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Volume 48 - Issue 10

November 12, 2014
theeyeopener.com
@theeyeopener
Since 1967

Two
profs.

One
exam.
aRYERSON POLICIES m A LACK OF POLICIES xSOME RYERSON PROFS
kSHELDON LEVY t WOOOSH INC. n EGERTON RYERSON
PHOTO: FARNIA FEKRI

2

STAND UP AND RUN

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014

IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN.
THE EYEOPENER HAS VACANCIES,
SO STAND UP AND RUN.
NOMINATION FORMS AND YOUR
8.5 X 11 POSTER ARE DUE
BY 5PM ON NOV 20TH, FOLLOWED
BY SPEECHES AT THE
RAM IN THE RYE, AT 8PM.
VOTING IS FROM 10 AM TO 5 PM
ON NOV 21ST IN THE
EYEOPENER OFFICE.

NEWS

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014

3

Practice doesn’t always make perfect
An old practice exam was used as an actual test and now students are forced to choose between a rewrite or grade penalty
By Sierra Bein
For most students, midterm season
is a stressful time in the semester,
but for one finance class, a midterm
became more of a burden than anyone could have ever expected.
Students in professor Edward
Blinder’s FIN300 class got a surprise when the midterm they sat
down to write on Oct. 23 had the
exact same questions as a practice
exam (a copy of the 2013 final
exam) that had been distributed
as a study tool for other sections
earlier that month. Once Blinder
realized what had happened, he
gave his class a choice: either rewrite the midterm or have the final
exam reweighted so it’s worth 70
per cent of their final marks.
The Eyeopener made multiple
attempts at contacting Blinder. He
had not responded by the time of
publication.
“When a course like FIN300
is run there is a standard practice
exam that is distributed to all sections,” said FIN300 professor Lelah Samarbakhsh. “It was the decision of the course co-ordinator as
to what practice exam to share.”
Her section is unaffected by the
mix-up.
Course co-ordinator Yi Feng

could not be reached for comment.
Some students aren’t happy
with the choice they have to make
about their grades and think the
whole situation could have, and
should have, been avoided.
“We’re kind of mad there’s no
communication between the teachers,” FIN300 student Carleton
Cartmill said. “The teachers should
be asking the faculty about passing
out these past exams. There needs
to be a policy in place where they
have to use new exams.”
Cartmill said it’s common for
business students in different classes to study together, and although
he didn’t study off the practice
exam, some of his classmates did.
“I heard of a couple people who
managed to get close to 100 per
cent because they actually remembered all the questions because
they studied pretty hard,” Cartmill said. “I didn’t take too much
into account ... one morning, I just
read an email from my professor
saying the exam was compromised
and they can’t use the marks.”
Finance school chair Allen Goss
said the school tried to find the
most fair option for students.
“I am working with the course
co-ordinator and the instructor to
accommodate students by offering

various exam dates to rewrite the
midterm,” Goss said in an email.
The rewrite is currently scheduled
for Nov. 15.
“I understand that some students
in the affected section may be frustrated. On behalf of the department
I apologize for any inconvenience
that has been caused. However,
I hope all students will agree that
the marks on the compromised test
cannot be allowed to stand.”
Ryerson President Sheldon Levy
said that there are no official rules
on reusing exams or how to deal
with the aftermath of a mistake
like this.
“There is no formal policy on reusing exams at [Ryerson’s] senate,”
Levy said. “Maybe there should be,
but at the moment there isn’t.”
Senate policy 145, the undergraduate course management policy, is the framework for academic
conduct — including exam procedures. This policy is up for review
this year.
John Turtle, Ryerson’s secretary
of senate, monitors and reviews
senate policies. He said that each
department is individually responsible for how it handles tests and
exams, including what happens
if a mistake occurs during the administration of one.

PHOTO: farnia fekri

Tests are stressful enough without having to write them twice.

“Often they’d engage the chair,
the director and again, often experienced faculty members that
have been through something
similar and use our institutional
memory for the best way to do
it,” Turtle said.
Because exams can be radically
different depending on the course,
departments also deal with any issues on their own. Departments
do not have to consult the senate
due to the lack of a formal policy,
so the university doesn’t know
how many times this may have
happened in the past.
“I think it’s an unknown

thing,” said Turtle. “People aren’t
obligated to notify us, so there’s
really no way of tracking it in a
systematic way.”
“The main issue students
are having is that we’re paying
$10,000 a year for a properly
working education system, so even
when the faculty messes up and
we’re penalized for it it’s kind of
ridiculous,” Cartmill said. “There
needs to be some sort of new policies set in place to stop this from
happening again in the future [and
to] make sure the faculty is corresponding and keeping up with
what’s going on.”

Mayor begins building legacy with Rye
Tory was on campus to help launch Ryerson’s new City Building Institute, a centre that will address Toronto’s “urban problems”
By Alex Downham
Mayor-elect John Tory is working
with Ryerson’s newly launched City
Building Institute to address growth
and equity issues in Toronto.
“If I didn’t become mayor, I’d
still support this institute,” Tory
said Nov. 10 at Ryerson’s Sears
Atrium inside the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre.
“This will build a stronger, respected, fairer city.”
The Ryerson City Building Institute, a “non-partisan centre,” is
run by urban planning experts and
plans to address Toronto’s “critical
urban problems.” There are five
themes driving the institute’s plans,
focusing on “integrated land use”
and “inclusive communities.”
Tory said these two goals,
among others, “will define Toronto as a great city or what might
have been.”
He said despite the city’s support
of “equality in opportunity,” students struggle to survive due to a
lack of employment opportunities.
“Students go to great schools
like Ryerson expecting they’ll be

PHOTO: ROB FOREMAN

Mayor-elect John Tory spoke at the Sears Atrium.

fine, but people are being left behind,” Tory said. “Not deliberately, but some citizens can’t find
their way through the system.”
According to Civic Action,
83,000 citizens aged 15 to 24 are
not in education, employment or
training.
Tory blames the lack of progress on these issues to low “po-

litical will.”
City Building Institute’s executive board wants to solve urban
issues by consulting Ryerson President Sheldon Levy.
“This initiative will build on
Sheldon’s legacy,” said Usha
George, dean of Ryerson’s Community Services faculty and executive board member of the City

Building Institute.
Since 2005, Levy has helped
Ryerson’s growth run rampant.
He gained a reputation as a “city
builder” by expanding Ryerson’s
campus throughout the downtown
core, including the 2012 renovation of Maple Leaf Gardens, the
2006 construction of the Ted Rogers School of Management and
the soon-to-be completed Student
Learning Centre.
“Ryerson’s developed this reputation as a city builder because
it’s in our DNA,” Levy said. “We
don’t just talk about city building
– we walk it.”
Levy was appointed to Tory’s
20-person advisory council Oct.
28 because of his city-building
credentials.
Ryerson politics and public
administration professor Bryan
Evans said Levy’s position could
make Ryerson the spark for Toronto’s economic growth.
“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,” Evans said.
Tory said Toronto needs to
“come together” before moving
forward, saying the city “deserves
a leader that brings it together.”
Upon election victory, Tory
vowed to end the “division that
has paralyzed city hall the last few
years” through discussion with
politicians like fellow mayoral
candidates Olivia Chow and David Soknacki.
Anne Golden, co-chair of the
Ryerson City Building Institute,
said Tory’s demand for dialogue
makes him a prime candidate for
spurring growth in Toronto.
“The one central theme of Tory’s campaign insisted Toronto
must not swing left or right, but
forward,” Golden said.
Tory said he’s excited to improve
Toronto’s urban issues while promoting the city’s positive image.
“We would admit that there’s
work to do here,” Tory said.
“But I can’t wait to go anywhere and sell the benefits of investing and bringing jobs to this
great city.”

editorial

4

Fun
Keith “Loves Cards” Capstick
Media
Behdad “Cool Druglord” Mahichi
Editor-in-Chief
Mohamed “Naked Face” Omar

Arts and Life
Leah “Lights. Camera.” Hansen!

News
Jackie “GARBAGE DAY” Hong
Sierra “Hates Potatoes” Bein
Jake “With The Hair” Scott

Sports
Josh “Mt. Joshmore” Beneteau

Features
Sean “Always French” Wetselaar
Biz & Tech
Laura “Bob” Woodward

Communities
Natalia “With Fire” Balcerzak
Photo
Farnia “Some iMacs” Fekri
Jess “Want To Watch” Tsang
Rob “The World Burn” Foreman

Are you an excellent
communicator? Do you have a
standout personality?
Are you passionate about
public speaking? If yes,
RYERSON’S NEXT TOP SPEAKER
2015 wants you!

Tickets: FREE & LIMITED. It’s
FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE!! At
our office (SCC B23)

Conquer your fear of public
speaking. Become a confident,
strong and compelling
communicator. Compete at a
professional level. Apply at
www.ryersontoastmasters.ca/
rnts by November 24th.

Come out to the 2nd Annual DIWALI Formal presented to you by
Ryerson Indian Students’ Association and Ryerson Students’ Union!

2nd Annual Diwali Formal!!

Online
Nicole “Carpal?” Schmidt
John “PLZ EXIST” Shmuel
Web Developer
Kerry “Another Brick In The” Wall
Copyeditor
Becca “CP Jedi” Goss
General Manager
Liane “Cover Model” McLarty
Advertising Manager
Chris “Goddamn Champ” Roberts
Design Director
J.D. “HARK!” Mowat
Contributors
Victoria “Zoanthropy” Shariati

DATE: Friday November 14th
WHERE: SCC 115
TIME: 7pm-11pm

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014
Nick “Over” Dunne
Annie “Green Gables” Arnone
Adrienne “Archives Room” Metivier
Ruth “Rememberance” Remudaro
Brennan “Do-Si-” Doherty
Alex “Tory Story” Downham
Aidan “Well-Dressed” Hamelin
Stefanie “Pop-Up” Phillips
Emma “FORM PLZ” Cosgrove
Julia “Nerdy” Knope
Jacob “Champ” Dube
Ammi “Bieber” Parmar
Brooklyn “Monday” Pinheiro
Jack “Sporty” Hopkins
Sarah “Spike” Cunningham-Scharf
Adena “Blades Of Glory” Ali
Alex “Tiny Dancer” Heck
Catherine “Likes Apples” Machado
Lauren “Munch” Der
Karoun “The Power Of” Chahinian
Dylan “Slams” Freeman-Grist
Jake “Simcha” Kivanc
Laura “Tsuritsa” Macinnes-Rae
Caterina “Violca” Amaral
Super Awesome Interns
Julia “JUST” Tomasone
Anika “THE” Syeda

Hayley “BEST” Adam
Playing the part of the Annoying
Talking Coffee Mug this week is that
shit-ass song “Rude” by that Magic
band. I mean, if you’re asking a father for his daughter’s hand in marriage, and you describe his rejection
as “rude,” then YOU’RE kind of
rude, right? It’s her dad, man. Come
on. Don’t be such a poo-poo head.

The Eyeopener is Ryerson’s largest and only independent student
newspaper. It is owned and operated by Rye Eye Publishing Inc., a
non-profit 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.

Email: risa.rsu@gmail.com

Look at this glorious democracy, this glorious confined-to-a-single-room democracy.

File photo

We’re squishing democracy in a room
Any students can vote on union issues — as long as they’re in a specific space
By
Mohamed
Omar
It is the year 2014. Humans can
order food delivered to their door
— suck on that, ancestors — from
the palm of their hand. Medical advancements are stunning.
George W. Bush can paint.
Damn it, by Matt Damon’s chin,
we are at the forefront of human
progress and almost everything
is more amazing than it’s ever
been. But if you thought this day
and age’s marvelous achievements
trickled down to Ryerson’s student government, you’d be wrong.
The Ryerson Students’ Union
(RSU) held its fall general meeting
Tuesday, the first of two massive
union congregations (the other is
in the winter).
At these meetings, motions
submitted by any member of the
RSU — full-time undergraduate
students, as well as part-time and
full-time graduate students — can
be put to a vote.
These motions can directly affect

RSU policy and, as a result, influence
the campus life of close to 30,000
students. Pretty flippin’ rad, huh?
It is rad, but as the great Johnny
Bravo taught me, you can be both
rad and stupid.
The meeting’s voting system is
as functional as my intestines —
and I put Tabasco sauce on everything.
The meetings are held in Tecumseh Auditorium, room 115 in the
Student Campus Centre (SCC).
This dull-looking room can fit —
at most — 170 people, according
to the SCC’s conference services. It
makes some sense for the union to
use that room — it’s in the building they call home. But since the
RSU’s policy states that union
members must attend the meeting
to vote on motions, this gives birth
to a bastard of a problem.
This means that — brace yourself — out of 30,000 students,
only 170 can vote on issues that
affect the entire campus.
Yeah, yeah, I know, when it
comes to student government Ryerson students can be more politically
apathetic than a baked potato. But

even if only 170 students actually
show up to these meetings, the onus
is on the union to provide as accessible of a voting system as possible,
regardless of expected turnout.
Tuesday’s meeting had some incredibly important motions. Two
of them specifically called for making membership of the union voluntary. Such a serious motion deserves
a system that can include more than
170 votes, whether that means the
RSU rents out the Kerr Hall Gym
or begins using online voting.
The RSU doesn’t use this method
on other votes. Union elections,
held in the winter semester, are
more traditional — voting booths
are set up around campus — and
board meetings have representatives for each faculty.
It’s preposterous for a meeting
that can hold votes on proposals as
serious as dissolving the union itself
to exist in a forum limited by physical space. It’s a slap in the face to
any open, inclusive voting method.
The meeting’s voting system is a
colossal elephant in the room we
need to talk about — assuming
there’s space for it.

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014

NEWS

Get into the holiday pop-up spirit
Pop-up events company AdHoc is bringing a holiday market to Ryerson
By Stefanie Phillips
The vacant lot on the corner of
Yonge and Gould streets is about
to be filled and AdHoc, a company that specializes in pop-up
events, is giving Ryerson students
an opportunity to help fill it.
The company has coordinated a
temporary holiday market (#localTOmrkt) that will host small and
local businesses, including ones
owned by Ryerson students, and
give them an opportunity to showcase their products. The market
will go from Nov. 28 to Dec. 24
under a heated tent where about
30,000 people walk by everyday, according to the Downtown
Yonge Business Improvement
Area. AdHoc has offered Ryerson
students a 20 per cent discount on
tables to make it more affordable.
Project partner Ghazaleh Etezal
said the market will give students
a chance to show products that
they are working on to thousands
of passersby.
“The issue is you don’t really
get out into the world until you’re
out of school,” Etezal said. “[The
market] gives you a way to get out
there and have people being aware
of what you’re doing, what you’re
making in school or what you intend to do outside of school.”
Ryerson students will be able to
rent a spot at a discounted rate at
$640 per week and $1600 for the
month. Regular prices are $800
for a week and $2000 for the full

5

Briefs & groaners
Smoke on the water

Blacked out and teleporting

Security and the Toronto Fire
Department were called in to investigate a Pitman Hall fire alarm.
Apparently nobody told them it
was rave night on rez, because
they discovered someone’s smoke
machine had set off the alarm. The
lesson here is don’t be an idiot,
rave responsibly.

We can’t always control where
we end up after a good ol’ fashioned booze binge. Two men were
passed out drunk in the MAC and
security was called. When they arrived, they found nobody. Either
the men woke up and left, or the liquor fairy spirited them away to a
dingy couch in Campus Commons.

Flaming trash

Weiner thief!

The fifth-annual Ryerson hobo
convention kicked off last Sunday.
Not actually, but security had to
go to Victoria Lane to deal with
an active garbage can fire. No one
was hurt and nothing was damaged. The only question left to ask
is, “Who starts trash can fires and
doesn’t bring any hotdogs?”

Three wretched, souless creatures
robbed the hot dog vendor at Victoria and Gould streets. All that
nice man wanted to do was sell
street meat, but these thugs wanted more. Security helped Toronto
police apprehend and arrest them.
Hope they like the all-you-can-eat
footlongs prison is so famous for.

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

PHOTO: FARNIA FEKRI

The empty lot on Gould and Yonge streets will be home to a holiday pop-up market.

month. Weekend and daily rates
are available as well and can be
found on the AdHoc website. All
prices include a table, two chairs,
electricity, security and marketing.
The tent will be open from 12
p.m. to 10 p.m. on the days of
the event with products including
gourmet food, cards, aesthetics,
jewelry and more. There will also
be food trucks outside of the tent.
They are expecting 100 vendors
to participate in the market with

Ryerson Remembers

prices ranging from $20 to $250,
depending on the merchant.
AdHoc is also looking for ideas
on what to project on the wall behind the tent, keeping in mind the
theme of a local Toronto market,
as well as ideas for performers or
entertainers. All ideas can be sent
to info@adhocpopup.com
To find out more about the market search #localTOmrkt on twitter or go to Adhocpopup.com/
holidaymarket

It’s the end of the road
By The News Team
Relax, the road isn’t getting any
uglier. The city began the process
of grinding away the old paintstained concrete Nov. 7 to prepare
for the repaving of Gould Street.
Since the road is assumed by
the city, Ryerson won’t be paying
any money for the de-beautification project. Instead, the bill rests
solely on the shoulders of Toronto
taxpayers.
According to Ryerson President Sheldon Levy, the university
has absolutely no plans to repaint
Gould Street again, so you won’t
be funding another $197,000 art
project any time soon.
The second phase, the repaving
part, will start Nov. 14. Since the
completion schedule isn’t set in
stone — it’s weather-dependant
work — it’s impossible to know if
construction crews will be present
on campus during exams.
Even if they left it exposed, it
This was the last remaining piece of a painted Gould Street.
would still look better than before.

PHOTO: Ruth Remudaro

A man pins his poppy to the ceremonial wreath at the ceremony’s close.

By Natalia Balcerzak

PHOTO: farnia fekri

Ryerson executives, students and
community members gathered in
the Kerr Hall Quad on Nov. 11
to honour Canada’s troops for
Remembrance Day. It stands as
a reminder that in order to lead
Canada forward, we must not forget to take our past with us.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of “the war to
end all wars.”
Throughout those four years of
war, soldiers gave their service to
grant us our freedom — but their
duty continued into the Second
World War, the Vietnam War, the
war in Afghanistan and into many
other military missions.
Ryerson President Sheldon
Levy stood at the podium, next to
where the Canadian flag hung at

half-mast.
He delivered his welcoming remarks as part of the Ryerson community gathered to honour the
fallen.
Kathryn Rowan sung the Canadian national anthem in front of
the crowd to open the ceremony.
Following her performance, I was
honoured to read In Flanders
Fields.
The laying of the wreaths was
led by Mohamed Lachemi, the Provost, accompanied by Sana Raja, a
fourth-year business student.
The Last Post was played on the
trumpet by Rebecca Hennessy, followed by a moment of silence.
Hennessy then played Reveille, as
military planes flew across the city.
Levy closed the ceremony with
an invitation for guests to pin their
poppies onto the wreaths.

FEATURES

6

in 2013 rcds got
an 87 per cent
mandate, with 40
per cent turnout

A

the art of getting
things done

It’s been a year since the Ryerson Communication and Design Society was
founded, and with other faculties looking to create similar organizations, Ryerson’s burgeoning ranks of student societies are quickly becoming a driving
force in student life and campus politics
By Brennan Doherty and Laura Woodward

hockey puck drops, manoeuvres between
each peg of a circular board like Plinko on
The Price is Right. A sledgehammer hangs
from a string that, when sliced by scissors,
hits a soccer ball. The ball bumps a plank of wood, forcing a table to lean on an angle. On the table is a Pizza
Pizza box cut into a track for a Hot Wheels racecar with
an Exacto knife duct-taped to the top. The string continues on — the product of a chain-reaction spanning nine
universities and 750 kilometres.
This is a Rube Goldberg machine on a massive scale.
It ends at the CN Tower, in the hands of the Ryerson
Engineering Students Society (RESS), who finished the
sequence’s last action: a phone call to the CN Tower
representative to light up the 553-metre-tall tower. It’s
March of this year and a brilliant streak of purple lights
up the Toronto skyline.
RESS is the oldest student society on campus, dating back nearly 25 years. Today, it’s one of three large
student societies on campus representing its members
to Ryerson’s facilities, industry professionals and even
other student groups. The other two are the Ryerson
Commerce Society (RCS) — formed in 2005 to represent students at the Ted Rogers School of Management
— and the Ryerson Communication and Design Society
(RCDS), formed just last year.
These societies are more than faculty frosh committees. They’re an integral part of student politics — able
to grab (and retain) student interest in developments
on campus, opportunities with employers and projects
among other students in ways the RSU and campus facilities can’t. Huge developments at Ryerson — floor plans
for the Student Learning Centre, orientation reforms
and faculty-wide student exhibitions — are currently
being orchestrated by these groups, alongside Ryerson
staff and industry professionals. But despite their origins
as faculty organizations, the RCDS, RESS and RCS are
collaborating in ways that aren’t far removed from a
Rube Goldberg machine. And that level of collaboration
may have the power to reshape campus.

E

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014

ngineering our success,” became the campaign
slogan of fourth-year industrial engineering
student Urooj Siddiqui for last year’s RESS
presidential election. “If we want to make
things happen, we have to work together,” Siddiqui says.
“So I went to random classes, making class announcements ... and after the class [was] done, I would wait
and get feedback from some students.” Now, students
come to the RESS presidential office — her office — with
recommendations and feedback. RESS aims to make life
easier for the nearly 4,000 undergraduate engineering
students on campus.
Rose Ghamari, a former RESS president, was an inspiration for Siddiqui. Ghamari transformed the staff
lounge in room 273 in the George Vari Engineering
and Computing Centre into the first dedicated room for
studying in the building. In the same building, Ghamari
initiated a new food kiosk and two more study tables
with new plugs for electronic device usage. The initiative for more student space expanded to Kerr Hall. Formerly known as the Rye-O-Mat, located in the Kerr Hall
North basement, it has been renovated to accommodate

student engineering teams working on design projects
and competitions — specifically for the Formula SAE
team where students design, construct and compete their
Indy-style racecars.
“We’re talented, but we don’t necessarily have all the
skills necessary. We can collaborate all the talent on campus from the other student societies — like RCS’s business skills and RCDS’s creative side, and then [RESS] can
bring a side to these societies too,” Siddiqui says.

E

ach member from the RCS holds a board in
one hand and a marker in the other. It is the
first time that every student group under the
RCS umbrella meets one another. Every business student is told to write their fears on the board.
Arrays of fears that come with leadership are written,
mainly deriving from failure. The students then go outside and break the board. This is just one of the icebreaker activities that take place at the RCS Leadership
Initiative.
“[Student societies] always have interacted with each
other, but not as much as this year. This year we decided
we would be more active and we had the presidents and
one representative from every student group,” says Ashisha Persaud, the RCS president.
Each student group’s representative explained their
role within Ryerson. Other non-affiliated students’ jaws
dropped at the variety and diversity on campus. The
Ryerson Formula Racing team explained who they are
— mainly engineering students that design, manufacture, test and race a formula style racecar. After their
short explanation, the different faculty leaders wanted

the ryerson commerce society
represents 29
student groups
to get involved with the RESS-sponsored group. Faculty
of Communication and Design (FCAD) suggested getting involved in the exterior design of the racecar and
the business leaders from RCS began brainstorming the
marketing aspect of the racecar.
“Everyone from different faculties [has] something
different to bring to the table,” Persaud says. “I plan
to have more meetings with all the societies more frequently, it’s just a matter of getting everyone in the
same room.”
Despite its youth, RCDS already has a number of close
allies, Persaud says. “I’m very close with Tyler Webb
(president of RCDS) and I try to help him any way I can. I
sent them our frosh operation manual and I was sitting in
on the meeting when they were doing the frosh pitches.”

R

CDS’s main office is at the top of the Rogers Communications Centre’s third-floor
staircase, wedged into the back of a quartet
of offices. Posters lie against the room’s back
corner in small piles. Several black lockers have been
squeezed into the two paces of space between the door
and the next office. Yellow t-shirts with “RCDS” printed
across the chest in black block lettering lie against an-

RESS is the oldest student society on campus,
founded in 1988

other corner, barely two feet from the door. A table alone
eats up a third of the floor space, eight chairs nestled unevenly around it. New office space is planned for December, but until then, the bedroom-sized space will have to
do for the newest recognized student society at Ryerson.
After jumping through the procedural hoops, RCDS
released a referendum to FCAD students last year asking for their support. Nearly 40 per cent of FCAD students voted — with 87 per cent of voters approving.
This wasn’t surprising. A survey distributed last February not only showed strong support for the idea, but
also willingness by FCAD students to collaborate with
other faculties.
The door swings open and Tyler Webb ducks into the
office. A longboard with lime-green wheels rests in his
hand. He’s the RCDS’s president and a prominent student leader on Ryerson’s campus ever since he became
president of the Image Arts course union two years ago.
Though he isn’t sure about the other student societies,
the RCDS has collaborated with other student groups
on campus since its inception. “We just try and make
sure we’re all on the same page. I really like to make sure
I know what some of the other student groups are doing
so when there’s things that overlap, I can pull people
over,” he says. Webb’s been trying to connect several associations recently, including the Retail Students Association, the Fashion course union and the Commerce and
Arts Association, among others.

R

CDS supports a myriad of student groups
within and outside of FCAD — everything
from the TEDxRyersonU conference (with
the Ryerson Commerce Society) to graphiccommunications-based RyeTAGA (Ryerson Technical
Association of Graphic Arts) to year-end student shows
such as Mass Exodus, Ryerson Urban Film Festival, New
Voices and others. “We’re looking in the long-term to
build out some sort of an FCAD festival that contains all
of these things,” says Webb.

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014

FEATURES

7

PHOTO: FARNIA FEKRI

RCDS is meant to give marketing and financial support to these events without stripping them of their independence, he explains. “I don’t want to take independence from these groups — they are really strong groups,
they’ve existed for many years — it’s more about bringing them together in a way that allows [them to market]
their goals.” In short, RCDS has no desire to absorb the
organizers of these groups into their executive — merely
to be another avenue for these groups to promote themselves and each other.

S

tudent societies and student unions are not one
and the same. The RESS, RCDS and RCS were
all raised to provide career opportunities, professional engagement with industry leaders and
employers and collaborate with other students — in Ryerson’s case, across faculties and disciplines. The RSU is
geared to address issues facing campus culture, regardless of faculty. They advocate on behalf of the entire
student body on issues with footholds both within and
outside of Ryerson’s campus, like youth unemployment,
mental health and the rising costs of post-secondary
education.
RCDS makes its role — and its relationship to the RSU
— very clear. “RSU has three pillars and we have three
pillars, and they don’t overlap. RSU is services, advocacy

“We have a really
great relationship with the
faculty societies”

and social. And we are professional, academic and collaborative,” says Tyler Webb.
The sheer scope of responsibility also differs between
student societies and student unions. Any given society is meant to directly represent the interests of that
one particular faculty. RCDS is responsible for delivering professional opportunities to more than 4,400
students, while the RSU is expected to drive campus
culture for more than 28,000 undergraduates. On top
of that, it also localizes initiatives created and administered by the Canadian Federation of Students — such
as many social justice projects — aimed at students
across Canada.
That being said, both student societies and student
unions work together on a variety of fronts. There is
overlap between various faculty course unions. “A
course union is automatically part of the student union,
by nature of being a course union,” Webb says. “But I’m
not going to tell any course union that doesn’t mean they
can’t be supported by, or an integral part of, us. That
would be ridiculous.”
The RSU understands the roles of both to be closely
linked. “I think that as student representatives we have
very similar roles, but the various faculty societies are
a little bit more specific in representing folks from just
those faculties,” RSU President Rajean Hoilett says.
“We have a really great relationship with the faculty
societies,” Hoilett says.
That’s good, because if third-year medical physics
student Ana Vergas has her way, the Ryerson Science
Society (RSS) will represent nearly 4,000 science students as the fourth major student society on Ryerson’s
campus. Though they’ve yet to hold a faculty referendum, RCDS executives are already giving them a leg up
on the ratification process. “We have regular meetings
with Tyler Webb regarding the referendum, since they
are the most recent society to hold a referendum,” says
Vergas. “Once our meeting with the board goes though,
we go to the referendum. We want to make sure we’re
very, very strong and we have everything required of us
by the board.”

I

t’s not just leadership organizations and student society presidents that are sitting up and taking notice. Alexander Waddling, a fifth-year psychology
major and organizer of women’s charity group Ride
For A Dream, met with the RCS last March to request
financial support.
A student leader with an interest in gender equity and
extensive connections in the faculty of arts, he’s chosen to
present his idea to a business faculty, “because I see that
RCS needs it the most,” he says, sitting forward on a sofa
in the Social Venture Zone. “I mean our business school
is more liberal than most. If you look at the board of RCS
as an example, it’s half women, give or take.” Waddling
points out that business faculties often propogate oldschool traditions around gender, and plenty of faculties
and student groups at Ryerson are already speaking about
it. “I don’t like the idea of preaching to the choir,” he says.
In March, he shows up to a pitch meeting with roughly
15 members of RCS’s board of directors present. He leans
forward in his seat. “We’re like, ‘Hi, we’re from Ride For
A Dream. This is what we’re about: gender equality. Men
and women working together to digest gender issues, end
violence against women, fund women’s shelters.’” He begins to get worried when one of the directors leans forward,
brow furrowed. “And this guy was sitting really close. He’s
jacked. Just jacked. He’s huge.” Waddling pauses.
“And then he goes, ‘Great, this is fantastic.’”
RCS got on board and provided funding and support
for the group. They’re one of many student groups the
society is working with. This culture of collaboration is
new — and one likely to continue. “I think we already
have it,” he says. “I’ve talked to a number of people
who’ve been here for a number of years. It was not that
way, say, seven or eight years ago.”
Collaborative culture also extends beyond campus. “It
requires a lot of different faculties, a lot of different skill
sets that you’re not going to find in any one faculty. You
have to be able to cross-pollinate.”
Six months later, he’s looking at also collaborating
with RCDS on Ride For A Dream.
When asked why, he shrugs. “Why not?”

ARTS & LIFE

8

Breaking in

The dance industry has seen huge growth in the last 30 years, so why is it still
so difficult to find a reliable job? In the final instalment of the Breaking In
series, Leah Hansen looks into the performance dance program
ready exposed to what’s out there.
But at the same time I’m a little
bit scared because I’ve always had
school to fall back on whenever
I’m not doing anything.”
Being successful in the industry
comes down to knowing the right
people, he said. De Luna has had
summers packed with paid dance
work mainly because of his connections, despite not planning for
the work at the beginning of the
summer.
truggling to get that industry
experience while in school
isn’t the only hurdle dance
students have to deal with. According to Ryerson’s statistics, in
the 2012 third-year performance
dance program, there were 27 female students and two male students. At first glance, it seems like
such a skewed number is advantageous to female dancers — in fact,
it’s the opposite.
“Because there are very limited
male dancers in the dance program,
[they] are put in dances with the
fourth-years and the third-years,”
De Luna said. “So ever since first
year, I was always around older
people.”
It has nothing to do with knowledge of theory, charisma or even
physical ability — male dancers in
the program tend to get more time
on stage and opportunities simply
because of necessity. Second-year
dance student Preston Wilder is
performing in Dances this year for
exactly that reason — there simply
aren’t enough male dancers to go
around.
“Third and fourth years are allowed to audition to Dances, but
first and second-year males are also
allowed to audition just based on if
the choreographer wants to work
with more males or have more duets or partnerships,” he said. “This
year, all males who auditioned
made it into Dances, which is a
fantastic opportunity for all of us.”
But female dancers in their first

S

PHOTO: FARNIA FEKRI

Dancers face a multitude of challenges when it comes to making it in the industry.

A

s third and fourth-year
dance students prepare
to perform in Ryerson’s
annual performance, Ryerson
Dances, they’re also preparing for
something far more challenging —
the prospect of finding a job after
they get out of school.
According to the Canada Council for the Arts, the number of people earning a living in the dance
industry as dancers or dance instructors has grown from 400 in
1971 to 6,400 in 2001 — a 1,500
per cent increase. Dance has significantly outpaced the growth of
most other occupations. So why is
it still so difficult for graduates to
make their way in an industry that
appears to be experiencing huge
growth?
The issue lies with society’s attitude towards dance and the arts
in general, according to Vicki St.
Denys, director of the performance dance program at Ryerson.

Much of the stigma from getting
a degree in dance comes from the
low importance many members of
the public place on the profession,
she said.
“In Canada, we have a sports
culture here,” St. Denys said.
Finding a way in an industry that
isn’t always valued by members of
society takes a certain kind of person and an ability to insert yourself into a community, she added.
However, when it comes to
the looming prospect of finishing
school, not all dance graduates are
on equal footing. Fourth-year student Justin De Luna has been involved in professional dance work
since he was in second year and
isn’t scared of the future as much
as his less-experienced classmates
— though he still has some trepidation about the uncertainty of the
industry despite his experience.
“Most of the time I feel like I’m
ready,” he said. “I have been al-

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014

and second year of the program
rarely get that chance. Standing
out from a group of 27 is far different than distinguishing yourself
from one other person — making
those connections with upper year
students early on and establishing
relationships with the professional choreographers who work on
Dances can sometimes make the
difference between knowing the industry and being unprepared.
“If I talk to any female students, they wouldn’t know most of
the people that I talk about from
fourth-year or third-year that I’m
working with,” Wilder said. “I
think that’s a bit of a shame.”
By their fourth year, male dancers tend to have more performance
experience than their female counterparts, De Luna said.
Being around older dancers and
hearing their stories about what the
industry is like is one of the big reasons De Luna said he’s not as worried about graduating as many of
his friends in the program are.
“I heard about their stories and
their experiences about leaving
school and how it is out there,” he
said. “I had the time to know what
is going on out there and the time
to prepare myself for it. That’s why
I feel a little bit calmer and not as
scared to graduate.”
iven the massive growth
in the industry, finding a
job may not even be the
problem for some recent grads.
Earning a living wage from the performance work you do though is
another thing.
According to the Canada Council
for the Arts, dancers earn the lowest incomes of all culture workers
and their earnings rank in the lowest five per cent of incomes across
the board. Graduates from a performance dance program may very
well find jobs — but supporting
themselves is another issue entirely.
“I can’t take on a part-time job
serving or bussing tables or re-

G

tail because I can’t commit to a
schedule like that,” De Luna said.
“Working as a freelance dance artist, contracts come up out of the
blue, work comes out of the blue,
it’s so uncertain.”
Putting a dance career first is
important, he said, and that can’t
happen if a part-time job requires
you to adhere to a set schedule.
espite the worry and the
fear of the future, there
are still students who are
willing to trade uncertainty for a
love of what they do. Jessica Germano, who is currently involved in
Dances, said that finding a job is
her biggest fear but added that she
remains optimistic.
“If you love it enough, you’ll find
something,” she said.
Each year however, a number of
students in the dance program discover that they simply don’t love
it enough. According to Ryerson’s
most recent statistics, the class of
2012 began with 41 students — 26
of them graduated.
“We’ve had a bunch of people
drop out of our year,” Wilder said.
“A lot of people see dance as the
commercialized TV world of So
You Think You Can Dance and
Dancing With the Stars, and coming to a professional dance school
is very different than what you’d
expect.”
The difficulty of the program
and the challenges of the industry
lead some to choose other careers.
Even the dancers who stick with
it are limited in the length of career the degree might bring — 80
per cent of dancers were under 45
in 2001, according to the Canada
Council for the Arts, which cited
the physical demands of the profession as a reason.
“It’s a different job industry than
a lot of other industries,” Wilder
said. “It’s definitely fun, but I’m
not sure it’s what I want to do for
my entire career.”
With files from Alex Heck

D

Rye grad slams Toronto
The Drake Hotel’s popular poetry slam co-founded by journalism alumnus
By Dylan Freeman-Grist
Twice a month in the basement of
the Drake Hotel, participants in
the Toronto Poetry Slam gather to
duke it out on stage.
A poetry slam is a performance
that stitches together various poets,
all vying to outdo their opponents
by presenting the best spoken-word
pieces — that is, poetry intended to
be heard from a stage.
The competition is the most reg-

ular adult slam in the downtown
core and is hosted by the Toronto
Poetry Project, an organization
founded in part by Ryerson journalism grad David Silverberg.
Silverberg, who managed a slam
in North York before making the
move to Toronto’s downtown, was
inspired by the popularity of the
spoken word scene. In deciding
it was time for a regular slam in
Canada’s biggest city, he took his
cue from already-bustling scenes in

Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal.
“I got thinking that a poetry slam
would be useful in a city that is so
diverse and as culturally expansive
as this,” Silverberg said.
Although there are a handful of
slams in Toronto, none are as frequent or as packed as the Toronto
Poetry Slam, which routinely crams
the Drake Hotel’s underground
PHOTO COURTESY DAVID SILVERBERG
lounge with 80 to 190 people.
For the full story, visit David Silverberg founded the slam poetry competition at the Drake Hotel after his
experience in the Ryerson journalism program.
theeyeopener.com

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014

Sports

9

‘You have to be all in now or not in at all’
Ice dancer Piper Gilles is getting a degree at Ryerson while training six days a week for the 2018 Olympics in South Korea
By Adena Ali
Piper Gilles almost competed in
the Sochi Olympics.
She and her partner Paul Poirier were the alternates for Tessa
Virtue and Scott Moir. An injury
to Poirier kept them from training enough before the Canadian
Olympic trials.
Now, Gilles is a creative industries student at Ryerson and is
training for the 2018 Olympics
in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“You can accomplish a lot in
four years,” said Gilles, 22. “So
you have to be all in now or not
in at all.”
Gilles was born in Rockford,
Illinois, and began skating when
she was two years old. She moved
to Canada and officially became a
Canadian citizen last December.
Gilles and Poirier, who studies at the University of Toronto,
follow a very strict routine. A
typical day begins with a three
to four-hour skate, followed by
a two-hour workout, six days a

PHOTO: Rob Foreman

Piper Gilles with her silver medal from 2014 Skate Canada International and the flag she skated around with that night.

week.
Depending on their school
schedule, that workout is usually
followed by a ballroom dance
class. They do all of this while
balancing the pressure of competitions with the demanding workload of a university education.
She designs her own outfits and

wanted to enroll in fashion, but
the program did not fit in well
with her skating schedule. Instead, she is specializing in fashion and communications within
the creative industries program.
“I wouldn’t have been able to
manage [fashion] because the
classes were all held in the morn-

Vernon carries Rams
Rookie women’s volleyball player already showing she is ready for the OUA
By Sarah Cunningham-Scharf

PHOTO: Jess Tsang

“She was really raw, but you
knew early on she was going to
have the talent to be a good player,” he said. “She’s made great improvements but I think she’s just
scratching the surface of what she
can become.”
In Grade 11, Vernon made a
commitment to play in the NCAA.
When she decided she wanted to

Theanna Vernon is one of the
starting middle blockers on the
Ryerson women’s volleyball team
and is also leading the country in
hitting proficiency — and she’s
only a rookie.
“The fact that I got the opportunity to [start] and the fact that
my team’s there behind me making
sure I can do well is great for me.
But I was quite surprised,” said
the 6-foot tall Scarborough native.
After the Rams’ first five matches, Vernon has logged 36 kills,
three errors and an average of
2.40 kills per set. She’s leading the
country with a hitting percentage
of .465, the second best is .406.
“The biggest thing about her
game is when the moments are the
most important, she doesn’t shy
away, she gets more aggressive,”
women’s volleyball coach Dustin
Reid said. “That’s a really unique
ability.”
Vernon, 19, began playing competitive rep volleyball for the Toronto Diamonds when she was in
Grade 9.
“I fell in love with it because I
finally felt like I was dominant in a
certain sport. It was natural,” she
said.
Reid first watched her play when
PHOTO: Nick Dunne
Vernon was 15 or 16 and saw the
potential.
Vernon smashing a ball back at U of T.

be closer to home, Reid took the
opportunity to recruit her.
“She could have played anywhere she wanted to from a volleyball standpoint. I think we’ve
been fortunate and I think it’s a
good fit for both sides,” Reid said.
Last year, Vernon was a red
shirt — or practice player — for
the Rams.
In terms of her decision to join
the Rams, Vernon said, “I’m a
family girl, and the fact that I get
to see my family every day [and]
they get to see me play [is] what
did it for me. Ryerson’s a good
school. I’m in a great program. I
love my coach and my team.”
As the only first-year starter
for the Rams, Vernon said she’s a
team player and wants to continue
contributing to the success of the
Rams.
“If that means I have to sit on
the bench for a game or two so
other people can play it’s fine with
me. But of course ... if I can be on
the court to do better for my team
that’s all I want to do.”
Reid is looking forward to
working with Vernon for the next
four years.
“[When you look at] the type
of player that she can develop
into when she puts in the hard
work, she has potential to be
one of the top players in the
country,” he said.

ings,” she said. “In the creative
industries program I am able
to balance both my studies and
skating.”
The pair recently returned
from the 2014 Skate Canada
International competition in
Kelowna, B.C. where they took
home the silver medal. It was

their first medal in a Grand Prix
competition.
The pair is now preparing for
the 2014 Trophee Eric Bompard
competition coming up at the
end of November in Bordeaux,
France.
“We just run through the program. We have really hard weeks
and weeks where we don’t push
as hard,” she said. “It’s best to
get the kinks worked out now.”
“How you plan your training
makes a difference,” Poirier said.
“It distinguishes the strongest
teams from the not so strong
teams. You’ve got to be smart
about it,” Gilles added.
While she would have liked to
go to Sochi this year, Gilles is using the experience to push her toward 2018. She knows the road
to the Olympics isn’t easy but
that the work will be worth it.
“Sometimes I wish there were
more hours in the day to get
more stuff done,” she said. “I
don’t know what I would do if I
had too much free time.”

Biz & tech

10

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014

Turning laws into a business prospect
By Jacob Dubé
A new Ryerson startup takes advantage of a recent Toronto bylaw
by creating a business plan to improve energy efficiency.
The Toronto Green Standards
bylaw dictates that every building
larger than 2,000 square metres
be assessed for its energy performance in order to create a business
plan that helps buildings improve
their energy efficiency.
2nd Lot assesses small to medium-sized buildings and consults
on energy conserving methods
to be implemented in the building process. The startup makes a
3D model of the building and inputs all of the information on its
systems, occupancy and building
class to predict its energy use.
Matthew Tokarik and Matt
Carlsson co-founded the business and set up in the Centre for
Urban Energy (CUE) at Ryerson.
The CUE is an academic-industry
partnership that develops solutions to urban energy challenges
and provides research, education and innovation to new green

The creators of 2nd Lot: Matthew Tokarik, left, and Matt Carlsson.

startups.
Until the creation of this bylaw,
only big buildings were required
to follow this rule.
“There’s been this new market

segment that’s opened up because
of this requirement in the city, so
that’s how we found our way in
to this specific niche within the
industry,” Tokarik said. “The

PHOTO courtesy matthew tokarik

green building industry is growing and it’s fairly large. Our niche
within it is targeting the smaller
and medium buildings that now
require this energy assessment.”

The founders were part of the
iCUE, an incubator for new startups that helps them grow from an
idea to the marketplace.
Dan McGillivray, the director
of the CUE, taught them business
skills needed to be successful in
the industry.
“[2nd Lot] can undercut the
competition since they’re a small
business and they don’t have the
large costs for doing their work,
[so] they can stay competitive by
doing that,” McGillivray said.
“That makes them a little special,
and you’re always looking for the
secret sauce in the company.”
The iCUE takes people from
engineering and architecture backgrounds, mixes them all up and
teaches this very specialized focus
set of skills that deals with buildings, sustainability and energy.
“Our vision for the centre is to
be interesting enough that we want
to be visited by others. I think Ryerson’s making noise. We want to
be a world-class centre. You’re not
world-class unless the rest of the
world thinks you’re world-class,”
McGillivray said.

Talk nerdy to me

A project telling multimedia geek-inspired stories calls Ryerson home
By Julia Knope

are over different mediums and
can be experienced in different
The art of storytelling is evolving ways, but it’s one experience,”
said Chris Casselman, co-creator
— with geeks.
Geektropolis is a project that of Geektropolis, who is currently
tells multimedia stories about To- working at the TMZ.
ronto’s geek culture — from their
leaders, gathering places, events
and interests like zombies and
comics.
The project partnered with Ryerson’s Transmedia Zone (TMZ)
incubator at the Rogers Communication Centre. Geektropolis was
accepted into the TMZ on Oct. 6,
Geektropolis
was
created
shortly after their application in
by Casselman, along with EmSeptember.
The TMZ looks to partner with ily Smith and Camile Gauthier.
a mix of projects that reflect the Geektropolis began telling their
stories through weekly short viddiversity of the media ecosystem.
“They had a great presentation, eos featured on their website.
But Geektropolis plans to make
and the three team members had
the kind of collaborative, eager en- their videos more interactive
ergy that does well in the TMZ,” through a virtual map filled with
said Ramona Pringle, media direc- stories from “geekdoms” around
Toronto. Casselman and the other
tor at the TMZ.
The project is a product from Geektropolis members also plan
the company *nocampfirere- to “gamify” storytelling.
The creators intend on creating
quired, which aims to tell stories
on a platform that allows the user online identities through characto enter at any point of the story ters for its users. Points will be
and consume as much or as little rewarded when members interact
with other members and contribas they want.
“Maybe [the information for ute to the website.
Once the database is established
the story] is in video format or
maybe it’s a book or it’s audio and identities are virtually created,
and we put is all together so one Geektroplis envisions an entire
story is being told across multiple virtual geek world in their future,
mediums. All the integral parts consisting of missions and quests.

Our partnership with [the]
TMZ has given us access
to lots of great resources
and equipment

“Our partnership with [the]
TMZ has given us access to lots of
great  resources and equipment,”
said Casselman. The TMZ provides Geektropolis with a “collaborative incubator environment” as
well as resources and technology,
mentorship and opportunities to
share their innovative work within
the industry.
“I think there will be some relationships and alliances formed,”
Casselman said.
Casselman said that Geektropolis is interested in some of the
other projects at TMZ and are
looking forward to collaborating with them — such as The
Next Super Geek and The Canadian Nerd Show, both multimedia
platforms that feature geek and
nerd culture.
Geektropolis isn’t aiming for a
short-term project but a world that
will last, by connecting geeks with
one another, fans and events to create a stronger geek community.
But the project has a four-month
time period at the TMZ to work
on their project before their partnership agreement expires.
“They are able to apply to stay
longer if they show that they have
been producing high quality work
that pushes the boundaries of storytelling in interesting ways, and
that staying in the zone will be
of benefit to their work,” Pringle
said.

Fun & Unfinished Burritos

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014

11

MINK and levy: “stay classy, rye”

The Eyeopener has discovered that the U.S. government will change the
face of the Statue of Liberty to Nicolas Cage’s by the year 2020.

2015 CIS MEN’S BASKETBALL

FINAL 8 CHAMPIONSHIPS
ILLUSTRATION: JESS TSANG

This week Rosencrantz sits down
with the president of Ryerson
University, Sheldon Levy, to have
a glass of scotch.
It’s been a long couple of months
for Rosencrantz since arriving at
Ryerson, but he has made a name
for himself on campus, and Levy
recognizes this.
“The little guy just cracks me

up,” Levy said. “Did you see what
he did to that Kim Jong-Un fella?”
Rosencrantz felt it was time
to sit down with Levy to discuss
a pressing issue that has been
weighing on his mind for the last
few weeks.
“I just want to be on the cover of that paper, The Eyeopener.
They put me in comics every week

but never the cover,” said Rosencrantz.
As the room-temperature liquid
crosses his thin minky whiskers,
there’s yearning in his eyes.
“Why not put my face on the
stands for everyone to see?” said
Rosencrantz, a little choked up.
What do you think Ryerson?
Email fun@theeyeopener.com

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