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Volume 49 - Issue 19

March 9, 2016
Since 1967

A new space at Ryerson is giving a
voice to trans and queer artists P9



Wednesday, Mar. 9, 2016

Wednesday, March 9, 2016



BOG elections: student candidates pay their way
By Al Downham
Student member candidates in Ryerson’s 2016 Board of Governors
(BoG) election are spending hundreds on campaign materials outof-pocket.
FUSE — including candidates
Victoria Morton, Mariam Nouser
and Cassandra Myers — was the
winning slate, with candidates
earning over 1,200 votes. Yet,
they’re unhappy that BoG election
policies can potentially shut out
low-income candidates.
“This is ridiculous in my opinion,” said Nouser, a third-year
mechanical engineering student.
Nouser is vice-president student
life at the Ryerson Engineering
Student Society (RESS), vice-president external affairs at the Ryerson Muslim Students’ Association
and vice-president administration
at the Ryerson Mechanical Engineering Course Union.
Morton — the RSU Board of
Directors’ (BoD) senate director
— said FUSE spent up to $700
on campaign materials including posters, handouts and $150
in chocolate mini eggs, switching
from Cadbury to no-name brand
to cut costs.
“Among the student leadership
role, [the election’s] kind of referred to the Wild West,” Morton
said. “A lot of students don’t even
consider running because they
know they can’t afford it.”
Morton is also a Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) vice-president

The winning candidates from FUSE slate featuring Cassandra Myers, Victoria Morton and Mariam Nouser.

education candidate for the Impact slate and vice-president corporate relations at the Ryerson
Communication and Design Society (RCDS).
“We aren’t expecting any reimbursement,” Morton said. “We
were able to get the money, we
just wish we didn’t have to spend
money to work for free to make
the school better.”
Morton said slates “didn’t make
sense” in the BoG election, that
candidates should come from different backgrounds. However,
running as a slate helped pool
money and voters.
BoG Election Policies and Procedures state funds for posters
can be made available to candidates at the discretion of the
Election Procedures Committee.

There is also no cap on what
students can spend on their campaign. Morton says the poster
funding service wasn’t promoted
prior to the election or during the
all-candidates meeting.
Outside of BoG elections, several student unions and societies
enforce reimbursement and caps.
The Ryerson Students’ Union
(RSU), whose election continues
until March 9, has a reimbursement process and raised caps for
campaign spending this year.
“There’s no submission of the
budget, but they buy their materials, submit their receipts and
then they get reimbursed that
way,” said RSU President Andrea
RSU campaign expenses cannot
exceed $500 for presidential and


vice-presidential candidates, otherwise risking eligibility for reimbursement and fines.
Student societies like the RCDS
have varying reimbursement processes and caps on campaign
spending. Nouser said she will propose a motion to introduce reimbursements to RESS at its Annual
General Meeting in two weeks.
“Even when [students] campaign, it should never be something that’s going to be a hindrance to the person,” said RCDS
President Casey Yuen. “[Reimbursement] ensures anyone from
any background or financial background is able to participate.”
BoG student member candidate
Angelo Robb spent $50 on posters,
saying those who can’t afford posters “won’t necessarily have as good

as a chance as those who can.”
However, not all 2016 BoG
election candidates think administration should reimburse student
“I think it’s better we had to pay
out-of-pocket,” said BoG election
candidate Banin Hassan, a thirdyear electrical engineering student.
She said she doesn’t support RSU
candidates campaigning with lawn
signs, photo booths and pancakes.
“That’s kind of going to waste in
my opinion.”
Hassan said lack of reimbursements motivates students to efficiently spend money and time on
effective strategies like candidatevoter interaction. BoG student
member candidate Jamie Galloway, for example, said she spent
no money on her own campaign.
Morton said there’s too much
paper wasted in the BoG election,
but moving campaigns towards a
paperless, online strategy could
decrease student awareness.
“It terms of reality, [posters]
help in elections,” Morton said.
Although they didn’t promote
the issue as a campaign point,
Nouser and Morton said making
the election accessible to student
candidates is something their slate
plans to advocate for.
“Two of us currently struggle
with finances,” Nouser said. “It’s
imperative we push for [reimbursement or caps]. We didn’t
want to push out loud.”
The winning candidates start
their BoG term Sept. 1.

Equity centre sponsorship in question
A four-month delay in putting out a sponsorship package for the equity service centre has created funding challenges, staff say
By Nicole Schmidt
A delay in sending out sponsorship packages has made navigating funding difficult within the
Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU)
equity service centres.
In past years, individual equity
centres have compiled sponsorship
packages to help support staple
events like Pride and the Reclaiming our Bodies and Minds Conference. These community sponsors
are often the major source of funding, said equity and campaigns organizer Corey Scott. This year, the
centres collaborated to create one
major package.
Employees started working on
the package in August, which was
supposed to be sent out last October according to RyePRIDE coordinator Daniella Enxuga. RSU
president Andrea Bartlett said that
since this was a new initiative,
compiling pictures, budget breakdowns and content took time. Be-

cause of this, the package wasn’t
sent out until mid-February.
“It’s really frustrating because
we’ve been working on them since
the end of last summer,” said Enxuga. “There’s really no reason it
should have taken that long.”

“It’s frustrating ...
There’s really no reason it should have
taken that long”
The package is intended to attract both internal and external
community sponsorships. But last
month, members of the RSU executive team approached the university asking for the full amount of
sponsorship that the equity service
centres requested. Ryerson supported 100 per cent of the request,
donating $27,900.

“We have a long history in
supporting RSU initiatives with
regard to equity and inclusion,”
said interim president Mohamed
Lachemi. “We feel that creating
welcoming safe space and an exceptional experience is for all students.”
The university has supported
equity centres in the past, but
donations were made in smaller
increments. Scott has been working in the equity centres for three
years and said this is the highest
amount of money Ryerson has
annually donated in that time.
Given the date the sponsorship package was released, some
equity centre employees have
expressed concerns with securing external funding for the year.
“Any money we get from the
sponsorship packages will now
go to next year’s budget,” said
Enxuga, whose contract ends early next month.
The RSU is still waiting on Ry-

A new equity sponsorship package was created last year.

erson’s internal transfer.
Scott added that the equity
centres have only been able to
secure half of the external funding they’ve made in years past.
Bartlett said she’s made it clear
that employees are free to reach
out for sponsorship at any point
throughout the year and that any
incoming sponsorship funds from


the package can be delegated accordingly.
“My hope is that [the equity
centres] will now be able to attract
more external sponsorship so that
they can go to local companies
and actually build partnerships because that’s how the equity centres
will better sustain themselves,”
said Bartlett.



Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Don’t stop campaigning
It’s up to the campus to keep politics at Ryerson alive
Let’s talk for a moment about
When I started working at
The Eyeopener we often talked
about student politics on campus — we may have been the only
ones. Conversations about elections that year were not centred
around who would win — that
was a foregone conclusion. The
long-standing, tight-knit group of
politically motivated students on
campus who had been in power
for years were running effectively
So disappointed were we by the
lack of interest from our campus,
that we decided to run our fun
editor, Suraj Singh, for president.
It wasn’t because he could win, it
was to make a point about how
little the election process mattered.

This year, the elections won’t
have been called by the time that
this paper comes out (voting ends
Wednesday at 4 p.m.), but I can
honestly say that I am thrilled to
be able to tell you this:
I don’t know who is going to
This is the second year that this
has perhaps been a true statement
the day election results will be announced. And a big part of that is
thanks to a group of people who
last year were called Transform
I won’t bore you with the details
of exactly how we came to have
two bodies of political thought on
campus, rather than one. It had a
lot to do with harnessing student
leaders from the student societies,
not just from various levels of the
Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU).
But this new group, pledging a
new era of transparency and accountability in the RSU, surged
through the elections in 2015 to
displace the Unite slate in a win


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Photo by Bastian Sander.

that was, even to those of us following the process closely, simply
Now I’m not going to get into
whether or not everything that
group has done has been perfect.
I’m not going to tell you who
you should vote for with the few
hours you have left to do so. But
there is one undeniable truth to
this whole thing — the competition that Transform (now running
as Impact) brought to campus has
been a big deal. One that it’s hard
for me to accurately illustrate in
this short editorial.
Over the years I’ve been at this
paper, I’ve heard all the stereotypes about Ryerson. It’s a commuter campus, students come in
for class and they go home. No- Just a couple students caring a lot.
body really cares what happens
outside of those hours. It may be
young, vibrant and diverse, but it
is utterly apathetic.
If you go here, you’ve probably
heard all these arguments. But
Sean “Angry dad” Wetselaar
here’s the thing — you can tell
anyone who tries to make that arNews
gument that clearly they haven’t
Keith “Motor City: The Gatherbeen paying attention. Because
ing” Capstick
it’s bullshit.
Nicole “Cat gif tears” Schmidt
Ryerson may not have as long
Al “Sibling” Downham
a history of political involvement on campus as U of T or
Farnia “Existential crisis” Fekri
other, older schools. But if nothing else in the last couple of years
Biz and Tech
we’ve proven that a large part of
Jacob “Free movies!!” Dubé
campus cares, very deeply. As as
a cynical old fogey who has probArts and Life
ably paid attention to this whole
Karoun “Herbal Essences”
thing for far too long, I can say
that this warms my heart.
So why am I telling you all this?
Devin “Ticking time bomb”
Why does it matter to you whethJones
er Ryerson has been far more apathetic in the past, or how the two
slates running in this year’s elecAlanna “Needs more columns”
tion came to be?
Because we should all see
the days of old as a cautionPhoto
ary tale. There won’t always
Annie “Went home” Arnone
be people on campus who reJake “5 a.m. in Toronto”
member those days, and it’s up to
Chris “Facetime” Blanchette
all of you to make sure we don’t
have to.
So get involved. Join a club,
Skyler “BRB children” Ash
chat up your student society or
course union and pay attention
to the student leaders who are
Rob “Passwords5” Foreman
responsible for handling serious budgets made up largely of
Igor “The champion” Magun
student money. These people repTagwa “Co-champion” Moyo
resent and work for you.
Lee “Coach” Richardson
Maybe you want to be one
of them. Maybe you don’t. But
General Manager
never, ever forget that whether or
Liane “Too much caffeine”
not you’ll be at Ryerson forever,
these people matter. And so does
the weird, fun, messed-up comAdvertising Manager
munity we’ve built for ourselves
Chris “Exasperated” Roberts
Design Director
So keep on giving a damn,
J.D. “Until morale improves”
Ryerson. And thanks to all of you
who have gotten us here.


Intern Army
Ben “Hours” Hoppe
Victoria “Transcribe” Sykes
Hannah “Interview” Kirijianv
Lidia “Safety” Foote
Zeinab “#bye” Saidoun
Jaclyn “Relax woman” Tansil
Brennan “Bean stalk” Doherty
Sarah “Franklin Roosevelt”
Brenda “Harry Truman” MolinaNavidad
Dylan “Circle of Life” FreemanGrist
Amanda “Snipe show” Skrabucha
Matt “Your not my manz” Amha
Brittany “Nice weather eh?”
Erica “On time” Salvalaggio
Annaliese “Polaroid express”
Mitchell “Photo shoot” Thompson
Sidney “Hello again’ Drmay
Miriam “See you at karaoke”
Valdes Carletti
Robert “Blunderbuss”
Ruty “Calabash” Korotaev
Lindsay “Collywobbles”
Playing the part of the Annoying
Talking Coffee Mug this week are
people that walk too slowly on
the sidewalk in big crowds. Other
people are using the sidewalks too,
guys. And maybe those other people
have a place to be.
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 or on Twitter at


Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Transformed RU?
Transform Ryerson entered last year’s Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) elections as the
first opposition group since 2011. Their slate, founded on promoting transparency,
funding student groups and fighting unpaid internships, dominated polls. It’s been a
year of ups and downs — here’s how Transform describes the state of the union


VP Education

VP Equity

Andrea Bartlett

Cormac McGee

Rabia Idrees

RCDS VP finance is resigning
Former Ryerson Communication and Design Society (RCDS) vicepresident finance Luke Villemaire is stepping down from his position
for mental health reasons. The Eyeopener covered Villemaire when
$20,000 was approved for Goliath, his upcoming film, by RCDS.

The Scope is ready to broadcast
The Scope, Ryerson’s new campus radio station, is ready to hit the airwaves by the end of the month. The station began their testing on Feb.
29 and is planning it’s official launch for March 31. The Scope will be
broadcasting at 1280 am on your radio dial.


Bartlett said her team has accomplished several things that have
been neglected since she started as
a student at Ryerson, including a
shift to more online services, an
amped up Parade and Concert and
improved student engagement.
In September, the RSU began a
$25,000 rebranding campaign with
the goal to differentiate the union.
Part of the spending went towards
a new logo and the $5,000 sign
that sits outside the student learning centre. “The RSU did need a bit
of a facelift to welcome itself into
the 21st century,” said Bartlett.
“Historically, the logo did change
every decade … but we were transparent about that this year.”
Last semester saw the elimination
of the executive director of communications and outreach unionized position in favour of a new
general manager, resulting in two
layoffs. Although Bartlett stands
behind the decision, she said she
wished the RSU had been more
transparent about the process. A
statement released by the RSU earlier this year said an assessment
done by a third party found that
restructuring would be more sustainable. Deficits have plagued the
organization for years and in a recent blog post on Medium, Bartlett
wrote about $90,000 in allegedly
stolen funds. “I had all this staggering information that was difficult for me to deal with at the time
… we were dealing with financial
issues and finding out the difficult
reality of the organization,” said
Bartlett. Members of RU Connected criticized the layoffs as being “unjust” and said the decision
reflected poorly on the RSU.
Going forward
Bartlett cautioned the RSU should
never be run like a business. “I
pray to god that the next president
doesn’t have that mentality ... that
mentality is why we’re in this mess.”

In January, McGee launched a petition against unpaid internships that
got more than 2,500 signatures.
The RSU met with the Ontario
Ministry of Training, Colleges and
Universities, to discuss a possible
long-term investment. “The biggest
challenge was getting the province
to take us seriously,” said McGee.
“The next step is to keep following up, the more ears this gets in
the more likely something will happen.”
Martin Fox, from the opposing RU
Connected slate, has criticized the
consistency of lobbying for unpaid
internships. “It wasn’t a sustained
effort ... perseverance is key,” he
said in a previous interview.

A focus on the topic of mental health has been at the forefront of student issues for years.
Last semester, the RSU launched an
online tool — My Wellness portal
— as a way to provide additional
support to students. 2016 also
marked the first mental health leadership awards — a $30,000 scholarship initiative put on by the RSU.
Idrees noted that equity initiatives
are always relevant, and that the
RSU could have done more outreach beyond fall and winter orientation. Susanne Nyaga of RU
Connected has criticized a lack of
focus on mental health initiatives,
saying that there should be support year-round.

VP Operations

VP Student Life

Obaid Ullah

Harman Singh

FRI. MAR. 11

8:00 pm at the MAC
For tickets visit

FRI. MAR. 11

6:00 pm at the
Claim a ticket with your Ryerson
OneCard for the game and
fan bus to University of Ottawa.

This year has seen a shift toward
more services online, including
the health and dental opt-out process, the wellness portal for mental
health and most recently, online
voting — which Ullah said was his
biggest accomplishment.
The current RSU has been regularly criticized by RU Connected
for a lack of transparency surrounding spending and budgets.
Ullah said communicating with
the membership could be improved next year.

Singh played a key role in arranging the 2015 Parade and Concert
featuring Drake and Future — an
event that had people talking about
Ryerson for weeks. He called it
“one of the most successful events
in recent Ryerson history.”
Rumana Fardaush of RU Connected has said the concert was
not accessible. At the RSU debate,
Singh was criticized for a less active
second semester. Singh added that
he wished everyone was wearing a
blue shirt for the concert.


1:00 pm at Mc MASTER

Claim a ticket with your Ryerson
OneCard for the game and
fan bus to McMaster University.

For updates and ticket information visit

Eyeopener final 4/CIS2.indd 1

2016-03-07 8:39 PM



Wednesday, March 9, 2016





n a snowy, grey Thursday, distinct among
the clatter and slush of Eric Palin Hall is the
hushed peace of Cyndy Baskin’s office. It’s
quiet, with a snug carpet and a tidy desk.
All around the room are symbols of Indigenous culture,
feathers, artwork and displays that show her roots.
Baskin is of the Mi’kmaq and Celtic Nations — she
is of the Fish Clan and is known in those circles as The
Woman Who Passes on Teachings. Fitting then that she
works as a social work professor at Ryerson, where she
is also the academic coordinator of the Chang School’s
certificate on Indigenous knowledges and experiences in
While over the years she has been successful in helping develop curriculums for various programs on campus (social work, midwifery, early childhood education,
nutrition, public administration), she notes that one of
the major hurdles in her work is the inflexibility of certain faculties, whose coordinators have trouble justifying
spending resources on increasing Aboriginal content in
their programs.
“It’s not easy to get a lot of the schools or programs
on campus to buy into this. It takes a long time building
relationships with people,” Baskin says, adding that the
lack of unity across the faculties makes pushing for more
Aboriginal content difficult.
In September of this year, members of Ryerson’s community looked to correct that by publishing A Call to
Reconciliation at Ryerson — a letter specific to the university asking administration to confirm the intended actions outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Among other things, they urged Ryerson to

support current students and work to increase the number of Aboriginal student applicants.

But hard as it may be, it’s become more crucial than
ever to encourage — and expect — that change. In June
2015, after seven years of work, the TRC (a holistic government response to the abuse and toxic legacy of Canadian residential school systems) published a call to action,
in part addressing post-secondary institutions. Some of
these actions concentrate on support and reconciliation
— others are more academic, calling on the government
to provide “adequate funding to end the backlog of First
Nations students seeking a post-secondary education,”
and infuse more Indigenous knowledge in every end of
this post-secondary education, regardless of discipline.
As chair of Ryerson’s Aboriginal Education Council (a
board of students, staff and faculty established in 2010
to encourage engagement and support of Aboriginal students), Baskin has led the charge on this factor, opening

up talks with faculties not traditionally associated with Indigenous knowledge. Her work ranges from the straightforward — the development of more Aboriginal teachings
in social work and midwifery — to the complex, as in the
multi-year talks with the journalism school, which is the
only program at Ryerson so far that has agreed to offer
a new course (on media and Aboriginal understanding)
next year. “I think [others] are just nervous because they
really don’t know much of anything and they’re afraid to
admit it,” Baskin says. “They don’t know where to start.”
obbie Nakoochee’s dream graduate program
will thrust her head-first into Ontario’s parkland. Nakoochee, a First Nations Cree whose
family originates from the lands surrounding
Fort Albany, Ont., received her admission to a two-year
term at Guelph. Now in her final year at Ryerson, she
wants to apply her environment and urban sustainability
degree to the intersection of Aboriginal communities and
Ontario’s park systems.
Although she had a hunch that she’d get the spot, she
was still flooded with relief when she noticed the funding
package was larger than the one she’d already received
from York. Yet as her eyes paced over the details of the
congratulatory email, she couldn’t help feeling a pang of
guilt — the same feeling that she’d had upon admission to
Ryerson six years ago.
“I feel like I’m categorized as separate from the regular
student body,” explains Nakoochee. Sometimes when she
succeeds at something, she feels her efforts aren’t the most
important — but that her status as an included “Aboriginal woman” is what matters. “It’s almost like ... I’m just
the token native.”



Wednesday, March 9, 2016


he statue of Egerton Ryerson that stands at the
meeting point of Gould and Bond streets rests
on land once settled by the Mississauga nation. It was a land of water and trees, known
for its passages connecting what we call Lake Ontario
and Lake Simcoe. In the book Mapping Toronto’s First
Century, 1787-1884, the 18th century land deals made
between the British Crown and the chiefs of Mississauga
nation are documented through a series of maps and descriptions. All together it was a messy affair — what’s
known is that the tract of land starting at Ashbridge Bay
in Toronto Islands and extending many kilometers north
of Toronto’s waterfront was handed over for a caravan’s
worth of supplies and approximately $60 in today’s
money. Nearly two centuries later, the flaws of the “purchase” ended with a $145-million deal being worked out
by the government and today’s Mississauga chiefs. Now,
most students scratch their heads in ignorance of the university’s history as speakers at some Ryerson events acknowledge their presence on Mississauga’s New Credit
First Nations land.
Ryerson’s location in a thriving downtown core can be
traced to this deal. But the university’s name draws its
roots from a separate matter; the man it honours, Egerton
Ryerson, was partly responsible for many things: among
them the free public education system and residential
schools in Canada.
“I would like to see more of that truthfulness on campus, in like a physical hard-copy,” says Nakoochee, who
stresses the need for acknowledging Egerton Ryerson’s
ties to the residential school system just as much as his
work in Toronto’s early educational development.
Investigating these residential schools, which traumatized generations of Aboriginal children and families for
120 years before being closed in 1996, was at the core of
the TRC. The official commission formed in 2008, with
the mandate of uncovering the truth about Canadian residential schools and collecting research and survivor testimony of the atrocities committed in the system. It detailed
systemic cruelty, widespread abuse and a resounding,
multi-generational impact on communities, brought on
by the forced assimilation that tore away the identities
of children — all of it sanctioned by the government of
Canada and tied, inevitably, to Ryerson.
ecades later, issues faced by Aboriginal communities and students still remain on the
sidelines — for some Ryerson students, this
is not only cultural, but physical. One of the
most pressing issues to Mark Szkoda, the student affairs
director of the Indigenous Students’ Association, is their
student space — specifically, the site of the Ryerson Aboriginal Student Services (RASS) office.
“Its location, the way I describe it, is like we’re on the
reserve of Ryerson,” he said in a Feb. 23 panel about experiences on campus. “We’re tucked in on the third floor
[of Kerr Hall], just in the corner and I don’t know, I think
a more central location would be better because sometimes we feel disconnected.
“A lot of the Indigenous students here come from different communities all over, you know. They don’t know
anyone here, so that space offers a sense of community
that offers the difference between flunking out, and succeeding in school.”
That crucial need for community is familiar to Réal
Carrière, a PhD student in Ryerson’s policy studies program. Carrière, a Nehinuw from the Northern Saskatchewan village of Cumberland House, was on a campus tour
of Simon Fraser University (where he studied as an undergraduate) as the guides marched groups past various student services and resources. He remembers his tour guide
happening to point out the space for Aboriginal students,
before the group quickly moved on.
“I thought in the back of my head, ‘I want to go there,’”
he recalls. “[But] they didn’t tell you anything about the
student services offered there. After the tour, I went back
there and it became my home — those were my friends.”
It’s a trend Carrière would repeat again when he began
his master’s at the University of Regina, and again when
he began his PhD — seeing the space for Aboriginal students at Ryerson, RASS, as the point of access where he’d
meet his first friends in Canada’s largest city.



he space to gather, to celebrate and to heal, is
fundamental for Aboriginal communities. At
such a gathering on Feb. 16, sitting beside her
daughter and in front of her grandson, Joanne
Dallaire is explaining some of the rituals meant to help in
the process of self-healing and honouring Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous men and women.
After the cleansing smudging ceremony, the smells of
burning cedar and sage rise from the middle of the two
circles of seated participants, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community members alike. They face the red, black,
white and yellow medicine wheel, but almost all eyes are
on Dallaire — she is the elder, Shadow Hawk Woman of
the Wolf Clan, the respected core of Ryerson’s Aboriginal
Her knowledge and expertise made her an obvious
choice to co-chair a community-consultation initiative introduced by interim-President Mohamed Lachemi, who
says it’s the best thing the university can do before issuing
a response.

Through the support system of RASS, the introduction of
the Aboriginal Education Council in 2010, and the creation of the Office of Aboriginal Initiatives which introduced strategic plans, the university has taken “positive
steps towards reconciliation,” King says.
These steps, in May 2012, were recognized through one
of the highest forms of honour — the symbolic and prestigious Eagle Staff.
“The Eagle Staff is a one-time only gift, which Ryerson
was given for its leadership in terms of Aboriginal learning and education,” King explains. Made with a five-foot
wooden pole, carved with the Seven Grandfather Teachings (Wisdom, Love, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility and Truth) and adorned with 13 eagle feathers and
a dream catcher, this Eagle Staff was designed especially
for RASS and Ryerson — the first and only university in
Ontario to receive one.
“It’s present during every convocation,” King says,
“Whether there are Indigenous students or not. And
that’s really transformative.”

The president has asked Dallaire and Denise O’Neil
Green (the assistant vice-president/vice-provost equity,
diversity and inclusion) to lead this set of consultations,
says Tracey King, who is Ojibway and Pottawatomi
from the Otter clan. King, whose work at Ryerson has
made her the country’s first Aboriginal Human Resources
Consultant in post-secondary education, is a committee
member of an earlier group — a working-group headed
by Julie-Ann Tomiak, which began its work through a
campus dialogue event (for the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission’s Call to Action) in October.
These groups are collaborating in their efforts to help
Ryerson as the administration tries to reflect TRC demands into programs and policies, King says. “They both
have the same aim — they want to ensure that TRC’s calls
to action are implemented in the best way.”
And Ryerson is well on its way to doing that, she adds.

Clockwise from left: Cyndy Baskin (Photo courtesy Cyndy Baskin); Tracey King (Photo: Annie Arnone); Robbie Nakoochee (Photo: Anie Arnone)



Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Remodelling the world to fit your life
Adaptive Design International looks at simple designs like rocking chairs and remakes them to adapt to children with special needs

EDGE back in Canada to share
their ideas.
“This is a slow process of building shared understanding and
trust,” Nolan said. “Initial projects include things as simple as
seating devices and basic therapeutic devices made out of cardboard, all the way up to low-cost
customized augmented and alternative communication devices that
will help nonverbal children with
limited mobility to communicate.”
Though Nolan himself hasn’t
been to the lab in Cochabamba
yet, his colleague and Ryerson
associate professor of early childhood studies Aurelia Di Santo
went down to work directly with
the team there. He plans to travel
down in May and is “very excited and looking forward to meeting face-to-face people who I’ve
been communicating with [for]

so long online.”
Nolan is autistic, which he says
helps him with his designs because
he views the world from a different perspective.
“I find that my attention always
shifts towards the edges and gaps
of things. I’m always aware of
what is forgotten, ignored or left
behind. I’m always thinking about
the assumptions that we make,
and I question those assumptions,” he said.
Nolan said he’s always been
uncomfortable with how disabled
people are marginalized by society, and he’s aware of how designs
focus on a standard definition of
a person.
“Combining these two notions
has led to a sense that we need to
be able to create tools that will allow everyone to create things that
they need in their lives without

having to wait for someone else to
design for them,” Nolan said. “I
think the design should be radically individualizable, and the design
processes should start with the [individuals] who use an object, and
not with the designer or engineer
who merely wants to create things
for others.”
At EDGE, Nolan and his team
launched the Responsive Ecologies Lab (RE/Lab). The lab uses
fields like engineering, architecture and health sciences to “ensure that technologies become a
more meaningful and useful part
of our lives” by creating things
like learning-based games and
built environments, like the ADI
“I think my approach has
emerged because of who I am
as an autistic, and how I see the
world,” Nolan said. “Yet, at the
same time, I think that we all can
expand our awareness towards
the margins, and the marginalized, and see new opportunities
to imagine and invent new tools
and technologies that will help
us create solutions for ourselves.
That is a really interesting challenge.”
The ADI project’s goal for the
future is to help locals in Bolivia
develop a design lab of their own
where they can learn to create
advancements for special-needs
“I’ve never had the opportunity
to have a lab such as we are establishing in Bolivia where we can
have direct and sustained interaction with a number of children
over many years,” Nolan said.
“I’m very excited for this phase to
begin so that we can move from
short one-off experiments to a
long-term sustained design project
that will help to put these ideas to
the test, and hopefully represent
improvement in the lives of these

basketball skills. Users can also
compete with friends and complete
challenges, all while gaining valuable professional insight from a selection of professional players.
The app has increasing support
from the NBA, as Onyx Motion
has Ben Gordon, former pro basketball player for Orlando Magic,
as an advisor. He joined Onyx
after the company pitched the
idea to him, and showed his support by sponsoring their crowdfunding campaign for Swish. The
campaign ended up surpassing its
$10,000 target.
Swish became a part of the
DMZ through a competition held
in early 2015, in which the DMZ
partnered with Rogers to find new

developments for the sports world.
The app made it to the final 10 of
the competition.
Wu says the app currently has
over 600 users.
Although anyone can use the
app, Onyx Motion’s target demographics are younger people interested in tech and amateur basketball players.
According to Wu, the app is
being promoted by making partnerships with different camps in
Canada and the U.S., as well as
the University of Toronto and
NBA Fit camps.
Wu has been on Dragons’ Den
where she made a deal with investor Michele Romanow, who
agreed to a partnership only if

Onyx Motion included golf coaching in their app.
She also mentioned the importance of Swish as a wearable rather than just a regular phone app.
She said that if Swish were to
be a phone app, there would be
no difference in comparison to
other mobile apps. Wu describes
the coaching as a “virtual reality
experience” and “playing a video
game, but in real life.”
They want to expand their coaching platform to include tennis and
beer pong. Wu says the goal is to
make a “platform for physical education” and incorporate “dance,
music and physiotherapy.”
Swish is available on Android
Wear and Apple Watch.

Ryerson professor Jason Nolan is director of EDGE and running the Adaptive Design International project.

By Jacob Dubé
What do you do when the world
around you doesn’t fit to your
You redesign it.
That’s what Ryerson School of
Early Childhood Studies professor Jason Nolan is doing with
his work on the Adaptive Design
International (ADI) project in Bolivia.
The goal of the ADI project is
to create custom adaptable designs of things like furniture for
children with special needs. Nolan said the idea for the project
came slowly, as he was beginning
to create some custom designs. He
realized other people around the
world were creating designs like
these but there was little opportunity to share them.
“Because I had a strong back-

ground in informal learning environments and online learning environments, I realized that I could
use these skills to develop a social
media environment where people
could learn techniques of creating annotations for special needs
children, teach others about what
they had done or just share the designs they created,” said Nolan via
The project, a part of the Experiential Design and Gaming
Environments (EDGE) Lab — of
which Nolan is the director —
received a $100,000 grant from
Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Canadian government,
to build a lab in Cochabamba,
Bolivia. The lab is set to help orphanages in the area by creating
designs that will help the children
based on their needs. Nolan said
the lab could then connect with

App of the
By Brittany Rosen
“I always used to suck at gym and
was always at the bottom of my
class. If I just had someone to coach
me,” said Marissa Wu, co-founder
and CEO of Onyx Motion.
Several years later, she and a few
others created their app, Swish,
which was a part of the DMZ.
Swish is a smartwatch app by
Onyx Motion that acts as a virtu-

al basketball coach for users. The
app, according to Onyx Motion’s
website, uses customized coaching
based on “past performance and
machine learning” to help a variety
of people with different skill levels.
Sensors in the smartwatch help
the app calculate the info it needs
for you to improve your game. By
using data, videos, tips and modules from NBA players, there’s a
chance that users will improve their



Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Ryerson art residency creates safe space for trans artists
By Jaclyn Tansil
Trans and queer artists at Ryerson will be given the chance to get
funding for their projects, partake
in workshops and be featured in a
formal exhibit through the newlylaunched Trans Artist Residency.
Evan Roy, the curator of the
Trans Artist Residency and one
of the coordinators of the Ryerson Trans Collective, said the
residency is “used to empower
students by focusing on trans and
queer issues and on the issues that
are affecting their lives — such
as identity, and power and how
these things intersect with art.”
They began planning the residency in September and it took
three months to realize their vision by going through an approval process and recieving funding
approval. Starting in early May,
the residency will provide professional workshops, art funding and a formal exhibition at
the Ryerson Artspace near Pride
weekend on June 30. The application deadline for the residency
was formally set to Feb. 26, but
applicants may still be accepted
until their start date.
“These [types of] residencies
are so rare and infrequent ... it’s

really the only one I’ve heard of
for students,” said Roy. “It is
great for the applicants to have
some income. Have some training because they are so financially
strained already. We also realized
that there isn’t much opportunity
not to show work, but to gain an
education. That was the real key
focus of this residency.”
The art workshops will be selected by the residency applicants
and Roy will hire local trans and
queer artists who specialize in certain fields to conduct them.
Roy approached Ryerson Artspace, a faculty and student-run
gallery on Queen Street West, to
take part in the residency and
help provide the exposure needed
for trans and queer students to
exhibit their pieces.
“The hope is that … trans and
queer artists can … exhibit work
while engaging with like-minded
artists and individuals,” said
Robyn Cumming, the faculty advisor and gallery director at the
artspace. “We hope to help make
this work visible to a larger audience, especially an audience that
may not normally have exposure
to the dialogue and issues present
and important within this community.”


The Trans Artist Residency was
funded from various sources within Ryerson, one of them being the
Faculty of Communication and Design and another being the Student
Initiative Fund.
Markus Harwood-Jones, a residency applicant and a co-coordinator of the Trans Collective, said
they are looking forward to the
residency to meet new artists.
“I applied because I thought it
would be a great opportunity for

trans artists to connect with other
queer and trans artists and to develop my work in a new way,”
said Harwood-Jones. “I am not a
formally trained artist and I am
not an art student, and I thought
it would be really nice to learn
some technique and make a connection.”
Harwood-Jones is also planning
on finishing their original film
Mosaic, along with collaborating
with other painters and writers.

“Because I am already really
involved within the trans community in Toronto, I’m kind of
hoping that the trans and queer
residency will introduce me to
some new people and offer some
more opportunities to revisit those
old connections,” said HarwoodJones.
“I try to use my art to try and
tell stories and I am excited on taking my work as an author and illustrator to the next level.”

Q&A with photographer Dylan McArthur

Dylan McArthur, fourth-year Ryerson photography student.

By Zeinab Saidoun
The Eyeopener sat down with
fourth-year photography student
Dylan McArthur to talk about his
passion for photography, his experience studying at Ryerson and his
photo exhibit “Life and Shadow”
being featured at the Ryerson
Artspace from March 10 to April
3. You can check out the full interview on
Q: How did you get into photography?


At first I had no interest in the
arts. I went away, lived in Italy
for a year where I picked up the
habit of photography for the
sake of tourism. I was hooked
in the sense of being fascinated
with images and seeing the result. I decided to pursue that
because it seemed like the right
thing to do. I saw myself progressing with photography, so I
Iooked at OCAD and Ryerson,
got accepted to both but Ryerson
was more suited for me because
it was more targeted to photography.

Q: What is “Life and Shadow” come naturally. I was fascinated,
not by the financial district, but
it is coined as a place of big busi“Life and Shadow” is a three- ness, which it is, at certain hours
year, almost four-year, body of of the day. But at 5 o’clock, most
work. It’s been taken mainly in people commuting from different
Toronto in the financial district parts of the GTA all get together.
[and] is about the big questions
in life, like life and death. I am Q: Why did the process take so
interested in photography as a long?
medium and the possibility phoThe shortest thing I’ve done
tography presents itself. “Life
and Shadow” is a representation has taken eight months. It’s beof how images change the world. cause of the way I work, it’s all
The images decide how pho- really by chance. I can go out
tography acts as a transforma- one day and not get anything,
tive tool by nature. I am using and the next I’ll get a great piccertain aesthetics to enhance the ture. I don’t think the project is
pictures. The world doesn’t look complete, I think it’s one of those
like that, it’s about ways of see- things I’ll always continue work
ing ideas around representations on.
with the use of photography.
My livelihood is predestined Q: How do you feel about being
with duties attuned to going for- featured at the Ryerson Artspace?
ward with the day: from waking
I’m very excited about it. Hapup, to getting ready to leave the
apartment, to walking, to com- py to have all my work in one
muting, to working, to learning, space, usually it’s been single imto experiencing — to experience ages. The images by themselves
in order to live, and to live in or- are a different context than when
you see them all together in one
der to experience.
In the statement I want to
Q: Where did your idea for “Life
achieve, it’s important to see
and Shadow” come from?
them all together. This is the first
I wander around the streets and time they are being shown all tophotograph strangers so things gether.

Q: How has your experience been
at Ryerson for photography?
It’s been a very good experience.The most important thing
about Ryerson is having the ability to connect with different professionals from different fields
who are critiquing you and viewing your portfolio.
Q: How has the university helped
you achieve your goals?
It has helped me in my progress of my bodies of work, the
guidance of the professors and
the opportunities that opened up
through artspace. It’s all in the
professors and how much motivation they have and they’ve all
been very motivated and helpful.
Q: What advice would you give
to those who are passionate
about photography?
Just go out and take pictures.
Shoot a lot and work hard. It’s
that simple. I shoot every single
day, I go out. Having a good
working method and knowing
the history goes a long way. Look
at other photographers, study
them and go from there. Treat it
like any other profession you’re
involved [in].



Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Academics, volleyball and the need to succeed


By Devin Jones
For her entire first season playing
with the Toronto Diamonds volleyball club, Theanna Vernon —
14 at the time — couldn’t serve
the ball over the net. Seven years
later, she’s a silver medal-winning, first team OUA all-star for
the Ryerson Rams women’s volleyball team.
“I went back for a serve and
I could not get the ball over the
net at all,” Vernon said. “It took
me all season to get it over and
once that finally happened I felt
so very accomplished.”
And for Vernon, just like that,
her love for a sport she barely
knew began.
In her childhood she ran track
and field alongside her siblings
until the age of 13. Vernon had
never paid the slightest atten-

tion to volleyball. It wasn’t until
a friend suggested she give the
sport a try that the leather ball
and net came into frame.
“I knew nothing about the
sport, didn’t really know how to
play even, but after trying out I
fell in love with it and from there
it just took off,” she said.
Early on, Vernon engaged with
the sport the way any teenager
would, enjoying a newfound
hobby with friends. It wasn’t until Toronto Diamonds head coach
Clayton Carimbocas saw her potential and began working more
exensively with the now two-time
all-star, that her skills took off.
Vernon cites Carimbocas’ fair but
tough attitude as a factor in her
early development, pushing her
— whenever she stepped on the
court — to be a better player.
“Her mom brought her out

and was convinced her sister
[Kadeshia] was the volleyball
player. I had to say, ‘No it’s Theanna who’s going to be the real
player,’” Carimbocas said. “Theanna I kinda knew was going to
be special.”
Vernon reminisces about the
moment she realized volleyball
was more than an extracurricular
activity — something she could
know inside and out, a sport that
she could dominate if she dedicated the time.
“When my club team finally
won our first gold medal in the
premier division, the top division
in the OVA (Ontario Volleyball
Association) at the time, I just
felt amazing,” Vernon said. “A
lightbulb went off and I realized
I could see myself doing this for
the rest of my life.”
From there she chose Ryerson because it had both the program she was interested in (social

work) and allowed her to play
for long-time Rams coach Dustin
Yet her transition to Ryerson
was met with initial disappointment, as a struggling grade point
average made her ineligible to
play for her entire first season.
“I think she knew what she was
getting into, but what’s more significant in my opinion is that she
was willing to do it,” Reid said.
“She was willing to go a year
without being able to compete so
she could focus on her academic
side. Very few athletes would
have the patience or desire to do
Vernon found herself watching from the sidelines. But after
readjusting and continuing to
train in both the gym and on the
court, Vernon came back with a
vengeance. And at the end of her
2014-2015 year at Ryerson —
her rookie season with the team

— Vernon came away with the
country’s highest attacking average, the title of OUA east rookie
of the year as well as a spot on
the OUA rookie all-star team.
“He (Dustin) makes you want
to be a better player and a better person when you aren’t playing and I don’t think you can find
that everywhere,” Vernon said.
“He is such an awesome coach, I
don’t think there’s anyone better
to represent me or the team as a
Following a quarter-final playoff loss to the University of Ottawa and a season that saw the
team finish with an overall record
of 18-8, the pressure was on for
Vernon and the Rams to produce
next season.
And produce they did, with a
season that culminated in the
team achieving their first silver
medal since 2001 and four different players receiving OUA honours. On a personal level, Vernon
surpassed her own achievements,
earning a higher attack average
than the one she had set before.
“It’s easy to see how dominant
she is as a volleyball player but
when I look at what she’s doing
away from the court, I’m even
more proud of her for that,” Reid
And as Vernon continues to
dominate the OUA, one day planning on playing professionally in
Europe overseas, one thing is certain: Theanna Vernon will continue to be successful in the best
way she knows how, by setting
her form and serving that leather
ball over the mesh net.


Bringing youth basketball to TO


By Chris Blanchette
When Ryerson women’s basketball
assistant coach Kareem Griffin isn’t
coaching one of the best CIS basketball teams in the country, he’s
spending his time organizing and
coordinating events that showcase
some of the Greater Toronto Area’s
brightest basketball talent.
Over the last four years, through
his organization, Incharge Sports
and Entertainment, Griffin has

been finding ways to engage with
the community and help to grow
the sport of basketball in the GTA.
Among the events that Incharge
runs includes “Shoot for the Cure,”
a showcase for girl’s basketball.
The event is run in the fall and all
of its proceeds are donated to the
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Griffin says that they are also
going to be organizing an all-star
game for high school girl’s basketball some time in the near future.
“I’ve been around the game of
basketball for 15 or 16 years, so I
know the basketball community
and I saw that there was a need for
events to be produced. So a couple
of my colleagues and I created this
organization,” said Griffin.
Incharge also runs basketball
camps during the dead spots of the
year, such as over Christmas break,
March break and in the summer.
It’s through these camps that they
are able to stimulate youth development through basketball theirv
involvement in the sport.

With the popularity of basketball in Canada at an all-time high
and more Canadian stars in the
NBA and the NCAA than ever
before, Griffin feels that in order
to grow the game further, athletes
will need to be getting opportunities to bring their skills to a wider
“The way that things are going
for basketball in Toronto and in
this country, we have to start exposing our athletes a little bit better,” Griffin said. “These events
give an opportunity to people like
yourself or students who go to Ryerson (or anywhere else) who want
experience in the field of sports.”
Griffin joined the Ryerson women’s basketball team as an assistant
coach two years ago when head
coach Carly Clarke gave him the
opportunity to coach alongside
her. Griffin had been coaching at
the Eastern Commerce Collegiate
Institute but ultimately made the
decision to take a year off to transition to university-level coaching.

Since arriving at Ryerson, Griffin
has seen a winning culture become
stabilized, as Ryerson teams have
begun to thrive in their new home
at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
The women’s team has gone from
a first round playoff knockout to a
legitimate OUA championship and
CIS championship contender, after
finishing first in the OUA East this
year with a 16-3 record.
“I’m heavily engrained in the
basketball community. Prior to
2010, I never would have come
to a Ryerson Rams game,” Griffin
said. “But now with this building
being renovated and built for Ryerson, and the historical aspect, it
has really changed the scope of basketball.”
Griffin says the Mattamy Athletic Centre is a great place for athletics to grow in Toronto. And as the
popularity of basketball in Canada
continues to grow, so too will the
hype surronding the Ryerson Rams
women’s basketball team and
Incharge Sports and Entertainment.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016


I’ll call him, maybe... OPOP
By Skyler Ash

Kellie Ritter, with a song and a dream.


A girl is homeless after her roommates kicked her out for playing
the same song on repeat for 34
Kellie Ritter, a fourth-year philosophy major, had been playing Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me
Maybe ever since she dropped
her iPod on the ground and the
automatic shuffle switched her
“The first time it came on I
was just jamming, because what
a throwback!” said Ritter. “Then
I played it again, because it’s just
so good.” It was so good that Ritter said she’s listened to the song
14,688 times in just over a month.
“You can’t put limitations on
art,” said Ritter. Her roommates,
Tanya Oliveri and Rebecca Joyce,
“You can put a limitation on
art,” said Joyce. “We told her after
the first five repeats that she could
only listen to it five more times,
but she just didn’t listen.”
Oliveri said that she shares a
room with Ritter in their small,
two-bedroom apartment at Carleton and Jarvis streets. “Hear-

ing the song in our room was bad
enough, but the walls in our place
are really thin.”
Oliveri said that after two weeks
of Ritter’s “sick obsession” continued, she just had to leave their
apartment. She stayed with her
parents in Brampton where she,
“let the sweet relief of silence and
white noise wash over my bleeding ears.”
“She [Kellie] has problems,”
said Joyce. “She keeps running up
to me and screaming about some
deeper meaning, and muttering
under her breath. It got to the
point where Tanya [Oliveri] and I
just had to take action.”
Oliveri and Joyce told Ritter
that she had to either turn off the
song or find a new home. “I chose
the latter,” said Ritter.
“I can’t silence Carly [Rae Jepsen]. The song speaks to me, and if
I have to lose my house over something that I love, then so be it.”
Ritter said the song makes her
think of her ex-boyfriend, who
she never called back. “It’s too
late to call him, but the song gave
me hope. Maybe, maybe I can call
him.” Ritter hasn’t seen her ex in
seven years, and said they dated

for “nine beautiful days” that Ritter “will never forget and sometimes [still] fantasize about when
I’m alone.”
Ritter stayed with her parents
after she was forced out by her
roommates, but after three days
her parents also asked her to leave.
“I appreciate a good song, but
this is just utter garbage,” said
Ritter’s mother, Judy. “We told her
to go somewhere else to listen to
that so-called ‘music.’ Also, we’re
moving to Florida in two weeks
and we don’t want her to know, so
she had to leave before the movers
Ritter has been couch-surfing
for the last week, and hasn’t been
able to stay in one place for more
than a day because of her music
taste. Ritter is currently staying at
a Holiday Inn in Toronto because
none of her friends will take her
Ritter’s plan is to track down
her ex-boyfriend and live with
him. “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant
to be, you know? And I know we
can rekindle that magic from all
those years ago. We just have to.
Because like Carly says ‘maybe,’
and I like those odds.”

Willhelm Tungsten begging for money.


Funvertisement: Willhelm Tungsten
The Tungsten family is in trouble and needs your help!
By Willhelm Tungsten
My name is Willhelm Tungsten.
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What was it like growing up
with a famous father? Well, it
Drop off your completed crossword with your name, contact info and certainly wasn’t easy. My acfavourite colour to The Eyeopener office (SCC 207) for your chance to tions were always closely followed by paparazzi and I was
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held to higher standards in science classes.
But it wasn’t all that bad. Living



3. The gang’s new kid, _____
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4. The Ashleys’ catchphrase
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with the world’s foremost tungsten expert meant that the Tungsten family was always very well
off. Really, more money than you
could even imagine.
Unfortunately, my father passed
away several years ago. Ever since
then the fame has slowly faded.
A few “investments” gone wrong
and next thing you know the periodic table is threatening to kick
you off and you have to sell Tungsten Manor just to meet your periodic payments.
So I’m here to remind you of
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that way.
With files from Robert Mackenzie.


Wednesday, Mar. 9, 2016