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Volume 49 - Issue 24

April 13, 2016
theeyeopener.com
@theeyeopener
Since 1967

THE END

PHOTOS: SIERRA BEIN, ANNIE ARNONE, TAGWA MOYO
ILLUSTRATION: JAKE SCOTT

2

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

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NEWS

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

3

Ryerson’s 10-minute plan

Ryerson is one of the fastest growing schools in the country, but the university faces a unique set of struggles when it comes to acquiring space in the downtown core. The solution? Think on the fly

Men’s Issues
Group sues
RSU

By Keith Capstick

By Brennan Doherty

With rising population density in
the downtown core and the Kerr
Hall quad structurally unsound to
build on, Ryerson faces some of
the biggest growth challenges in the
country. But unique building strategies, like a potential two-floor addition to the Ted Rogers School of
Management (TRSM), could allow
Ryerson to cement its place in the
heart of the city.
Other schools like Humber College, George Brown College and the
University of Toronto have dealt
with these issues by creating satellite campuses in different locations.
But Ryerson is committed to a
“10-minute walk between classes”
academic motto, that places limits
on expansion and forces the school
to build upward and expand into
nearby commercial buildings.

Clause five of a lawsuit filed by
the Men’s Issues Awareness Society (MIAS) against the Ryerson
Students’ Union (RSU) Board of
Directors (BoD) could affect the
union’s ability to reject student
groups based on who they associate with.
The lawsuit, filed by MIAS
president Kevin Arriola and social media executive Alexandra
Godlewski on April 8, comes after the group was rejected for club
status by the RSU.
“[The lawsuit] will warn RSUs
in the future they can’t get away
with this and arbitrarily reject
groups based on how they personally feel about it,” Arriola said.
In appeal meetings, the RSU’s
BoD criticized MIAS for associating
with the Canadian Association for
Equality (CAFE) — a controversial
off-campus men’s issues group.
MIAS held events at their headquarters, but CAFE isn’t providing
financial aid. Instead, the Justice
Centre for Constitutional Freedoms
(JCCF), a Calgary-based legal clinic
fighting free-speech and freedom
of association cases pro bono, is
working closely with MIAS.
After MIAS’ January appeal denial, CAFE called for donations to
support a “ground-breaking discrimination against men” lawsuit.
MIAS wants student group status
and another appeal. The lawsuit demands a public apology, admitting
the group’s rejection was “tainted
by a closed mind and bias” and violated the union’s free-speech policy.
“We feel excluded from the Ryerson community,” wrote Kevin
Arriola in a signed affidavit.
The group’s fifth demand calls
for the RSU to refrain from “limiting access to its services and other resources on account of the
thoughts, beliefs, opinions, expressions or associations of students or student groups.” If MIAS
wins, it could aid other controversial groups seeking status.
According to the JCCF’s website,
the Justice Centre mainly spars with
students’ unions on behalf of prolife groups. But in 2014 they also
wrote about the resistance of student unions to men’s issues groups.
“As long as [MIAS] is promoting peaceful discussion and intellectual inquiry, that has a place
on campus and the RSU needs to
respect that,” said Michael Kennedy, communications and development coordinator at JCCF.
RSU president Andrea Bartlett said
the BoD stands by its decision. The
first court date is April 25.
“To the RSU, I’ll see you in
court,” Arriola said.

“What’s the point of
being in a very isolated area, where students have no choice
to interact with the
extended world?”
“If you give me an option to be in
a very tiny space in downtown Toronto or go in a very rural area in
the countryside and have a university with plenty of space, I would
rather be in downtown Toronto,”
said Ryerson president Mohamed
Lachemi. “What’s the point of being in a very isolated area, where
students have no choice to interact
with the extended world?”
As a newer university, Ryerson
hasn’t had the luxury of growing
with the city. Instead of expanding from its historical centre outward, as many other schools do,
the un-buildable Kerr Hall area
has forced the campus to grow
into neighbouring streets. Ryer-

Kerr Hall is fiscally and structurally irresponsible to build on, which poses building challenges for Ryerson.

son’s most prized landmarks are
entrenched in the bustling Bay and
Dundas area and on the cusp of
campus along Yonge Street.
According to Lachemi, whose
educational background is in civil
engineering, building onto Kerr
Hall would either be too costly —
likely a complete renovation of the
Ryerson Recreation and Athletics
Centre — or just not structurally
feasible.
According to Ryerson Builds
— the administrative department
responsible for contracting new
projects and planning the campus’
future in conjunction with administration — the school’s precinct
boundaries end around College
and Carlton streets, Bay Street,
Shuter Street and Jarvis Street.
Ryerson was last year’s provincial runner-up in undergraduate
applications with 69,382, but the
university was only able to accept 12 per cent of those who applied (8,483 students). With these
numbers rising every year and the
school’s selection of programs
growing, “space” is often the issue
in the mouths of Ryerson’s administrative elite.
“You can’t keep on taking in
more and more students if you
can’t handle them,” said former
president Sheldon Levy in response
to the undergraduate application
statistics in October 2015. “The

TRSM is Ryerson’s namesake near Bay and Dundas.

PHOTO: JESS TSANG

university today has never saw
itself building a satellite campus,
we’ve seen our identity as a downtown university. And the challenge
of building downtown — it is now
really serious.”
Right now, Ryerson has three
major projects underway: the massive Church Street Development to
house health sciences, including a
student residence, the extension of
the science faculty into the MaRS
building and the Jarvis Street Residence.
One of Ryerson’s most difficult
planning challenges is the Kerr Hall
and quad area, which acts as the
focal point of campus. Although
adding to Kerr Hall isn’t feasible,
Lachemi said the university has
committed to maintaining the
building to keep pace with the rest
of the school. In recent years, Kerr
Hall’s electrical systems and many
of its large lab spaces have been up-

PHOTO: SIERRA BEIN

erson has made efforts to ensure its
buildings are primed for long-term
updates. TRSM has the capacity
to hold at least two more floors
and although plans have not been
made yet, Lachemi mentioned this
as a definite long-term option. This
same procedure was utilized with
Eric Palin Hall, which started as
a two-storey building. The Sally
Horsfall Eaton Centre has since
been built ontop of it to add space.
All of these successes in mind,
Ryerson is still growing at unprecedented rates and Lachemi’s predecessor was a little more skeptical of the school’s ability to keep
up — particularly when it comes
to the length of time it takes the
city to approve building permits.
“If someone just dropped $70
million that landed on this desk,
a new building would be ready
in about seven to 10 years,” Levy
said in October. “That’s how hard

“If someone just dropped $70 million that
landed on this desk, a new building would
be ready in about seven-to-10 years”
dated — renovations that added up
to millions, according to Lachemi.
These limitations are where acquisitions and partnerships, like
the Mattamy Athletic Centre and
TRSM, have come up in the past.
When the student body’s growth
puts administration under pressure,
they have to make the necessary arrangements. A skill that, Lachemi
says, Ryerson is quite good at.
“Of course, when you are under
pressure, you think outside of the
box, and that’s how we operate,”
Lachemi said. “Athletics is in the
best possible arena in the country
— the Maple Leaf Gardens. Let’s
find those opportunities and give
them to our students.”
Ryerson’s deal with Cineplex to
accommodate additional lectures is
another example of this initiative.
In its more recent additions, Ry-

it is to build. I feel really guilty
about that, and we should have
done a better job.”
Levy said due to the challenges
facing Ryerson in terms of expasion, a satellite campus may be
necessary in the future.
Janet Hercz, director of programming and operational readiness, capital projects and real estate at Ryerson Builds, maintains
that for the immediate future Ryerson will be able to keep up.
“Ryerson has accumulated a
large development site on the
north-west corner of Dundas and
Jarvis, and this will accommodate
a lot of future academic growth,”
Hercz said. “While land is always
scarce in a downtown urban campus, Ryerson does have opportunities for additional space for the
foreseeable future.”

EDITORIAL

4

Editor-in-Chief
Sean “Inflatable Tube Man”
Wetselaar

Victoria “Will” Sykes
Hannah “Miss” Kirijianv
Lidia “You” Foote

News
Keith “Burrito?” Capstick
Nicole “Schmidty builder” Schmidt
Al “Uncle Leon” Downham

Contributors
Brennan “Hat?” Doherty
Sarah “silly_sarah” Krichel
Jacob “Camera?” Thielen
Ian “The onion” Yamamoto
Mahogani “White names” Harri
Annaliese “Gandalf” Meyer
Ruty “Tinder” Korotaev
Badri “Popped a molly” Murali
Zeinab “Votes for arts” Saidoun
Serena “La” Lalani
Jessica “Va” Valeny
Olivia “Sleeps in” Bednar
Zoe “202” Melnyk
Lauryn “Hill” Pierro
Adriana “Al dente” Parente
Victoria “Secret” Shariati
Miriam “Webster” Valdes-Carletti
Celina “Lamborghini” Gallardo
Janine “Jaten” Maral Tascioglo
Julia “Curriculum” Vit
Zahraa “Alumheavy” Alumairy
Kiki “Post-breaky” Cekota
Zena “No thank you” Salem
Mitchell “What shoot?” Thompson
Justin “Biztin Techler” Chandler
Michelle “Deal with Justin” Song
Jaclyn “Suffer Justin’s wrath” Tansil
Hanna “Run, while you can” Lee

Features
Farnia “It’s a tart, peasant” Fekri
Biz and Tech
Jacob “Innovation” Dubé
Arts and Life
Karoun “Karouton” Chahinian
Sports
Devin “You can all fuck off” Jones
Communities
Alanna “Met Lachemi” Rizza
Photo
Annie “Goodbye, Adieu” Arnone
Jake “Hip bump” Scott
Chris “Eets a Chrees” Blanchette
Fun
Skyler “Toppled Mackenzie” Ash
Media
Rob “SCOTLAND” Foreman
Online
Igor “Mustard” Magun
Tagwa “Moyonnaise” Moyo
Lee “Relish” Richardson

Playing the part of the Annoying
Talking Coffee Mug this week is the
end of Sean Wetselaar’s reign. We’ll
miss that inflatable tube man.

The Eyeopener is Ryerson’s largest
General Manager
and only independent student newsLiane “Jewish Matriarch” McLarty paper. It is owned and operated by
Rye Eye Publishing Inc., a nonAdvertising Manager
profit corporation owned by the stuChris “Emma” Roberts
dents of Ryerson.
Design Director
J.D. “Mowait for it” Mowat
Intern Army
Ben “We” Hoppe

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Thanks to our incredible, talented and ATTRACTIVE VOLUNTEERS. YOU ROCK.
THE EYEOPENER IS DONE FOR THE YEAR. WE’LL BE BACK IN THE FALL. WAIT FOR IT.

The team.

PHOTO: ANNIE ARNONE

Endings and beginnings
By
Sean
Wetselaar
It’s late in the fall of 2011, and
I’m standing in front of a crowd
of editors and writers in the VIP
room at the back of the Ram in
the Rye. The crowd is excited,
holding drinks, chatting amongst
themselves. But the upbeat vibe is
lost on the four people standing at
the front of the audience — this is
The Eyeopener’s elections, where
the paper chooses its next editors. And I want badly to be one
of them.
Tension runs through the small
things in the room — drops of
sweat trickle from the side of my
neck, candidates stand with unusually rigid posture, nervous feet
shuffle against hardwood. Then,
silence and stillness erupt from the
clamour, and all eyes are on me,
piercing me, judging me. I take a
single, lingering breath. Then I begin to speak.
That was the elections that saw
me take over as the Arts and Life
editor in early 2012, and in a lot
of ways the fear, the stress and
the anxiety that accompanied my
first run for masthead seem silly
to my 2016 self. But it’s hard to
explain how desperately I wanted
to be a part of the weird, special
and indescribable thing that is The
Eyeopener. After an adolescence
marred by a total lack of understanding of my place in the world,
I fell into the grimy, busy, cluttered
office on the second floor of the
SCC and I was home.
If you haven’t realized already,
this isn’t going to be like my other
editorials. It’s my last week at the
paper and nostalgia has gotten the
better of me.
I’ve spent almost five years at

the Eye, first as a writer, then as an
editor and this year as Editor-inChief. I’ve seen mastheads come
and go, and I’ve seen Ryerson
trundle along on its craggy path
toward some kind of recognition
as a university. These past five
years have been a critical time for
the school, as it sheds its old labels
and embraces a new era of city
building, creativity and education.
It’s early in the summer of 2012
and I’m standing in the empty lot
where Sam the Record Man once
stood, its vinyl metropolis longsince bulldozed to pave the way
for Ryerson’s foray onto Yonge
Street.
I’ve just been elected news
editor, and I’m here to cover the
ground breaking on the new Student Learning Centre. The sparkling megalith is still just a pipe
dream, as a line of Ryerson executives and a smattering of press
crowd around a pile of hilariously
ceremonial topsoil dumped on top
of gravel. Shovels crunch through
the soil to the tiny stones beneath,
shutters click quietly, and the city
leaders beam. Everyone is wearing
a hardhat, but I’m not sure what
they’re protecting us from.
The thing about The Eyeopener
is that it’s a weird sort of constant
on a campus that prides itself on
its ever-changing, diverse tapestry.
Next year is our 50th, and as far as
I can gather from the many alumni I’ve spoken to about this place
(though we have moved offices
since the early days), you’d be surprised by how little has changed.
We’ve moved from setting type,
to swearing at InDesign while it
crashes, and we don’t really need
the photo negatives we keep in a
filing cabinet anymore. But every
week during the school year, a little
group of over-caffeinated and outrageously motivated students have

gotten together to produce hundreds of newspapers.
There have been a lot of conversations over the past years about
the value of print and about the
future of media. But I think even
if students at a place as modern as
a university campus in 2016 don’t
realize it, tiny newspapers like
ours can still have a huge value. If
nothing else, that is illustrated by
the tremendous stories my talented team has managed to bring to
you this year. If you’re reading this
editorial, if it’s making you feel
anything, then print, then news,
still has a lot more value than its
detractors might like to think.
This issue marks the end of a
great year of journalism from an
organization that has been doing
this longer than anyone on campus today can remember. For me,
it marks the end of a chapter that
has spanned nearly a quarter of
my life. But here’s the thing about
endings — they are also sometimes
beginnings.
As I walk through the glass
doors to our offices to produce one
last newspaper, one last time, I do
it surrounded by the next generation that will be filling these pages
long after I’m gone. As someone
who’s gotten pretty good at judging these things, I can assure you
they’ll be excellent.
And next fall, with new people
who have new ideas, we’ll hold
elections again. Maybe another
first-year student will fall into the
clutter, into the chaos. Maybe they
too will be home.
It will be different, but it will
be the same. The crowd, at once
laughing and pondering, will become suddenly quiet. That firstyear student will stare into their
eyes, and take a single, lingering
breath. Then they will begin to
speak.

NEWS

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

5

The year in the news
Drake Visits campus

rye’s 2-ply scandal

Wetselaar
dead: ‘there
was potato
everywhere’
By The News Team

PHOTOS ABOVE: TAGWA MOYO, ANNIE ARNONE

The 6ix god headlined the Ryerson Students’ Union’s (RSU)
parade and concert during September’s orientation week.
Other celebrities appeared, including Future — who collaborated with Drake on a mixtape soon after — and Toronto city
councillor Norm Kelly.
The RSU spent around $515,000 on the show from their
annual budget, local business sponsorship and a partnership
with George Brown. Around 6,500 attended.
Upon Drake’s appearance, Ryerson trended worldwide on
social media.

tuition model changes

In October, The Eyeopener uncovered a tissue issue on campus.
While most Ryerson on-campus bathrooms were supplied with
one-ply toilet paper, the 13th and 14th floors of Jorgenson Hall
had two-ply. These two floors contain mostly notable figures in
Ryerson administration.
One roll of one-ply toilet paper costs $1.83, whereas a two-ply
roll costs $3.67.
The rest of the world apparently thought a two-tiered Ryerson was hilarious, as the controversy was covered internationally.
Frankly, we’re tired of hearing about it.

RSU restructuring

Lachemi named president

PHOTOS BELOW: ANNIE ARNONE, JAKE SCOTT, SIERRA BEIN

In February, the Ontario government announced students from families who make
less than $50,000 will recieve free college
and university tuition.
The change was the result of this year’s
provincial budget, and will start in the
2017/2018 school year.

The RSU’s December restructuring created
a new general manager position.
As a result, two employees — including
Gilary Massa, on mat leave — were laid off,
inspiring anti-RSU protests. Protesters called
to reinstate Massa’s Executive Director of
Communication and Outreach position.

After a long search, Mohamed Lachemi was
appointed as Ryerson’s president in March.
He spent four months as interim-president after the university struggled to find a
replacement for Sheldon Levy.
Lachemi has worked at the university for
over 18 years.

Ryerson in construction: projects to watch

Church Street Development
300 Church Street

Jarvis Street Residence
186-188 Jarvis Street

MaRS Lab Space
101 College Street

Expected to be completed in fall 2018, the
Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex
will house several programs and departments. The upper floors of the building will
also double as a 330-unit student residence.

The 30-story residence will provide the
first 500 of 2,000 new beds to be added to
campus as part of Ryerson’s goal to improve
student housing options downtown. The
building is set to open in September 2018.

In January, Ryerson announced that the faculty of science will be getting 20,000 square
feet of new lab space. The space, leased from
the MaRS building, is being rennovated and
is expected to be completed in January 2017.

A 22-year-old was killed on Gould
Street this week in what was a
grotesque display of gluttony and
hyper-extended limbs.
Sean Wetselaar, local boy and
editor-in-chief of The Eyeopener,
was killed running into the middle
of Gould Street after he was told
by news editor Al Downham there
was “a french fry convention out
there.”
Wetselaar, who is widely known
for his obsessive love of fried potatoes, got his long-ass arm stuck
in the door as he was sprinting
through the doors of the Student
Campus Centre (SCC) all whilst
coiffing his hair frantically with
his other hand.
Wetselaar’s arm stretched to an
unprecedented length of 10 feet
before he was finally stopped in
his tracks — just inches before the
french fries.
Bystanders started fainting at
the site of his overstretched limbs.
“I’ve seen Braveheart, so I
thought I knew what a racking
looked like,” said a really manly
student leader. “The real world
didn’t prepare me for this.”
Wetselaar then pried his arm
loose and began waving it around
the street like some sort of urban
antelope bent on potato-y massacre. He had still not unglued his
other hand from the the top of his
hair — which he was still coiffing.
“I like fries just as much as anybody else, not a weird amount or
anything,” Wetselaar said as he
voraciously gorged his unhinged,
anaconda-like mouth with fries.
When asked what prompted
beating dozens of students with a
10-foot arm to get to their french
fries, all Wetselaar had to say was,
“more em-dashes people!”
Just as the fry fiasco was beginning to calm down, incoming Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi
walked past Wetselaar, speaking
about, “making Ryerson the innovation hub of the country.”
This caused Wetselaar to begin
projectile vomiting fries in disgust.
His guts, hopes and dreams were
expelled from his body in a symphony of fried root vegetable.
“There was potato everywhere,” said news editor Keith
Capstick in the quirkiest and
most random way possible. “It
was lit.”
Wetselaar’s hollowed-out body
can be found in front of The
Score’s 500 King St. W. location,
used as a wacky-waving-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube man.

FEATURES

6

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: ANNIE ARNONE

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

the story of the

SIGN

The Sam the Record Man sign is mere weeks away from finally finding a new home. Why has it
taken Ryerson so long to fulfill its promise? By Brennan Doherty
am the Record Man will spin on. Bolted to Victoria Street’s Toronto public health building,
a sleek 10-storey glass tower tucked into the
northeast corner of Yonge-Dundas Square, the
sign will get a second taste of the downtown core’s frantic
energy. Tourists walking past the Imperial Pub can watch
the sign’s kitschy pair of neon vinyl records standing
guard on Victoria Street. But why is a relic of Toronto’s
former weight in the Canadian music scene languishing in
a corner of the country’s most famous square? Why isn’t
it crowning its original spot at 347 Yonge St., just above
the doors of Toronto’s most famous record store?
The contrast will be jarring during the day. The public
health building (PHB) on Victoria is a monotonous slab
of tinted glass the colour of charcoal, constantly reflecting
the square back at itself. Huddled around the sign’s future
home are some of Ryerson’s first buildings: all Brutalist,
all seemingly poured out of cement trucks in the 1950s.
Architects have moved on. In recent years, Ryerson’s
administration has embraced glittering megastructures
— the Student Learning Centre (SLC), the George Vari
Engineering and Computing Centre, and the (soon-to-be)

S

Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex. The university, under former president Sheldon Levy, started rushing
Ryerson away from its past as a scrappy polytechnic institute. In the process, the school bought the Sam the Record
Man store. The SLC rests on the building’s bones — and
the sign ended up losing its place of pride on Yonge Street.
The administration assured vinyl fans it would save the
relic, but it’s taken a scandal, several years and some Toronto City Council intervention for the sign to actually
near the end of its journey to restoration.
Neon is eternal in Yonge-Dundas Square. The sign will
have a commanding view, but it’ll also have competition
— from 10 Dundas East’s plasma screen wall of Cineplex
ads, the Eaton Centre’s billboards (cherry-red summer
dresses by H&M), the bubbly pastel-coloured Koodo
signs opposite the PHB. Only the hyperactive rooftop
ticker of City TV (MONDAY 8 THE MUPPETS … City
News AT SIX … Mornings are a little different!...) was remotely designed in the same spirit as Sam’s logo. The sum
total of the square’s blinding advertisements will erase the
sign in an insomniac lightshow. For the first time in its
storied history, the Sam sign can be easily ignored.

S

am Sniderman’s veins were forged from vinyl.
He grew up in Kensington Market, then a Jewish neighbourhood, and began putting in hours
as an associate for his brother’s radio store
in the 1930s. But in 1959, he quit selling Zeniths and
started selling vinyl out of a small store at Shuter and
Yonge called Sam the Record Man. Eventually, his older
brother Sid joined Sam’s company to do the books. Sam’s
second store would become the famous flagship location
on 347 Yonge St., just north of the Eaton Centre. Sam
(always Sam, never Mr. Sniderman) was always roaming
the floors, tracking down obscure records with an eidetic
memory that seemed to rival any inventory program.
“Sam was the figurehead. He was the face,” says Craig
Renwick, who ran the store’s video department in the
1980s. “When he’d come in the morning and say, ‘Hey
Craiggie, how we doin’?’ I’d say, ‘Where you been Sam,
where you been? We’ve already sold a million!’ And he’d
laugh, because it would only be 9:30 a.m. at that point.”
As precise as Sam’s memory was, the store was far from
tidy. “Organized? No!” exclaims Renwick. “It wasn’t
like if you walked into one of the newer stores,” such as

FEATURES

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

debut records of even the then unestablished. K.d. lang,
Cowboy Junkies and Ron Sexsmith all had their first records sold at Sam’s.
But anyone who remembers walking by the chain’s
flagship store recalls the massive neon sign: originally just
a spinning light-up vinyl record with “SAM” in massive
white letters, burning its way into the retinas of anyone
who stared for too long.
Evidently, Sam thought this wasn’t enough and decided
to double his chances of catching errant eyeballs on Yonge
Street in the 1980s by adding a second spinning record and
red lettering that bragged, “That’s entertainment.”


U

HMV or Best Buy. While wildly popular, it was cramped
and eclectic. Nooks of numerous shelves filled with record bins stretched across every square inch of the store’s
back corners — more of a glorified independent bookstore than the flagship outlet of Canada’s premier record
company. Sam stocked everything from Cajun Zydeco to
ZZ Top to arthouse films. Popular hits filled display tables near the store’s entrance, but adventurous souls who
followed the music upstairs could stumble upon sections
ranging from classical to British punk.
“You could find anything there,” says Amber Scuye, a
music blogger who used to make the trek from Mississauga with her high school friends in the 1990s. They’d get
off at Bloor-Yonge station and walk south, dropping into
Tower Records, HMV and Sunrise Records. But Sam’s
was her go-to for any records she couldn’t find elsewhere.
“Anytime I needed something weird or I wanted a rare

A

ny time you asked former president Sheldon
Levy about Ryerson’s infrastructure, his response would include words like “urban centre,” “complications” and “waiting for city approval.” When it came to the numerous plans and steps
for restoring the sign, the dialogue was very similar —
and similarly frustrating.
“The university has a responsibility for the restoration and the installment of that sign [on the public health
building]. The challenge ... is that this is a big sign. Just
putting up something of that weight and ensuring that it’s
stable in wind conditions is no small matter,” Levy said

THE UNIVERSITY HAS A RESPONSIBILIY FOR THE RESTORATION AND
INSTALMENT OF THAT SIGN [ON THE PUBLIC HEALTH BUILDING].
THE CHALLENGE ... IS THAT THIS IS A BIG SIGN.

nfortunately, declining sales and the rise of
the digital music business caught up with
Sam. The company filed for bankruptcy in
2001 after being underwritten for five straight
years of losses, although Sam’s sons Jason and Bobby did
re-open the Yonge Street store and 11 franchise outlets
across the GTA a year later. It didn’t last. On June 30,
2007, the Yonge Street store closed its doors for the last
time. While the company held on by a sliver (there’s still
an independent franchise store in a Belleville mall), the
sign was doomed to be removed.
A public outcry on Facebook was enough to convince
City Hall to put a heritage protection order on the entire building, which it revoked once Ryerson University
bought the land in 2008 — on the one condition that the
school protect and restore the sign. So Ryerson removed
the sign, and demolished the building to make room for
what is now the SLC. The sign’s fate was uncertain —
even then-mayor Rob Ford piled in to try and save it. In
an impassioned speech to City Hall in September 2013,
he reminisced about visiting the store with his brothers
back when he was a kid.
Originally, Ryerson promised to make “all reasonable
efforts” to accommodate the sign on the SLC somewhere
as a condition of purchasing 347 Yonge St. This never
happened. When the SLC went up, none of the blueprints viewed by city officials or the public had any sort
of space for the sign to be mounted. Toronto councillor
Josh Matlow, who fought tooth and nail to preserve the
sign, wasn’t convinced that the university really tried.
“There is no evidence that I saw that they made any
effort to re-install the sign anywhere, as the initial remit
set out,” he says. He was infuriated when Ryerson didn’t
originally restore the sign as promised — and challenged
several representatives from the university to show him
blueprints to accommodate the sign when they arrived at
a consultation meeting with City Hall. “They had nothing!” he exclaims. “It certainly came across to me … that
Ryerson never really intended to fulfill the agreement in
the first place. That it was an afterthought, that it wasn’t
important to them.”

THE ADMINISTRATION ASSURED VINYL FANS IT WOULD SAVE THE RELIC,
BUT IT’S TAKEN A SCANDAL, SEVERAL YEARS AND SOME TORONTO COUNCIL
INTERVENTION FOR THE SIGN TO ACTUALLY NEAR THE END OF
ITS JOURNEY TO RESTORATION

U.K. import that people were telling me you had to order
in and charge me $28 for, I’d go to Sam’s and it’d be there
for $6.99. Sam’s was the best place to go,” she recalls.
Musicians passing through Toronto were also known
for ducking into the store to press the flesh with their
fans — Rush and The Guess Who were known for walking into the store, catching a Sharpie thrown by a fan,
and autographing posters that would hang near the door
like medals. Gordon Lightfoot regularly dropped by. The
Barenaked Ladies paid homage to Sam’s, “the late night
record shop,” in their song Brian Wilson. Sam launched
the careers of many Canadian musicians by stocking the

7

But since Ryerson put out a work order in February for
the sign’s installation, Matlow has changed his tune. “I’m
certainly more confident today, due to the fact that there
are substantive actions being taken right now,” he says.
“I have no reason to believe that Ryerson won’t be true
to their word.”
At the time of print, the school had drafted a list of
companies who could install the sign, and was trudging
through the process of assigning the contract to one of
these companies. According to Ryerson spokesperson
Michael Forbes, an estimated date for installation will be
set once the supplier is selected.

in late 2015, estimating that the sign would go up in this
academic year — a goal that seems unlikely at this point.
“There have been lots of discussion with the city about
the engineering challenges of putting a sign that heavy on
the building,” he explained at the time. “They are taking
the leadership and we are supporting it, but we are not
the ones who are putting it on our building. They’re putting it on their building.What happens when there’s big
gusts of wind? They had to figure out a way to ... open up
the sign a bit so that the wind can blow through it. People
don’t realize the size of this thing. It’s huge.”
ince it was dismantled in the fall of 2008 the Sam
sign has lain in hundreds of pieces, disassembled
in the back of a specially-modified tractor trailer
at an external storage company somewhere in
Markham. The public only knows this because Matlow
demanded that Ryerson show him the sign to prove that
they hadn’t damaged it in transport. Several photo-ops
were done in 2012 — but aside from the still-vibrant
“Save Our Sam Sign!” Facebook group, the public has
almost forgotten it. Interest has been somewhat revived
in the past few weeks in anticipation of the sign’s eventual installment overlooking Yonge-Dundas Square. But
the PHB wasn’t the only place suggested for the sign.
A quiet, silver-haired architecture professor named June
Komisar fired off a suggestion to Sheldon Levy last year.
She had other ideas about the sign. Her background is in
architectural history and theory, but she had a very common-sense proposal: stick the sign on 10 Dundas East or
even the Eaton Centre. Ryerson’s architects never came
through on their promise to incorporate the sign into the
SLC — something that could have been done, according
to Komisar. “Not all architects want to embrace historical
artifacts, which is a shame,” she says. The blame, however, doesn’t stop with the blueprints. “Ryerson itself has
a lot of responsibility to control what the architect would
or would not provide for them,” she says.
Unlike the SLC, the sign’s new perch on the PHB is
pretty secure for the immediate future. Councillor Kristyn
Wong-Tam, another ardent defender of the sign, says the
building isn’t being sold in the immediate future — contrary to a report by the Toronto Star that PHB’s future
as a city-owned building is in jeopardy. PHB would have
to be declared a surplus property by the City of Toronto
in order for a sale to occur. “As far as I know, there’s
absolutely no interest for the City of Toronto to sell that
building,” she says. It’s safe.
am aficionados packed the west side of Yonge
Street during Nuit Blanche of 2007. The store
had already been slated for demolition by Ryerson, and while they’d promised to save the sign,
the deal had yet to follow through. There was hope that
the Sam sign wouldn’t be moving too far from its home
on 347 Yonge Street’s second floor. As revellers chanted
a countdown, the left half of the sign lit up in a dazzling
display of neon. Cheers rang out from across Yonge Street,
then redoubled as both sides of the sign ignited and began twirling the night away one last time. Unbeknownst
to everyone, it would be at least another eight years before
the sign lit up again. Toronto is waiting for Sam to return
and lend its beating, vibrant heart to the downtown core.
Maybe with Ryerson’s help, it won’t get lost in the noise.

S

S

ARTS & LIFE

8

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

When interior design meets social activism
cup and said she is enjoying the
project’s element of activism.
“The whole intention of the
project is to create a utensil that is
universal and can be used by anyone and everyone,” said Warlcroft.
“Some people are focusing more
on people with disabilities or people that struggle with hand motor
skills, so they make utensils dedicated to helping those individuals.”
The first-year students are currently working on their utensils
and will be presenting them at
PHOTO: KAROUN CHAHINIAN their annual showcase on April 21
Lorella Di Cintio helping first-year student Lori Fernandez with final utensil project.
to 28. Past projects have also been
showcased at the annual Interior
“It’s
co-mingling
aesthetics
with
By Karoun Chahinian
ethics,” said Di Cintio. “You take Design Show, which takes place in
Ryerson’s interior design program the beauty of [design] and look at January.
is teaching students more than de- it ethically to figure out how you
sign. Through specialized courses can talk about equity, diversity
and competitions, the skills taught and inclusion through that work. “I think Ryerson’s really leading in
in class are put towards creating It’s very much what Ryerson is these discussions about activism
a more sustainable and accessible about.”
and social change, which is really
Through design activism, stuworld.
amazing”
“Design activism,” a concept dents are given the opportunity
introduced into the program by to contribute to society through
associate professor Lorella Di different projects centred around
Along with the utensil project,
Cintio, is the act of using interior various social issues. For example,
design to create positive social in the first year Design Dynam- Di Cintio also organizes field trips,
change. Di Cintio started working ics Studio II course, students are both local and international, cenat Ryerson in 2001 and began in- taught about sustainability, food tred around design activism. As
formally implementing it into her security and design solutions. This part of the fourth-year interior deteachings through lesson themes is most illustrated in their final sign course IRN 700, 12 students
and assignments, but it officially utensil project which asks for stu- went on a self-funded field research
became part of the curriculum in dents to design wooden utensils trip to Guatemala in fall 2015 for
with the goal of them being acces- 10 days. The students conducted a
2007.
Currently, students from first to sible for everyone. Some pieces are design workshop with school chilfourth year are working on final also auctioned off and the proceeds dren there, and designed products
projects which reflect the themes go towards The Stop Community that would help them, like classroom furniture. McKayla Durant
of activism, for example, the crite- Food Centre.
Kelly Warlcroft designed a tea said the trip shifted her view of inria of using sustainable materials.

terior design and opened her eyes
to the possibilities she had in the
field.
“That was an amazing trip, I’ve
never been exposed to a developing
country and as a designer it was
amazing to see how many ways I
could use my skills to make their
way of life better,” said Durant.
Over 10 days, the students were
asked to create design solutions
for their classroom or landscaping.
While a few of Durant’s classmates
created designs for chairs or desks,
she created a vertical garden.
“They talked a lot about wanting a garden, but they weren’t allowed to plant anything or change
anything because they didn’t actually own the land, so I came up
with the idea of a vertical garden,”
she said. “It’s basically planters
that are above ground. They have
this really great connection with
their food and they have such an
integral cultural idea of food, so I
really wanted to run with that and
create a design to help them.”
Students have also gone on trips
to Mexico, and New York — where
they built furniture out of sustainable cardboard for people with
disabilities — and Ottawa Valley
to visit the Algonquins of the Pikwàkanagàn First Nation.
The 2008 trip to the reserve came
in the midst of Stephen Harper’s
formal apology to residential school
survivors.
“We went there because there
was funding available for First Nations reserves to start telling their

story and their version of history,”
she said.
Di Cintio was approached to design them a transportable stage for
those story-telling opportunities.
On a local level, many students
and faculty members also partake
in The Stop’s Night Market, which
is a cultural fundraiser with allyou-can-eat food, music and art.
All the proceeds go towards The
Stop Community Food Centre. This
year, it is taking place on June 16
and 17 on Sterling road, and design
students and professors will design
and construct food carts for the
participating chefs. Some first-year
students will also submit their utensils to be sold at the market, but the
focus is on the carts which need to
be made with sustainable materials. Durant has participated in this
fundraiser and design competition
all four years of her Ryerson career.
“Basically we are taking any type
of materials we can scavenge and
create a cart out of it,” she said.
“We have these boards with holes
in them, and we’re basically creating this cart that’s see-through but
with walls. But the whole concept
really is to try and be sustainable.”
Along with Durant, professor
Ruth Spitzer is also designing a cart
for this year’s fundraiser and this
partnership between the school of
interior design and the night market
began in 2013.
“I think Ryerson’s really leading
in these discussions about activism
and social change, which is really
amazing,” said Di Cintio.

RTA grad documents his run to wellness
By Annie Arnone
One year ago, Jacob Morris was
unable to get out of bed because
of his struggle with depression.
Now, in partnership with Ryerson
and CAMH, the 25-year-old will
be completing and documenting
ten half marathons across Canada
in 30 days, as a part of his Run to
Wellness campaign.
“My mental health has always
been something that I’ve needed to
take care of — I’ve struggled with
anxiety basically my whole life, but
it was around this time last year
that I fell into a deep depression,”
said Morris.
The RTA School of Media graduate left his job as a video producer
in May last year at the height of his
depression, and began to occupy his
time with running.
“I wrote a short blog post documenting the struggles I had been going through over the course of that
year and how I used running specifically as kind of a medication for
my mental health,” he said.
Friends, family and strangers
reached out to Morris after the post

was made, thanking him for telling
his story. It was that moment that
he realized he wanted to produce a
project involving mental health.
“I’m someone who has a lot of
experience producing large scale
events and video productions, but
I’m also someone who deals with
depression and anxiety. So why not
marry the two and make this campaign which, over the course of the
last six or so months has become
Run to Wellness?” he said.
The campaign will focus on running as a therapy for mental health.
Morris will begin the run in Toronto and will complete his challenge
in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary,
Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Halifax and his hometown
of Waterloo. The footage will consist of training, running, and downtime footage between runs.
“The goal right now will be finishing the campaign mid July. In terms
of content we plan on releasing all
kinds of social media throughout
the campaign — covering training
and then the month long journey,”
said Morris.
Morris’ partner and director of

Jacob Morris uses running as a coping tool for his depression.

the project, Paige Foskett, has been
by his side throughout his struggle
with mental health.
“When he was in the very lowest
parts of his depression, he started
running a little bit here, a little bit
there, and it kind of became a thing
he did every day,” said Foskett, a
fourth-year media production student. “When he came up with the
idea it related to me on a lot of different levels.”

Growing up with severe depression herself, Foskett explains that
she struggles with using the right
language when speaking about
mental health.
“I still talk as though it’s such a
burden and I’m a victim,” said Foskett. “All these words that have
negative connotations to them
don’t help the cause, Jacob would
say, ‘No, stop! That’s a negative
word.’”

PHOTO COURTESY: JACOB MORRIS

One of Morris’ goals with Run to
Wellness is to change the narrative
surrounding mental health and do
it in a way that is not victimizing.
“A lot of the content, video wise
and a lot of the literature you might
find in a doctor’s office or something on mental health, paints people who are suffering as victims,”
he said.
The project will begin in midJune.

BIZ & TECH

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

9

These robots will make you feel BB-Great
Ryerson researchers are studying robots to design their own model that can help people manage anxiety through companionship

The project is working to make your own robot companion.

By Justin Chandler
C-3PO may be fluent in over six
million forms of communication,
but helping people with mental
illnesses is something he cannot
do. Fortunately for those who
need it, researchers at Ryerson
are developing a model for a robot that could help people manage anxiety.
Along with Ryerson communications professor Frauke Zeller,
communication master’s student
Lauren Dwyer is researching existing robots to develop a model
for one that could monitor human
behaviour and respond to it. Dwyer plans to present the model in
her major research project (MRP),

PHOTO: CHRIS BLANCHETTE

which is due in September.
The model will likely detail
what the robot could look like,
how it could communicate and
what problems she could come
across in creating it, Dwyer said.
Testing and the technical creation
of the robot should come later.
To develop the model for the robot, Dwyer is studying three different robots including Sphero’s BB-8
toy, which is based off a robot in
the new Star Wars film. Dwyer
plans to pick aspects of the three
she studies to include in her model.
A lot of people in Dwyer’s life
have some form of mental illness,
she said. Dwyer said her project
presents an opportunity to do
therapy better.

“Getting help is hard. Looking
for a therapist and trying to find
coverage is a long road,” Dwyer
said, adding that therapy can be
too expensive for students.
Dwyer works for #SickNotWeak, a non-profit organization
that raises money for mentalhealth education and community
support. She said she isn’t looking
to replace therapy dogs or mentalhealth professionals, but thinks
companion robots could be more
useful than standard mental health
resources in some situations.
Dwyer said she’s been in situations where she’s needed help but
wanted to be alone. She thinks a
robot that could have comforted
her would have been ideal then.
Zeller co-manages HitchBOT,
the hitchhiking robot whose
travels have been reported on by
The Eyeopener and international
media.
In an email, Zeller wrote there
is precedent to this project in the
form of “very interesting” research
into robotics and health, such as
studies into robotic companions
for children with autism and robots
for helping people with dementia.
Dwyer studied BB-8 and plans
to look at French robotics-company Aldebaran’s NAO robot. The

NAO is a humanoid robot used to
communicate with children with
autism. One exists at Ryerson.
Dwyer has not decided what third
robot she’ll study.
Dwyer, a Star Wars fan, enjoyed
studying BB-8.
The toy, which Dwyer calls “the
best companion next to a dog,”
makes sounds and movements in
reaction to its surroundings when
in “patrol mode.” Dwyer has
found it necessary for a robot to
communicate through movement
and sound in order for it to connect with a person.
She said she hopes to develop a
model for a robot that is not just
reactive, but proactive. One that
could, for example, monitor the
symptoms leading up to an anxiety attack and act before the attack occurs.
Zeller said her work on projects
such as HitchBOT and art critic
robot KulturBot provides insights
into how people may interact
with a robot companion. She said
people have become very creative
in interacting with those robots
“so integrating participatory design into the development of robot
companions can provide new insights and enhance acceptance of
robots in our daily lives.”

Oculus Rift privacy issues are virtually a reality
By Igor Magun
Virtual reality products like the
Oculus Rift may open new worlds
to explore, but they could also reveal intimate details about us to
their manufacturers, according to
Ryerson professor Avner Levin.
In addition to typical data, like
financial and device information,
the Oculus privacy policy allows
the company to collect data about
your physical movements and dimensions while using the headset.
“The language is that they
would be able to collect basically
any kind of physical movements
that you’re using,” said Levin,
who is also the director of Ryerson’s Privacy and Cyber Crime Institute. “That opens up the door
to a whole new category of information about individuals that
might be used for other purposes
down the line.”
As the uses for virtual reality
expand over time, manufacturers
will have access to data that is increasingly intimate. For instance,
the adult entertainment industry is
interested in taking advantage of
virtual reality, according to Levin.
They’re going as far as exploring
the use of haptic technology that
would allow users to feel physical
sensations in line with the content

this year in
biz & tech
> MUSHROOMS IN SPACE!!
A group of Ryerson students are
planning on sending their experiment to the International Space
Station. With the help of the Ryerson Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, they’re sending
mushrooms to research their possibility as space-grown food.
> HitchBOT sent on its last trip
After successful Canada and
Europe-wide trips and a not-sosuccessful American trip which
left HitchBOT decapitated in
Philadelphia, the team is retiring
the robot at Ottawa’s Canada
Science and Technology Museum
in 2017.
> Hyperloops: hyper lit
The Ryerson International Hyperloop Team are working on
a subsystem for the Hyperloop
— a transportation design that
could potentially travel at nearsupersonic speeds. They plan to
show off their award-winning
design on a mile-long test track
in the summer.
To read these stories and more
featured this year in the section,
check out theeyeopener.com

Using an Oculus Rift could allow the company to steal your information. And your wallet. Not really.

they view.
“I think for most people, there
is still associated a high level of
privacy and intimacy with anything that they have to do around
the adult entertainment industry,”
said Levin. “If you’re signing onto
a device that … allows them to
capture all of that information,
you could be quite concerned.’”
In an emailed statement to The
Eyeopener, Oculus said they do
not currently share collected data
with their parent company Facebook, nor use it for advertising.
Both are possibilities they may

consider in the future, however.
Levin gives the company credit
for being honest about the way
they can use customer data.
“Their privacy policy is actually
… not necessarily a bad policy,”
said Levin. “There are some features of it that are good because it
so clearly explains to people what’s
going to happen to their information, and a lot of the older policies
don’t do a good job explaining.”
However, Levin suggests that
companies should be asking users
for explicit permission to expand
the way they gather and use data

PHOTO: CHRIS BLANCHETTE

from these devices.
But privacy policies are commonplace beyond virtual reality
as well, and they are a flawed concept, according to Levin. The policies typically don’t give customers
the option to negotiate the terms
of the agreement.
“We have to change what
we’re doing as a society,” Levin
said. “To move away from this
idea that people just sign on to
things, and really regulate what
are the uses that a company is
allowed to have with respect to
information.”

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

SPORTS

10

Opinion: Look past the slogans and smiles
By Devin Jones
There’s this theme that I’ve noticed throughout my year as sports
editor. It’s very subtle and often in
the midst of covering a basketball
game, the enthusiasm of the Rams
Pack will push it aside completely.
We’ve all seen the slogans: “We
are all Rams,” or more simply put:
“Ramily.” This idea of an equal
community across all sports. And
yes, for those successful teams that
bring in the Toronto Star articles
and the limited television time Canadian university sports are allocated — we are all Rams that fit into a
neat marketable package with banners and all the trimmings.
But every time I leave the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC), the
question comes up again: “What
about everyone else?”

I get it, the athletics department
at any university is logically centered around promoting its best talent, because of course as basic economics go, these departments need
to turn a profit in order to justify
their existence, to pay those the department employs.
But what confuses me and what
I’ve been hearing all season from
athletes is this idea that after having
a great season — the women’s volleyball team is only now getting the
recognition that should have been
there all along, despite the “We are
all Rams” mentality.
And again, even from an incentive standpoint, it makes sense to
reward those teams that have seen
sucess stemming from their hard
work.
But this incentivized way that
the Ryerson athletics department

has decided to run things is often
confusing, summed up by the divided chart attached to the back of
the student-athlete handbook. This
chart divides up teams based on
past performance, which is theoretically tied to media coverage. This,
coupled with a better record, leads
to a jump in division and therefore
more recognition and services from
athletics.
On paper this idea makes sense,
but when I hear administration say
things like they’re allowing their
lowest division in terms of athletics
funding, recognition and services
— competitive clubs — to wear the
Ryerson logos and jerseys — as if
this is the better option to an alternative that doesn’t exist — rides
against the Ramily mentality we’ve
all seen.
Or the baseball team and their

competitive club status for example.
After two years of probation and
three seasons of growth and continuous success — capping this season off with a playoff appearance,
the team still needs two seasons of
success to become eligible for OUA
sport status. Put this against other
teams within athletics who until a
few years ago weren’t posting winning records but were given immediate OUA sport or CIS status,
due to entrenched ideas about the
importance of certain sports.
The other thing I’ve struggled
to understand that has come up
recently is the switch from Adidas
to Nike. It’s not the switch in vendor that bugs me but the fact that
the new jerseys that athletics are
ordering only apply to the seven
CIS teams. And while administration notes that teams within other

divisions have the option of using
the new jerseys, funding this option comes down to the individual
teams and their ability to fundraise.
It’s this weird situation of opposites, a collective community
as long as you win, that I’ve been
thinking about all season.
And after a long year of game recaps and player profiles I still leave
the MAC late on a Friday night
wondering, “What about everyone
else?” And while I don’t have answers on how to integrate the curling or cross country teams, let alone
how run the athletics department,
the theme seems to be at odds with
the sentiment — we are all Rams
when it suits the administration. It’s
important to understand we aren’t
all equal, which is fine. But it’s not
okay is to pretend like we’re all
playing on the same field.

Sports, a year in review
A look back at the most memorable sports stories of the year. By Devin Jones
PHOTOS: TAGWA MOYO, JENELLE SEELAL, TRUMAN KWAN

Ryerson basketball

Men’s soccer

Ryerson volleyball

This year was crazy for both the
women and men’s basketball
team. With both teams coming
off of great seasons — the men’s
team placing third at the Canadian national championship at
home; the women’s making their
CIS debut, expectations were
high for this season.
As the men’s team started off
with a down to the wire home
opener win against the University
of Toronto, the women’s team
kicked off a confident three game
winning streak, picking off U of
T at the Ryerson home opener,
78-36.
With the men’s team led by veterans Aaron Best and Adika PeterMcNeilly, the team won 10 games
in a row. The women’s team was
helmed by CIS 2015-2016 player
of the year Keneca Pingue-Giles.
The 2016 OUA playoffs culminated in two gold medals and
banners for Ryerson athletics
while the women’s team walked
away with their first ever silver
medal in the CIS championships,
and the men’s team earned their
second bronze.

Promise and heartbreak sums up
the Ryerson men’s soccer team’s
2015-2016 season. Coming off
a strong 2014 season where they
made their first Ontario University Athletic final-four playoff
appearance, the Rams also ended
their season ranked fourth in the
country.
This year expectations were
high with the team being led by
OUA east MVP of the year Raheem Rose and OUA east coach
of the year Filip Prostran.
Getting off to a rough start, the
team dropped their first two regular season games to the University
of Guelph and the University of
Toronto, before going on an eight
game winning streak.
They also reached the second
ranking in the country before settling in at fourth for the rest of
the season, while winning the last
six of their seven regular season
games.
In the quarter-final game the
Rams defeated Carleton University to face off against their division rivals McMaster University
where they lost 3-0.

The start of the Ryerson volleyball season saw a leadership
change for both teams, culminating in Dustin Reid stepping in for
Mirek Porosa for the men’s team
as well as continuing as head
coach for the women’s team.
Despite the change in coaching staff, both teams got out to a
strong start, with the men’s team
winning their first five games
while the women’s squad won
their first eight of nine.
The women’s team was led by
veteran libero Julie Longman and
Theanna Vernon as well as fifthyear outside hitter Emily Nicholishen. Handily defeating Queen’s
University in the Ontario University Athletic final-four, they eventually won their second silver
medal in their loss to U of T.
The men’s team was helmed by
third year outside hitter Lucas
Coleman and fifth-year veteran
Robert Wojick helped the team
to their first ever Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships
where they placed seventh, losing
to the Rouge et Or de l’Université
Laval.

THE LAST LAUGH

In February, Peter Grafi, Thomas Sander and James Blaylike fought in a rap battle after Sander told Grafi
he would “never make it on Bay Street with a haircut like that.” Now, we catch up with the three men to see
what their lives are like post-rap battle. By Skyler Ash

PHOTO: JAKE SCOTT

PETER GRAFI

PHOTO: JAKE SCOTT

THOMAS SANDER JAMES BLAYLIKE

The moderator of the battle thought
he’d be doing what he always did
before the battle: accounting and finance. But James Blaylike couldn’t
have been more wrong.
“I lost contact with Peter and
Thomas a few weeks after the battle,” says Blaylike. Blaylike says he
bought Grafi’s album and listened
to it while crying on the subway.
That tearful ride home showed
him the light.
“I saw how successful they got,
and I realized I wanted more in
life,” says Blaylike. Now, he’s selling orthopedic shoes in a small
shop in Kensington Market.
Ever since a car accident in 2011
left Blaylike with severe foot pain,
he’s been wearing orthopedic shoes.
“It was hard at first, but I learned to
embrace it,” says Blaylike.
He markets his shoes to kids
and young adults who are looking for more hip and fashionable
corrective footwear. Blaylike says,
“It’s important for these kids with
foot problems that they can wear
their orthotics in style.”
Despite losing contact with
Sander and Grafi after the battle,
Blaylike will be seeing Grafi in
concert in Toronto in June for the
final leg of Grafi’s tour. “I’m excited! I even got special orthotics
for the night of the concert.”

Buy early bird tickets at
www.tcbf.ca

Soup and Substance
Global events, local impact:
Ryerson's campus climate
Faculty, staff and students are invited to participate
in this discussion about Ryerson’s culture.

Building an inclusive classroom,
climate and community
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Noon to 1 p.m. | Podium (POD) Room 250
Check out our website for more details, future
topics and past webcasts: ryerson.ca/soupandsubstance
@RyersonEDI

#RyersonEDI

17 -

E

“It’s just so surreal,” says Thomas
Sander. He speaks to us by phone.
He’s sitting poolside in Adelaide,
Australia, where he’s on tour with
his best friend, Peter Grafi.
After dropping out of Ryerson
in February, Sander graduated
with an advanced degree in hair
styling from the Canadian Beauty
College (CBC) in Toronto in just
three months. “The [CBC] said
they’ve never seen a student with
my talents before,” says Sander.
When Grafi was organizing his
tour, he reached out to Sander
to be his tour hair stylist. “How
could I say no? That guy practically saved my life in that rap battle,”
says Sander. “He’s always been
there for me.”
Sander says that Grafi is helping him open his own barber shop.
“Opening night of his [Grafi’s] tour,
he sits me down and slides a cheque
across the desk,” says Sander. “It
was all the money I needed to start
my business. I burst into tears, we
embraced, it was beautiful.”
As he sips a margarita, Sander
says that he can’t imagine his life
without his good buddy, Grafi.
“That guy is my hero. I tell ya, he’s
one of the good ones.” Through
the phone, quiet sobs can be heard
as Sander softly whispers, “Best
guy I know.”

Toronto Craft Beer Festival
launches summer 2016!
Join us June 17-19 to
celebrate independent craft
brewers in the heart of
Toronto at Exhibition Place.

JUN

Peter Grafi went from selling his
“fire mixtapes” on the busy corner
of Yonge-Dundas Square to touring
the world after his musical career
took off in February. After selling
642 copies of his first album, Bay
Street Haircut, in one hour, Grafi’s
career took off.
“I started getting calls from
Drake and Future, and suddenly
I was signing a record deal,” says
Grafi over the phone. He’s in Melbourne, where he says his biggest
fan base is centered. “What can I
say? Aussies love me!”
Grafi left Ryerson’s accounting
and finance program in February to pursue his musical career,
and has since toured in London,
Dublin, Japan and New Zealand.
Despite traveling the world on his
whirlwind tour, Grafi says he feels
like he never quite left Ryerson.
“I still feel like I’m that kid selling
his tapes on the street,” says Grafi.
“The other day someone was shouting ‘believe!’ on a street corner in Milan, and that made me miss home.”
Grafi said that his latest track,
“Gould Wanderer,” is a “total
throwback” to his time at Ryerson. “It’s all about my time at
good ol’ Rye.”
“Even if you don’t have the hair to
make it on Bay Street, you can still
achieve your dreams,” says Grafi.

PHOTO: JAKE SCOTT

DO YOU LOVE
CRAFT BEER?

ACE

Eye Exclusive: Where are they now?

11

PL

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

19, 2

0 1 6  E X HIBIT

IO N

Grey’s
Anatomy
word
qsearch

e

Meredith Amelia
Shepherd Alex
Neuro forceps
scalpel bypass
Complete the crossword and hand
it in with your name, contact info
and favourite Grey’s character to the
Eyeopener office (SCC 207) by April
22nd for your chance to win a $25
Cineplex gift card! Why?

BECAUSE THAT’S
WHAT JESUS
WOULD
FREAKING DO!

12

Wednesday April 13, 2016

Forward together

What a whirlwind year it has been: ranging from
attending the fabulous Aboriginal drumming ceremony
at orientation, to celebrating so many of your successes
in academic and entrepreneurial pursuits, to cheering on
our varsity teams in their historic playoff runs.
I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve as
president, and I look forward to working with you in
taking Ryerson to even greater heights.
If you are graduating this year, I look forward to seeing
you at convocation and to having your continued
involvement with Ryerson. To those returning in the fall,
I wish you all the best in your assignments and exams.
Have a safe and enjoyable summer.

Mohamed Lachemi
President and Vice-Chancellor

Please join me to celebrate a great year
with some breakfast snacks on April 15 in
the Student Learning Centre Amphitheatre
from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.