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Volume 48 - Issue 9

November 5, 2014
theeyeopener.com
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Since 1967

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: ROB FOREMAN

IS THIS THE RIFT LIFE?

is this just fantasy?

p6

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014

2

Eyeopener
Elections
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eyeopener elections are coming

NEWS

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014

3

What will Ryerson place in this space?
Student Learning Centre ambassadors have been working alongside Ryerson communities to gather ideas for the new building

PHOTO: JESS TSANG

The Student Learning Centre aims to alleviate lack of study space on campus.

By Brennan Doherty
It isn’t set to open until the middle of next semester, but the new
Student Learning Centre (SLC) is
already living up to the ‘student’
in its name.
A group of Ryerson students
from a variety of faculties has
thrown itself into the task of designing the interior use of the SLC
alongside Ryerson strategic projects manager Carrie-Ann Bissonnette and the office of the provost.
Others involved include Vice-

President Academic executive director Amy Casey, the Ryerson
Students’ Union (RSU) and several
committees of stakeholders interested in the project.
One of these student groups —
known as the SLC ambassadors’
liaison team — works in tandem with a preparation committee and Ryerson administrative
staff to make students aware of
what the SLC can offer. The office of the provost and the strategic projects team in charge of
the SLC collected data on student

ideas for the space through more
than 2,000 student surveys over
six years. This information was
then passed on to the ambassadors for analysis. The group met
for the first time this past October
and intends to have several more
meetings.
“A big part of it ... is being able
to provide feedback to the SLC
about what students are saying
about it,” said Alexander Waddling, a fifth-year psychology student and SLC ambassador.
Ambassadors are present from
a wide variety of faculties — from
community studies to business to
science.
“They’re excited at the possibilities of what students can do. They
themselves are people who have
been able to do interesting and exciting things as students,” said Tyler Webb, an SLC ambassador and
the president of the Ryerson Communication and Design Society.
Their input includes recommendations for how the booking
system works, making students
on-campus aware of the SLC’s
possibilities and working with Ryerson’s SLC blog to promote the
space. Many of these students are
heavily involved in leadership and
event promotion in a multitude of
departments across campus.
“You’re going to see a lot of the
same names come up who are operating the space or helping or assisting with the space,” said Waddling. He was brought on board

Levy gets drafted to Tory team
Ryerson’s president is set to be a player on Tory’s transitional council
By Sierra Bein and
Jackie Hong
Ryerson President Sheldon Levy
has been appointed to mayor-elect
John Tory’s transition advisory
council.
Tory, who was elected to replace
outgoing Mayor Rob Ford on Oct.
27, announced his transition team
and advisory council the day after
he won the municipal election.
Levy will be part of a 20-person
council that will help Tory prepare
for starting his role as Toronto’s
next mayor on Dec. 2.
“I feel honoured to be asked to
join and I will do my best to contribute,” Levy said. He said the council
has not yet set a date to meet and
that the members had only recently
received phone calls asking them to
be a part of the team.
John Shields, a Ryerson politics
and public administration professor, said the goal of a transition

team is to give advice to the incoming mayor about the priorities he
should be identifying in office. Tory
is known for his work in provincial
politics and has unsuccessfully ran
for mayor in the past. He has never
held a spot on city council.
Shields said he wasn’t surprised
that Levy made the team.
“I think he’s been somebody
who’s got a visionary kind of outlook and someone [who] I think
has creative ideas, or is at least
able to place Ryerson at a position
that the institution can be helpful,”
Shields said. “I think it’s good for
John Tory, good for Ryerson and
for the city.”
Shield also said that this shows
that Ryerson is on the map.
“It’s a really good recognition in
terms of the growing importance
of Ryerson and its place in terms
of providing creative solutions,”
he said.
Bryan Evans, another politics

and public administration professor at Ryerson, agrees that this
could potentially put Ryerson in
the spotlight of the city.
“It likely is an indicator that
Tory sees the development of Ryerson going into the future as being organically linked to whatever
ideas and future plans he may have
for the transformation of downtown Toronto,” he said.
Others who are on the council
and who will be working alongside Levy include Saad Rafi, CEO
of the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan
Am Games and David Soknacki,
former Toronto city councillor and
city hall budget chief. Tory is still
pushing to get Olivia Chow, one of
his opponents in the mayoral elections, on his team.
As for Levy, he said that he has
no interest in getting more involved
in politics when he leaves Ryerson
at the end of this academic year.
“Never, zero, negative,” he said.

by Webb for his connections with
students in the faculty of arts, as
well as past work with the Careers
Centre. Many others got involved
after hearing about the initiative
through Casey and Bissonnette.
While Casey and Bissonnette
have acted as facilitators to bring
brainstorming sessions together,
it’s ultimately the ambassadors’
group — alongside the preparation group in charge of policy, the
Bodhi collective, and on-campus
organizations such as the DMZ
and the library — that works to
plan out possible uses for the SLC.
These recommendations go to the
transitional committee in charge
of developing the space.
“As a whole, it’s kind of like
a big collaborative group working as the ambassadors start to
create their opportunities, and
stakeholders will start to come
together to support the building,”
explained Casey.
The ambassadors project intends to continue working as
a bridge between Ryerson and

the student community after the
building opens in February. At
that point, policy around organizing the SLC will be less important
than feedback from students.
“A lot of it is going to be kind
of opened up and see what happens, and then accommodate as it
changes,” said Waddling.
Ryerson President Sheldon Levy
said that taking in student voices
was part of the SLC plan from the
beginning.
“The university wants this to
be a building that is student-focused,” he said. “It is [a] response
to the students who need it to be
student-focused.”
This process is still ongoing, Bissonnette said.
“Any student that is interested
can call me, email me, whatever
the case may be. I literally have an
Excel spreadsheet of who wants to
get involved [and] how. And we try
to make that happen,” she said.
Construction of the SLC is still
on schedule and it is set to open by
the end of February 2015.

editorial

4

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014

Editor-in-Chief
Mohamed “No ‘Stache” Omar
News
Jackie “Formed Meat” Hong
Sierra “SWAT” Bein
Jake “Hadouken” Scott
Features
Sean “Double W” Wetselaar
Ryerson’s Student Learning Centre will provide more student space on campus, but it won’t be enough.

PHOTO: JESS TSANG

Students need more than the SLC
By
Mohamed
Omar
If I could somehow pick out
the most reported news topic to
ever grace the fine pages of The
Eyeopener, it would no doubt be
drugs alcohol the lack of student
space on campus.
Take a social media stroll and
look up “Ryerson” on Twitter. One
of the most common complaints
is that there is literally not enough

space to just sit down and study.
Students frequently describe finding
an area to use as a battle or mission
— and finding a space with power
outlets is a whole other issue.
Ryerson isn’t stupid, and it
knows that the painful lack of
space is affecting the lifestyle of
its students. The Student Learning Centre (SLC) at the corner of
Yonge and Gould streets hopes to
directly tackle that problem.
The SLC, slated to be completed
by Winter 2015 and be fully functional by Fall 2015, won’t have

any classrooms. Instead, it aims
to provide students “with an outstanding environment to study,
collaborate and discover,” according to Ryerson’s website.
The building will no doubt offer
more student space, but not everyone is going to get a piece of that
sweet spatial pie.
As the school adds new programs and its enrolment figures
continue to rise, as well as the
Ryerson Theatre School having
to move out at the end of the academic year, the issue of space will
continue to plague the student experience at Ryerson.
The SLC, regardless of its architectural glory, will only alleviate
the issue of student space, rather
than deal it a crushing blow, and
the school’s physical growth is not
keeping up with its expansionist
attitude — no matter how much
city-building it may be provide.
Now, I am in no way fit —
physically and intellectually —
to develop a plan to create more
student space on campus, but if
the school’s construction of the
SLC, the Church Street Development and at least two projects
on Jarvis Street intends to create
more residential, academic and
entrepreneurial zones on campus,
then Ryerson should be figuring
out how to add common student
space with the buildings it already has.

Biz & Tech
Laura “Gumball” Woodward
Arts and Life
Leah “BRING DOG PLZ” Hansen
Sports
Josh “jEggsbenny.com” Beneteau
Communities
Natalia “Fitzgerald” Balcerzak
Photo
Farnia “Italian Mom” Fekri
Jess “Ballin’” Tsang
Rob “Shoots Hawks” Foreman
Fun
Keith “Chewy” Capstick
Media
Behdad “Bert” Mahichi
Online
Nicole “The Internet” Schmidt
John “Long-John” Shmuel
Web Developer
Kerry “Balls To The” Wall
Copyeditor
Becca “Copyeditin’ Mom” Goss
General Manager
Liane “Phone Buyer” McLarty
Advertising Manager
Chris “Tooth Scary” Roberts
Design Director
J.D. “COOKING STAR” Mowat
Contributors
Lulu “Ohhhh” Tanenbaum
Dylan “Bouncy City” FreemanGrist
Brandon “Kick-Ball” Buechler

Luke “Baller” Galati
Ben “Rookie” Waldman
Michael “Two-Timer” GraceDacosta
Jacob “Suspicious” Dube
Julia “Fluffy” Knope
Deven “Needles” Knill
Nick “Stab, Baby, Stab” Dunne
Aidan “Hawkeye” Hamelin
Brennan “Space Case” Doherty
Alfea “Photo Draft” Donato
Krista “Abercrombie” Hessey
Victoria “Oeuvre” Shariati
Alex “Acting Is Tough” Heck
Jordan “Pooh” Cornish
Monika “Mannish” Sidhu
Justin “Naked” Chandler
Leaura “WE MISS YOU” Katelyn
Erika “Dr.” Dreher
Jake “Jeden” Kivanc
Michelle “Piecz” McNally
Miriam “Sto” Carletti
Jack “Dwa” Hopkins
Super Awesome Interns
Julia “Vote Counter” Tomasone
Anika “Heart Drawer” Syeda
Hayley “Street Smarts” Adam
Playing the part of the Annoying
Talking Coffee Mug this week is
Subway. I said “a little lettuce,” and
not “HELLO, I WOULD LIKE
NOTHING ON MY SANDWICH
BUT LETTUCE AND LETTUCE
ONLY. ALSO, CAN YOU PLEASE
CHANGE MY MOLECULAR
COMPOSITION TO LETTUCE?
LETTUCE US REVEL IN GREEN
DELIGHT. LETTUCE, BABY. ”
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.

Winter Eyeopener Elections Voter List
Every year, The Eyeopener holds
two elections to choose its editors.
The winter elections, held in the
fall, are for positions that become
vacant when the current editor either leaves the paper or decides to
run for another position. For this
winter, the vacant positions are:
— 2 photo editors
— Communities editor
— 1 news editor
— Arts & life editor
— Media editor
— Online editor
— Fun editor
— Features editor

Devin Jones
Any Ryerson student can run for
Michael Grace-Dacosta
these positions. However, in order
Emma Cosgrove
to be eligible to vote, a student reAnnie Arnone
quires at least four contributions to
Charles Vanegas
The Eyeopener. These can be artiNick Dunne
cles, photographs, helping out with
Vivian Tabar
copyediting or drawing comics.
Jordan Mady
The following is a list of conJake Kivanc
tributors who, as of Nov. 5, alAidan Hamelin
ready have four contributions and
Aidan Cox
can vote:
Matt Ouellet
Luke Galati
Brandon Buechler
Krista Robinson
Justin Chandler
Amy Frueh
If you’re eligible to vote but
Alex Downham
don’t see your name, please email
Ramisha Farooq
editor@theeyeopener.com
Brennan Doherty

NEWS

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014

5

RSU’s got the board blues

Briefs & groaners

Students’ union unable to push motion to board of governors
By Jake Scott
The Ryerson Students’ Union
(RSU) and the Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR) said they’ve been denied an opportunity to speak at the
upcoming Ryerson Board of Governors (BoG) meeting on Nov. 24.
The 24-member board, which
includes appointed and elected
members, including three student
representatives, is responsible for
the school’s finances, planning and
property.
The RSU, which normally meets
with the board in March, said it
wants to meet earlier this year so
it can have more influence on how
the school puts together its budget.
However, when it requested to
speak at the meeting, it was told
to talk to the student representatives on the board who would
bring forward the RSU’s proposals on its behalf. To quantify student support for their motion,
the RSU collected 3,000 signatures petitioning that the motion
be brought forward.
“The students [on the] board
of governors represent student interest. We have shown them that
students, 10 per cent of [Ryerson]
students over seven working days,
have signed a petition saying ‘I

would like you to put this forward,’” RSU Vice-President Education Jesse Root said.
“The role of the [students on the
BoG] is not to decide whether they
are on board or not at this point,
it is to decide what the will of the
students is and to move forward on
that,” Root said.
Tyler Webb, a student representative on the BoG, said a part of the
reason the RSU’s proposal hasn’t
been approved for presentation at
the meeting is because the student
representatives want to sit down
and clarify various points in the
proposal.
“We were emailed a draft motion Friday evening and then the
deadline for submitting the motion
to the board was Monday … Realistically, we just weren’t comfortable without sitting and meeting
and talking about it,” Webb said.
“Our way of thinking about it
was, ‘Let’s not rush this and let’s
set up a time to chat and talk about
what the history of this is, the longterm goals of this. What are you
trying to achieve? And let’s make
sure we’re on the same page.’”
The RSU’s motion proposes a
committee made up of representatives from the BoG, RSU, CESAR,
Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Ryerson Faculty

PHOTO COURTESY UNITE RYERSON

Jesse Root is vice-president education of
the Ryerson Students’ Union.

Association.
The purpose of the committee
is to develop an alternative budget
without departmental cuts or tuition fee increases for consideration
with the final product.
“As the process currently happens, the BoG really just rubberstamp the budget coming from the
finance committee — which is the
product of some consultation with
students — but really we don’t see
any drastic changes coming out of
the consultation process,” Root
said.
An RSU press release Tuesday
urged students to tweet #freezethefees and #TakeBackRyerson to the
three student representatives on the
board in support of their initiative.

> Ramblin’ Rumble
Security was called to the scene
of a fight on Victoria Street Oct.
28 at the same time as Toronto
police. Two men had been kicking the shit out of each other from
St. Michael’s hospital and ended
up on campus. When security arrived they came upon a textbook
ground-and-pound. The obvious
victor of the fight was arrested, because that’s how street fighting really works. You win the fight and
lose your freedom. This is why
people should only fight in smoky
basements for hard cash.

> Bomb squad called in
Sometimes a modern on-thego lifestyle isn’t conducive to a
person’s rice-eating habits. Sometimes, rice gets serious. Toronto
police called in the bomb squad
to examine a rice cooker left in
the TRSM building Oct. 15. The
nefarious rice cooker was x-rayed
and inspected until it was deemed
to be a regular cooking appliance.
Let this be a lesson to everyone
looking to cook at school. Choose
food that can be made in a microwave, or just bring your own oven.
Those are never used as bombs.

> Where’s my wallet?
A fine Ryerson chap was walking around the engineering building Oct. 28 when three guys came
up to him and asked if he “wanted to hang out.” Since it was 2
a.m. and that’s a really fucking
sketchy way to try and make
friends, our Rye guy declined
their generous offer. The men
didn’t take the hint and one put
his hand on our guy’s shoulders,
at which point our guy shoved
the bro away. But lo and behold,
once he got away, he noticed his
wallet was missing.

> Hide yo stuff, just not in lockers
Security reported not one, not
two, not three but four (yup, four)
thefts in one day on Oct. 14. In
one of the cases, some theiving
bastard broke the lock off a locker
to raid the treasure inside.
Also on Oct. 14, some cyclist
felt the need to do tricks while
riding down Victoria Street. Unfortunately, the cyclist’s ambition
was greater than his or her actual
skill and the sucker ended up riding straight into a car. Luckily, no
one was hurt or at least no one
was willing to admit it.

Seen some crazy stuff on campus? Email news@theeyeopener.com

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6

Y

FEATURES

ou’re covered in blood. Pink walls trap you in a tight dark tunnel, forcing you to
move forward. You tilt your head back and watch huge red blood cells whizzing
above, coming dangerously close to hitting you — except you’re not really there.
Visually, you’re exploring the veins of the human body. In reality, you’re standing
on Ryerson’s campus with a pair of thick black goggles strapped to your face.
This virtual field trip is made possible by Vessels VR, the thesis project of fourth-year radio and television arts (RTA) student Josh Maldonado. It’s an experience impossible without
the Oculus Rift, a headset leading the rise of virtual reality (VR) technology, a field using
advanced computer-generated simulations of 3D environments. While being heralded as
single-handedly transforming the video game industry, the Rift’s potential to immerse users
more intimately than any media has made it a storytelling platform like no other.
For a device capable of simulating reality, the Rift comes from humble beginnings. The
Oculus Rift was invented by Palmer Luckey, a homeschooled teenager tinkering in his parents’ garage. Frustrated with the clunky low quality devices offered by virtual reality companies for thousands of dollars, Luckey sought to engineer a headset cheap enough for
mainstream consumers and better than anything else on the market. He succeeded — his
Oculus VR Kickstarter campaign’s goal of $250,000 was reached nearly 10 times over, and
ended with $2.4 million pledged to the project in 2012.
Since then, Oculus has revived life-like virtual reality from a possibility only in cyberpunk
fiction to an affordable and attainable medium. Although the consumer version has not been
released, Oculus Rift development kits (DK) allow anyone to develop their own video games
and applications. There are currently two models, the DK1 and more recent DK2, which
retails online at $350.
t was in a Kensington Market bar — Handlebar — with Toronto’s VR meetup group
that Maldonado first encountered the Rift.
In real life, he was sitting in a dimly lit room in Handlebar, surrounded by chatty
drunks and Rift developers. As soon as he wore the Rift, all of Toronto faded away.
He was alone, pacing inside a futuristic bachelor apartment, watching ominous helicopters
hover in the cloudy night sky. The game Technolust, by Canadian company Iris VR, had
thrown Maldonado into a Blade Runner-inspired adventure of overthrowing Big Brotheresque corporations and neon-lit nightlife.
“There’s all this noise going on around you in the bar. Then you try this thing on and it
does something to your senses that nothing has done before,” Maldonado said.
The idea for Vessels came to Maldonado two weeks before his thesis project pitch was
due.
“I used to be a big Magic School Bus fan,” Maldonado said. “They’d take all these wicked
and unbelievable field trips ... that you can’t take and virtual reality allows you to go places

I

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014

you can’t go.”
The idea behind virtual field trips was what got Facebook’s attention, which bought the
Oculus VR company for $2 billion in March.
“Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and
teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on
goggles in your home,” wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post announcing the acquisition.
Maldonado was able to put on his own goggles at home by buying an early version of the
Rift a day before his pitch.
“I bought the DK1 off of some stoner somewhere in the boonies of northern Ontario,”
Maldonado said. “I couldn’t afford the DK2 just yet.”
Pitching was a moment Maldonado says he’ll remember for the rest of his life.
Usually, fourth-year RTA students pitch thesis projects to their professors as teams of several people, and most of their projects involve established mediums like television or film.
Maldonado couldn’t have been more different — he stood before them alone and with a
device some had never seen before.
“I thought they were going to trash it, but I get up there and I give my five minute spiel.
This may just be me idealizing but I got the longest, [biggest] applause,” Maldonado said.
“Afterwards, everybody was like, ‘Yo I want to be on your team if my project doesn’t get
picked.’”
Students weren’t the only ones excited. Two days after Vessels’ team came together, Faculty of Communications and Design media lead Jeremy Littler approached them and said,
“I’ve got a DK2 for you.”
“He doesn’t know me and he doesn’t know who we are, but as soon as he hears there’s
a student project that involves virtual reality, he gets Ryerson to purchase the DK2 for us,”
Maldonado said.
hrowing fireballs is harder than it looks. Standing on a stone column, you aim
your fist at your red-robed opponent and hurl blazing bursts of flame at him. He
teleports from column to column, while below your combat, cherry blossom petals and tree leaves flicker in the wind, flying across the grassy landscape. With the
exception of being able to see a white, skeletal, animated outline of your real hands, you’d
think you were actually having a magical battle to the death.
At the Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show (TAVES) on Nov. 1, developers and
curious onlookers gathered for Toronto VR’s Oculus Rift conference and played this demonstration, along with other Rift experiences. One man spoke rapidly into a microphone
and played random notes on a keyboard, his sounds translating to psychedelic colours like
echolocation in his goggles. His cacophony of constant sounds was punctured by the yelps

T

FEATURES

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014

7

Brave new

WORLDS
It’s been heralded as the device that will reshape the world of game
design and multimedia storytelling. Alfea Donato took a look into
the latest virtual reality headset — Oculus Rift — and the young developers that are paving the way for its release

ILLUSTRATION: JESS TSANG

beside him, from Rift users watching a recreation of The Matrix, streams of bright green
code falling right on top of them.
Stephan Tanguay, creator of the fireball demonstration and organizer of the Toronto VR
meetup group Maldonado joined, said his group went from 50 to 300 members within a few
months. They still meet inside Handlebar, despite the growth.
“Every time you go, you see a new version of a pal’s work. Seeing that progression and
getting that feedback is really helpful,” Tanguay said.
While many Rift developers focus on video games, Brian Peiris, web developer and a fellow Toronto VR member, takes a more educational route with RiftSketch, an app that livecodes objects as you write Javascript. Using a modified webcam to see his keyboard in real
life, Peiris can type while wearing the Rift and watch objects change colour or move with
just a few lines of code.
“It’s really engaging to be able to see your creation immediately,” Peiris said. “I think for
someone learning code, it would be very informative.”
Universities in the U.S. are already looking into using the Oculus Rift in classrooms.
YouVisit, a company that provides virtual tours, uses the Oculus Rift to take users on walks
through campuses. It’s a feat of instant teleportation that’s garnered over 240,000 hits for
Yale University’s virtual tour; the success has caused the school to look into using the Rift
for outreach to international and prospective students. Oculus itself is also encouraging student involvement. CEO Brendan Iribe donated $31 million to the University of Maryland in
September to fund a new computer science building with a virtual reality lab.
However, the Rift isn’t the only new VR headset on the block. Sony is currently developing Project Morpheus, but unlike the Rift, will only release a consumer version that will
likely be just for the PlayStation 4 and restricted to Sony-approved development. Samsung
partnered with Oculus to develop the Gear VR, a wireless headset focused on entertainment,
but it’s only compatible with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. Neither have been as
open-source and independent developer-friendly as the Rift, which Maldonado said is its
greatest strength.
“The coolest thing is that Oculus is trying to share [the Rift] at the [lowest] price point
possible, so developers like us can take it and make creative things with it,” Maldonado
said. “They’re not trying to hide it for themselves and keep all the money, they easily could
have done that.”
Tanya Kan is a Rift developer who worked on the game Double Blind, a multiplayer game
of tag between Medusa and some unfortunate humans, taking place in ancient Greek ruins.
She says the VR arms race will only result in survival of the realest.
“I’m happy to see VR having multiple players, as that would only influence not only better VR hardware, but better ... graphic cards and game integration,” Kan said. However,

Kan adds that Oculus feels more like a developer-first company and has fixed bugs based
on feedback.
Over 100,000 Rift development kits have shipped and the newest unreleased prototype,
Crescent Bay, promises to be even more of an improvement because of developers’ criticism
of the DK1 and DK2.
For Peiris, he’s hopeful for a future where everyone works in VR offices and he can code
inside the Rift every day.
“Assuming VR takes off like the enthusiasts expect it to, it could change a lot of things. It’s
not limited to gaming or entertainment,” Peiris said. “That’s not even to mention the concept of VR worlds, doing social things in VR. It’s some sort of Pandora’s box, in that sense.”
However, the immersion isn’t without its weaknesses.
“The moment you start developing for Oculus and 3D, and especially if you want art
assets with some realism involved, it likely would require a lot of infrastructure and investment of time, money and talent to get it out to market,” Kan said.
Thanks to being incubated in Ryerson’s Transmedia Zone, some of those issues aren’t
impacting Vessels as much as they would, but Maldonado has noticed a challenge in finding
PCs with enough power to handle the Rift.
“The computers are not the best type for graphic rendering that’s going to be required of
virtual reality development,” Maldonado said. “Everything’s been really laggy and takes a
long time to render.”
Programming-wise, lagging can be annoying, but within the Oculus this can be literally
sickening. Lagging in the Rift has been known to cause nausea in some cases, especially
in applications involving a lot of movement. Simulation sickness has been an ongoing
problem for users and developers, a disadvantage for a medium meant to immerse as
much as possible.
o far, Vessels is in its early stages. Exploration through the first vein is done, with
plans made for users to also go through the arteries, the heart and throat tissues.
Ideally, Maldonado wants to make more virtual field trips and make money from
his work. Since the Transmedia Zone doesn’t fund Vessels, a Kickstarter fund for
the project will be held in the future.
“I’d like to continue developing these experiences ... imagine taking a field trip to ancient
Egypt or the rainforest,” Maldonado said. “I want to be able to walk away and say I really
did challenge the standards of content development.”
It’s safe to say creating an experience where you swim in bloodstreams is more than challenging standards — it’s pioneering standards of its own, in a field where Maldonado and
other developers are dictating what this new media will become for consumers. They’re
shaping entire worlds only a headset away.

S

ARTS & LIFE

8

Breaking in

PHOTO: JESS TSANG

Though the industry is competitive, many students remain optimistic about the odds.

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014

In the second installation of the Breaking In series, Alex Heck
looks into the trials and tribulations of finding a job after
graduating from the performance acting program
Staff and students of the Ryerson
Theatre School’s (RTS) acting program are well aware of the taboo
around getting an arts degree.
They’ve heard it, time and time
again, how competitive the field
is, how specialized their skills are.
But they don’t really care.
Dylan Brenton came to RTS to
do what he wanted to do.
“It satisfied me,” he said, “and it
puts me on a path of constantly doing that throughout my whole life.”
Brenton and his classmate Hugh
Ritchie are both in their fourth
year of the acting program and
neither of them are afraid of finding jobs once they graduate. Both
were fortunate enough to participate in productions outside of
school during the summer months,
he said, which gave them a muchneeded “taste of the industry.”
Brenton explained that the key to
success was to constantly be working on something, and that RTS
prepares students for that highlycompetitive freelance aspect.
Much of the stigma around
work in the arts is based on the
instability of jobs. Being an actor
often means doing a lot of freelance work, going from one show,
commercial or movie to the next.
The trouble comes when the next
gig doesn’t appear.
“When you’re out in the real
world you have to force yourself
to constantly have something,”
Ritchie said. There is a constant
push to make sure that there is
more work ahead, he added.
While in school, there is a sense

of security that there will always
be another project, Ritchie said,
the trick is making sure you’re
prepared for a time when there
isn’t that security.
“They train us to create our
own jobs,” he said.
The program does put emphasis on being entrepreneurial in the
field, said Peter Fleming, production coordinator at RTS.
Many students have graduated
and then teamed up with production grads and dancers to form
their own theatre companies, he
said.
“The three programs [acting,
dance and production] work side
by each on all the shows we do,”
Fleming said. “Performers get
to know who they can rely on
as technicians and then they hire
each other when they get outside
the school.”
Peter Katz, a Juno-nominated
musician who graduated from Ryerson’s acting program more than
10 years ago, believes that this was
the key to his own success, not as
an actor, but as a musician.
At Ryerson, Katz cut his teeth
writing his own music for the
theatre school. This is where
he found his passion. The core
skills he learned at Ryerson were
transferrable to another career in
the arts because he was using the
skills he learned about harnessing
his creativity, self-motivation and
personal branding.
Alex Gilbert, costume designer for RTS, said that the skills
learned in the arts are some of

the most valuable because they
are highly transferrable to other
careers.
She agrees that there is anxiety
surrounding freelancing and the
lack of permanence in jobs.
“If you get an acting job, chances are the job isn’t going to be 10
years,” Gilbert said. “It’s going to
be how long the show is.”
The issue around finding a job
is not about what you know, it’s
about who you know, she added,
as well as having the right attitude
to succeed in the highly-competitive industry.
Each year, thousands of students graduate from arts programs
across the country and all apply
for the same jobs. When Katz was
in his first year, he recalls one instructor telling the class that in 10
years, only two of them would be
working in this profession.
“There’s more than just two of
us out there still,” he said.
Katz said that his peers who
have succeeded have done what
he has done. They have promoted
themselves and undertaken some
personal branding. Others, of
course, have gone out and found
jobs in other industries but many
others remain.
Although Katz admits there is a
definite level of anxiety surrounding the insecurity of his line of
work, it allows him to do what he
loves, which is acting.
“I wouldn’t see the point of living if I didn’t get to do this,” he
said. “This is who I am, I couldn’t
be happy doing anything else.”

The acting industry by the numbers:

50

$10K

per cent of people workwas the annual
ing in the performance
income (2005)
arts industry do not have a de- earned by 49 per cent of actors
gree in fine arts
and comedians in Toronto

59

per cent of actors and

comedians worked
mainly part-time in the Toronto
performance industry in 2005
Statistics Canada

Beloved bear comes to image centre
By Jordan Cornish

PHOTO: LEAH HANSEN

Remembering the Real Winnie opens at the Ryerson Image Centre Nov. 5.

Most kids grew up with a favourite
stuffed animal. But if you’re Christopher Robin, your teddy bear is
also one of the world’s most beloved children’s characters. However, a lot happened before Winnie
was hanging out with Tigger in the
Hundred Acre Wood. Check out a
unique piece of Canadian history
at the Ryerson Image Centre — Remembering the Real Winnie: The
World’s Most Famous Bear Turns
100 — and learn the story of the
real bear that lent her name to A.A.
Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. For the
full story, visit theeyeopener.com

Sports

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014

9

Shooting for new heights
The women’s basketball team is about to emerge as an OUA powerhouse
By Ben Waldman
The Ryerson women’s basketball
team is poised to have a season to
remember.
With an 8-3 pre-season record and a fourth-place finish at
the Darcel Wright Tournament,
the club has built significant momentum as the regular season
begins.
This year the Rams have added
five rookies to their roster, creating an exceptional balance of
youth and experience.
Cara Tiemens, a five-foot-10
rookie guard, has netted starter’s
minutes in the pre-season and is
confident that the team can beat
any opponent it faces by season’s
end.
“We got top 10 votes [for the
CIS polls], which has never happened in team history,” Tiemens
said.
On the court, Tiemens and the
Rams have shown flashes of what
Ryerson can do and guard Keneca
Pingue-Giles is brimming with ex-

citement about it.
Pingue-Giles has been the star
player since joining the team and
acknowledges that this season
feels different than past years.
“It’s not just because we’re winning games,” said Pingue-Giles, a
fourth-year guard. “It’s the process that we took to get to where
we’re at now.”
The Rams finished with a 9-14
record in last year’s Ontario University Athletics regular season.
They made the playoffs but were
beaten out by the University of Toronto in the first round.
Pingue-Giles believes they can
improve on that record, but she
knows the pre-season means
nothing if it doesn’t carry over to
their season, which starts on Nov.
5 when they visit the Waterloo
Warriors.
Through 11 pre-season games, it
looks as though the team is in good
position to succeed in their division, now a group of four teams:
Ryerson, York, Queen’s and U of T.
“We’re up at the top,” Pingue-

Giles said. “The ultimate goal is to
go deep in the playoffs to win the
championship.”
Carly Clarke, the team’s head
coach, has elevated the program to
new heights since her hiring three
seasons ago. She credits the program’s upward swing to increased
recruitment efforts and the sizable
draw that the Mattamy Athletic
Centre provides.
Most of all, she said, the oncourt product has spoken for itself.
“We have players with the
calibre to beat any team,” said
Clarke, citing the roster’s strength
from the starters to those on the
bench.
The team knows that the expectations going into this season are Greg Wise during Ryerson’s bronze medal game against U of T. PHOTO: Rob Foreman
higher than ever but Clarke says
her team is ready to finally go over The Ryerson soccer season came to a close
the top.
“We’ve set goals for this team with the OUA final four in Hamilton. Visit
that have never been reached before,” Clarke said. “We have a re- theeyeopener.com for all of our end-of-year
alistic chance to reach them.”
The Rams’ home opener is Nov. coverage for the men and women’s teams.
12 against the Western Mustangs.

A champion state of mind
It’s now or never for the men’s basketball team as it prepares to host nationals
By Luke Galati
With key veterans in their final year
of eligibility, there is no better time
than now for the Ryerson men’s
basketball team to go all the way.
After finishing last season with
a 16-6 record, the team lost to the
University of Ottawa Gee-Gees in
the Ontario University Athletics
(OUA) quarterfinals for the second year in a row.
“This is a perfect opportunity
for us to win it all this year,” Ryerson forward Kadeem Green said.
“The window is closing, it’s either
now or it might not be for another
while.”

Green — who has a seven-footthree wingspan — was Ryerson’s
primary rim-protector and paint
presence last season, averaging
one block per game. As a team, the
Rams ranked second in the OUA
in blocks and third in defensive rebounds per game.
Green is part of a leadership group that is full of graduating veterans like Jahmal
Jones, Bjorn Michaelsen and
Jordon Gauthier.
Ryerson also has a few fresh
faces joining the team, including
Toronto-native Ammanuel Diressa, who played with the NCAA’s
Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles for

Head coach Roy Rana discussing a drill with the team.

PHOTO: Farnia Fekri

two seasons.
Another rookie to look out for
is the six-foot-seven forward Filip
Vujadinovic. He said that head
coach Roy Rana has high expectations for him on both sides of the
ball.
“They just want me to contribute as much as I can and not make
mistakes in the defensive end,”
Vujadinovic said. “Offensively
you can make mistakes but [Rana]
preaches defence because that’s
what wins championships.”
With the goal being to win at
nationals, which Ryerson is hosting this spring, guard Jean-Victor
Mukama said that the best word
to characterize this year’s squad is
“focused.”
“We know that all of us have
one goal,” the reigning OUA East
rookie of the year said. “We have
one thing to accomplish. So we’re
focused from March 12 [on] winning the championship.”
When the national rankings
came out last week, Carleton
ranked first, Ottawa second and
Ryerson third.
Mukama thinks lessons learned
from the losses to Ottawa will
push the Rams over the top.
“We had to learn how to play
with each other on defence and
offence,” he said. “I think that
this year, we’re going to be really
good.”

BIZ & TECH

10

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014

Fur to facetime
Rye grad eases pet long-distance relationships

By Julia Knope
Whether it’s a daily commute or
the day you leave home for university, saying goodbye is hard — to
your pet, that is.
A new product plans to alleviate
any kind of pet separation anxiety.
Pawly is a pet-babysitting robot
that the owner controls through
an app.
The device is equipped with a
high-definition camera and microphone, allowing the owner to interact with their pet through a live
video link available on the owner’s

mobile device. The owner also has
the availability to reward their
pet through the remote-controlled
treat dispenser. Other features include a ball thrower, laser pointer
for cats and the option for owners
to share the recordings on social
media.
A prototype was designed and
created by a team of six entrepreThis robot will take care of Fluffy while you’re away.
neurs at Ryerson’s Digital Media
Zone.
by March 2015.
dollars,” Min said.
Sean Min, co-creator of Pawly
To meet their goal, the company
Pawly raised $40,566 over their
and a Ryerson business manage- turned to the crowdfunding site 45-day campaign that ended Oct.
ment grad, said the product is Indiegogo.
30. Their goal was $80,000 to
planned to be fully manufactured
“Our budget is basically zero move forward with manufactur-

BERS

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A
F
RSU
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A
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E
GEN
G
N
I
T
MEAEnnual General Meeting

CALL

Semi-

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ts’ Unio
n
e
d
u
t
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Ryerso
of the

PHOTO COURTESY SEAN MIN

ing costs.
Min remains optimistic about
their funding shortage. “We’re
still in our early stages,” Min
said.

Ryerson’s new matchmaker
A new collaborative application for students will soon be available
By Jacob Dubé
A new online tool aims to help
Ryerson students find peers with
specific talents, skills and interests.
HR Box, short for Human Resources Box, is a web application
designed to connect students to
create multi-skilled teams to begin
their own projects.
“Student projects’ main obstacles are either they don’t have the
necessary tools or have the people
they need,” said Ahmed Abdul, a
director of the Ryerson Commerce
Society (RCS).
“So we’re giving them a platform to find these resources. HR
Box will be a tool that will stimu-

PHOTO COURTESY AHMED ABDUL

Students line up to sign up for HR Box.

late innovation on campus and enhance collaboration.”
The student initiative is a product of RCS and the Ryerson Communication Design Society.
The web application is set to
launch at Ryerson in the upcoming months.

The not-for-profit platform
plans to use minimal funding from
student levies.
HR Box is still in its development
stage, but the “project is coming
along to be incredible [and] students
are already starting to find teams
through the service,” Abdul said.

Rye’s plan to get suite-er
TUESDAY, NOV. 11
SCC115 Student Centre
5:00pm Registration • 5:30pm Start

YOUR UNION YOUR VOICE
• Discuss student issues
• Have your say on RSU campaigns and initiatives
• Exercise your democratic right
All RSU members (full time undergrads and full
and part-time grads) are eligible to vote on
by-law changes, motions, & set direction!

FREE DINNER

ASL interpretation provided. If you need other accommodations to ensure
your participation, please contact internal@rsuonline.ca as soon as possible.

For more info on your membership in
the Students’ Union visit www.rsuonline.ca

By Laura Woodward
Being a student has its technological perks — depending on which
university you go to.
Different universities offer free
software downloads to students
throughout their duration of academic enrolment. Downloads may
include email providers, antivirus
security, web browsers and now
application suites.
McGill, Queen’s and University
of Toronto (U of T) students now
have full and free access to Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus — which
includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel,
Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Access and Lync. The suite is available to be run on up to five machines, Mac or PC, and up to five
mobile devices.
These universities use Microsoft
Office Live as their email provider,
which gives them early access to
free downloads to the Microsoft
Suite, according to Tamara Adizes,
Portfolio Communications Officer
at U of T’s information technology
services.

ILLUSTRATION: LULU TANENBAUM

Ryerson students may soon get free access to the Microsoft suite.

Ryerson is aiming to get on
board soon without switching
from its current email provider,
Google, to Microsoft Live.
“Microsoft’s initial estimate is
that Office 365 Pro will be available to Ryerson students at no
cost in December of this year, but
there are no guarantees,” said
Brian Lesser, director of Ryerson’s Computing and Communication Services.
Lesser added that Ryerson has
also been in talks with Adobe to
make their Creative Suite more

financially accessible to students.
Currently, the suite has a 60 per
cent discount for Ryerson students.
“The thing Adobe has generally been looking at for universities and colleges is dropping the
price even more, if we can guarantee them more sales,” Lesser said.
This would entail making Adobe
programs mandatory for mediaheavy courses like photography
and graphic design.
“But Ryerson has yet to come to
an agreement,” Lesser said.

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014

FUN & STEVE

11

Steps to stick & poke
By Nick Dunne

Get something meaningless.
People always look like dicks
when explaining the contrived
meaning behind their tattoo. I
don’t care if your Chinese dragon
is about your fiery spirit and determination. Quit trying to act smart
and clever, you asshole. Instead,
get a cube. Why? I don’t know,
cubes are cool.

Tattoos used to be a sign that you
were a bad motherfucker. Tattoos
meant something. You don’t fuck
with a guy who has a tattoo of
Satan snorting coke off a tortured
soul on his arm.
These days if you want a piece
of skin art that really means something, get a stick and poke. Here
Three: Find a needle
are a few tips if you were thinking of getting the tattoo you never
This could be a safety pin, tack,
wanted, but were too drunk to
thin nail or, heaven forbid, a tatstop yourself.
too needle. Find one by sifting
through your dad’s heroin kit or
One: Don’t do it
by going to a store. Don’t look
It hurts, looks like a connect- at me for where to buy it. I don’t
the-dots puzzle for kids and is know where to get pins or needles,
something you’ll probably (and unless you’re talking about that
when I say probably, I mean defi- weird tingling sensation that you
nitely) regret. However, there are get when you wake up in a res
some exceptions to step one. If room.
you have no decency or shame,
Four: Sterilize
have your birthday today or enjoy
connect-the-dot puzzles, you may
Unless you want Hepatitis C
continue.
from your dad’s heroin-needleTwo: Decide what you want to turned-tattoo-gun, sterilize it. Boil
up some water and pour it over
get tattooed
the needle you’re going to use, or

soak it with rubbing alcohol. You
should also sterilize your skin by
pouring the boiling water on it.
That’ll get rid of the bacteria. It
may also get rid of your outerlayer of skin, but that’s beside the
point. You’ll also want to shave
the area you want tattooed, unless
the hair follicles got burned off.
Remember, kids, safety first. Clean
yourself and your needle.
Five: Stab, baby, stab
Hold your breath. Don’t twitch.
The less you whine and fidget, the
better a job your friend will do.
Suck it up. Make sure your friend
has stenciled the tattoo on your
skin before you let him screw it all
up. There has to be some method
to the madness. As for the choice of
where to get it, I recommend somewhere on the leg, especially if you
can’t commit to your arm. It’s less
noticeable, so your boss won’t see
that skull tattoo on your forearm.
There you go. Those are some
of the basic tips to making that
tattoo you’ll forever regret. To see
the full guide, go to theeyeopener.
com

Minks ball against cellowhales

Bring in your completed sudoku to The Eyeopener office (SCC 207) and
you’ll be entered to win a $25 Future Shop gift card. It’ll be really cool.

NOV. 12
BASKETBALL
HOME OPENER
WOMEN 6:00 PM
& MEN 8:00 PM
vs. Western

ILLUSTRATION: JESS TSANG

This week Rosencrantz and his
fellow ballin’ minks decided to
take on their rival Cellowhales at
some shootyhoops.
The Cellowhales apparently
“called out” the minks while Rosencrantz and his pals were visiting
the Mattamy Athletic Centre this
past week.
When asked how he responded

to the apparent “calling out,”
Rosencrantz said, “I told em’ I’m
gonna go Kobe on them.”
Representatives from the Cellowhales refused to comment
and were last seen consulting the
Oakville Piranha Mooses, a perennial basketball powerhouse, about
how they might go about defeating Rosencrantz and his minks.

When asked where Rosencrantz
plans for the game to take place,
our brave mink friend said, “We’ll
take on those aquatic instruments
anywhere, anytime.”
Eyeopener investigators have
also learned Demar DeRozan is
supporting the mink team and
said, “They ball hard.”
“Like, mink hard.”

∞ Free admission for Ryerson Students
with your OneCard

ATHLETIC CENTRE

12

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014