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Volume 49 - Issue 9

November 11, 2015
theeyeopener.com
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Since 1967

FARMER

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The growth of an urban
farming empire where
you’d least expect it.

PHOTO: JAKE SCOTT

P6

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Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015

NEWS

3

Credit takes place of cash in new opt-out process
This year, your opt-out money will be deposited into your RAMSS account instead of direct deposit refunds
By Keith Capstick
This year the Ryerson Students’
Union (RSU) collaborated with
the university to deposit students’
health and dental opt-out directly
into their RAMMS account — but
some students say that this process is negatively impacting lowincome students.
The opt-out money is deposited
into the same account as tuition,
therefore students who haven’t
paid all of their winter tuition have
to take an extra step and request a
cheque to get to their money.
The RSU told The Eyeopener
on Monday that they have put a
plan in motion to allow students
with outstanding winter fees to
request a one-time withdrawal
from RAMSS to get their money.
The window to apply will be Nov.
11-18.
Obaid Ullah, the RSU’s vicepresident operations, says that
the decision was made to counteract last year’s long wait times
for direct-deposit. This choice was
made so students would receive
their money as efficiently as possible, he said.
“Last year they tried a direct deposit system … and it failed miserably,” said Ullah. “The intent was

In past years, students waited in line to pick up health and dental opt-out cheques.

for students to receive their money
back and then you can request a
refund [from RAMSS] and get it
back if you wanted to, but then
winter fees were put on. A few
students are upset.”
Last year students waited until
mid-November until they were
able to gain access to their opt-out
money. The incoming RSU executive, in cooperation with their new
insurance broker, held a survey in
September to figure out the best
way to tackle this issue — a survey which they point to as their
reasoning for this new deposit system.
Continuing Education Students’

News Bites
Adam Kahan saying goodbye
to Rye after 12 years
Adam Kahan, the vice-president university advancement, is leaving on
Dec. 10. Reporter Natalia Balcerzak sat down for a Q&A with the man
who’s partially responsible for putting Ryerson on the map:
Q: How does it make you feel seeing posters of Ryerson around Toronto?
A: One of the first things I did in terms of planning was I went to the
board, asked for money so that we could put our image everywhere we
possibly could — on the streets, on the buildings ... so that people could
not go anywhere without confronting Ryerson. It was a strategic plan to
create our presence in the downtown core.
Read more on theeyeopener.com.

Ryerson Arts Society to get
student money, Ryerson
Science Society will not
On Nov. 5, the Ryerson Arts Society (RAS) succeeded in approving a
$30 per-semester, per-student levy while the Ryerson Science Society
(RSS) failed to pass a $22 levy in their own referendum.
RAS chair Marzia Riaz said she is relieved the referendum process
is over and her group will be able to “start focusing on actual events,
actual goals.”
The levy will help the RAS give Faculty of Arts students academic
conferences, grants, awards and more events.
Despite not getting their levy approved (245 NO, 199 YES), RSS
President Ana Sofia Vargas Garza said the group will continue to function, as they have for the past three years.
Read more on theeyeopener.com.

Association of Ryerson (CESAR)
President Denise Hammond said
at Monday’s CESAR annual general meeting that Chang School
students should have their cheques
available for pick up next week.
“We chose to not do it through
the university,” she said. “We believe that it’s important for you as
a student who pays that fee, that
if that fee is returned it should be
returned to you and not to the university.”
But Ullah urges that “this won’t
affect your OSAP in any way” and
doesn’t see this affecting low-income students more so than others.
“A lot of low-income students

PHOTO: JESS TSANG

already can’t opt out of the plan,
just because they don’t have additional coverage, and without
additional coverage you can’t opt
out,” said Ullah. “So it’s mostly
affecting people who have additional coverage.”
Some of the negative feedback
that the RSU has received centres
around students who count on
these funds every year and may
not have the financial stability to
wait for the cheque, despite having pre-existing health and dental
coverage.
Vajdaan Tanveer, a student
who’s recently been critical of
the RSU’s stance on tuition fees

in alignment with the RSU oppositional group, Reignite Ryerson,
shares these concerns.
“I feel that the particular changes that were made to the opt out
plan for this year disproportionately harmed lower-income students,” said Tanveer.
Tanveer also expressed that although last year’s system wasn’t
perfect, he was uncomfortable
with the fact that the RSU worked
in tandem with the university to
make this new process come to
fruition.
“The students’ union is an autonomous organization, so the fact
that they’re getting so entrenched
into the works of the university is
also something that’s concerning,”
said Tanveer.
But Ullah maintains that this has
been a step forward from last year.
“Generally, from the feedback
from the survey, students are happy with the process. There are a
few students that were upset, I can
understand where they’re coming
from,” he said.
University registrar Charmaine
Hack said winter tuition was actually charged two months later this
year, despite the RSU originally
speculating it had been charged
earlier than usual.

EDITORIAL

4

A pile of newspapers, because honestly how was I supposed
to illustrate this story?

PHOTO: SEAN WETSELAAR

Don’t like the
news? Change it!
By
Sean
Wetselaar
It’s pretty common knowledge
for people that associate with
journalism that the fine institution of The Eyeopener is a
bit of a cult. We spend a lot of
time thinking about, and working on the 15 or so pages that
come before the Sudoku, which
could win you a gift card.
So you’ll have to forgive me for
spending a bit more time talking
about what we do here.
The Eyeopener is run, as
you’ve probably gathered by the
list to the right of this column every week in print, by our masthead — all of the editors who
produce and manage content for

the paper. Those editors (including me!) were chosen by their
peers, and our regular contributors, at an election last April.
And in the world of Eyeopener
elections, we’re approaching the
midterm.
That means a few spots on our
masthead are going to be open
(we’ll tell you which ones in this
section next week). My reasons
for telling you about the innerworkings of the paper like this
are two-fold. First, if you’re a
journalist (but not necessarily
a journalism student), then you
could be joining the illustrious
gang that produces the Eye.
If you’re not gunning to join
our ranks, which is probbaly
a tad more likely, then this still
matters to you. Because no matter what happens on Nov. 27

when we elect new editors, there
is going to be fresh blood in our
office.
And there’s never been a
better time to make sure those
people produce content describing what matters to you. That’s
important because you pay
their paycheque. Every Ryerson
student pays a levy of $18.40 per
year to help keep our publication
running. Help us make sure that
your money isn’t wasted.
A lot of people believe that
journalism happens in a vacuum.
That people like me sit in our
offices, dream up what ought
to matter to the masses and disseminate it. The motto in the
venerable New York Times —
“All the news that’s fit to print”
— is a hangover from the days
when maybe that was true.
But the truth is that we’re a
long way from those days. News
in this decade is perhaps more
democratic than it has ever been.
In a space where everyone has a
platform to express themselves,
it’s almost impossible for any
journalist who cares to ignore
their audience.
So, wonderful people of
Ryerson, I’m writing this plea to
you. If you ever look at our publication and think, “They don’t
care about me. My issues should
be in this paper,” then please
come bitch us out.
Ultimately, this paper is a
tool to serve you — all of you.
And I know that we can always
do a better job. So help us out.
Come by the office, call us, email
us (I’m editor@theeyeopener.
com), tweet at us — however you
please.
Whatever you do, don’t remain
silent. Your voice is important —
help us make it heard.

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015

attention: seekers of glory
the eyeopener winter 2016
elections are coming to a
bar near you. speeches on
nov. 26, voting on nov. 27.
interested in joining this
shitshow? come to scc 207
for details. keep an eye on
this space for updates.

Editor-in-Chief
Sean “The Sheen Machine”
Wetselaar
News
Keith “Shawarma King”
Capstick
Farnia “Khao Sai” Fekri
Laura “Meow Mix” Woodward
Features
Emma “One more hour” Cosgrove
Biz and Tech
Jacob “Pass the third” Dubé
Arts and Life
Al “Mayonnaise” Downham
Sports
Devin “Keener” Jones

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Communities
Dylan “Walking satire” FreemanGrist
Photo
Sierra “TEXT ME” Bein
Jake “III” Scott
Annie “Banannie” Arnone
Fun
Robert “Don’t leave” Mackenzie
Media
Rob “Camper” Foreman
Online
Josh “Purpose” Beneteau
Nicole “Vampire” Schmidt
Lee “Snappy dresser” Richardson

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Intern Army
Gracie “All-Star” Brison
Mikayla “MVP” Fasullo
Ben “One hop, two” Hoppe
Victoria “Dunk” Sykes
Angela “She’s back” Feng
Contributors
Chris “Rooftopz” Blanchette
Chayonika “Hey gurl” Chandra
Igor “THE APPS ARE COMING” Magun
Justin “Olimar” Chandler
Sunday “Panopticon” Aken
Alexandria “Everyone likes you”
Lee
Anika “Hombre” Syeda
Maddie “EyeVirgin” Binning
Natasha “I love arts” Hermann
Jake “Scoopie” Kivanc
Natalia “Q&A queen” Balcerzak
Behdad “BEHstepDAD” Mahichi
Ramisha “Clutch” Farooq
Tagwa “I really like soccer” Moyo
Skyler “Pickton” Ash
Bahoz “Solo” Dara
Nicole “Valedictorian”
Di Donato.
Playing the part of the Annoying
Talking Coffee Mug this week are
spoons, as projectiles. I’m a fan of
eating with spoons, but I dislike
them when they are hurled at my
face. I know that they were plastic, and that none of them hit me
because they weren’t baseballs, but
let’s show some decorum, people.
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.

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015

NEWS

5

The early morning haters: To the Senate
By Maddie Binning
Early morning exams are one step
closer to getting scrapped.
In March, a petition to eliminate
8 a.m. final exams was created
by Husain Mulla, a fourth-year
marketing student. He started the
petition on Change.org — while
running for a student-at-large position in the Ryerson Senate. Now,
after being elected, Mulla will present his proposal in the first Senate
meeting in the winter semester.
“Even though it’s in my last year
[and] it’s not even going to affect
me, I want to make a change because if there’s a better solution

out there that can help students
achieve higher grades then I really
want to pursue that,” Mulla said.
The petition, which has more
than 1,400 supporters, is meant to
present the issue to the university.
“Students spend countless hours
putting in hard work in order to
achieve a grade which can eventually help them bag a good job once
they graduate,” the petition reads.
“Having to write an exam at 8
a.m. can kill this dream.”
Mulla plans to present his proposal to the Senate with a variety
of solutions, so that “even if one
doesn’t work, you can look towards the other ones.”

Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU)
President Andrea Bartlett said
these changes can be implemented
by the senate.
“Our senate rep, Victoria [Morton] ... has plans to bring it up at
the next senate meeting,” Bartlett
said.
The meeting will be on Jan. 26.
In their November 2014 general
meeting, the RSU voted in favour
of a motion to lobby to end 8 a.m.
classes.
But space limitations make the
elimination of 8 a.m. classes impossible, according to Ryerson
Registrar Charmaine Hack. External facilities like the Metro To-

Tuition fee feud reignited

Students protest high tuition fees as part of last year’s Freeze the Fees campaign.

By Keith Capstick
With their demands set for the
university and the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU), Reignite
Ryerson has released a new statement regarding tuition fees and
their stance on current RSU vicepresident education, Cormac McGee.
In a document obtained by The
Eyeopener entitled, “Why Freeze
the Fees Failed,” the group attempts to distance itself from last
year’s campaign and questions the
relationship the new RSU executive has with the administration
and the anti-Freeze the Fees campaign Rise for Ryerson.
“Among the Rise for Ryerson
group were prominent student
leaders, including the current
VP-Education. We only hope he
changed his perspective about tuition fees since then, as his portfolio deals specifically with tuition
fees and access to education. What
an irony,” the press release reads.
Since the onset of Reignite Ryerson, McGee has reached out to
representatives from the group to
set up a one-on-one meeting and
has called for their attendance at
the first meeting of this year’s student action committee on Nov 10.
McGee says that his stance on
dealing with the issue of tuition
increases is that it’s something
to be taken up with the provincial government and not with the

school’s administration.
“This is not the institution, this
is a systemic issue that needs to be
solved on the ministry level and
I’m trying to do that in the way
I know how and the way I think
it would work by drawing out a
reasonable and rational proposal
and right now I’m in the research
part,” McGee said. “You can’t
just sleep in a tent and make this
happen.”
Vajdaan Tanveer, a student who
was part of last year’s Freeze the
Fees campaign and was part of the
development of Reignite, emphatically disagrees with this stance.
“I completely disagree with
Cormac on this particular thing,”
said Tanveer. “I agree with Cormac on saying provincial government is a long-term thing for this
and I agree that the federal government should be taking more
of a stance on making education
more accessible but to say that
the school doesn’t have a part to
play in that conversation is very
untrue.”
But McGee said to make any
real change, he needs to be personally contacted and not “called
out on an anonymous Facebook
post.” He also maintained that
he’d like to see members from
Reignite out at RSU events in the
future.
“I’d love if Reignite showed up
and we could have a conversation that isn’t taking up SAGM

PHOTO: STEPHEN ARMSTRONG

and AGM times to make these
statements when that doesn’t help
push forward any motions to help
with our bylaws or initiatives,”
McGee said.
Tanveer was explicit about Reignite’s frustrations with McGee’s
involvement with the school and
described much of the RSU’s work
this year as “all image without any
substance.” He also explained the
group’s reasoning behind naming McGee in the their list of demands, saying that it was an issue
of “accountability.”
“The whole branding they’ve
been doing there’s a lot of image,
but no substance and one of their
responses to that was we want to
create the image so people know
who we are so they can come to
us,” said Tanveer.
He went on to explain that
much of the group’s initial frustration was centered around the
RSU addressing their group and
its members rather than their demands. The group has maintained
that its focus is on the issue of tuition fees, not political jockeying
or individualized motives and that
they look forward to meeting with
the RSU in the future.
McGee admits that his work to
this point on the issue of tuition
hasn’t been public, which could
be why students have started an
opposition campaign — because
students don’t know the work he’s
been doing.

ronto Convention Centre are already being used in order to meet
the current need for examination
spaces. To make use of more external facilities would require an
in-depth look at the associated
costs Hack said.
“The reality is that the demand
for space still far outpaces the actual space available for classes and
examinations,” said Hack. “So
it continues to be impossible to
avoid 8 a.m. classes or exams.”
Adrian Argudo, a second-year
chemistry student, said he recognizes the struggles of scheduling
classes with limited space, but as a
commuter with four early classes,

he wishes there was a way to fix
the issue.
“I myself face a two-hour commute to and from Ryerson every
day,” said Argudo. “Eight a.m.
class would have me waking up at
around five. If I were to stay up,
say, until 1 a.m., I would get approximately four hours of sleep,
so that’s typically what I get.”
Hack said the Office of the Registrar has been looking at other
universities’ “different lengths of
exams scheduled, [and] the use of
tiered versus flat classrooms, the
use of one room for simultaneous
exams” to improve the situation in
the future.

CALLING ALL MEMBERS

FALL
GENERAL
MEETING
of the
Ryerson Students’ Union

Monday, Nov. 30
TRSM 1067

55 Dundas St. W  

!!%  

#
#$ ""  
#$!"
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.

The deadline to submit motions: 
$# !
Media requests to attend should be sent to the
RSU President at president@rsuonline.ca

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

FEATURES

6

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015

Rye’s HomeGrown harvested more than 8,000 pounds of food this season
on their rooftop farm, making strides for Toronto urban agriculture
and sharing the knowledge, too.

FROM ROOF
TO TABLE
by Emma Cosgrove

A

rlene Throness is standing
in a sea of kale. “Eat whatever you want,” she says.
We part the seas and dive into the
food around our ankles, floating
to the rows of baby greens.
“I recommend making a salad,”
Throness says; she is energetic
and sharp. She picks a little bouquet for each of us — mustardy
tat soi, fun jen and mizuna — I
devour the spicy red and green
mixture. We finish off with edible
purple borage flowers, planted in
an empty patch to attract bees for
pollination. Twenty feet below us,
an engineering student bites into a
bland sandwich, probably.
Throness, a handful of volunteers and I are on a farm. On a
roof. It’s as though a giant hand
plucked a small-scale farm from
rural Ontario and accidentally
dropped it on top of the George
Vari Engineering and Computing
Centre. Here in the epicentre of

the largest city in Canada is the
Rye’s HomeGrown (RHG) 10,000
square-foot market farm. Throness is the urban agriculture coordinator — she is the brains and
the backbone of the operation, in
charge of both planning and programming. “And also everything,”
she says.
The significance of a farm on a
roof is hard to comprehend until
you’re up there, witnessing rows
of plants growing in real time
before a backdrop of skyscrapers and bustling city streets. The
garden is meticulously planned
with tidy rows of vegetables and
“human-size” straw walkways to
sit or kneel in while harvesting.
Vegetable families like brassicas
(radish, broccoli), nightshade (tomato, potato) and legumes (beans,
peas) are grouped together in different sections of the roof, alongside companion plants like basil
and cilantro that ward off pests.

Throness refuses to use pesticides
or synthetic sprays, opting for
organic methods like composting plant waste for fertilizer and
hand-picking weeds.

“It’s very
empowering to be
able to grow your
own food”
This quarter-acre patch of
land — established just last year
— yielded 8,000 pounds of food
in the 2015 growing season and
5,000 pounds in 2014. With rising food insecurity in cities, the
urban farm is a welcome addition
to campus.
The 2015 Daily Bread Food
Bank annual hunger report revealed the increasing number of

Torontonians turning to food
banks. Since the recession hit in
2008, total client visits have increased by 12 per cent, food bank
use increased 45 per cent in Toronto’s inner suburbs (Etobicoke,
North York and Scarborough),
and the average length of time
visiting a food bank has doubled
from one year to two years.
Throness says having the knowledge and infrastructure to grow
food in a city makes us a more resilient and healthy society. The ultimate goal of RHG is to become an
all-encompassing resource for people who want to learn about and
practice urban agriculture. “I think
urban agriculture is really trendy
right now and that’s exciting because if we make it part of our
mainstream culture again it’s only
going to have a positive impact on
our society,” Throness says.
With the success of this agricultural experiment, it’s clear that the

rooftop farm has already made an
impact, proving the possibilities of
farming in the big city.
“It’s very empowering to be able
to grow your own food.”
HG began as a student
group in 2011 with the
goal of growing food, starting with a small garden on Gould
Street and expanding to spaces in
the Quad, planters at Pitman Hall
and a greenhouse in the architecture building used to grow microgreens through the winter.
In 2013, Garth Poppleton of
custodial services pointed out that
the Andrew and Valerie Pringle
Environmental Green Roof on top
of the engineering building might
be a possible space for growing.
“[Garth] was the one who invited us to come to the roof and gave
us the keys and put trust in the
project,” Throness says. “So that’s
a huge part, is just to have the university be willing to say yes.”

R

FEATURES

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015
balance the books and make sure
that it all happened,” she says.
With the financial support of
the university, they spent several months at the beginning of
the 2014 growing season transforming the roof to a farm: sheet
mulching, adding two inches of
topsoil — which they will do each
year — digging rows and planting
seeds.
his year was RHG’s first
full operational season.
A team of Throness, four
paid interns, CSA members and
drop-in volunteers planted, cultivated and harvested the 8,000
pounds of food.
Their budget of $70,000 was
supplemented by the university as
well as revenue from the market
and food services. Around half of
the harvest is sold at the Wednesday farmer’s market on Gould
Street. The rest is divided between
campus services and weekly veggie
boxes for volunteers who sign up
for the community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. CSA is a
financial model traditionally used
by small-scale farmers to share the
risk and reward of their harvest
with consumers. In RHG’s case,
each of the 20 working members
puts in three hours per week at the
farm and takes home a basket of
food for $5.
“It’s fun to mimic a farm — our
whole thing is that we want to be
just like a small-scale farm so that’s
why we have a five-year crop rotation and a CSA and we’re going
to market and doing all this stuff
because I think it’s exciting for
people to be able to engage with
that farm culture right in the city,”
Throness says.
Farming is risky business.
Throness says because urban agriculture is a new field born out of
the nonprofit sector, most people
working in it struggle to make a
living wage.
“You have to love the lifestyle
because you’re not going to make
a lot of money and youre going to
work really hard. It’s really hard
work,” she says. That’s why CSA
is essential to keeping the farm in
operation.
“It can be really stressful not
knowing if you have a job the next
year,” she says. “Hopefully when
[volunteers] put Rye’s HomeGrown on their resume it will
have weight or resonance in them
getting jobs and helping build similar projects in other places.”
Throness says she has been involved in far too many farming
projects with people who had
no idea what they were doing —
that’s why she got her agricultural
degree. But when you’re around
someone like Throness it’s not
hard to learn. “That’s a really fun
thing about farming, that you can
really learn by doing and seeing
and observing and chatting while
you’re working ... you don’t even
know you’re learning.”

T

PHOTO: CHRIS BLANCHETTE

The green roof was built in
2004 as part of the original infrastructure of the building to catch
stormwater runoff and reduce
heat absorption in the summer.
Over 10 years, seeds had blown
onto the roof. Daylilies and weeds
sprouted and thrived — a sign of
fertility.
Throness — who has a degree in
permaculture, a bachelor of political science and human geography
from Concordia University, and
years of farm experience all over
the country — was hired by Ryerson as the urban agricultural coordinator of the project. She was
immediately intrigued, knowing
that urban agriculture isn’t normally recognized as a legitimate
profession.
“Finding the roof I was like,
‘OK, this is exciting, this is an opportunity.’ And then of course the
first year was exhausting, like trying to convert the whole roof and

7

O

n the roof, Spencer Quinn
helps us turn huge compost
piles, throwing earth with
wriggling worms on the mound of
decaying plants as we shovel it with
pitchforks. He is kind and quiet,
offering the odd suggestion and answering our questions. He sympathizes when dust blows in our eyes
and mouths, kicked up by the high
winds on the roof, like it’s happened to him hundreds of times.
Quinn was the gardening coordinator intern for RHG for the
2015 season after volunteering
consistently last year. He helped
out with volunteer sessions in the
on-ground gardens and monthly
First Friday events like this one,
worked the market stand on
Wednesdays and knows the inner
workings of the rooftop farm.
“I like being outdoors and
there’s just something about
growing food that intrigues me,”
Quinn says. “I also like how it
sort of connects people to the food
that they’re eating whereas maybe
there’s some sort of disconnect if
you’re just going to the grocery
store and buying your food.”
Quinn, who received his certificate in food security at Ryerson
two years ago, has his own 250
square-foot garden at his house
where he grows vegetables. His favourite thing to grow is potatoes
because it’s always a surprise digging them up.
He says the key to helping people grow food in cities is space
— community gardens and institutional programs like RHG help
with this. Quinn is one of the four
interns, the other three with positions in communications, outreach and programming. Quinn
isn’t sure if he will return to the
roof next year. He hopes to have
a market farm of his own in the
future.
mong the thick stalks of
kale, the 20-foot bean
fence and leaves glowing
emerald in the sunlight, we dive
into a mini feast of baba ganoush,
kale pesto, celery sticks and sliced
daikon radish, all from the garden
and prepared by Throness. It’s early November now, the end of the
growing season, and most of the
crops have been harvested. In the
empty beds, the team has planted
cover crops — winter rye and clover — which protect the soil and
pull in nitrogen over the winter.
The team will finish harvesting
within the next few weeks. In February, they will begin work in the
greenhouse, planting seeds.
As the sun goes down over the
city the team munches silently, tired
after several hours of work. For
Throness, eating is the best part.
“I think what’s kept me going
over the years is that the reward
of growing food is eating it, and
sometimes that’s all the reward
you need in life,” she says. “It’s so
satisfying — immediate gratification. That’s what food is.”

PHOTO: CHRIS BLANCHETTE

A

PHOTO: EMMA COSGROVE

PHOTO: CHRIS BLANCHETTE

BIZ & TECH

8

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015

What grows up, must come down.

ILLUSTRATION: SIERRA BEIN

Students to send mushrooms to space
Rye students, partnered with high schoolers, are sending fungi to the International Space Station to test their growth in microgravity
By Justin Chandler
Mario may not be the only one eating mushrooms in space.
Third-year Ryerson students
Komalpreet Kahlon, Gemma
Mancuso and Francis Buguis
are part of a team that won the
chance to send an experiment to
the International Space Station
(ISS). The experiment, which
should be launched in late March,
will test how oyster mushrooms
grow in microgravity.
“[Oyster mushrooms] could
potentially be a food source that
astronauts could grow for themselves in space. They’re easy to
grow,” Mancuso, a biomedical
science student, said.
Because they are high in fibre,
low in fat and can grow from
waste such as used coffee grounds
and cardboard, oyster mushrooms
might be a good regenerating food
source on long-term space missions, the team said.
Kahlon, Mancuso and Buguis
designed their experiment for the
Ryerson Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), a competition in which Ryerson undergraduates teamed up with high school
students to design an experiment
that could study the effect of microgravity on a physical, chemical
or biological system. About 90 students competed.

Oyster mushrooms could
potentially be a food source
that astronauts could grow
for themselves in space
Ryerson’s competition was one
of 14 SSEPs held across North
America this year and the first
SSEP held in Canada.
The SSEP initiative is run by
the National Center for Earth
and Space Science Education
(NCESSE), an American educa-

tional organization.
With Grade 11 students Kugenthini Tharmalulasekaram and
Modlin Orange, Kahlon, Mancuso and Buguis made up Team
U, one of the 26 teams that competed at Ryerson. The top three
experiments from each community
hosting an SSEP were sent to the
NCESSE in the spring. The organization picked a winner in each
community. Team U was the winner at Ryerson.
Koivisto said he thinks the
NCESSE picked Team U’s proposal
because it provided more “insight
for humanity” than the other two
sent by Ryerson.
“The biggest problem, in the
beginning, was finding something
that would survive and was stable
when it was out of our hands, and
would be preserved by the time it
gets back to us,” biomedical-science student Buguis said. He said
the oyster mushroom’s spores are
resistant to drying and heat.
Kahlon, who studies medical
physics, said the spores Team U
sends up will remain dormant and
not need nutrients until they reach
the ISS and are activated for the
experiment.
The team does not know which
direction the fungus’ mycelia
(similar to plant roots) will grow,
Kahlon said.
They also don’t know if the fungus will be able to extract the water
and nutrients it needs without standard Earth gravity.
When it goes into space, Team
U’s experiment will be contained
in an 8.4 ml tube separated into
three compartments by clamps.
One compartment will hold mushroom spores and rice straw for
them to eat and grow on. Another
will hold water gel crystals to hydrate the spores. A third will hold
an agent to kill the fungus once it
has grown for about two weeks.
This ensures all growth will occur in space. The dead fungus will
remain preserved in the tube so

Team U can analyze it when it returns to Earth.
Team U was only allowed to
give two minutes of instructions
to the astronauts on the ISS. The
first step is to open the clamp
separating the water gel crystals
from the spores and rice straw and
then gently shake the tube for a
minute, which should trigger the
growth of the mushrooms. The
second step, which should take
place about two weeks later, is to
open the second clamp and shake
the tube for a minute to kill and
preserve the fungus.

Team U is working to grow
the microscopic spores they
will send to the ISS
When the experiment tube returns to Team U, they will compare its growth to a controlled experiment they conducted on Earth.
“Even if there is less growth, but
there is growth, that still shows a
lot of promise,” Kahlon said. That
would still mean oyster mushrooms
can grow in microgravity.
With the launch about four
months away, Team U is working
to grow the microscopic spores
they will send to the ISS and are
struggling to extract them. They
are also planning how they’ll
analyze the experiment once it is
completed.
Kahlon said it was a great learning experience to design an experiment that faced real-world
challenges such as transport and
storage.
“In the classroom, I feel like everything you’re given is under such
ideal conditions, but here, all this
reality was thrown at us,” she said.
Team U plans to publish papers
on their experiment and might
use it for a fourth-year thesis,
Kahlon said.
Faculty of science dean Imogen

Coe said Ryerson’s involvement in
the SSEP helped young people of
different backgrounds get access to
science and the opportunity to engage with it.
Koivisto said he is unsure if Ryerson will participate in the SSEP
again. To compete, the Ryerson
SSEP had to pay about $30,000

to the NCESSE. Six sponsors, including Ryerson and the Ryerson
Faculty of Science, donated the
money. The Natural Sciences and
Engineering Research Council of
Canada donated about $21,000.
Coe said if it can be funded,
she would like to support another
spaceflight program.

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015

ARTS & LIFE

9

RU artists open Ur Room
By Alexandria Lee
Looking for a welcoming environment in the art community, a
group of Ryerson students is opening Ur Room, a multimedia art
space based on inclusivity.
“We feel like the [fine art] industry is a little difficult to break
into and thought this would be a
good way to motivate ourselves,
and others as well, to just do it,
just get out there and create,” said
co-founder Fiona Kenney.
The artspace — started by Kenney, Camila Rocha, Raven Lam,
Maggie Alpaugh and Madeleine
Etmanski — showcases “up-andcoming Toronto designers, artists
and troublemakers.” And instead
of focusing on specific mediums,
Ur Room’s founders look to include all photographers, videographers, fashion designers and more.
“We were tired of having ideas
of wanting to create, but feeling
that we couldn’t do it because
we’re not actually in arts programs ourselves,” Kenney, a creative industries student, said.
So, the founders created Ur

Room, welcoming new artists
looking to join the community.
“[Your bedroom] is the most
comfortable space you could ever
think of and where you’re yourself,” Rocha said. “It’s your room,
[where] you can be the most true
form of yourself.”
The five second-year students
are either in interior design (Etmanski), creative industires (Kenney, Alpaugh, Rocha) or media
production (Lam).
The Ur Room founders draw inspiration from their own academic
backgrounds, and undertake new
projects in different mediums.
“Our whole idea is being able
to explore our identities and being able to branch out — it’s unrestricted,” said Rocha. “So much
of what we’ve seen in the past is
separation, like, ‘Oh, you take
pictures? This is your space, this is
only what you can do.’”
Lam — whose piece focuses on
“looking yourself in the mirror
and seeing objects from your past,
present, and future” — and Rocha
made seperate three-dimensional
works, while Kenney’s graphic

design prints depict “women trying to be cute and naive whilst
also mature and independent.”
Alpaugh’s fashion focuses on combining “words of rebellion with
innocent looking clothing” and
Etmanski is creating a resin sculpture, something she said is “completely out of her element.”
In addition to the founders’ art,
local musicians Lithe & Free and
KIDSHELPPHONE will be DJing.
For future openings, the group en- Ur Room aims to create an inclusive artspace.
courages anyone to join.
“[We’ll accept] anything that
somebody wants to call their art,
and if we can accommodate we
will show it,” said Lam.
The theme of the gallery will
change each month, but loose interpretations are welcome.
“We want to be this blank slate
— who are we to say whether or
not your art’s good, we think that
art is subjective,” said Rocha.
The founders of Ur Room are
looking to recruit anyone wishing
to submit for next month’s gallery.
The opening reception is Friday
at 9 p.m. at 29 Huron St. There is
The artspace is located on 29 Huron St.
a $2 entrance fee.

PHOTO COURTESY: RAVEN LAM

PHOTO: AL DOWNHAM

Life in Siloé is Moving, Still
By Anika Syeda

finds his weapons, he laughs, saying, “What do you mean, how?
The normal way. Contacts.”
Toronto-based videographer Jorge
Despite the child’s calloused deLozano’s MOVING STILL_still
meanor, Lozano said these guns
life — appearing at the Ryerare made available to him by
son Image Centre [RIC] — is a
wealthier countries like the U.S.
glimpse into the harsh lifestyle of
“They don’t make the weapSiloé, Colombia.
ons,” Lozano he said. “The sysMOVING STILL_still life —
tem makes the weapons.”
remade into eight screens from its
Another interview delves into
original seven for the RIC’s Salah
the life of a female paramilitary
J. Bachir New Media Wall — is an
soldier in prison. Her group has
installation depicting life in Siloé,
been known to control masColombia, where national war has
sive territories and ethnically
been active for over 50 years. The
“cleanse” leftist, queer and other
installation includes images, intermarginalized communities.
views, re-enactments and more.
Remedios is a mother in the inLozano grew up in a similar
stallation heavily involved with
neighbourhood to Siloé, immersed
one paramilitary group that raidin gangs and war. As a student, he
ed a neighbourhood.
fought in the civil war against op“I don’t feel sorry,” said Remepressive militaristic forces.
dios. “If I have to do it again I will,
“I’ve seen shootings, people
to fight for peace and tranquility.”
dying, bullets very close, making
But according to the videograsound,” he said. “This is a thing
pher, many Colombian viewers
that happens daily.”
changed sentiment toMOVING STILL_still
wards the paramilitaries
life is a collage of imupon watching his interages of his subjects, their
view with Remedios. Lofriends and family, the
zano shows her as intelliculture-rich streets of
gent and a loving mother.
poverty-stricken Colom“Regardless of being in
bian
neighbourhoods,
this fascistic kind of group,
the surrounding landshe’s human,” he said.
scapes and interviews
“In a conflict, not everyconducted by Lozano’s
one knows who is the bad
workshop
participants
guy.”
Edward BlackFire, RoMOVING STILL_still
dolfo Tovar and Ronald
Vergara. They gathered COURTESY: JORGE LOZANO: MOVING STILL_STILL LIFE (INSTALLATION VIEW), life is at the RIC unti Dec.
2015 © RILEY SNELLING, RYERSON IMAGE CENTRE
13.
interviews with criminals,
innocent civilians and others. The
installation translates their words
through English subtitles.
“A lot of people have asked me
… ‘Are they that eloquent or is it
your translation?’” he said. “They
don’t even imagine people in ghettoes could be intelligent.”
The artist said neighbourhoods ripe with violence are often
eclipsed by an overbearing stigma
that paint every character as “the
bad guy.” Lozano integrates violent re-enactments, or “portraits
of reality,” of the characters’ lives,
including shots of blood-covered
gunslingers holding up hospital
patients. However, he makes sure
to show the “bad guys’” sympathetic qualities.
Real life criminals are interviwed, including 15-year-old assassin Mikael, who carries a black
gun, saying silver “shines and
they run before you kill them.”
When asked where and how he

SPORTS

10

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015

Two teams, one coach: a balancing act
By Gracie Brison
Wings and beer, peanut butter and
jelly, or Dustin Reid and balance.
Some things are just mutually suited to each other. Despite contending with a busy schedule by coaching both the women and men’s
volleyball teams this year, Reid is
more than ready for the challenge.
A former volleyball superstar,
Reid brought his volleyball expertise to Ryerson eight years ago.
Having played professionally in
Europe, Reid has also represented
Canada in more than 120 international matches including two
world cups, and headed up Ontario’s gold medal winning team at
the 1993 Canada Games.
Reid started volleying young.
His inspiration to pick up the sport
came from close friend, Ken Davies, who was a great all-around
athlete, and particularly a volleyball fanatic.
In Reid’s first year, and Davies’
senior year, of highschool, Davies
was tragically killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. Despite the
loss, Davies had a big impact on

Reid’s volleyball career.
“That was sort of the moment
where I started to look at the sport
with a little more desire, a little
more motivation, that it might be
something that could offer some
opportunities for me,” Reid said.
After his career as a player ended, Reid coached in Switzerland
before returning to Canada to become the Technical Director of the
Ontario Volleyball Association.
Shortly after, Ryerson received a
grant from the Coaches Association of Ontario to make a full-time
position, the first one the women’s
program ever had. Reid accepted
the offer in 2008 and has been
coaching at Ryerson ever since.
Over the years, Reid has helped
shape the women’s volleyball team
into the powerhouse program its
become. As of last season, Reid
has collected 46 victories as the
head coach and this year, has added four more wins to his record. In
the 2012-13 season, Reid coached
the Rams to their best season ever,
posting a 14-4 record and reaching the OUA Final Four for only
the second time in the program’s

Dustin Reid is coaching two successful volleyball teams this season.

history.
After coaching the women’s
team for eight years and the men’s
for only a month-and-a-half, Reid
is trying to give both teams top
priority.
“I had a lot of worries for the
players on the women’s team because I think that they maybe felt
why did they have to have less of
either my time, or my attention?”
Reid said. “What did they do to
deserve that? But they’ve been

The rock comes to Rye
By Ramisha Farooq
For most competitive athletes,
starting young is an integral process to developing their skills to
a professional level. Often NHL
hockey stars tell stories about
learning to skate before they could
walk. But for Perry Marshall, his
passion for curling began later in
life, finding out about the sport at
the University of Toronto.
“The old football coach used to
be a curler, and he would start a
social gathering of curlers and non
curlers,” Marshall said. “It’s where
I first got exposed to it, going out
to it socially and then I got interested competitively after that.”
Two years ago Stuart Leslie was
standing with fellow curlers Alex
Champ and Nicole Titkai on the
padded floor of a local Toronto
curling rink, deep in discussion,
when they made history.
All three were advanced junior
level curlers on the competitive
circuit, but had started to notice
an absence at the university level.
There was no Ryerson curling
team, so they decided to create
their own.
But with no plan, no proposal
and no coach, they knew Ryerson
athletics would have a hard time
taking three teenagers seriously.
And they were right. Athletic director Ivan Joseph had told them
that a curling club was possible
sometime in the future, but not
now. And left it at that.

They had thrown the first rock
down the ice, but without proper
guidance they just weren’t sure
where it would land.
Cue Perry Marshall, who overheard the trio talking in the chilly
arena and decided to cut in.
“If you’re thinking of starting a
team please let me know. I want
to get involved with this,” Marshall said. “I want to make this
happen for you guys so we can get
Ryerson on the map.”
The group was stunned. They
knew about Marshall’s professional work on the competitive
circuit, and quickly got into talks
with athletics to get him on board.
A towering figure in the Canadian curling world, Marshall has
coached teams his entire adult
life, from curling to hockey to
baseball. Marshall also participates in competitive curling at local, regional and provincial levels
in his free time.
For the past 10 years, Marshall
has been heading various men’s
and women’s teams across Ontario. His teams have reached provincial finals on two occasions.
Now he has set his sights on
Ryerson.
Titkai originally met Marshall
a few years earlier at a competitive tournament that she played in
with his daughter. She used to just
know him as the guy that came
and watched them every weekend.
“Without Perry we wouldn’t be
here today,” said Titkai. “He was

just so committed from the beginning. He wanted to have this happen, and it was important to have
him with us for that.”
Two years later and they’ve
been approved for club status at
Ryerson. It is the first curling team
at Ryerson since the 1960s and
the first women’s team in Ryerson’s history. The team attributes
this success to Marshall.
“He said, ‘Congratulations, you
guys did it!’ even though it was
majority him. He said, ‘You guys
made this happen too,’” said Titkai. Marshall then took them out
for a congratulatory dinner.
“It was then that we realized the
amount of work that Perry had
put into our proposal. [Ryerson
Athletics] said it was one of the
most impressive applications they
had ever received,” said Leslie.
The group currently only has
club status. This means Marshall
is volunteering his time — without pay — to coach the team. The
team’s status and success depends
on this.
Nick Asquini, the varsity operations coordinator for Ryerson
Athletics, echoed the statement
Marshall’s players have been saying all along.
“It usually takes a year or two
for a coach to understand how
university sports work, but Perry
knew everything going in. He
came in and hit the ground running,” Asquini said.
With files from Devin Jones.

fabulous.”
Following in the footsteps of last
season’s men’s head coach, Mirek
Porosa who is on leave for personal
reasons, requires melding old systems with Reid’s own stratagies.
Off to a great start this season
with both teams above .500, Reid
seems to be balancing his time between the two quite well. But the
Rams aren’t his only priorities. He
is also a husband and a father of
two. Reid admits that time man-

PHOTO COURTESY: ALEX D’ADDESE

agement isn’t his strongest point,
but he seems to be managing a
hectic schedule very well.
“I think if you talk to my family
they wouldn’t say that I’m balancing it great, but I think they understand how passionate I am about
what I do,” Reid said.
His passion for the game is helping
Reid do it all. A father, a husband,
the men’s coach and the women’s
coach; it seems that Dustin Reid and
balance are just mutually suited.

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015

FUN

11

Numbers’ best Sudoku
Drop off your completed sudoku with your contact info to The Eyeopener office (SCC 207) for your chance to win a $25 iTunes gift card. After
a long run of universally-revered crosswords, we have changed course
and decided to go with a sudoku puzzle. In honour of numbers, and
because it’s sudoku, all answers are numbers.
“Numbers have life; they’re not just symbols on paper.”
- Shakuntala Devi

Come see my vast selection of modern antiques!

Funvertisement
By Baguelle Swinson
Timeless treasures, childhood
memories, affordable prices. I’m
Baguelle Swinson, and I am proud
to introduce my new store Contemporary Antique.
I have spent the last 15 years
of my life running away from my
past and collecting pieces to complete my gallery. Unlike your traditional antique store, everything I
sell is no more than 15 years old. I
can guarantee it.
If you’d like to furnish your dining room, add character to your
living room or give your bedroom
a little pizazz, then you need to
take a Sunday afternoon to come
by my shop and browse our vast
selection of modern antiques!
At Contemporary Antique, we
sell everything that you’ve forgotten about for the past decade!
My passion for collecting started in 2000, when I was the owner
of a popular restaurant in a small
northern Quebec town. We were
very successful and I built a relationship within the small community. Unfortunately, one day I
made the decision to serve some
scallops that the chef thought

looked a little off. This led to an
outbreak of the TS74 virus (also
known as Swintanba), a rare, fatal pancreatic condition. For some
reason, I was immune to this disease and was able to leave before
all life in the town was infected
and eventually wiped from existence.
Ever since then I’ve had the bug
to search for new and used (but
mostly new) artifacts to add to my
collection!
Want a 13-inch tube TV and
boombox to spruce up the “man
cave”? We got it! Need a copy of
Rollercoaster Tycoon to entertain
your nephew Ethan, who was the
only other survivor of the epidemic? We got it! Have a hankering for
a bottle of Mellow Yellow? You
know we got that! But I wouldn’t
recommend drinking it because it’s
like 10 years old and I would hate
to be the cause of another infectious viral disease.
So come on down to Contemporary Antique and take some
time to reminisce on the good nottoo-old days, when life was much
simpler and you had friends that
didn’t all foam from the mouth.
With files from Robert Mackenzie

PHOTO: ROBERT MACKENZIE

Discrepancy
found in
FUNding
By Pew Chalmers
The annual report on the fun section’s funding has found incongruities between Funvertisement
spending and the section’s total
revenue.
According to the report, sponsors paid a total of $334,000
dollars for their Funvertisement
space in print, along with another
$422,000 dollars for their Funvertisement space online.
The gross revenue in the report
only accounts for $500,000 dollars of this Funvertisement money.
This leaves more than $250,000
dollars in unaccounted-for Funvertisement revenue.
There was also more than
$160,000 dollars allocated in two
categories new to the annual report: travel expenses and vehicle
accomodation.
Fun editor Robert Mackenzie
declined to comment on these financial inconsistencies.
More to come.

A guide to eating superfoods
By Skyler Ash
Being healthy is hard, because
healthy food is disgusting. When
your friend says they like a good
kale smoothie, just end your
friendship — you don’t need that
kind of negativity in your life.
You hear a lot of talk about superfoods, which are supposed to
be really good for you, but that
doesn’t mean that they taste good.
And for all this talk about being
“superfoods,” there’s nothing that
super about them. There’s no way
these foods are fit and ready for a
life of fighting crime.
So here are a couple of ways to
dress up your food, so it’s a little
more super. You will be eating like
a hero in no time.
Blueberries: Fashion a small
pair of Wonder Woman boots for
your blueberry. Place your blue-

berry atop the boots, and they’ll
be fighting bad guys in no time!
Don’t worry about completing the
look with Wonder Woman’s whip,
it’s unreasonable to expect a blueberry to hold a whip.
Seaweed: While munching on
some thin, green plant thing may
not seem like much fun, there’s
always room for improvement.
Make a small cape for your seaweed strips, and carefully tie it
around the neck region of the seaweed. But not too tight, or you’ll
harm your seaweed; they’re very
delicate creatures. Once the cape
is on, your seaweed is ready to
get cats out of trees and help old
ladies across the streets, because
he’ll be properly dressed.
Cauliflower: Cauliflower is pretty cool. It looks like a tiny albino
tree, but it’s not very exciting to
eat. A way to enhance your eat-

ing experience would be to slip
that cauliflower into some bright,
spandex tights. The tights will allow your cauliflower a greater
range of motion and a slight degree of protection while he’s out
defending innocent women in
street squabbles.
Goji berries: Who even knows
what these are? They look like red
raisins, and everybody knows that
a small, prune-like food is going to
need some help to catch those villains. Help your goji berry don a
mask. It’ll help protect his identity
and give him a sense of authority.
Salmon: Okay, salmon is actually good, but is it ready to defend
the city? No — it can barely fend
off a bear attack. Give your salmon a shield so he can keep those
villains at bay. Your salmon will
be Captain America-ing the crap
out of those bears in no time.

12

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015

FREE

WIFI

IN THE
FOOD
COURT

Need a break from your books for a quick bite or refreshment?
10 Dundas East is just around the corner to satisfy your craving.
We’re only a short walk from class, right at Yonge & Dundas.
Baskin Robbins

Harvey’s

Sauté Rosé

Blaze Pizza

Restaurants

Milo’s Pita

Starbucks

Jack Astor’s Bar & Grill

California Thai

Opa! Souvlaki

Subway

Milestones Grill & Bar

Caribbean Queen

Poptopia/Yoyo’s
Yogurt Café

The Beer Store
Express

Shark Club

Real Fruit
Bubble Tea

Tim Hortons

Chipotle
Curry & Co.
DAVIDsTEA

Wine Rack

Spring Sushi