxuga, who has worked
in the equity centres for two years,
said some students disclose information about hidden sexual identities,
gender identities, health issues and
trauma via email. These discussions
are occasionally followed by requests
to delete messages which Enxuga said
has never been a problem.
“It’s always been understood that
the person a student is disclosing this
information with will stay confiden-

tial between them and the peer advisor,” Enxuga said. “Even if only one
other person reads [the email], that
person has just been outed to someone they didn’t want to be outed to.”
Markus Harwood-Jones, a coordinator at the Trans Collective,
added that some students email from
accounts they registered for under
one name, but now prefer another.
“That’s an issue of confidentiality
because it’s effectively dead naming
the person,” he said. “Many trans
people feel very strongly about their
previous names not being known or
used.”
RSU president Andrea Bartlett said
the policies aren’t new and were sent
as a reminder. Equity campaigns organiser Corey Scott said he wasn’t
aware of policies surrounding deleted
emails in years past and that some of
the changes are new.
Carlos Martins, a Toronto media
lawyer who has provided legal services to The Eyeopener, said under
Ontario privacy legislation, there’s no
legal reason why emails of sensitive
nature could not be deleted.
According to Bartlett, policies are

intended to protect students and staff,
and help with employee transitions.
She added emails can be evaluated on
a case by case basis, and that it’s up
to staff to ensure privacy is respected.
But Enxuga said she’s been told repeatedly not to delete emails by RSU
executives despite circumstances, and
that even if messages are deleted,
they’re automatically backed up.
The RSU does not currently have
a privacy policy posted on their website, and the 2015 policy manual
does not have privacy information
PHOTO: JAKE SCOTT
listed under the equity service centres. The equity centres are no longer allowed to delete emails.
Concerns have been raised by equity
centre staff about transparency sur- any privacy, the solution is to create relationships of trust with students,”
a long term solution ... and to build Harwood-Jones said.
rounding these policies.
Sidney Drmay, a coordinator at
RyeACCESS, said there needs to
be an explanation on what privacy
looks like when it comes to the RSU.
Harwood-Jones added that trust is
a massive component of the equity
centres, and trust is predicated on the
understanding of confidentiality.
“There are challenges with maintaining information year to year,
but the solution is not to create this
kind of a policy where you can’t have

Lawyer: Men’s issues appeal has grounds
By Brennan Doherty
In January, the on-campus Men’s
Issues Awareness Society (MIAS)
threatened to sue the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) if they rejected
the group’s appeal for official club
status. No paperwork has been
filed, but one lawyer says the controversial group may have a case.
“I can say that there are grounds
under the Ontario Human Rights
Code that will preclude discrimination on the basis of gender, which
will include both male and female
[discrimination],” said Ray Ai, an
employment and human rights lawyer based in Toronto.
Ai isn’t suggesting MIAS will
win the case, but says it could go
to court.
The group calls itself “a space
for Ryerson students and affiliates
to discuss the issues facing men
and boys today” — namely suicide
rates, child custody and fatherlessness. The Canadian Association
For Equality (CAFE), an off-campus men’s issues group has supported Kevin Arriola, MIAS’s president,
in his fight with the RSU. They
bemoaned the RSU’s resistance to
the group in a post last December,
calling for donations to support
“a groundbreaking discrimination
against men case.”
The RSU has consistently rejected the group on the grounds
that a men’s issues group — in the
manner of CAFE, which they con-

sider a hate group — would violate
their women’s issues policy. Arriola
originally promised the RSU that he
would not associate with CAFE.
Ai said as long as MIAS’s message doesn’t slip into criminal hate
speech, they may be able to present
a case that the RSU is discriminating against their ideas — especially
if they focus on issues like fatherlessness and male suicide rates.
“I would almost be certain that
those issues would not constitute
hate speech,” he said.
But a win by MIAS in court could
hinge on the ruling of another student group denied status by the RSU
— the pro-life Students For Life At
Ryerson (SFLR). They were rejected
in Fall 2014 because SFLR’s mandate went against their women’s issues policy favouring reproductive
and bodily autonomy. In December
2015, SFLR filed a lawsuit against
the RSU claiming the union acted
“with improper intentions and bad
faith,” according to SFLR’s lawyer,
Carol Crosson. Both sides first attended court Dec. 18 — a ruling is
expected within a few months.
Both cases revolve around a perceived violation of the RSU’s women’s issues policy, and the belief
this would make Ryerson’s campus
unsafe for female students and faculty. The RSU in both instances sees
student group ratification as a privilege subject to the discretion of the
board of governors.
The wording used in CAFE’s
fundraising post states, “It’s time

to stand up to the repeated efforts
to block men’s issues discussions
on campus.” This strikes the same
free-speech chord as LifeSite’s story
on SFLR. “Crosson … emphasized
that Ryerson University’s policy upholds free speech.”
Crosson admitted that the RSU is
not bound by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ section
on discrimination in quite the same
way. They are a private organization that enforces which student
groups get club funding.
CAFE mentors men’s issues
groups across Ontario — their
president, Justin Trottier, advocated for the University of Toronto’s
Men’s Issues Awareness Society. He
said a lawsuit to ratify the student
group would be long and costly.
“There’s a reason why, in four
years of having lots of shenanigans
happen at various universities, I
have never advised going the legal
route,” he said. Despite this, he’s
offering Arriola financial and legal
support should MIAS wish to sue.
He’s so far evaded questions about
how far along the lawsuit is — but
he has confirmed that CAFE has access to a lawyer, and that donations
are nonetheless still needed if any
lawsuit should go forward. Either
way, he said that the decision is entirely up to Arriola.
Arriola had no comment on
whether MIAS was considering a
lawsuit until their “plans are finalized,” he said. “Stay tuned, we will
be announcing soon.

EDITORIAL

4

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016

Battle the buzzwords
Some innovative thinking on branding in post-secondary institutions
By
Sean
Wetselaar

Wendy Cukier announces the Centre for Workforce Innovation.

PHOTO: KEITH CAPSTICK

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“Ryerson is the innovation university.”
If you go to school here, you’ve
heard those words. I don’t know
who said them — neither do you,
probably. But it was someone in
the administration, and at the time
you probably didn’t think too
much about what exactly those
words mean.
Today I’d like you to think about
that. Because here’s the thing —
they don’t mean anything, really.
Ryerson is an urban school,
known for breaking the mould of
dreary, uninventive universities.
We like to do things differently,
from hands-on learning to doing
our best to put students in placements in the industries in which
they will eventually work. That’s
all fine and well, but we need to
start to articulate that better than
the word “innovative.”
Merriam-Webster defines innovation as “the introduction of
something new” or a “new idea,
method, or device.” But the context of innovation, and the grim
procession of buzzwords which
invariably follows, is often lost in
talks about modern institutions.
As you’ll read in our news section this week, Ryerson was recently a part of the launch of the
Centre for Workforce Innovation
— a zone created by a group of
12 organizations, including the
Ministry of Training, Colleges and
Universities.
The launch is important because
the organization does have the
potential to make real progress
towards getting students jobs. It’s
focused on research and pilot projects that aid the Ontario economy.
But you wouldn’t know it by its
name — you wouldn’t know anything by its name.
And it goes beyond the naming
of new organizations and partnerships. The words entrepreneur or
innovation appear in a dizzying
number of the school’s promotional materials and missives.
I understand that these phrases and ideas are central to the
school’s branding. But for an institution dedicated to fostering education, basing your school’s brand
on terms that are effectively meaningless is perhaps not the strongest
strategy.
Think of it sort of like Daniel’s
white Vans. The first dozen or
so times one of your friends say,
“Damn, Daniel!” in the next couple of days, it will be funny. You’ll
laugh, and you’ll get the reference
to the latest viral video that has

taken over the internet.
But eventually, you’ll realize that
your name isn’t actually Daniel.
And that you’re not sure why the
joke was funny in the first place.
Words lose their meaning when
they are repeated often enough.
Now I’m not discounting the
value of the school’s brand. I understand the battle it has fought
over the past decade or two for
both national and international
recognition as a legitimate university. And Ryerson has found
its niche — the hands-on school
that will get you a job. It is without a doubt important that it
communicate that niche to the
generations of high school students who, in the coming years,
will be looking to post-secondary
institutions for the next steps in
their eudcation.

Editor-in-Chief
Sean “Sturgeon” Wetselaar
News
Keith “Haddock” Capstick
Nicole “Tuna” Schmidt
Al “Salmon” Donwham
Features
Farnia “Blobfish” Fekri
Biz and Tech
Jacob “Mahi-Mahi” Dubé
Arts and Life
Karoun “Seahorse” Chahinian
Sports
Devin “Trout” Jones
Communities
Alanna “Common carp” Rizza
Photo
Annie “Guppy” Arnone
Jake “Koi” Scott
Chris “Cod” Blanchette
Fun
Skyler “Perch” Ash
Media
Rob “Pufferfish” Foreman
Online
Igor “Mudskipper” Magun
Tagwa “Pike” Moyo
Lee “Barracuda” Richardson
General Manager
Liane “Scallop” McLarty
Advertising Manager
Chris “Anchovy” Roberts
Design Director
J.D. “Marlin” Mowat
Intern Army
Ben “Earlybird” Hoppe

But Ryerson can absolutely communicate that niche without latching onto buzzwords and phrases.
As evidenced by the Centre for
Workforce Innovation, this problem is not unique to our school.
It is endemic of innumerable businesses, institutions and inventions
that have struggled to define themselves in a busy, interconnected
economy and world.
But we can, all of us, do better.
Let’s not talk about innovative
entrepreneurial zones focused on
enhancing skills — and innovating some more. Let’s talk about
the DMZ, which has successfully
incubated dozens of student businesses and launched them into the
real world.
So, Ryerson, don’t be innovative. Be inventive. And let’s add
some meaning to our brand.

Victoria “Studious” Sykes
Hannah “Brand” Kirijian
Tyler “New” Pennington
Lidia “Kids” Foote
Contributors
Sidney “Rockin’ it” Drmay
Mansoor “Soaring” Tanweer
Zeinab “Fashionista”
Saidoun
Dan “9:00 p.m.” Rocchi
Matt “Quick turn around”
Ouellet
Robert “He doesn’t even go
here” Mackenzie
Alexis “Is butter a carb?”
Perikleous
Jessica “Galileo” Valeny
Amanda “Scaramouche”
Skrabucha
Josie “Let me go” Mills
Andrew “Big Lens” Rycun
Matthew ‘Take 2” Aevedo
Brennan “Black Flag” Doherty
Sarah “Minor Threat” Krichel
Rasha “Bad Brains” Rehman
Noella “Grandmaster” Ovid
Behdad “BehFamilyTree”
Mahichi
Sierra “Gateway Girl” Bein
Playing the part of the Annoying
Talking Coffee Mug this week is
Lindsay Boeckl who decided she
was too goddamn good for this
country. We’ll miss her, particularly
since it’s gotten very cold in here.
The Eyeopener is Ryerson’s largest
and only independent student newspaper. It is owned and operated
by Rye Eye Publishing Inc., a nonprofit corporation owned by the students of Ryerson.
Our offices are on the second floor
of the Student Campus Centre. You
can reach us at 416-979-5262, at
theeyeopener.com or on Twitter at
@theeyeopener.

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016

NEWS

5

RU and MTCU tackle ON economy
The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities is partnering with 12 organizations, including RU, for a centre addressing economic issues in Ontario
By Al Downham
The province’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
(MTCU) announced the launch
of the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation (OCWI) Feb. 22
to help address issues in Ontario’s
employment and training sector.
“It is more critical than ever to
ensure we are doing everything we
can to make sure job seekers can
benefit from the most evidence
based and effective employment
and training services that our government offers,” said Minister of
Training, Colleges and Universities Reza Moridi.
The centre — led by 12 partner organizations including Ryerson, the Ontario Chamber of
Commerce (OCC), the Workforce
Planning Ontario network and
five other post-secondary institutions — will evaluate potential
solutions addressing challenges in
the provincial economy.
“Ryerson is the leading institution,” said interim-president Mohamed Lachemi. “The idea is really to provide linkages between
employment for students, but also
training and how the centre can
help really connect the dots.”
A press release states the OCWI

Lachemi at the launch of the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation.

will research, pilot and evaluate
employment and training projects,
along with launching a bilingual
website to share its research. The
collaboration between partners
and research will give Ontario a
“single window” to choose effective approaches towards improving these programs and labour
market conditions.
“I think that the key thing about
the centre is the centre doesn’t
deliver programs, it’s members
delivering programs,” said Ryer-

son vice-president research and
innovation Wendy Cukier. “But
the focus of the centre is to make
sure we have good solid research
and data to see what the requirements are, what the programs are,
whether the programs are delivering the goals that are intended.”
Cukier is a chair of the OCWI
working group.
OCC President and CEO Allan
O’Dette said the centre will aim to
address unemployment and underemplyoment in the province.

Q&A: Upcoming RCDS VP Finance
By Al Downham

you thought the process for RCDS
student group funding is loose.
Could you go a bit into why you
think the student funding format
is this way?
[While applying] I feel like, I
don’t know who I go to talk to.
I don’t know who I have to talk
to or contact directly, or if I have
to talk to like 10 different people.
I do want to make it clearer and
easier, because I know a lot of students have that problem. More
communication, that’s what I’m
saying.

From Feb. 10-12, the Ryerson
Communication and Design Society (RCDS) held its annual
Board of Directors (BoD) election. Among other newly elected
candidates was upcoming RCDS
VP finance Vinh Tran, a thirdyear graphic communications
management student and current
VP finance for the Graphic Communications Management Course
Union.
The Eyeopener spoke with him
before his transitional meeting
What’s the limit you want to put
about his future goals as an RCDS
on student funding applications?
VP.
At least $10,000. But I need to
How do you feel about your see if that’s realistic in my transitional meeting. I feel like maxing
election win?
I think it went pretty well. I funding at $10,000, it realistically
probably could have marketed allows our budget to stay healthy.
myself a bit better. But by having But also have the person select
one serious and casual video, I felt upon why they need $10,000 from
I could get my point across that us in the first place.
I’m not only about the business,
Do you think the amount being
but about the students as well.
If I had more time, I’d add more given to student projects by the
about how to increase transpar- RCDS is healthy for the society?
From my experiences, I’d like to
ency and gaining more awareness
on how students in FCAD can use believe they are. But I know that
by looking at the student budget
funding available to them.
and them having an amount carYou said in a previous interview ry over. I believe that it’s healthy

right now, but a lot more people
could use that funding. A lot more
people should access that funding.
Why would you want a separate committee for the RCDS BoD
members to apply for student
funding?
For
internal
members
it
wouldn’t have that conflict of interest thing. And that, say for example, if there was a committee of
just the presidents of every student
group in RCDS, there’d be less of
a bias in my opinion.
You said in a previous interview
you wanted quicker turnaround
time for student funding applications. Do you have an action plan
to make this goal achieveable?
I know there’s a finance committee within RCDS, but I want
to build upon that structure. They
have a specific person for social
events, for example, or different
types of events. I wanted to have
it so there’s different people for
specific accounts. So they’d have
one person to talk to and they
wouldn’t have to go through other
people to talk to when they get
funding.
Quotes have been edited for
clarity.

PHOTO: KEITH CAPSTICK

“We’ve seen significant gaps
in the province,” O’Dette said.
“There are 1,000 jobs plus going
unfilled. There are jobs without
people and people without jobs.”
George Brown College vicepresident research and innova-

tion Robert Luke said in a release
that the initiative will assure the
“Greater Toronto Area has effective workforce preparation” and
help meet the market’s demands
for qualified post-secondary graduates.
The centre will be funded by a
MTCU grant worth $7.5 million
over two years. Ontario currently
invests over $1 billion annually
into Employment Ontario which
helps citizens get employment
training and connect with potential employers.
The OCWI will operate with
four Anglophone hubs located in
London, Toronto, Thunder Bay
and Gananoque/Kingston. A Francophone hub will be stationed in
Sudbury.
“I think this will be a win/win,
especially for the youth that are
looking for jobs but also for the
youth that are looking for opportunities to enhance their credentials,” said Lachemi. “I think
everybody’s excited.”

FEATURES

8

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016

IN THE ZONE
OF STARTUPS
INDIA
The DMZ’s Indian sisterstartup accelerator turns two.
By Behdad Mahichi

T

he crowd looked on with great anticipation as Canada’s Governor General
David Johnston kneeled down, a coconut in his hand. The pressure was
on — as per the Hindu ritual, good luck
would be invoked if he could crack the coconut in half. The husk-covered outer shell
represents all a person’s anger and negative
qualities, while the inner layer portrays the
pure and positive. Thankfully, Johnston’s
pitch managed to crack the coconut.
This was the official inauguration of Zone
Startups India, the DMZ’s sister-startup accelerator, back in 2014. The ceremony included a delegation from both Ryerson and
Ontario. Two years later, both delegations
are back in Mumbai — but this time to celebrate Zone Startup India’s expansion, along
with its two-year anniversary.
This time, it was Ryerson’s new interim
president Mohamed Lachemi speaking to
a crowd of entrepreneurs. “We’ve achieved
more than we anticipated in the beginning,” he says. “In India, Ryerson will be
known as the innovation university.”
wo clocks hang above the front desk,
showing times for both Toronto and
Mumbai. The incubator is modeled
after Ryerson’s DMZ, not only in its
operations but also in looks. At first glance,
Zone Startups India shares striking similarities to the DMZ — long white tables and
mesh rolling chairs. Except this room has
an 18th floor view overlooking the Arabian
Sea.
The incubator is housed inside the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building, located in Kala Ghoda, a busy yet tranquil
neighbourhood in South Mumbai known
for its art galleries and heritage buildings.
In recent years, the startup scene in India
has been bustling in cities like Bangalore

T

and Delhi. Startups have trickled into the
everyday lives of Indians, after a number
of companies — from eCommerce sites like
Flipkart and Uber-like taxi apps like Ola
— achieved huge successes in the market.
In Mumbai, young entrepreneurs work
diligently on their separate startup ideas in
coffee houses and dorm rooms predominantly in the suburban neighbourhood of
Powai, often referred to as Mumbai’s Silicon Valley.
After its establishment, the Zone became
one of the first startup accelerators of its
kind in Mumbai, where bright minds can
receive the resources and mentorship to get
their ideas going — and the visionary behind this all was none other than Ryerson’s
former president, Sheldon Levy.
Ajay Ramasubramaniam, director of
Zone Startups India, was part of the original team that was taken to Toronto alongside Levy in 2013, when the plan was being finalized. Recalling the Zone’s humble
beginnings as he wraps up the expansion
ceremony, Ramasubramaniam says its successes are in large part due to Levy’s steadfast implementation of the plan.
“Sheldon was the guy with the original
vision,” he says. “And it takes a lot of guts

tral to India. So far 13 of the startups have
moved on to soft launching in Toronto —
but Ramasubramaniam says the Zone isn’t
an incubator that prepares and sends off
startups to Canada or the United States.
In India, investors are pouring money into
what’s become a flourishing startup ecosystem.
“Stanford runs mentorship programs in
Bangalore, and Duke also came here recently. But not a lot of international universities
actually have successful models like the one
Ryerson has brought here,” he says.
hortly after the opening of the
DMZ back in 2010, a delegation
from Ryerson arrived in India to
search for young entrepreneurs
throughout various technology institutes
to incubate their startups in North America. But what came of the trip was much
greater than what was originally planned
— a partnership between the university,
Ryerson Futures Inc. and the BSE Institute
made Ryerson the catalyst to a greater
channel of opportunity between India and
Canada.
As the director, Ramasubramaniam is a
mentor to all the entrepreneurs working
on their startups. Day in and day out, he

S

After its establishment, the Zone became
one of the first startup accelerators of its
kind in Mumbai
or a lot of conviction to do something like
this. Unlike other partnerships, Ryerson
was not looking to acquire more students
or to expand their campus abroad.”
Although it was modeled after the DMZ,
Zone Startups was to be its own entity, cen-

helps develop ideas that are part of India’s
growing startup culture. The country currently has the third largest number of startups globally, behind China and the United
States. It’s also the youngest startup scene
in the world, with 75 per cent of the entre-

V

preneurs younger than 35.
ishal Chaudhari is the founder of
one of 63 startups currently being
incubated in the Zone.
His startup, Wingage, aims to
tackle one of India’s main urban inefficiencies — access to public Wi-Fi. Even in
major cities like Mumbai and New Delhi,
it remains difficult to find open internet,
which has largely been blamed on national
security concerns. “People want free Wi-Fi,
but the problem in India is fear,” Chaudhari says. “If a business installs free Wi-Fi,
police will harass them and extort them for
money.”
Chaudhari adds that India tightened its
laws on public internet access after a series
of terror-related incidents in 2008.
Twenty-one bomb blasts rocked the city
of Ahmedabad in July 2008, taking the
lives of 56 people. The investigation that
followed found that emails had been sent
to news agencies warning of the attacks
only minutes before they happened — a
group called the Indian Mujahedeen had
allegedly sent the emails, though when
police tracked the IP address of the sender
they found a group of American expats.
“It’s become very tough to establish public Wi-Fi ever since,” Chaudhari says.
Tighter regulations mean open Wi-Fi
now has to incorporate a User Management System (UMS), a network that allows
for user authentication. However, the cost
of setting up such a system is around 1
lakh rupees (approximately $2,000 CAD).
Wingage helps reduce that cost to 12,000
rupees ($240 CAD).
Chaudhari started off by offering Wingage for free, which helped clients begin to
see its success. By helping businesses set up
Wi-Fi on Wingage’s cloud-based system,

FEATURES

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016

Chaudhari provided them with different options for authentication — whether
that’s logging onto Facebook, entering a
mobile number or signing in through email.
t’s a combination of the Zone’s growing
reputation as well as being embedded
into the BSE building that gives potential partners a good first impression.
“We eventually got Bajaj Allianz with the
Zone’s help, which is the biggest insurance
company in India,” he says. “Whenever
you call a bank or something, they receive
your call and speak to you because you’re
in the BSE building. It’s kind of the centre
of the capital here.”
Chaudhari adds that the Zone helped
them out on more than just the business
aspects. “As the director, Ajay is an excellent person to mentor us forward. He kept
pushing us to get to this point,” he says.
“We see him as a co-founder in our business who doesn’t have any equity.”
Since launching in February, Wingage
has set up open Wi-Fi in over 50 locations
around Mumbai, and is looking to expand
to New Delhi in the near future.
Businesses like Chaudhari’s Wingage
have helped alleviate problems with accessibility to basic needs like communication.
Similarly, other startups at the Zone are
helping to do the same in different fields.
Koffeeplace is a startup from the Zone
that has led many companies in India to
make a conscious effort in hiring more
women. “Here, people don’t have the
mindset that women can have a family,
juggle everything and go to work,” says
Anisha Mehta, founder of the website.
Her startup provides a platform of resources for women who are trying to get
back into the workforce, as well as a place
for companies to list their job postings.

I

The website targets women that have left
the workforce for reasons like marriage or
childbirth.
“Sometimes they’re so talented, but after having left the workforce they can’t
seem to go to the next step. So we want to
help them get there,” says Mehta. “Only
18 to 25 per cent come back to work after
taking a break.”
But Mehta says mindsets are slowly shifting and things are beginning to change.
“We’ve had a lot of success stories,” she
says. “Companies are hiring more women
now. They see that women are in a lot of
the business field. Women are known to be
great multi-taskers.”
But to start off, Mehta, just like Chaudhari, needed significant help getting partners on board. “When you mention Zone,
it goes a little farther. It has a big name.”
Koffeeplace now features job postings

India’s thriving startup scene is reflected
in the Zone’s recent expansion. Since its
opening, it has employed over 400 people
and has incubated 65 startups. Its connection to Ryerson has also allowed for
a select number of Indian entrepreneurs
to enter the Canadian market, after being
chosen through the Next BIG Idea competition, which is held annually. The coming months will also see the rise of a new
program dubbed the Soft Landing, which
will focus on bringing international startups to India. Although only in its early
stages of creation, the Soft Landing program will take up another floor of the BSE
building, and will help foreign entrepreneurs enter the Indian market. “The world
works like a village,” says Lachemi after
the announcement. “We are now a connector for anybody who wants to do business
here.”

“When you mention Zone, it goes a little
farther. It has a big name” --- Anisha Mehta,
founder of Koffeeplace
from over 50 companies in marketing,
architecture, digital media and a range of
other fields. Mehta notes that she’s seen
more women involved with startups in
India as well, and within the Zone itself.
“Nowadays it’s not as hard to start something on your own,” she says. “These incubators can help you in every stage.”
n 2015, the number of startups funded
in India reached 925. The Indian government, acknowledging the benefits to
the economy, unveiled a state-backed
initiative which allocates $1.5 billion for
the funding of startup businesses.

I

9

L

achemi, Ramasubramaniam and
the other delegates perform a
different ritual on the day of the
second anniversary, this time to officiate the expansion ceremony. Standing above a golden lamp, they take turns
lighting candles and placing it onto
the lamp’s edges. This ancient fire ritual is
used to dispel darkness, and bring light to
the future.
“We have a long term agenda in India,”
Lachemi says after the announcement.
“This is a gateway between two cultures,
and two good markets.”

Photos from left to right:
The inside of Zone Startups
India, which looks nearly
identical to Ryerson’s DMZ
(Photo: Yogesh Agarwal);
Lachemi, Ramasubramaniam and other delegates
cut the ribbon at the Zone’s
second anniversary (Photo:
Yogesh Agarwal); Vishal
Chaudhari, founder of
Wingage, stands at the
Gateway of India (Photo:
Sierra Bein)

ARTS & LIFE

8

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016

Breaking into the fashion industry
By Amanda Skrabucha

The Fashion Zone at Ryerson University.

PHOTO: AMANDA SKRABUCHA

Before landing her first job in
the fashion industry, Amanda
McGroarty had to send out approximately 40 resumes. She was
ready to give up the hunt when
she was offered a volunteer positon at Ryerson University’s Fashion Zone, which then turned into
a paid placement.
Canada’s fashion industry is
competitive, especially for young
designers graduating from school.
With a majority of clothing being
imported, Canada has seen a 23
per cent drop in Canadian-made
clothing between 2004 and 2008.
As a result of this trend, the $3.6
billion clothing apparel GDP in
2002 had dropped to $1.4 billion
in 2011. Being more dependent
on international trade has limited
job opportunities for Canadian
designers.
McGroarty, now a fourth-year
fashion design student and fashion representative in the Ryerson Communication and Design
Society (RCDS), realized in her
time at school that having an artistic flair for fabrics, colours and
patterns is not always enough to
land a job, while persistence and
networking can be.
“Toronto has a large fashion
presence and as a result, there is a
lot of opportunity if you actively
look,” said McGroarty. “Unfor-

tunately free labour, interning, is
still the norm for breaking into
the industry.”
Robert Ott, chair of Ryerson’s
school of fashion, said they look
at fashion as both an art and a
business.
“Students need to ultimately
understand how they fit into the
industry and what kind of contribution they are going to make,”
said Ott.
Ryerson fashion students are
known for being well-rounded
with their practical and theoretical training, and this balance helps
them go into the industry with a
realistic outlook, according to Ott.
“We are preparing students from
different perspectives,” said Ott.
“We give them realistic opportunities in how the industry operates
by asking students to participate
in networking events and events in
fashion cultural activities whether it
is going to Toronto Fashion Incubator, exhibits in museums or Fashion
Week.”
Students are expected to complete 400 hours of internships
over the four years in the program
as part of their hands-on training.
Olga Okhrimenko, managing director of the Fashion Zone
and a fifth-year fashion design
student, first got her foot into
the fashion world in her second
year by organizing fashion events
and shows with a friend. Her

goal was to fully utilize all the
resources and opportunities that
the program provided.
With Ryerson’s financial support, Okhrimenko started up the
Fashion Zone in 2013, which is
an incubator for students with
fashion-inspired businesses.
She said her success with the
zone made her realize how important it is for students to have
the confidence to seize every opportunity during school in order
to gain experience.
“As far as I know in my experience, nobody is looking
at grades,” said Okhrimenko.
“They are really looking at portfolio and projects that have been
done.”
Okhrimenko also discussed the
importance of time management
which she learned in the Fashion
Zone.
“Students run into problems
[with] time management. They
need to have this skill at school
to do assignments, it is the same
in the industry — everything
needs to be based on the time,”
said Okhrimenko.
“Often what is learnt in the
classroom can be applied in the
various internships, as well as
employment after graduation,”
said McGroarty. “I am not worried. I have been exposed to various aspects of the industry and
am excited to discover more.”

RTA students kick-start careers for local artists
By Jessica Valeny
What started off as a fourth-year
RTA thesis project is now an agency for Toronto musicians looking to
kick-start their professional careers.
Created by media production
students Mitchell Stuart, Julian
Muia and Gilberto Vega in September 2015, Lefty Music provides
resources to local artists who need
help with music production and
brand development.
“We want to offer the services
musicians need that are not always
readily available to them,” Muia
said.
For affordable prices, Lefty Music provides everything from music
videos, albums, photo-shoots and
digital media for their clientele.
“One of our pillars is collaboration,” said Vega. “We work with
musicians by giving them our input,
but they also tell us exactly what
they’re looking for. We throw a lot
of ideas back and forth.”
Stuart, Muia and Vega put together a team of people who all share a
passion for music, both from an artistic and business perspective.
“We understand exactly what
our clientele is dealing with,” said
Muia, who is part of a band him-

The Lefty Music practicum team.

self. “Think of it as musicians creating music for musicians.”
The company that began as a
school project has paved the path
for local artists. Ruby K is one of
three clients in collaboration with
Lefty Music. The young musician,
originally from the small town of
Grand Valley, Ont., is currently
being scouted by Universal Music
Canada and Warner Music Group.
She contacted the company after
Muia posted in a Facebook group
asking any interested musicians for
a copy of their demos. The staff at
Lefty Music were instantly taken
aback by her music and have been
working with Ruby ever since by
helping her with promotion and
content creation through her EP,
which is being released in March.
“She seriously is unbelievable at
what she does,” Muia said. “She’s
only 18-years-old and she’s such

PHOTO COURTESY: LEFTY MUSIC

a talented songwriter. We have so
much respect for her and we just
know she’s going to be huge.”
But starting a business comes
with its challenges, especially when
the agency is run only by students
who have the task of balancing
both school and work.
“There have been a lot of sleepless nights,” said Vega. “Starting a
business is super hard. You need to
put in a lot of hours of work and
deal with school at the same time.”
For Muia, starting a career as
a musician requires just as much
time, energy and sacrifice.
“Making art is half of it, and the
other half is trying to get heard.
You have to have almost a soldier
mentality and be willing to promote yourself and that’s what we
help you do.”Lefty Music will be
hosting a media production night
on March 10.

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016

SPORTS

9

From high schooler to equipment manager
Saying goodbye to Mike Toman and a storied career with the Ryerson Rams hockey program
PHOTOS: (LEFT) COURTESY ALEX D’ADDESE (RIGHT) DEVIN JONES

By Dan Rocchi
One of the longest-serving members of the Ryerson Rams men’s
hockey program is about to call
it a career.
He is, in the words of head
coach Graham Wise, “the first
one at the rink in the morning,
and the last one to leave at night.”
And if you’ve ever been to a
Rams game, you probably never
even noticed he was there.
His name is Mike Toman. But
for the past eight seasons, Rams
players have known him better as
J-Roc, their equipment manager.
Like many Toronto kids, Toman grew up fostering a deep
passion for hockey. He liked to
keep busy, playing soccer and
baseball. He devoted 10 years to
Ukrainian dancing — at which
he was a natural and in which he
regrets not pursuing a career —
but Toman’s first love was always
hockey.
He played as a forward in the
Greater Toronto Hockey League
(GTHL), and was invited to try
out for a few double-A clubs —
But after breaking each of his ankles twice, Toman’s hockey days
appeared to be over.
Then, in the fall of 2008, in his
senior year at Western TechnicalCommercial high school, Toman
got a fateful phone call from his
friend, Ryan Anderson. Anderson
worked at the George Bell Arena,
where the Rams played and practiced, and he knew Toman was
searching for a job.
“[He] told me, ‘Ryerson University is looking for an equipment manager, call this guy, Graham Wise,’” says Toman.

“One guy stopped and said,
‘Who the fuck is this guy —
J-Roc?’”
As soon as he got off the phone
with Anderson, Toman called
Wise to ask about the job.
“He asked me to come in the
next day and told me to bring my
résumé,” he says. “I was the only
one who called Graham — no
one else applied for it.”

Toman wasn’t old enough to
buy himself a beer, but the job
was his, and he found himself
looking after the needs of an entire varsity hockey team.
At the time, Toman was doing his high school co-op with a
gym teacher, but he approached
his co-op teacher to see if his job
with the Rams could also fulfill
his credit requirements. After his
teacher met with Wise to discuss
it, Toman had what most high
school students only dreamt of: a
paid co-op.
But as enviable as his new position may have been, Toman had
his hands full from the start.

“I learned everything on my
own, I stayed long hours
after practice”
“I walked into the room [on
my first day], Graham stopped
everyone getting changed and introduced me,” says Toman. “One
guy stopped and said, ‘Who the
fuck is this guy — J-Roc?’”
J-Roc is a character from the
popular Canadian comedy Trailer Park Boys, and while Cory
Konecny, the player who first
bestowed the name on Toman,
graduated in 2011, the nickname
stuck for his entire Ryerson career.
“I haven’t heard Mike in the
last couple years here,” says Toman with a laugh.
When Toman joined the Rams,
he had no experience managing
equipment outside of his own
time as a player.
As a teenager in a job traditionally held by 40, 50 and even
60-year-olds, Toman suspects
that he was the youngest equipment manager in the CIS for
many years, and admits that it
was initially an uphill battle to
gain respect in the locker room.
“At the time, guys were kind of
belittling me, not picking up their
stuff, you know, ‘Look at this
young guy,’” he says.
But that changed quickly as the
team saw the dedication Toman
brought to his duties.
Matt Rehman, a Rams defence-

man from 2008 to 2011, took it
upon himself to give Toman some
pointers, but aside from Rehman
and the coaching staff’s occasional guidance, Toman was learning
as he went.
“I learned everything on my
own, I stayed long hours after
[practice], I watched DVDs, YouTube, anything,” he recalls. For
the first couple of months, Toman carried a notebook in which
he’d written each player’s individual equipment preferences, all
of which he eventually committed
to memory.
“Over time, they started to
respect the job,” Toman says.
“They saw that I was there for
long hours, saw that I did anything and everything for them,
and a month later, I had no problem with anything.”
Now 24, Toman has more seniority than any player, and they
know it.
“With new players, every year
I have a meeting, no coaches, and
you just lay the law down … you
have to respect what I do and
how I want it done, and I’ll do
whatever you want me to do in
return,” Toman said.

“I said right then and there in
the ambulance, I’m going to
do this for the rest of my life”
When Ryerson moved into the
Mattamy Athletic Centre in 2012,
it marked a new era for Rams
Athletics, but it also opened new
doors for Toman.
Through the connections he
made at the MAC, Toman was
able to spend the 2012 winter
break working with the OHL’s
Mississauga Steelheads. And after
a member of the Toronto Maple
Leafs equipment staff joined the
Rams to work with him during
the last NHL lockout, Toman
was invited to work some morning skates and practices with
the Maple Leafs and the visiting
San Jose Sharks, and developed
a friendship with NHLer Joel
Ward.
“[You grow up] pretending

you’re them playing hockey on
the pond,” he says. “And next
thing you know, you’re in the
room standing next to the guy.”
Despite his impressive tenure as
an equipment manager, Toman is
making this season his last, and
setting his sights on a future outside of hockey.
He has been with his girlfriend
Elena for two years, and plans on
getting engaged soon.
“I knew the second I met her
that I was going to marry this
girl, and you can quote me on
that,” Toman says.
And after his father suffered a

stroke six years ago, Toman realized what he wanted to do with
his life, and it wasn’t equipment
managing.
On Feb. 24, Toman will take
his EMS entrance exam at Humber North College, pursuing a career as a paramedic.
“I said right then and there in
the ambulance, ‘I’m going to do
this for the rest of my life,’” he
says recalling the trip with his
father to the hospital with two
young paramedics.
“They became my heroes. I
want to become someone else’s
hero.”

BIZ & TECH

10

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016

RTA students augment reality in comic
By Jacob Dubé

Prince Ivan producer Erik Beardmore at the launch party Feb. 21 at the Silver Snail.

PHOTO: JACOB DUBÉ

You’re looking into a forest. A
tree sways back and forth in the
wind and starlight is moving
around you.
Then you turn the page.
A group of fourth-year RTA
media production students created
Prince Ivan, a graphic novel that
interfaces with an app to add an
augmented reality feature to the
panels. It launched on Feb. 21 at
Silver Snail, a comic book store.
The group, under the name
Birch Media, consists of students
Erik Beardmore, Anett Galica,
Kathy Tong, Crystal Lai, Dan

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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

Paguirigan, Leah Halin and Brian
Ejar.
The idea came when Beardmore
and Galica met at a mixer to discuss ideas for their fourth-year
practicum project. They noticed
that most final projects were videos, and Galica said she wanted to
make a graphic novel. They decided to add the element of augmented reality to reflect the diversity of
their program.
“I’m pretty sure this is the direction a lot of comics and graphic
novels are going,” Beardmore
said. “There’s a lot of web comics
that are popping up on the internet that are incorporating animation and sound design, or even interactive elements like games. But
there’s this drive to have a physical
copy nonetheless. This project was
trying to bridge digital media that
was so abstract with something
very physical.”
The artists drew the panels, created animated versions on Adobe
After Effects and uploaded them
on the augmented reality app
Layar. The pages compatible with
the app are lined with blue. When
a reader reaches one of the pages,
they scan it with the app and the
animation loads on your smart
device’s screen.
Prince Ivan is based on the old
fairy tale of Prince Ivan and the
Grey Wolf. The story revolves
around a young prince destined to
be king, living in a secluded castle
surrounded by a cursed forest.
Tempted by a vision of his mother
he wanders into the woods and
gets lost, and his adventure begins. Tong says that Galica and the
team thought that the story really
related to university students.
“The story revolves around a
young prince named Ivan, who is
going into the unknown, which
kind of relates to us; we’re about
to graduate and go out into the real
world where we don’t know everything, even though we think we do.
So it reflects off that same storyline
with Ivan,” Tong said.
The team formed in September
2015 and completed the book in
five months for the launch. In order to get it out on time, they split
the writing and art between chapters, so every chapter is in a different art and writing style.
RTA professor Charles Zamaria
supervised the project, counseling
them but giving them the freedom
they needed to create the book.
“All the faculty advisors were
very attracted to this project and
were very competitive to have this
project under their belt,” Zamaria
said. “They’ve done a remarkable
job of developing the ideas and
taking it through to this stage.
And the augmented reality component just makes them an outstanding and extraordinary project.”

FUN

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016

Wine solves all problems

A very responsible citizen drinking their wine.

By Skyler Ash
You get home after a long day,
kick off your shoes and crash onto
the couch with a glass of wine.
Who’s stopping you? Nobody.
In a recent study by Totally
Real Health Canada [TRHC], it
was found that drinking a glass of
wine a day helped to decrease all
the crappy things about your personality and made people generally feel way better.
The study, released on Feb. 21,
was conducted after Ryerson University’s The Ryersonian published
an article stating that drinking
large amounts of wine — particularly for women — is unhealthy.
Zymurgists (scientists who study
fermentation) at TRHC found this
to be utterly disturbing, possibly
sexist and after conducting their
own study, untrue.
Out of 5,000 people surveyed,

it was found that 96 per cent of
people felt better after drinking at
least one glass of wine a day.
Marian Keeley, a fourth-year
creative industries student at Ryerson University, said she now
has at least two glasses of merlot
with dinner. “If science says it’s
the right thing to do, I’m willing
to make those changes in my life.”
“Wine is made from grapes,
grapes are fruit and fruit is
healthy,” said TRHC head zymurgist, Dr. Timothy Vinn. “Wine is
also delicious, so as long as you
indulge in it at a controlled rate,
we [at the TRHC] don’t see any
problem. Just don’t go too crazy
and everything will be fine.”
The TRHC would like to recommend that one person drink no
more than three-to-four glasses of
wine a day, “otherwise you may
have a problem that you should
seek special attention for,” said

Sudoku

PHOTO: ANNIE ARNONE

Vinn. “Drink responsibly and enjoy!”
“When I drink wine, everything
about me gets better,” said Rick
Embry, a third-year sociology student at Ryerson University. “I stop
doing that annoying thing where
I correct people’s grammar and I
make fewer scathing societal observations that make my friends
uncomfortable.”
Embry also said that wine helps
his moves both on the dance floor
and with “the ladies.” Embry has
asked The Eyeopener to publish
his number, but we feel that that
is inappropriate, so instead, his
address is Pitman Hall, floor 11,
room 45 and 3/4. “Knock three
times for a good time.”
So sip away, you splifficated
specimen! And just remember that
when the bartender says no, the
wine scientists say yes.
#WineNot

Letters to the fun editor

Because people have opinions and we respect that. Sort of
Dear fun editor,

Dear lowly common peasant,

I’m very upset with your section
content as of late. Your “satire”
has been so well written that I’m
not sure if what you’re writing
about is real or not. Did that kid
really have to wear a dunce cap?
Are the rap battlers alive? Will
mayo solve my love problems? Seriously, I need answers.
You should be ashamed of yourself and your writers for writing
such methodical and convincing
pieces of satire. Don’t you realize
that sophisticated, well-intended
humour goes over most people’s
heads? I guess not, since you clearly overestimated the intelligence of
the average human.

I’m glad you’re writing to me. This
is a very important problem. I too
can see that this high-brow form
of funtertainment is clearly too
much for the basic population.
I see your need for clarification,
and your hunger for answers. I, as
the fun editor, have decided to do
absolutely nothing about how we
write or what we write. We publish satire and we’re proud. As a
journalist, I have a need to find the
truth, but not with the fun section.
This is just for kicks.
So to all those who think this
stuff is real: it’s not. It’s fun. Just
laugh. And get over yourself.
Sincerely,

Sincerely,
The fun editor
A lowly common peasant
P.S. Loved the nerd-a-thon article!
What a laugh and a half!

11

Got a comment? Got a complaint? P.S. I loved the article too! Very
well written and hilarious. PerLike sending emails?
haps too smart, though.
Email fun@theeyeopener.com!

Drop off your completed sudoku with your name, contact information
and full life’s story to The Eyeopener office (SCC 207) for your chance
to win a $25 iTunes gift card! Good luck! You’ll need it, trust me.
Can you draw? Are you funny? Submit your comics for The Eyeopener! For more info, email fun@theeyeopener.com!

12

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016

Mondays
Trivia Night!
Presents Ryerson

Do some
Drinking &
Thinking with

OPEN MIC
NIGHT

Play nightly to
WIN WEEKLY PRIZES
Or join LEAGUE PLAY for
chance to win our GRAND PRIZE
at the end of the semester!

COME BE A STAR!

Nightly Specials
Include:

Nightly Specials Include:

$13 Jugs of Amsterdam Blonde
$4 Martinis
$6.99 Wings (1lb)

E=mc2?

$4 Whiskey
$4 M@RTINIS
$6.99 Pizza
(Pepperoni or Vegetarian)

Sponsored by

Wednesdays
8pm to 11pm

7pm
to 9pm

THURSDAYS
AND FRIDAYS

Sponsored by

Student Group
Pub Nights

Raptors and Leafs on our big screen TV’s.
Win tickets and swag!

Student Owned. Student Run. Student Focused.
RYERSONSTUDENTCENTRE.CA

/RamInTheRye

@RamInTheRye

@RamInTheRye