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Volume 49 - Issue 12

December 2, 2015
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PHOTO: SIERRA BEIN

2

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NEWS

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015

3

Online voting gets the vote in favour
By Laura Woodward
Ryerson democracy is going digital.
Voting in Ryerson Students’
Union (RSU) elections will no longer be on paper ballots but online,
after students voted in favour of
the motion at the RSU Semi-Annual General Meeting (SAGM) on
Nov. 30.
RSU president Andrea Bartlett
put the motion forward as one
of many bylaw amendments, but
members voted to discuss it separately.
E-voting has been discussed in
the past. In the 2008 SAGM online voting was shut down.
Online voting was first approved
at a RSU Board of Directors meeting in October, after 88 per cent of
students voted in favour of digital
voting in a campus-wide survey.
The details of online voting had
been discussed since the summer,
according to Bartlett.
But some students opposed the
motion.
Vajdaan Tanveer — a third-year
politics and governance student
and a member of Reignite Ryerson, the oppositional group to the
RSU — argued that the privacy of
voting could be compromised and
ruin the democratic process in on-

Online voting is coming to the RSU elections — the planning and testing process will begin in Janurary.

line voting.
“Somebody somewhere will
know who and what you’re voting
for. That goes against the democratic principles of free and fair
election — and that’s a problem,”
Tanveer said.
Online voting could introduce
unjust tactics to get votes, according to Tanveer.
“Having laptops readily available will make it a huge problem,”
he said. “It’s one thing to campaign and let the student decide to
make their way to the polling station and it’s a very different thing
to have a laptop ready and say,
‘Oh look you’re here you might as
well vote for me, you don’t need

to go talk to the other campaign.’
“This type of campaigning
could happen at the campus pub,
while students aren’t in the right
state of mind,” he added.

Somebody somewhere will
know who and what you’re
voting for...that’s a problem
The University of Western Ontario (UWO) has used an online
voting system for students’ union
elections since the late 1990s.
UWO’s system was hacked after
more than 12 years of use. A grad-

PHOTO: ANNIE ARNONE

uate student changed several campaigners’ names and the voting
website to reference Justin Bieber
and Selena Gomez — resulting in
a re-vote, according to the London
Free Press.
Ryerson’s Computing and Communications Services (CCS) will be
working with the RSU to create a
secure online voting system.
Brian Lesser, Chief Information
Officer at CCS, said creating a
voting system will be business as
usual.
“CCS already provides an election system for Ryerson’s Board of
Governors and Senate elections.
I guess the RSU was aware of
that and were interested in using

our existing system,” Lesser said.
“Since we already have a system it
just seemed to make sense to make
it available to them if they wanted
to use it.”
Bartlett said that she and the
board chose CCS, rather than outsourcing to a third-party system,
because of the technical convenience.
“CCS already has the information of the students in the database
so we don’t need to do a bunch of
transferring of information of students,” Bartlett said. “They’re also
on-site in the event that there’s an
issue — there’s only three days of
voting, so you can just go to the
office of someone on campus,
rather than somewhere else.”
The RSU is in the process of
gathering the details of voting to
get a quote for an adequate system.
There will then be a draft contracted to ensure there will be no
third party intervention.
“After that contract is drafted we
would have legal counsel look over
this. Then we would run a beta test
of the system itself,” she said.
There will be a mock vote prior
to the actual elections, asking a
pool of users questions to test the
online-voting system.
This process is set to begin in
January 2016.

Tution fee motion ‘out of order’ at SAGM

Reignite Ryerson’s SAGM motion was thrown out by the chair.

By Keith Capstick
The Ryerson Students’ Union
(RSU) will not be mandated to
take a public opposition to tuition
increases any time soon.
After a week filled with positive
momentum, the Reignite Ryerson
movement was met with disappointment when their motion was
deemed “out of order” at Monday’s Ryerson Students’ Union
(RSU) Semi-Annual General Meeting (SAGM).
The group’s motion called for
the RSU “to publicly and consis-

PHOTO: ANNIE ARNONE

tently express their opposition to
the Ryerson administration’s disregard of many student’s financial difficulties.” The motion was
ruled to be out of order by the
chair of the meeting because it
wasn’t submitted within 30 days
of the meeting. All motions proposing bylaw amendments have
to be submitted within this time
frame.
Martin Fox, a third-year psychology student who is a member
of Reignite Ryerson and moved
the motion, wasn’t pleased with
the ruling.

“We knew when we submitted
this motion that this wasn’t this
particular group of student union
executives’ cup of tea,” Fox said.
“[But] we were not expecting it to
be thrown out entirely because of
bureaucratic maneuvering.”
Members of Reignite vocalized
a willingness to amend their motion to have it heard but were ultimately refused any amendments
by the chair.
“To me, they were just trying to
sort of avoid having a vote on it,”
Fox said.
Last week, Reignite held their
first public meeting and on Monday Cormac McGee, the RSU’s
vice-president education, held a
town hall to discuss tuition fees
which saw Ryerson’s interim
president Mohamed Lachemi in
attendance. Both meetings were
comprised of vocal members of
Reignite, as well as executives and
board members from the RSU.
The town hall and Reignite’s
public meeting saw both sides
participate in active debate over
what Ryerson students’ stance on
tuition fees should be and where
they should go to voice their concerns. This communication culminated in the unified opinion
that both sides need to set deadlines and create concrete plans.

At his town hall, McGee committed to drafting a letter to students. He also said he would
start the process of generating a
package to bring to the province
to fight for accessible education,
which he hopes the school will
participate in.
“I think this meeting was different because we showed up
at Reignite last week and it diffused a lot of perceived tension
there,” said McGee. “My goal
for this meeting wasn’t to protect
the administration … I think this
is a great place to start working
together between the RSU and
Reignite, I think we can actually
get something done and down on
paper.”
Some Reignite members said
they’re pleased with McGee’s willingness to work together but also
believe that work needs to continue externally “on the ground with
students,” in order to further their
campaign.
As part of this “on the ground”
approach, Reignite provided a
letter to all 24 members of the
Ryerson Board of Governors at
their meeting last week reaffirming their demands of the administration.
“We’re mindful of the fact that
if the administration hasn’t seen

the letter that we posted [originally], that it was important that
we made that direct contact with
them at this meeting,” said Awo
Abokor, a fourth-year biology student and vocal member of Reignite at the SAGM.
For the first time since their initial Facebook posts, Ryerson’s administration addressed Reignite’s
demands in an interview with The
Eyeopener.
“We know that tuition fees are
a challenge for students — we
don’t deny that,” said Lachemi.
“A response to something that is
on social media is not to me an
appropriate way to communicate
with students.”
After the SAGM, McGee said he
was also disappointed and hopes
that by the next meeting, the two
sides have done enough work together that it’ll be unnecessary to
pass a motion asking for the RSU
to take a firm stance on tuition.
“It’s crappy the way the system runs and this isn’t the first
time motions have been thrown
out,” said McGee. “We’ve had
some really productive conversations over the past week and I
hope that the work we do moving forward means that this sort
of motion doesn’t have to come
up again.”

EDITORIAL

4

The cover of last year’s special arts issue.

PHOTOS: JESS TSANG, ILLUSTRATION FARNIA FEKRI
AND ROB FOREMAN

The arts issue: more
than just a ‘Top 10’
By
Sean
Wetselaar
In 2010, The Eyeopener decided
to try something different with our
annual assembly of special issues.
In addition to the generally successful Sports Top 10 issue, we
branched out, producing a special,
three-page pullout called “SpringCONTINUING
STUDIES

ing Forward” — a look at a group
of artists on campus and the work
they’d done.
That first arts issue appeared on
stands the year before I started at
the paper — but by the time I did
we were still having a lot of the
same discussions.
Those were the early days of
not just our arts special issue, but
also of our communities section
in general. And both were cre-

ated as part of a bigger push from
the masthead — to try to tell the
stories of students on campus as
widely as possible.
Because, without communities,
without the arts issue, some of
the only profiles on students we
would write covered student athletes, once per year. And though
those stories are important, they
are not the only ones we can tell.
As I’ve written in these pages before, The Eyeopener wants to be
the voice of students on campus.
And our annual attempt to highlight some of the most creative
members of campus is just a part
of that.
It hasn’t always looked the
same. In 2013, we ran a paper focused on innovators on campus,
with more emphasis on business
students and inventors — rather
than simply artists.
But the overall goal of the issue
has always been to tell you stories
that you haven’t already heard.
Perhaps more than any other
section in the paper, our arts and
life, and communities sections exist to represent you — our readers.
And we’re always trying to do better on that front.
You’ll be hearing from our arts
and life editor Al Downham about
the vision and the message for this
year’s special issue, but we’ve done
our best to keep up the with the
spirit of that first, three-page pullout.
We hope you enjoy it.

Continuing Studies @

OCAD UNIVERSITY
Art / Design / New Media
Evenings / Weekends / Online

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015

Editor-in-Chief
Sean “The industrial revolution
and its consequences have been
a disaster for the human race”
Wetselaar
News
Keith “Follows with cereal”
Capstick
Farnia “Commercial junky” Fekri
Laura “A bit loud” Woodward
Features
Emma “Beanie” Cosgrove
Biz and Tech
Jacob “That french guy” Dubé
Arts and Life
Al “Office vandal” Downham
Sports
Devin “Jon Bon” Jones
Communities
Dylan “Machine” Freeman-Grist
Photo
Sierra “Mamma photo” Bein
Jake “Crotch kicks” Scott
Annie “Great lakes” Arnone
Fun
Robert “Disco” Mackenzie
Media
Rob “Waiting for Sean” Foreman
Online
Josh “Leafs fan” Beneteau
Nicole “In a meeting” Schmidt
Lee “We miss you” Richardson
General Manager
Liane “Journalism time”
McLarty
Advertising Manager
Chris “I gotchu” Roberts

Design Director
J.D. “Good luck” Mowat
Intern Army
Gracie “Thanks” Brison
Mikayla “For” Fasullo
Ben “All” Hoppe
Angela “The” Feng
Victoria “Memories” Sykes
Contributors
Alanna “Protégé” Rizza
Emily “The damn picture” CraigEvans
Igor “N’app time” Magun
Brittany “Down to mars” Rosen
Elizabeth “Bloody” Donary
Nick “Co-ed” Matthews
Skyler “Son of Sam” Ash
Behdad “BehEstrangedStepmom”
Mahichi
Ben “Mary” Shelley
Ramisha “Please respond”
Farooq
Badri “Badrizzy” Murali
Chris “New guy” Blanchette
Zhao “Map” Lau
Nick “Blazé” Dunne
Karoun “ARTSED” Chahinian
Deven “Phone” Knill
Playing the part of the Annoying
Talking Coffee Mug this week is the
goddamn November weather that
decided to show up in December.
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NEWS

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015

5

Equity service centres get extra $2 per student
By Farnia Fekri
At their Nov. 30 Semi-Annual
General Meeting (SAGM), the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) voted to give the equity service centres $2 more per student this year.
That works out to around
$60,000 to be reallocated from the
current RSU budget, giving each
equity centre about $10,000 more,
said Markus Harwood-Jones after
the meeting.
Harwood-Jones, a coordinator
at the Trans Collective and the
mover of the motion, said he was
elated the motion passed — and
that he wasn’t expecting it to.
The idea of more money given
to the equity centres was first
brought forward at the Nov. 17
RSU Board of Directors meeting,
where executives were confused
about whether the proposal was
asking for a reallocation of funds
or a new levy.
“This is not a levy. We feel that
this should come out of the existing budget,” Harwood-Jones said
at the SAGM. “We would need
a referendum for a levy. Maybe
that’s something we want to look
into in the future, but that’s not
something we want to look at
right now.”
He brought the motion forward

RSU vice-president operations Obaid Ullah (right), president Andrea Bartlett and chairperson Abe Snobar.

citing recent growth in the campaigns and services of the equity
centres, as well as shortages of material and staff in the Good Food
Centre, the Centre for Women
and Trans People, RyeAccess, the
Trans Collective, RyePRIDE and
the Racialised Students’ Collective.
Coordinators are currently
spending too much time focusing
on securing third-party funding,
he said. “We’re not fundraisers.
That’s not our job. Our job is to
provide services to students.”

RSU vice-president equity Rabia
Idrees said though she’s happy the
motion passed, getting sponsorships is “part of the job description” and the new commitment
will mean losses in other areas.
“There would have to be a reduction on certain line-items to be
able to compensate,” she said.
RSU vice-president operations
Obaid Ullah said the union will
have to budget differently next
year, but that money will be pulled
from section surpluses and the
capital reserve funds for the re-

PHOTO: ANNIE ARNONE

mainder of the 2015-16 year.
“Honestly, I need to do a lot of
financial investigation,” he said
after the meeting. “At this point
it’s just, let them spend it, let them
have it, it was passed at the general meeting and we can always dip
into our reserves at the end of the
year. The membership decided on
that motion.”
Ullah attempted to amend the
motion in order to raise it to a
$2.50 contribution per student,
but the chair ruled it out of order
on the basis of absent students not

having notice of anything greater
than $2.
“I was a little concerned,” Ullah
said about his proposed amendment, adding that it was meant
“to show that, ‘Hey we’re all on
the same page here and we understand the concept of restricted
funding.’”
He said it wasn’t just a political
move and that he had hoped the
increase would pass.
“I was voted into the position to
do a good job and to be financially
transparent and accountable,”
he said. “But if the membership
makes a decision like that where
we need to change the budget to
make amendments, I’m 100 per
cent for that. It’s not really my
choice.”
Ullah added that in the future,
securing money from outside
sponsorships can fall under the
responsibilities of a vice-president
communications and outreach —
a new executive position the current RSU is looking at creating.
Discussion around the potential
new position was delayed due to
a loss of quorum, but in a Board
of Directors meeting following
the SAGM, representatives voted
to have the bylaw amendment debated and possibly ratified at the
next AGM.

New prez on the block: Lachemi’s first day on the job
Mohamed Lachemi changed his title from Vice-President Academic to interim president. Nicole Schmidt discusses his transition
On Dec. 1, former provost and
vice-president academic Mohamed Lachemi started his term
as Ryerson’s interim president.
Lachemi will take over for former president Sheldon Levy while
a search committee narrows
down a list of candidates for a
long-term replacement. The university is expected to decide on a
new president by spring or summer 2016.
Since beginning his tenure in
1998, Lachemi has used strategic planning to facilitate change
at Ryerson. The Eyeopener sat
down for a Q and A with him to
talk about his plans going forward into the school year.
How has your role as provost
and vice-president academic prepared you for being Ryerson’s interim president?
I have been at Ryerson for almost 18 years. I’ve seen huge
growth in this place and I feel
lucky to have been part of the
transformation. Overall I feel
very confident that my experience at Ryerson and before that
will really help me with any challenges in the position of interim
president.
Did Sheldon Levy pass along

any words of wisdom?
I have been working closely
with Sheldon over the past few
years. Sheldon will never stop
giving wisdom about students.
Any meeting, any discussion we
have is always a place to put students first. Working with him was
great, he’s a true leader. The advice that I’ve taken from him over
the past few years is to care about
students. That’s the most important.
What are your top priorities for

Ryerson will definitely establish itself as the innovation
university in Canada
the rest of the school year?
When I talk about priorities,
they are the priorities for the entire institution. We spent last year
consulting with the whole community — students, faculty, staff,
but also our extended partners
— to establish what our priorities
are for the university and we put
them in our academic plan. We
have a huge list of strategies to
really move forward. Of course,

Where do you see Ryerson five
this requires the university to get
additional space — especially years from now?
Ryerson really is a place to be
for programming and for all stunow and I can assure you it’s a
dents.
place to be five or 10 years from
Ryerson has seen a lot of now. Down the road, Ryerson
growth over the past decade. will definitely establish itself as
How will the university continue the innovation university in Canada and we are taking a lead in
that momentum?
We’re making sure that we many aspects. Our concept of
move quickly in a number of visual learning has a lot of merit
capital projects. As you can see, in terms of transforming the way
the construction of the Church that we deliver education to our
Street Development is starting. students. I think we have an obWe have another residence project on Jarvis Street to give more
capacity in terms of housing for
our students. We are now finding space for our theatre students
and we are working very hard to
give them state-of-the-art facilities in the basement of the SLC.
We have some limits in terms of
lab space for our students and
our researchers in the faculty of
science, so we are leasing space
with MARS to relieve some of the
pressure. We are also establishing
a biomedical innovation zone for
our students to take their ideas to
the next level. There is a lot of excitement around the projects and
I think we will move ahead and
maintain the momentum for our
Mohamed Lachemi, the interim president.
institution.

ligation towards our city and the
communities around us to work
with them and give opportunities
to do hands-on work with students. We want to give students
opportunities to solve problems,
work with industry leaders and
get mentorship. We think this is a
way for the university to establish
itself as a innovation university,
not only locally, but at the national and international level.
This interview has been edited
for length and clarity.

PHOTO: SIERRA BEIN

6

OUTSIDER ART ISSUE

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015

PHOTO: ANNIE ARNONE

RU art goes
beyond campus
By Al Downham

PHOTO: SIERRA BEIN

I’ll refrain from being preachy.
If you’ve read any arts and life stories
published under my watch, the section has
followed two important beats: a battle between two local burrito joints and art by my
fellow members of the Ryerson community.
And as another year of The Eyeopener closes, it’s my “job” to throw stories about TexMex aside and manage the yearly arts issue.
Past issues covered talented groups and
individuals across campus with impressive
projects attached to class theses, zone initiatives and ratified student unions.
Despite this, I saw how many students’
ambitions away from Gould Street were
ignored for this in-depth dive into the Ryerson arts community. For a school smackdab in the middle of downtown Toronto,
the issue sure seemed to cut talent down to
a hyperlocal focal.
So, I’ve devoted this issue to DIY (do-ityourself), independent and entrepeneurial
artists whose ambitions bleed into the city
streets, a thriving hub of art and culture.
Enjoy The Eye’s 2015 arts issue.

ARTS ISSUE 2015
MASTHEAD
Managing Editor
PHOTO: ANNIE ARNONE

Al Downham

Photographers
Sierra Bein
Jake Scott
Annie Arnone

Writers
Jacob Dubé
Karoun Chahinian
Natalia Balcerzak
Dylan-Freeman Grist

Designers
Devin Jones
Emma Cosgrove

Copy Editors
PHOTO: SIERRA BEIN

Nicole Schmidt
Josh Beneteau

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015

By Jacob dubé
Mayraki doesn’t fit into any one genre of
music. Inspired by genres like hip-hop, jazz,
funk, rock and many others, they create a
unique style that can keep a room jumping.
The band is comprised of drummer Michael Murad, guitarists Salvatore Paradise
and Sean Trudeau-Tavara, bassist Fithawi
Iman and vocalists Ishan Sharma and Ryerson sociology student Mohammed Yassin.
Paradise and Yassin met through student
group Musicians@Ryerson while Paradise
attended the university and the band formed
through mutual connections with another
group, Seed of Nature, in 2012.
“A few of us started jamming together
and we realized we had a similar style. We
just started our own band when they offered us a show,” Trudeau-Tavara said.
Without any songs or even a name, they
were booked for their first show at the now
defunct venue, The 460, on Spadina Avenue.
“We cooked up three songs in two
weeks. Not even two weeks, two sessions,” Yassin said.
After spending the beginning of their
three-year span under the name Beaudifulhors, they opted for the more marketable
name Mayraki, based on the greek word
Meraki, meaning the part of yourself that
goes into your work.
Their song writing process is what Iman

outsider art issue

7

MAYRAKI

PHOTOS: JACOB DUBÉ

PHOTO: JACOB DUBÉ

calls “almost perfectly democratic.” Someone will come in with an idea or a riff, and
everybody else works off of that.
“There are no egos. In all our songs, everyone has their own touch,” Iman said.
Their latest recording, “Hors D’oeuvres,”
was released in May, but the band says they
will hopefully start recording again soon.
“Our music-making is miles ahead of what
we have recorded. We have a fraction of our
entire repertoire recorded,” Paradise said.
Apart from the recording contract they
have with Toronto indie label Dungus Records, the band handles every other part of
the work, from booking their own shows
to managing their finances. Yassin says they
take their music more seriously as a result.
“This way we know what we’re worth.
We earn our dollar,” he said.
Trudeau-Tavara says that organizing
shows with other local indie bands is a crucial part of remaining a part of the scene.
“We’re bringing out fans that see us, and
we’re bringing out fans that see them ... It’s
something you can’t do alone,” Paradise
added.
The band says they’re planning on booking
their shows more strategiclly to gain more
exposure. But no matter how they go about
it, they’re taking everything as it comes.
“Everything we’re doing, we’re in the middle of learning,” Paradise said. “We learn it
by actually doing it, and fucking up.”

8

OUTSIDER ART ISSUE

I couldn’t pick her face out of a crowd
But I remember her kneeling
Hands cupped, scooping earth to her lips
A beggar’s breakfast
Tawnice
On her knees
like she sits for stranger men
Tawnice
I’m starting to believe in evil
There’s no other way to explain
A stomach so vacant
It grows an appetite for dust
- Excerpt from “Tawnice” by Twoey Gray

PHOTOS COURTESY: TWOEY GRAY

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015

By Al Downham

OUTSIDER ART ISSUE

TWOEY GRAY

Poet Twoey Gray was 18 when she travelled to Haiti.
Interning for a non-governmental organization (NGO), the second-year politics and
governance student says she wasn’t sure what she was looking for upon arrival. However,
her experience with corruption during her six-month stay was long enough to get a taste
of “poverty tourism.”
“I expected something better of a sector of work that claims to want to change the
world,” she says.
Gray saw millionaire charity donors who couldn’t “get used to the smell of Haitian,”
donors who live in luxury and swim on white-only beaches. Meanwhile, local families
lived in intense poverty.
“The NGO industry is, really, a mess,” she says. “I wanted to learn a lot, but some of
it was hard to.”
Two years later, this trip became a spoken word piece that’d help take Gray to an international poetry slam.
Gray — a member of Ryerson student groups Poetic Exchange and RU Creative Writing Club — has written poetry since kindergarten. However, it’s only been a year since
her first spoken word slam at a local bar. And although her time in the community’s been
short, she’s already qualified to perform her collection of politically-charged poems at the
Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWPS) in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“I talk about politics but I also talk about personal stories,” says Gray, who’s also performed at Pride Toronto, Brave New Voices in Atlanta, Ga. and monthly Toronto slams.
“I think the personal is political.”
Gray has become one of “the girls” in what she calls a scene dominated by male voices,
finding inspiration in her personal experiences with girlhood and the devaluing of young
women’s opinions.
Inside the Dangerously Empty Lives of Teenage Girls was her first piece, based on what
she describes as a “bullshit” Maclean’s article of the same name.
The article focuses on mental health and “self-objectification” of young women obsessed with vanity and the products marketed to them.
“First of all, it was patriarchal, but second of all, it was just rude. Why is it a face palm

9

PHOTO: AL DOWNHAM

if a girl likes One Direction? I’m not a huge fan, but you understand you’re specifically
marketing it to young girls and then you punish them for buying into it?”
Since that piece, Gray has collaborated with other young women in the spoken word
scene. This semester, Gray — along with Ryerson student Cassandra Myers and Lindsey
Drury — created the Ragdoll Collective, aiming to help fellow female writers perfect their
pieces. The group hosts workshops, events and travels to international competitions. She
says forming a collective is the spoken word equivalent of starting a band.
“We were immediately grouped together,” says Gray. “We realized we liked each other
a lot and didn’t want the three slam girls to be constantly in competition.
“If we had just been in our own bubbles and competing with each other, I don’t think
any of us would have made [it] this far.”

“I talk about politics but I also
talk about personal stories”
She says the phenomenon of “boys yelling” can be tiring. Although performers have
varying vocal styles from hip-hop flow to staccato pronunciation, she says being loud can
come across as “cheap.”
“Sometimes [slams] become a competition of who can be the most aggressive, and it’s
really important to have charisma and be able to move a crowd and hype them up,” Gray
says. “But I think it can be kind of cheap to yell your way through a poem because, you
know, it’s a really visceral thing to hear.”
Although this trend has made it harder for soft-spoken female artists to gain recognition, Gray and her collaborators help to promote other female poetic voices in Toronto.
Gray’s next big performance is the WOWPS show in March.

outsider art issue

10

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015

BETTIE FATAL

PHOTO COURTESY AVERY BARSONY

By Karoun Chahinian

Avery Barsony is a second-year fashion design student running her own lingerie business,
Bettie Fatal.
Barsony founded her company in 2012, transitioning from fetish-wear to lingerie in
January 2015.
After escaping from a three-year abusive relationship,
Barsony set out to start a lingerie line that would make
women feel powerful and confident.
“I wanted to create a feminist lingerie company that made
girls feel good about themselves,” said Barsony. “When I
got out of [the unsafe relationship], I wanted to do everything I couldn’t do for three years. So I started lingerie blogging and got a great response.”
She says consumer response has been great, but she receives
the most support from friends and family. Barsony’s parents
noticed her proficiency in math and science when was she
was young; however, her passion was in fashion design.
“My earliest memory of wanting to be a designer was at
my grandma’s. I would try to make Barbie doll dresses and
she taught me how to hand sew,” she said. “I mentioned
to my dad I wanted to go into design, but he was adamant
about wanting me to go into engineering until he saw my
work. After that, he did everything he could to help.”
Her parents helped her set up a large room in the basement of her Oakville family home, which she uses as a designing work space. Barsony does all of the designing, marketing, photography and distribution for Bettie Fatal and
said ‘50s fashion is her muse.
“I’m obsessed with pin-up culture and that’s where a lot
of my inspiration ends up coming from. The ‘50s silhouette
was the most flattering for people,” said Barsony.
Barsony said although she started with fetish wear, she
made the transition to lingerie after unsolicited comments

were left on her Facebook page about her models and users sent “dick pics” to her work
email. After feeling lumped into a community she didn’t agree with, she decided to focus
on lingerie inclusive to all consumers.
“The stuff I do is great because you can put it on someone who’s size 2 and a girl
who’s a size 14 and it will look good on everyone in between.”
Barsony illustrates Bettie Fatal’s focus on equal representation
through her models, which are often her friends.
“I’ve had a few trans people, queer people and lots of women
of colour model for me,” said Barsony. She also accepts custom
orders and personally designs lingerie pieces to make a perfect fit.
With nearly 1,000 likes on her business Facebook page and
customers all around the world — her top three markets being
Los Angeles, Sweden and Australia — Barsony said her business
has especially picked up this past year after the addition of lingerie. She said she prioritizes the business over her schoolwork. She
clocks in over 40 hours of work every week.
“Sometimes in lectures I’ll have to be editing the lingerie photo
shoots and I just want to tell the people around me that I’m not
looking at porn, this is literally my job,” said Barsony.
One person who has helped Barsony with the development of
her career is her friend Jessica Montebello, 23, who owns the
vegan cafe D-Beatstro. In October, Barsony threw a fashion show
at the restaurant in release of her new collection and used it as a
charitable opportunity.
“I got to show my collection and I even auctioned off a coupon
for a lingerie set, [and] art prints of my collection. And I gave the
money to the North York Women’s Shelter,” said Barsony. “I’m
also doing that for orders between Nov. 25 and Dec. 25. Ten per
cent of everything is going to charity. I’ve had really good luck
with people supporting me and I want to give back. ”
Barsony is planning on releasing another collection early next
PHOTO : SIERRA BEIN year.

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015

OUTSIDER ART ISSUE

11

SHORT DANCES

PHOTO COURTESY: SHORT DANCES

By Natalia Balcerzak

The lights dim as the audience watches the figure in the middle. It’s quiet as every- sion confined to a small room has turned into a monthly event that invites all types of
one waits for the music to be turned on. No one knows what to expect — sometimes, artists. From spoken word poets, musicians, actors and even a flamenco dancer, Short
not even the performer. There’s a wide range of emotions as the performers invite those Dances has become a space for anyone to collaborate.
who are willing to come with them on their personal journey.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for any artist to have a stage, because a lot of us can’t
Run by five members, Short Dances is a collaborative group of Ryerson students and go on big stages all the time, so it’s nice that we can share what’s on our mind and any
other dancers that encourage artists to perform in a unique space. They’re free to do what- problems that we have at the time,” said Alexander Medeiros, member and photographer
ever they feel and express themselves through their own interpretation of dance. Their of the team. “It’s never about the aesthetic of the dance or of the piece, it’s always behind
boundaries are endless, with no choreography or rules. Just raw, real feelings.
the meaning [and] after they perform, you feel like you know them.”
Short Dances stage manager and fourth-year Ryerson arts and contemporary studies
Chantelle Mostacho is a Ryerson dance grad and performer for Short Dances. She said
student, Maricris Rivera, said that being surrounded by people with a similar mindset is she found the intimate space to be more honest, as opposed to rehearsals. “It’s a showing
what artists need to grow comfortably.
of an exploration but it’s a finished product — it’s a good place
“The dance industry is competitive enough,” said Rivera.
for feedback.”
“Here it’s different, we’re humble and accepting [because] every
Their stages aren’t what you’d expect. Collaborating with
person comes there for a different intention, a different purpose.”
local businesses and small venues, Collantes said the spaces
Short Dances has started attracting many students from Rythey use are meant to be intimate. They’ve performed in art
erson’s performance program, along with people from around
galleries, underground coffee shops, gardens and little known
the GTA and even outside of the region. Working dancers that
theatres where the audience sits in a conjoined circle.
are taught to move the way their choreographer wants them to
“We tried to emphasize the intimacy of the event because
often feel constraint and require an outlet.
when you see shows in Canada or in Toronto, a lot of it is
“It’s always such a breath of fresh air to see different artistic
prestigious based, you know — big theatre kind of thing and
backgrounds,” said Kyana Astles, a second-year Ryerson dance
it’s with props and with music, all planned and rehearsed,”
student and Short Dances performer. “Everyone has a different
said Collantes. “And we wanted to create an alternative way
story and I felt grateful to be able to enter someone’s world even
[of] performing and expressing, which emphasizes the organic,
if it’s just for a moment.”
raw and natural part of the artists.”
Independent dance companies that are trying to get started
Through word of mouth and Facebook posts, their shows
also come in to showcase and promote their work. As for rehave grown in size. The average audience has tripled from 10
sumes, there are none as they welcome people from all types of
to 30-plus people. But for Collantes, he said that he always
backgrounds — some performers are professionals, others are
reminds the dancers that it doesn’t matter if five or 50 people
just trying out their art.
come.
Founded in 2013 by Alvin Collantes, a student from Western
“Whoever wants to witness and be a voyeur to that event,
University, the group has gone through a series of changes.
have an open mind and be curious to what you want to share
What was originally intended to be a casual improv dance ses- PHOTOS AND CUTOUTS: ANNIE ARNONE AND SIERRA BEIN
— then that’s a bonus.”

12

Outsider Art issue

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015

PHOTOS: JAKE SCOTT

PHILIP SKOCZKOWSKI
By Jake scott

In a gutted basement on Spadina Avenue, bodies are bouncing to hypnotic beats, dancing important as the people who organize them. His project takes him from well-established
‘til the sun comes up. Amongst those bodies, a man crouches down next to a rattling am- clubs to smoky after-hours bars and these places are an anchor point for his documentary.
“You enter spaces and your own individuality is contested,” he says. “You have to conplifier with his camera, framing up the DJ.
This is Philip Skoczkowski, a second-year masters of fine arts in documentary media front yourself and how comfortable you are in those spaces.”
He describes the Toronto scene as being less established compared to internationally
student and an avid photographer of Toronto’s underground electronic scene. He’s been
recognized cities like London because of the lack of proper spaces
compiling a multi-format documentary on the people and
for electronic events. Zoning and noise bylaws in the city can make
places in the community.
it difficult to throw an all night event.
“I’ve been photographing this project subconsciously
“Very often Toronto is in a situation where people who want to
for years, but I started to get focused on it this year in
make intelligent dance music and put things together, they can’t pull
March … I couldn’t stick to one medium, I’m using evit off because of the idea it’s at an after-hours [event], because it’s not
erything from my phone to vine loops to internet screena designed, engineered sound space,” says Skoczkowski.
shots,” says Skoczkowski. “I’m going out and taking
After-hours bars often conjure up images of drug-fueled, debauchenvironmental portraits of people in their spaces, where
erous and dangerous parties, which isn’t always the case.
they live, where they produce, where they have experi“More often it’s just people actively listening to music,” says
enced something musical that has influenced them in
Skoczkowski.
some way.”
Skoczkowski might shoot up to eight shows between Thursday
The 25-year-old didn’t begin with the electronic scene,
and Sunday, conducting interviews throughout the week. His efforts
however. He got his start shooting hard rock and ska
are leading up to a four-day exhibit in June 2016. Much like the
bands in Poland in 2004 before moving to Singapore to
scene he documents, the space for this exhibit will be completely
cover shoegaze and indie acts.
DIY.
His introduction to electronic music was in 2008 when
“The idea of the space is to come about as organic as possible,”
he got involved with the Gilles Peterson Worldwide
says Skoczkowski. “It is meant to involve people and I think it’ll
Awards in Singapore, a massive electronic music event.
happen naturally from the people I’m talking to.”
Shortly after, he moved to Canada to study at the UniverHe plans on having his subjects play sets during the exhibit to
sity of Toronto.
juxtapose their own static images, creating a living photo essay.
“I did an undergrad in international development. Dur“It’s a celebration of the people doing things and the instruments
ing that time I was working on projects that had to do
involved in it, whether it’s PCs, or modulators or cables or microwith citizen participation,” says Skoczkowski. “What
phones,” says Skoczkowski. “I want to get you to look at how
spaces mean for people, how people organize themselves,
much goes into a show. It’s not just a person with two tables mixing,
how people voice their individuality. I wanted to continue
there’s a whole line of people and material things behind it that cremy project but take a different angle.”
ate the vibe at the end.”
For Skoczkowski, where these raves take place is just as

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015

OUTSIDER ART ISSUE

13

PHOTO: ANNIE ARNONE

MARKUS HARWOOD-JONES

By Dylan Freeman-Grist

Markus Harwood-Jones encountered their first zine in an anarchist coffee shop and bookstore in downtown Winnipeg.
A city marked by oppression and class divides ripped open communities like theirs. It was
often a terrible place where transphobia surfaced, they said.
The zine Free, Fer, Frim told the story of a young kid who goes to school for the first time,
choosing the gender neutral pronouns that make up the zine’s title. Harwood-Jones picked it
off of a shelf amid a collection of other poetry and artwork from local trans communities. For
them, it was their first window into a new world where they’d find comfort.
“It was just amazing to read these stories and I feel like it was the first time I realized there
was other trans people and they were just doing their thing. They were actually making this
incredible art, I could make it too and contribute. As soon as I found the medium I wanted
to be a part of it.”
Today Harwood-Jones is a trans activist and community organizer. They’re the lead coordinator at the Ryerson Trans Collective. From their office, which doubles as storage for both
the Centre for Women and Trans people and the Collective, they steadily cut out newspaper
clippings while reflecting on their art.
Harwood-Jones has been creating zines for years. Their style is simple. Careful, methodical
writing sharing the experience of growing up trans in Canada. Living in poverty, and struggling with homelessness. Their work tackles issues marring the trans community, such as
mental health and a lack of access to safe spaces.
The writing is combined with sporadic and what they call “chaotic” illustrations and
paintings.
The script and scrawlings are clumped together in collections which are then released all
at once. If one were to read them from front-to-back they may come off as a novella, but the
point is to not force the reader into any one starting point.
Their first major collection was Confessions of a Teenage Transsexual Whore, an autobiographical 10-part series that takes the reader through the life of a young sex worker. It walks
through the imagery of bodies, dances around relationships and paints a picture of love from
the perspective of Harwood-Jones.
“My experience with being a trans sex worker was very much erased and not present at
all in society, the handful of narratives that were present were highly transmisogynist and
oppressive,” they said.
Harwood-Jones says that Confessions was a way of humanizing the experience. A way of
showing the world that it happens and shouldn’t be forced to either remain invisible or be

mangled into traumatizing tropes in our media.
One scene recounts the shame they felt after leaving a client. It guides the reader along as
Harwood-Jones purchases a pack of cigarettes and smokes it all amid a wave of disgust.
“I was sick of being an object, sick of being a fetish, of being unable to do anything else. I
was sick of being in this fucking body,” they recalled thinking as they walked home through
the dark and in the rain.
Zines are political tools, Harwood-Jones admits. Amid the potent personal monologues
they’ve created you’ll find several of their collaborative pieces. Many are floating across more
North American cities than just Toronto and Winnipeg.
According to Harwood-Jones, it’s no coincidence zines became an important cornerstone
of queer and trans communities. As an artform that’s cheap, discourse-oriented and requires
only a motivated community to distribute it, it has become a haven for those tired of waiting
to be represented by mainstream publishing.
“Zine making for me is about feeling represented, feeling heard and owning our stories and
doing it for ourselves and not anyone else,” Harwood-Jones said.
One example is The Bathroom Zine, put out by the Ryerson Trans Collective last year. The
piece is a culture jam of images and dialogues — protest art from the collective that demanded trans students on campus be granted a safe, gender-neutral space to access a washroom.
One chapter, Other Places to Pee, suggested peeing on Sheldon Levy might be an appropriate response given the school’s lack of movement on the issue.
“That came from a very raw place and it was very grounded. We were just hanging out having a meeting and we were like, ‘We should make a zine about this because it’s so messed up.’”
The collective placed the zine in one-third of the school’s washrooms as a suggestion that
one-third would need to be converted for an equitable campus. This semester, two washrooms in the SCC were temporarily converted and more are on their way.
For years, Harwood-Jones has peddled their work on the streets. They’ve taken to the zine
fair circuit, assembling materials and planning logistics. It’s a blue-collar approach they’re
looking to transition out of in the future by sprucing up their website and partnering with
printing companies to help expand their product offerings for customers.
For the most part, readers — mostly the queer and trans folk that Harwood-Jones focuses
on — have provided positive feedback for their work, though they do have critics.
“I don’t think my family is the biggest fan of my art … but I think they’ve been sitting with
that uncomfortableness for a long time you know. I make my family uncomfortable in a lot
of different ways so they’re just going to have to deal with it.”

14

OUTSIDER ART ISSUE

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015

PHOTOS: ANNIE ARNONE

CAMERON FOX-REVETT

By Annie Arnone

Whether he’s at a party or sitting in class Cameron Fox-Revett can be found with his
“[The songs] are so sparse and eclectic but they’re united in the fact they exist within
notebook in hand, writing song lyrics.
this MAP project,” he said. “They’re going to be included in dance and theatre pieces.”
His love for writing has been life long, but it wasn’t until he wrote and recorded a song
Wisdom Teeth — a film exploring sexual assault — will also be featured in MAP, as
with his friend Kailea that he realized evoking emotion
Cameron hopes to write a song for the piece, featuring
through music was his passion.
director Syd Lazarus’ voice.
“Kailea and I wrote a song called ‘You Could Never
“We’ve contracted with a bunch of films … we wanted
Love Me’ … We recorded and produced it, and when I
to put out songs about sexual abuse because it’s a converplayed her the finished product for the first time, she was
sation that needs to be had,” he said.
in tears,” he said. “She was so utterly happy and proud
“[I] wanted to have songs about gay positivity as well
and … I want to be able to bring that feeling to many
… there are certain singers in songs that use pronouns
people.”
efficiently. Some songs are very ambiguous with their proThis past summer, he was sent abroad to Scotland,
nouns because I wanted to make sure that not all material
where his penchant for songwriting grew, as well as his
was binary.”
collection of lyrics. It was the start of MAP.
Jenna Daley, a fourth year theatre student and singer
MAP is a collaboration amongst Ryerson students to
joined MAP after being approached by Fox-Revett with
produce a collection of songs written by Fox-Revett hima song entitled Ego.
self to be used in a variety of projects.
“It’s really cool to be a part of,” Daley said. “I love
The project is funded by the Ryerson Communicahearing new things and he’s inspired me.”
tion Design Society [RCDS] with an approved budget of
Not only does Fox-Revett wish to unify Ryerson stu$11,700, as well as an additional $3,000 set aside from
dents through his music, he also intends to use this projother small contributors. By February they hope to secure
ect as a springboard for his growth.
another $2,600. The money will go towards getting ma“The project is also a stepping stone for me personally,
terial professionally recorded and mastered.
and just going for something that I’m passionate about
“It got to the point that I had such an overflow of mawhich is writing, and singing and producing and bringing
terial that I wanted to have put out,” he said.
people together.”
“This summer, the theatre school sent me abroad to
As a result of the success of MAP, Fox-Revett was given
Scotland to study performance. And while I was there
the opportunity to perform in New York City this April.
I learned so much … it felt like different geographical
“A colleague of mine is producing a song … and the
places I would go to would influence different material,”
song cycle is constructed by songs by young up-andhe said.
coming composers,” he said. “I’ve been selected as one
Fox-Revett made sure to include different genres
of them to write two or three of the songs for the show.”
throughout his collection of songs, drawing inspiration
MAP will be performing at Ryerson’s holiday show on
Jenna Daley (left) and Cameron Fox-Revett.
from various people.
Dec. 2.

IT’S BEEN FUN

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015

Mackenzie resigns as fun editor

Mackenzie resigns during his State of the Fun Section address

By Pew Chalmers
Robert Mackenzie has resigned
as The Eyeopener’s fun editor after a month-long Funvestigation
brought his embezzlement scheme
to light.
Mackenzie announced his resignation in the State of the Fun
Section address he gave last Monday. “I have decided that now is
the time for me to step aside and
hand over the fun section to a new
leader. Thank you to all those who
remained loyal to me. I hope the
fun section will keep on thriving,”
Mackenzie said in his speech.
Mackenzie’s elaborate embezzlement scheme ran over the entire
semester. Ultimately, Mackenzie

PHOTO: JACOB DUBÉ

has taken $364,000 in money that
was supposed to be going to The
Eyeopener.
The Funvestigation began after
local small-business owner Enzo
Malone, a source who has previously been referred to as Lovebug
in order to hide his identity, came
to us with allegations that Mackenzie was taking a percentage of the
revenue from each Funvertisement.
Malone, an old friend of Mackenzie’s, had taken out a Funvertisement at the beginning of the year,
and worked closely with Mackenzie in the development of Funvertisements all semester.
“His scheme got out of control!”
Malone said. “Turning him in was
my only option. He will come out

of this a better person, that’s an
Enzo guarantee!”
Mackenzie’s resignation came as
somewhat of a surprise to most.
“I definitely didn’t see it coming,” said Eyeopener space editor
Jacob Dubé. “His resignation was
a pleasant surprise to all of us at
The Eyeopener, who in no way
condone his unethical actions.”
After a press conference he held
last week, it appeared that Mackenzie was set to stay on as fun
editor and fight the inevitably long
and ugly legal battles that were to
come.
Mackenzie broke several rules in
The Eyeopener’s constitution, such
as stealing corporation property
and violating ethical practices.
But reports indicate that Mackenzie struck a deal with The
Eyeopener last weekend. By resigning and leaving the mess in a quiet
manner, The Eyeopener has agreed
not to file lawsuits against their former fun editor.
Mackenzie’s resignation has not
completely quieted his critics, however. In light of his lack of punishment from The Eyeopener, several
fun readers have started a classaction lawsuit against Mackenzie’s
unethical practices. The case will
be presented to a judge next year.
Semi-professional juggler Skyler Ash will be taking Mackenzie’s
place as fun editor next semester.

15

Colouring contest
Colour in the fish (Mr.
Chauncey K. Swindel) and
drop it off with your contact
info to The Eyeopener office
(SCC 207) for your chance
to win a $25 Cineplex gift
card!
“Fishing is much more
than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return
to the fine simplicity of our
forefathers.”
- Herbert Hoover
Think of funny things over the
break and write for the fun
section next semester! Contact
fun@theeyeopener.com

ILLUSTRATION: SKYLER ASH

16

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015

A Farewell Message
from Sheldon Levy
I could walk around the Ryerson campus a
thousand times and marvel once again at
what we’ve built together over the past ten
years. It is a reflection of a community
dedicated to student success, innovation
and discovery, and creative city building.
But the truth is, strolling around is fun
because of the students who stop to say
hello. I have enjoyed every conversation
more than I can say. Thank you for making
my time as president so wonderful.
Ryerson is an extraordinary university – and
it’s yours. What I see when I walk around is
only the beginning. On the horizon, I see
a brilliant blue-and-gold future lit up with
your talent, determination and creative
energy. Most of all, keep dreaming!
All the best on your assignments and
exams, and have a joyful holiday.
Sheldon