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Volume 50 - Issue 8

November 2, 2016
theeyeopener.com
@theeyeopener
Since 1967

RISE OF THE

ROBOTS

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: CHRIS BLANCHETTE

EDITORIAL

2

Continuing
Studies at
OCAD
UNIVERSITY

Size matters!

O ve r 1 0 0
courses in

By
Nicole
Schmidt

G ra p h i c D e s i g n
We b D e s i g n
I n t e ra c t i ve M e d i a
Animation
Film and Video
P h o t o g ra p h y
Sculpture
Industrial Design
3D Modelling
We a ra b l e M e d i a
F i b r e a n d Fa s h i o n
D ra w i n g a n d P a i n t i n g
Printmaking
M a r ke t i n g
Communications
Theory in Art and Design
C r e a t i ve Wo r k s h o p s
P r o g ra m s f o r Yo u t h

E x p l o r e Yo u r C r e a t i v e P o t e n t i a l
A r t . D e s i g n . N ew M e d i a
Eve n i n g s . We e ke n d s . O n l i n e

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016

CONTINUING
STUDIES

C o u r s e i n f o a n d r e g i s t r a t i o n : o c a d u . c a /c o n t i n u i n g s t u d i e s

Welcome to the editorial page, featuring words by yours truly. This
week, as you can see, I have a miniscule amount of room to spew my
opinions.
On that note, I’ve decided to use
the space I do have to bestow random knowledge upon you. Perhaps
we will arrive at some sort of conclusion, but who knows. This is
senseless rambling, after all.
Since “smallness” seems to be the
pre-determined theme of this page,
let’s talk about the Terra Nostra, the
smallest newspaper ever published.
The 32-page publication weighed a
single gram and measured less than
an inch in width and height. Threethousand copies were printed and

circulated around Portugal in 2012.
“Smallness” can be closely associated with simplicity—an opportunity
to say more with less, as seen in the
tiny, tiny pages of the Terra Nostra.
Some of the most well-regarded sentences in the history of the
English language were free from
complicated terminology, or elaborate phrases. Similarly, some of the
most powerful emotions can be
summarized in just a few words:
“I love you,” “I hate you,” or, say, “I
want to kill you.”
Now that we’ve arrived at the end
this “editorial,” I’ve decided that if
you take anything from these words,
I want it to be this: keep things simple and please, for the love of god,
stop using a thesaurus in an attempt
to make yourself sound smarter. It’s
unnecessary, ineffective and makes
things far more byzantine than they
need to be.
General Manager

Liane “Keeps us out of jail” McLarty
Advertising Manager

Chris “Stupendous” Roberts
Design Director

J.D. “Calls the cops” Mowat

Editor-in-Chief

Ryerson_Sept2016_QuarterPage.indd 1

2016-08-18 1:00 PM

Nicole “Anti-nickname” Schmidt
News

Keith “Don’t touch me” Capstick
Alanna “Burnin’ it down” Rizza
Sarah “Goddamn snitches” Krichel
Photo

Chris “Robot king” Blanchette
Devin “Has cracked” Jones
Izabella “Isn’t a murderer” Balcerzak
Online

Igor “Flannel god” Magun
Sierra “Big Agro” Bein
Lee “English tea” Richardson
Features

Jacob “Optimus Prime” Dubé
Arts and Life

Annie “7:34” Arnone

Intern Army

Jonathan “Spells” Parasiliti
Zadie “Welcome to the cult” Laborde
Contributors

Laura “Return of the Biz Jedi”
Woodward
James “Personal brand” Tozer
Nicole “Back to back” Brumley
Alexis “Risky” Perikleous
Nikhil “Shawarma” Sharma
Robert “Comeback kid” Mackenzie
Lyba “After the tone” Mansoor
Nick “Get ‘er” Dunne
Bryan “Ballizlyfe” Meler
Tagwa “Bright Lights” Moyo
Adriel “Big City” Smiley
Matt “Roadie” Ouellet
Allan “Still perch” Perkins
Josee “Iron lotus” Foster
Urbi “The newbie“ Khan
Brenda “Story queen” MolinaNavidad

Sports

Daniel “Dog smuggler” Rocchi
Biz and Tech

Justin “Wall-E” Chandler
Communities

Sidney “The straightest edge” Drmay
Fun

Skyler “Triangles” Ash
Media

Thomas “Text vids” Skrlj
Carl “I know a guy” Solis
Circulation Manager

Farnia “The Grand Optimist” Fekri

Playing the role of the Annoying Talking Co fee Mug this week is Donald
Trump, the Toddler King. He is a
snot encrusted, urine soaked, entitled,
carbon-based life form. America should
applaud their own social suicide. Stop
the car, I want the fuck out.
The Eyeopener is Ryerson’s largest and
only independent student newspaper.
It is owned and operated by Rye Eye
Publishing Inc., a non-pro it corporation
owned by the students of Ryerson. Our
o ices are on the second loor of the
Student Campus Centre. You can reach
us at 416-979-5262, at theeyeopener.com
or on Twitter at @theeyeopener.

NEWS

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016

3

Workplace harassment accusations at the Ram
Ram employees have accused a manager of threatening to punch an employee and making comments about a staff member’s breasts
By Alanna Rizza
Employees at Ryerson’s campus
pub, the Ram in the Rye, have made
claims about workplace harassment
after a manager allegedly made inappropriate comments and used
threatening language towards an
employee.
The Eyeopener spoke to five employees at the Ram, who wished to
remain anonymous for reasons of
job security. The employees alleged
the offending comments were made
by newly hired restaurant manager,
Tracey Thompson.
According to several staff members, during a shift Thompson
told an employee she was going to
“punch” them. One of the workers who spoke to The Eye said the
alleged victim told Thompson the
comment was workplace harassment. Thompson allegedly replied,
“Yes it is,” and walked away.
“I would not entertain the idea
that it was an actual viable threat,
but that is inappropriate,” said an
employee. “A manager can’t say that
to an employee. You can’t hold power over someone and make a ‘joke’
like that.”
Four of the staff members who
spoke with The Eye also said that
Thompson made an inappropriate
comment about the size of another
employee’s breasts.
Employees have expressed additional concerns about Thompson’s

According to employees, shit is going down at the Ram.

attitude towards the Ram. While
cleaning up during a late-night shift,
one staff member recalls Thompson
saying, “I fucking hate this place, everything is broken.”
“She makes very negative comments,” said the employee.
According to staff, issues with
management began when Thompson replaced former restaurant
manager, Rick Knapp.
“Tracey is not very nice. The way
that she speaks to her staff is not in
a welcoming way that makes you
want to approach her,” an employee
said. “If you voice your concerns,
she makes you feel stupid or talks
down to you.”
“We’re all scared for our jobs,” said
another employee. “It’s very hard to
find a flexible job as a student.”
Recent changes to the tip-out sys-

PHOTO: SARAH KRICHEL

tem have also angered employees.
In many restaurants, servers are required to share a percentage of their
tips with other support staff, including bussers, bartenders, hostesses
and any other employee whose job
assists the server. In the past, Ram
servers were required to tip out 4
per cent. This year, a quarter of the
tip out is going to kitchen staff.
Most kitchen staff at the Ram
are full-time, full-salary employees with benefits, unlike front-end
staff, who make slightly more than
minimum wage. All Ram staff are
unionized.
Staff said management did not
address the tip out changes during
the summer staff training. Instead,
they were given a contract to read
and sign.
“It’s our job obviously to read it,”

said an employee. “When they did
the training, they didn’t address any
major change. And I would say that
is a major change—if all of a sudden
you’re taking money from someone
and giving it to someone else.”
According to an email sent from
the Ram management to staff, the
reason for tipping out kitchen employees was to “push industry standards to a higher level.”
Amongst the confusion, employees are unclear about who specifically from the kitchen staff are
being tipped.
“They’ve never once responded
with a clear answer to who’s getting tipped out in the kitchen. Is it
only part-time staff? Is it all kitchen staff? Is it all kitchen staff and
for the two kitchen managers?”
The situation has left many employees not knowing where to go
to express their concerns because
they’re afraid of potential repercussions from Thompson and the rest
of management.
“I feel very afraid to go speak to
them. And I hate that I feel afraid to
because I don’t know how they’re
going to react,” said an employee.
Thompson refused to comment
on the allegations. Instead, she requested that any inquiries be directed to Ryerson Student Campus
Centre (SCC) general manager, Michael Verticchio, who oversees the
operation of the Ram.
In an emailed statement, Vertic-

chio that the SCC has not received
any complaints about Thompson.
“There are several formal channels by which employees of the
Ryerson Student Centre are able to
make complaints of harassment as
the Ryerson Student Centre takes
all complaints and allegations of harassment seriously,” he wrote.
Ryerson Students’ Union vice
president student life and events
Harman Singh, who is on the board
that governs services in the SCC,
said he also hasn’t received any complaints from Ram employees.
He said he was “surprised” to
hear about the allegations, and that
a board meeting would be held in
the next few days to discuss the concerns and the possibility of launching an investigation. “As of right
now what the RSU executives (who
are on the board) are going to do is
start an investigation and see what
exactly happened.”
It’s not just the staff who have noticed the changes. Several employees commented on concerns shared
by customers regarding the environment at the Ram.
“People aren’t coming in because
of all the shit that’s going on. Our
regular customers—they know it
too. They can see that people aren’t
happy and things are fucked up,”
said an employee.
“The Ram used to be a really great
place to work and go to and it’s just
not like that anymore.”

Ryerson entertains new ward boundaries
By Justin Chandler
A review of Toronto’s ward boundaries could lead to fairer representation for people in Ryerson’s ward,
Toronto Centre-Rosedale. As it
stands, constituents in that ward are
not being fairly represented because
it’s too big, says the area’s councillor,
Kristyn Wong-Tam.
After researching current ward
boundaries and consulting the public, the independent body of consultants conducting the review submitted its recommendations for new
boundaries to Mayor John Tory’s
executive committee.
On Oct. 26, the committee voted
7-6 to accept new boundaries in a
plan that will also increase the number of wards from 44 to 47. The independent review suggested that plan,
but Tory opposed it. City council will
vote on the plan on Nov. 8.
This proposed change is supposed
to even out the number of people in
each municipal ward, thereby ensuring each person’s vote counts more
or less equally. Currently some wards
have up to 45 per cent more people

than other wards, meaning many Toronto residents don’t have equal say.
“Democracy and how your voice
is heard at city hall is going to be impacted by how many voices are represented by one vote,” Wong-Tam said.
She said her ward, the city’s largest,
has almost 100,000 constituents—a
number that could triple considering
the people who come into the ward
to work, study, tour and socialize.
“All of those different stakeholders become constituents of Ward 27
even if they don’t have a residential
address here,” she said.
If, for example, a Ryerson student
has a safety issue on campus, they
become Wong-Tam’s constituent
whether or not they live in the ward,
she said.
Having so many people represented by just one vote on council is
unfair, Wong-Tam said. A smaller
ward would theoretically give people
who live and work in Ryerson’s ward
better access to their councillor, with
fewer people competing for their local representative’s attention.
Ryerson President Mohamed
Lachemi said it’s important for the

university to have a good relationship with its councillor.
But the boundary review may
not do much to change the institution’s access to its councillor,
which according to Wong-Tam,
is already “exceptional.” She meets
with university officials monthly
and also meets with the Ryerson
Students’ Union and other campus
groups.
She says access can vary by
councillor, but any councillor representing Ryerson will likely acknowledge them as a significant
stakeholder.
The review has been taking place
since June 2014. It considered multiple
options for change, including where
the shapes of wards would change, but
the number would remain at 44. Tory
was in favour of that option.
Toronto’s ward boundaries have
been in place since 2000. The review aims to make wards that will
last until after the 2030 election.
Mitchell Kosny, professor and associate director of Ryerson’s School
of Urban and Regional Planning,
said that while important, the ward

A change to ward boundaries could help Rye.

boundary review alone does little to
improve municipal government.
He said that while councillors
in smaller wards should be more
reachable to constituents, changing
boundaries won’t change governance or governing practices.
Kosny said the ward system itself
has problems, one being that councillors speak for wards, “and nobody
speaks for the city.”
Having a more available councillor
doesn’t give people a bigger impact

PHOTO: CHRIS BLANCHETTE

if people don’t vote and on a whole,
Ryerson students don’t, Kosny said.
He also said that local government is
the most important level of government and that councillors need to
engage more voters.
The review does not consider if
councillors’ offices are effective or
what the best way for people to reach
their councillors is.
If changing boundaries is all we do,
“we just haven’t gone far enough,”
Kosny said.

NEWS

4

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016

Petition to leave CFS begins
A new Ryerson group started a petition to determine if the RSU should remain a CFS member
By Keith Capstick
A petition for Ryerson students to
decide whether the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) will remain a
member of the Canadian Federation
of Students’ (CFS) has been started
by a new campus group, RU Aware.
According to the group’s website,
their aim is to raise questions and
educate students about the RSU’s
involvement with the CFS.
On Sept.1, the RSU released a
report outlining the details of their
relationship with the CFS. In a section labelled “controversy,” the RSU
outlined concerns including supposed CFS involvement in student
elections, a “litigation culture” that
deters unions from leaving and the
frequency of RSU executives ending
up employed by the federation.
RU Aware organizer Andre Villanueva, a fourth-year student who ran
on the Impact slate (which won most
of the positions in last year’s election)
with the current RSU executive, said
that this group and it’s petition are
about giving students the chance to
have a formal say in these matters.
“We felt like this discussion is abso-

lutely meaningless without a vote on
it,” Villanueva said. “It’s never going to
achieve anything, we’re never going
to have meaningful discussion unless
we vote on it. This petition is the first
step needed to have a vote.”
Villanueva added that the group
will be reaching out to student
societies and other campus organizations for backing in the coming weeks, as well as hitting Gould
Street for signatures.
The CFS has recently decided to
change its policy so that member
locals (like the RSU) collecting petition signatures only need 15, rather
than 20 per cent of the student body
to hold a referendum.
At Ryerson, this means that RU
Aware will need to collect roughly
5,000 signatures for a referendum—
though Villanueva is aiming for
9,000.
Rajean Hoilett, CFS-Ontario
spokesperson and former RSU president, was surprised by the petition.
“We’ve been on campus since the
start of the school year talking to students about the work of the federation and the fight for free education
with little to no negative push back,”

Hoilett said. “In fact, we’ve seen a
campus that’s really supportive of
the student movement and the ideals
we’ve built within the federation.”
He hasn’t heard anything as of yet
from any of the organizers of RU
Aware. But Hoilett said that the federation would love an opportunity to
“have some dialogue to discuss where
the work of the student movement is
at, and how those students see themselves reflected in the CFS.”

“We felt this
discussion was
absolutely meaningless
without a vote on it”
Hoilett and the CFS are currently
gearing up for their Nov. 2 Day of
Action, where they’re hoping to rally thousands of students at Queen’s
Park in support of free education.
RSU President Obaid Ullah said
he’s happy that the union’s report
motivated students to get involved.
“Students are stepping up and
questioning what they’re involved

in and that they’re taking the initiative to raise more awareness so
that’s definitely a satisfactory moment for the RSU.”
Historically, petitions started by
students not formally affiliated with
the CFS have been the main way
schools are able to leave the organization. Currently, the RSU pays
about $500,000 in student money
to the CFS each year in membership
fees. In recent years, the majority of
conversations regarding the CFS
have involved schools trying to leave
and ensuing litigation.
As recently as 2008, Cape Breton
University (CBU) tried to leave the
CFS after a 92 per cent in-favour vote
in a referendum caused by a petition—
which is what would have to happen
at Ryerson as well—but their claim
wasn’t recognized because they failed
to notify the CFS quickly enough, according to bylaws. CBU then responded by ceasing to collect CFS membership fees from their students, leading
to legal action. In the past two decades
at least three similar instances have occurred with schools being denied the
ability to leave due to inconsistencies
in their process for referendum.

The Alternative: CASA/OUSA
By Jacob Dubé
With recent debate surrounding the Ryerson Student Union’s
(RSU) affiliation with the Canadian
Federation of Students (CFS)—the
RSU’s current national and provincial advocacy group—the possibility
of finding advocacy elsewhere can’t
be ignored.
The two main alternatives are
The Canadian Alliance of Student
Associations (CASA) and the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA). Both perform similar
tasks to the CFS, but have different
priorities and methods. Here’s how
they measure-up:

ServiCeS
The CFS lobbies both the provincial and federal governments
regarding post-secondary-related
issues. According to Gayle McFadden, national executive representative at CFS-Ontario, the
CFS “builds movements.” The
organization focuses on lowering
tuition fees nationally, and bringing forward sexual assault policy
legislation on campuses in three
provinces.
They also provide money-saving
services for students, such as their
International Student ID Card
(ISIC), Handbook Service and Na-

tional Student Health Network.
“The services of the CFS—like
the ISIC—bring daily discounts to
students’ spending, but the progressive work [that] students undertake to challenge discrimination
on campus also changes lives,” McFadden wrote in an email.
However, RSU vice-president education Victoria Morton, said that
these provided services are not necessary and can be found for cheaper
elsewhere. The RSU has already replaced services like the CFS’ health
network, and handbook services.
“There’s services like web hosting and student saver cards that you
can already access for free, so I don’t
think we need to have this national
organization creating those for us.
And it’s not even that I think that, I
know that we don’t need a national
organization doing that,” Morton
said.
CASA and OUSA exclusively focus on lobbying their respective levels of government. In late October
the federal government announced
it would be increasing the minimum
income a graduate needs to make
before having to pay back student
loans from $12,000 to $25,000—a
change that CASA has previously
lobbied for.
“We’d advocated for 30, but 25
was a big, big positive,” Michael
McDonald, executive director at
CASA, said. According to McDon-

ald, they don’t provide any other
services like the CFS because they
want to let the respective student
unions concentrate on their own
priorities.
“CASA has seen it’s members
task it with using the fewest resources to accomplish their ends
at the federal level and leaving the
rest of those resources to each student union to be able to use on the
things that they do really well,” McDonald said.

memberShiP
FeeS
The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU)
currently pays the CFS a levy of $16.24
per student, amounting to roughly
half-a-million dollars. Additonally,
they pay $50,000 from their budget for
their membership.
CASA’s fees fluctuate based on
inflation and student enrollment.
Ryerson students would pay $2.49
each, the maximum fee being
$53,029 per year in total.
OUSA’s membership fee is a flat
rate of $2.99 per student, which
at Ryerson would total just under
$100,000.
If Ryerson were to go with CASA/
OUSA, students would be paying
$5.48 each for both memberships.
“It costs less money to do direct
lobbying. They’re not spending as

much money on printing or travel
costs. They’re more efficient per
dollar,” Morton said.

leAving
In order to leave the CFS, a petition—not initiated by any executive
from the students union—and signed
by 20 per cent (eventually 15) of the
school’s population must be circulated. The CFS then vets the signatures,
and a referendum is called.
McDonald considers CASA to be
an “easy in, easy out” organization.
“It’s critical that the organizations that are engaging with CASA
and are paying fees really want to be
there,” he said.
A CASA member would have to
notify the organization that it wants
to hold a vote to leave, and if it’s successful, they are separate. According
to McDonald, the whole process
takes 90 days.
Similar to CASA, OUSA President Jamie Cleary says it would also
take 90 days to leave their organization, except the students union can
make the decision in any way they
like, and must pay the rest of the
year’s fees in full.
“It’s student dollars funding the
organization, we want to make sure
you’re getting what you’re wanting
out of OUSA,” Cleary said.

Feds help
the kids out
Students won’t have to pay
back their student debt until
they make $25,000 per year
By Keith Capstick
As of Nov. 1, students in Canada will
not have to start paying back their
student loans until they are making
$25,000 per year.
On Oct. 30, the federal government announced that under the Repayment Assistance Plan students
can request help in managing their
debt in the form of reduced monthly
payments, or no payments at all—depending on family size and income.
With this increase to the plan the
federal government will provide an
additional $131.4 million in debt assistance over the next five years.
Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU)
vice-president education, Victoria
Morton, said this is exactly the type
of change she wants to see in student aid, but would like the $25,000
threshold to be a little higher.
“It’s incredibly exciting because
we’re always looking for creative solutions to equity-based aid and this is exactly that,” Morton said. “It’s also great
in that it encourages students that
don’t go into careers that are not directly profit-driven ... it helps not deter
students from wanting to take those
positions right out of graduation.”
But Bilan Arte, a representative
from the Canadian Federation of
Students (CFS), isn’t as excited as
Morton. Arte said that “this new policy is just the reframing of an existing
decision the federal government already made this year in their budget.”
“It does nothing to address the concerns that we’ve brought up around
access to education,” Arte said. “As
a movement it comes to no surprise
to have the government make an announcement like this two days before
students are mass-mobilizing for free
education.”
The CFS is holding their “Fight
the Fees” Day of Action on Nov. 2
when they hope to bring thousands
of students to Queen’s Park for a rally
asking the provincial government to
bring free education to students.
This is the latest in what has been
a nation-wide political trend to assist
students’ access to education. Last
year, the Ontario government announced its new tuition framework,
which was designed to provide free
tuition to students coming from lowincome households.
Canada Student Grants legislation
will also be getting a boost on Aug.
1, 2017 when the program’s payouts
increase by 50 per cent.
Full-time students from low-income
families will now be receiving $3,000
per year up from $2,000, students from
middle-income families will now be
receiving $1,200 up from $800 and
part-time students from low-income
families will get $1,800 up from $1,200.

WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE

WORLDS

5

WHEN

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016

COLLIDE
By Justin
Chandler &
Jacob Dubé

Justin: When worlds collide.
Jacob: You can run. But none can hide.
Justin: That’s right, Ryerson. The robots
are coming and there’s nothing you can do
to stop them. This special biz and tech issue
is about the researchers at Ryerson who are
rushing to meet our metallic overlords. Scientists and engineers worldwide are building
robots with all sorts of functions, from delivering beer to conducting surveillance.
Jacob: Making robots always seems like a
thing that governments do in secret labs, or
something a supervillain would do to rule
the world, but there are students and professors at Ryerson who work on robots every
day.
Justin: Inside this issue, you’ll read one expert’s warning about robots replacing people
at their jobs and another who’s not so worried about it. There’s so much potential that
there’s still no consensus on what robots
should or shouldn’t do. That’s why this issue
is important. It shines a spotlight on robots
doing things you may find unusual, or working in disciplines you may not expect, like
art and sports. Some of these robots are silly,
some are serious.
Jacob: But all these robots matter. We don’t
yet know what we need robots to do, so
now’s an important time to experiment— to
throw robotic spaghetti at the wall to see
what sticks.
Justin: Excellent inventions often present
themselves as solutions to problems you
didn’t realize you had.

Jacob: What we’re saying is that the robot
movement is happening. They’re sprouting
everywhere, especially in places you didn’t
expect—from shooting perfect basketball
shots to critiquing art pieces.
We should be supporting the people that
do this work. It’s fucking hard. It’s months,
sometimes years, of work with no guaranteed reward. Don’t get me started on how
much it costs to make an ENTIRE ROBOT.
We wanted to make this issue to showcase
all the work that’s put into robots at Ryerson.
As former and current Biz & Tech editors,
Justin and I have worked closely enough
with the technological and *pukes* innovative side of the university to know that Ryerson is like a lime lollipop with a tootsie
roll inside—pretty regular at first, but hiding
some crazy shit if you put a little effort into
finding it. We’re breaking this wide open!
Justin: Technology lollipops are everywhere! All around us!
Jacob: Exactly.
Justin: Of course, robots aren’t all great.
Even if they don’t mobilize and decide to enslave humanity, they could still threaten us.
We should be wary of the danger automation poses to certain trade workers. And we
should definitely worry about those autonomous drones the Pentagon is looking into…
Jacob: We’ve also got to monitor the progress of these robots on campus because eventually some engineering student is going to
arm these little buggers and take over campus.
Justin: When that day inevitably comes, The
Eyeopener will be there to report on it (and
fight the robots).
Jacob: So take our hands.
Justin: We’ll be your guides.
Jacob and Justin: When worlds collide.

Design
Skyler Ash

Editor-in-Chief
Nicole Schmidt

PHOTO: CHRIS BLANCHETTE

Managing Editors
Jacob Dubé
Justin Chandler

Writers
Jaclyn Tansil
Swikar Oli
Noella Ovid
Sylvia Lorico
Nikhil Sharma
Noushin Ziafati
Photo
Chris Blanchette
Devin Jones
Izabella Balcerzak

6

WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016

WHEN YOU JUST NEED A ROBOTIC HUG
By Sylvia Lorico

B

B-8 might not be able to write your
essays, but a robot like it could help
you manage stress. Lauren Dwyer, a
professional communication master’s student, worked with Ryerson communications
professor Frauke Zeller to develop a theoretical model for a companion robot with
potential to help people with anxiety. Dwyer
presented her plan as part of her major research project in September.
The robot would not replace traditional
therapy but instead, would assist in helping
identify and manage anxiety.
Dwyer’s research focused on literature
about anxiety, human-robot interaction and
technical design. Using this information, she
came up with a set of traits and characteristics that a robot would need to help someone
with anxiety. These traits included mobility,
the ability to communicate with a person in
need through gestures and sound.
Dwyer developed an outline for how a
working model of a companion robot would
communicate. According to Dwyer, the ideal
robot would be able to communicate with
humans through “natural language, lights,
gestures and sounds.” She also looked at how
the robots could react to physical symptoms
of anxiety, such as vocal changes or increased
facial expressions.
To come up with her model, Dwyer stud-

ied three different robots: Sphero’s BB-8 toy
(BB-8 is a robot in the latest Star Wars film),
NAO—a humanoid robot made by the French
company Aldebaran to communicate with autistic children—and Sphero’s Zoomer, a robot
dog that can respond to voice commands and
hand gestures.
Dwyer tracked the ways in which each robot could use a series of gestures or sounds to
express human emotions, like curiosity or frustration.
While researching, Dwyer discovered
there was little to no information on which
traits of anxiety could be monitored so that
the robot could recognize and help a person in need. She said anxious people display
physical signs but, those are often difficult
to monitor.
Her theoretical model did not include any
specific details on appearance, but Dwyer
said it was important that the robot be mobile.
“Panic attacks don’t just happen in the comfort of your own home,” she said. “They can
happen anywhere so you need something that
can come with you.”
Eventually, Dwyer may be able to create a
robot that would assist in the day-to-day life
of a person undergoing therapy.
“No one likes having a breakdown,” said
Dwyer. “While looking for a therapist takes
time and is expensive, I was looking for something that could tide you over between visits.

“It’s the comfort of having something that
is non-judgmental. Yes, it’s good to let it out,
to talk and to have that companionship but
having someone there can be a trigger for
anxiety.”
Of the three robots she studied, Dwyer
enjoyed studying BB-8 and NAO the most.
She found that the ability to control BB-8’s
emotions through a command menu could
help a robot respond to a person’s feelings.
She said NAO was a “state of the art robot”
which could have a conversation and notice
when a person was doing something. Both
were elements that she included in her research.

Statistics Canada reported in a 2012 mental
health survey that 2.6 per cent of Canadians
aged 15 or older recorded symptoms that are
associated with general anxiety disorder, an
anxiety disorder characterized by frequent
worry or excessive anxiety about events or activities. It’s important to note that the survey
only covers general anxiety disorder. There
are seven other anxiety disorders not considered the statistic.
Dwyer hopes that her outline, combined
with future research, will be able to contribute to the companion robot field. She hopes
to be able to develop her own working model
in the future.

PHOTO: SYLVIA LORICO

WE’VE GOT OUR TOP BOTS ON THIS
on developing prototypes that can be brought
Li began this interdisciplinary collaboration
to el-Hibeh to field test this winter.
project between Ryerson’s computer sciences,
n ongoing robotic project at Ryerson
El-Hibeh is a well-preserved archeological digital media and history departments after
could help researchers access unsta- site dating back to the first millennium BC.
getting inspiration to return to el-Hibeh and
ble archeological dig sites.
assess the damage.
At the end of last semester, students from
“This is one of these issues of how do we …
Ryerson professor Alexander Ferworn’s Huuse the resources we have here at Ryerson,
man Robotic Interaction (HRI) class designed
use the innovation, the technology, the intersix remote-operated devices with the objecdisciplinary [elements] at Ryerson to come
tive of exploring underground tunnels in the
up with a solution for a real world problem
ancient city of el-Hibeh, Egypt.
that also helps disseminate knowledge, that
The students tested their robots in a simuhelps highlight the crisis of cultural heritage
lated underground cave as part of their final
that’s going on not just in Egypt but all over
exam. The demonstration took place on April
the world,” said Li.
26 at the Ryerson Student Learning CenShe reached out to Michael Carter, directre and marked the end of an initial phase of
tor of industry relations and Ferworn, probrainstorming and development.
But, as a result of the Egyptian Revolution gram director at the Master of Digital Media
Ryerson professor and leading researcher in 2011, a lot of the archaeological material (MDM), about the partnership.
Jean Li and her team are currently working has been damaged or heavily looted.
Ferworn presented the HRI course as a
joint offering to undergraduates in computer
science and graduates from the MDM programs.
“The thing they share in common is that
they have to do a project night together and I
made it mandatory that MDM students must
work with computer science students and
computer science students must work with
MDM students. There’s no way of doing it
without collaboration,” said Ferworn.
The project became known as the BUSA
dig project, named after the play tunnel purchased from Ikea. Students had to get their
robot into the tunnel and inside a chamber in
which they couldn’t see the inside. They then
had to drive around and find artifacts within
the chamber without setting off booby traps
that could damage their robots.

By Noella Ovid

A

“There’s no way of
doing it without
collaboration”

Who?
Top. Bots.

“I provided very little guidance apart from
‘here’s the tunnel, here’s the chamber, it’s going to be full of stuff and you have to find everything in it but then you have to get your
robot out of it,’” said Ferworn.
There were six groups, each operating their
own robot, who came up with different strategies for solving the problem in the span of
three weeks.
“We had to come up with something and
sort of hypothesize what we might get and
then when we get on to the actual environment, it was you sort of learned on the go,”
said Rob Blain, an MDM student who took
part in the exam.
Some students used coffee sticks to make
sure they didn’t touch anything while others
used whiffle balls for armour and solar sensors to determine the elevation of the ceiling.
One group even used web streaming and operated their robot from Montreal.
“People tried everything,” said Ferworn.
“The students kind of worked as guinea pigs
so their work we used to inform what we will
do [in real life].”
The next step in the project is to get more
institutional funding from Ryerson.
Blain continued working on his robot after
the exam and investigated the idea of how to
build a robot for a novice driver through user
testing.
“[Blain] has a working prototype which
we’re kind of basing any future endeavour
on, so we’re going to actually try and do this
for real, should Jean Li get funding for actually going there to do more exploration,”
Ferworn said.

WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016

7

THE RAPTORS NEED THIS BOT
By Jaclyn Tansil

PHOTO COURTESY MICHAEL MARMETO

R

ART IS IN THE EYE
OF THE BOT-HOLDER
By Swikar Oli

W

hen McMaster University’s David
Harris Smith approached Ryerson
Professor Frauke Zeller to collaborate on a project for an art exhibition, they
knew it had to deal with robots. For Zeller,
the reason to spark the dialogue is clear, ”We
can’t live without robots anymore.”
Between Smith’s artistic and Zeller’s computational linguistics background, the pair
came up with Kulturbot, a motorized art critic
that rolls around art galleries sputtering out
its printed review on artistic creations and
blank walls alike. Kulturbot’s output follows
syntactical order—but the critiques, as well as
its movements, rely entirely on randomness.
“It would just sweep through the gallery basically and take pictures,” Zeller said. “Then we
made sure it would tweet those pictures, and
the captions for the pictures would be text generated automatically by a computer program
that takes and puts together words by itself.”
The captions are randomly generated from
Italian art theorist and poet Filippo Marianetti’s The Manifesto of Futurism.
The result: “Sentences that are grammatically
correct that don’t necessarily make any sense,”
Zeller said. “And we said that’s like an art critic.”
Kulturbot’s Twitter account, which goes
as far back as November 2014, contains over
a thousand captions, most of which may not
necessarily cohere without some slant on the

part of a crafty reader. Tweets like “immense
mouthful of strength in a useless sweat,” and
“Best part of your strength, love, courage and
our first time in our insolent spurts of creaking jaws giving in the waste paper with beings,” may reveal more about the interpreter
than about Kulturbot’s incidental personality.
But draw out bits from the text and Kulturbot’s tweets show even familiar words can
gain descriptions that give it a new stamp
(“red hot poker of joy,” “snorting machine
gun” and “victory gutter” are a striking few).

“Immense mouthful
of strength in a
useless sweat”
- Kulturbot
Zeller said people’s reactions have been
“very, very positive” in art galleries. Even
among all the art, the Roomba’d visitor is an
eye-catcher for curious patrons. For starters, Kulturbot’s look, even for an art critic,
is distinct. It’s got a pasta-strainer dome and
a lemon-juicer hat. A camera lens peeks out
of its chrome strainer and the thermal printer
beside it spits out receipt paper that likes to
wag as the robot wheels around.

amsBot is a robot designed to play basketball and shoot three-pointers, but
it’s accomplished more than providing
post-game entertainment.
The RamsBot is a mobile wheeled robot
with a large trunk-like container and a
built-in elevator system that brings the
basketballs up to a flywheel shooter, which
is set to a specific angle.
“It is similar to a tennis ball launcher, where
you have a rapidly spinning wheel set at a specific angle in which the ball enters the shooter
and is then launched at a constant angle, [in
this case] 45 degrees,” said Michael Marmeto,
team captain of the Ryerson Rams Robotics
Team, R3, and a fourth-year electrical engineering Student. The RamsBot is controlled
by a human operator wirelessly through a remote control.
“RamsBot started out as a centerpiece
for the celebration of National Engineering
Month, promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to the
public. It was designed to try and foster public
interest in engineering,” said Feroz Balsara,
co-captain of R3 and fourth-year mechanical
engineering student specializing in mechatronics.
After the RamsBot was showcased at the
Air Canada Centre on Feb. 27, 2015, during
a basketball game between the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors, it gained
a huge amount of media attention.
“The first year we [started the Robotics
Team, we] were just building robots, and it

was more like a hobbyist club, and this opportunity showed us how putting our skills
to a certain task can help promote engineering to people who may not normally
be accustomed to it,” said Marmeto. “[For
example] RamsBot, is a sports related robot
… helping us promote engineering to places
that normally many people would not have
thought of engineering.”
In January 2015, R3 was approached by
the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural
Science Dean’s office with the project proposal. Michael Marmeto, Jahiz Ahmed, Feroz
Barlsara and Eric Furtado designed and built
RamsBot over the course of six weeks.
The R3 team originally started off with only
three members and over the course of three
years has grown to over 40 active members.
Approximately 100 students are applying every year to join.
One of the latest opportunities for the
Rams Robotics Team is the Mars Rover
Project. The University Rover Competition
(URC) is an annual event that requires teams
to design and build a rover that can travel
over Martian terrain while completing various tasks.
“The competition is set for June 2017 in
Utah and we are currently in the early design
and prototype stages of the project,” said Eric
Furtado, the team lead of the project, URC
drive lead and fourth-year mechanical engineering student, specializing in mechatronics.
RamsBot currently lives in the Engineering
Design Zone, located in the basement of Kerr
Hall North and is brought out to events like
frosh and class demonstrations.

PHOTO COURTESY DAVID HARRIS SMITH

Everything about the creation, from computation and look to the underlying intent for
its making, seems designed to invite discussion. People approach Kulturbot with questions in mind, but just as quickly, Zeller says,
they know to pose those questions to themselves. “People ask us things like, “So how
does it know that it’s art,’ right? And we really
didn’t say anything, and they said, ‘Oh yeah,
you’re right. What is art actually?’”
Zeller finds it’s important for us to consider
how we feel about robots. As a researcher in
social robotics, she sees that people are easily
fond of robots. “We build these robots with
very simple means, and still people were really intrigued and delighted and started to talk
about it and what it actually meant,” she added.
Zeller wants to observe our attitudes during this transition period—when consumer
robotics begins incorporating into our daily

lives—and use it empower people. She wants
to know how robots can “achieve behavioral
change in [subjects].”
As the service and social robot industry
grows, Zeller also wants us to consider the
roles we want them to fill. “Usually, we tell
people what to do with technology we design,
but it should be the other way around,” Zeller
said. “People should appropriate technology
and say, ‘I wanna do this. I wanna do that.
This is how I want to use a robot.’”
The pervasiveness of robots in human life
seems only an inevitability. After the success
of HitchBot, Kulturbot’s famous cousin that
made international headlines while travelling more than 6000 km by getting rides
from travellers, Zeller received an offer to
collaborate with Airbus on a companion robot for people with truly out-of-this-world
loneliness: astronauts.

WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE

8

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016
PHOTOS: NIKHIL SHARMA

A
Ryerson study
found that nearly half of Canadian
jobs may be altered by robots in the next 20 years. As robots
become more advanced, it’s only a matter of time before we’re stuck saying:

HEY, THAT ROBOT STOLE MY JOB
By Nikhil Sharma

be able to do tasks people are currently paid
to do, such as driving vehicles or customer
service.
The Ryerson report cited truck driving as a
profession that could be significantly affected
by automation, which could cut a significant
number of jobs.
On Oct. 25, a self-driving truck in the United States made the first commercial delivery
in Colorado, taking 2,000 cases of beer over
roughly 193 kilometres.
Brookfield researchers also say workers in
low-income jobs that have low levels of education are more vulnerable to being replaced by
automation.
Workers between the ages of 15 and 24 are
also at a higher risk of replacement.
Jobs that are considered to be at a low risk
for automation are those that require high
skill levels, like retail and wholesale trade
managers, registered nurses, elementary and
kindergarten teachers, early-childhood educators and assistants and secondary school
teachers.

A report published in June said 42 per cent
of the Canadian workforce is at high risk of
being impacted by automation over the next
two decades, meaning robots may alter many
current jobs.
The study, which was conducted by Ryerson University’s Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, found five
occupations that could be replaced by automation, including retail sales clerks, administrative assistants, food counter attendants,
cashiers, and transport truck drivers.
But a robot programmer and builder from
Ryerson University says robots should be
used to help people do their jobs, not replace
the jobs themselves.
“If you look for places where people are
having a really tough time acclimating to
their positions or finding things really difficult, that’s where automation is useful,“ said
Kieran Ramnarine, a virtual reality specialist at Ryerson’s Digital Media Experience
Lab. ”Where a programmer and somebody
who’s experienced in the field can step in
and say this is how it’s done and we’re going to create this thing that’s going to help
you out.”
Ramnarine, a fourth-year computer science
student, has built several robots with parts
purchased from eBay or hardware stores, including robots that can receive wireless commands from phones and computers.
“What I think [automation] is useful for is
assisting people. Replacing people isn’t always
the best idea,” Ramnarine said.
Workers positioned in low-risk jobs are
As technology pro- more likely to be between 25 and 54 years old
gresses, more ro- and in full-time positions.
bots will
In 2015, Robot sales in Canada surged by
49 per cent to about 3,500 units. Global sales
increased by 15 per cent to 253,748
units—the highest ever
recorded for one
year.

Cutting jobs is a
short-term downfall
that you can see right
away

Ramnarine worked closely with high
school students in the summer, giving them
a hands-on experience in the digitalization
of the manufacturing sector and emerging
technologies.
He recalled asking a student who wanted to
learn how to use a camera and film movies if
they knew how to fly a drone.
“That’s what videography is going to be
in the next five to six years. It’s going to be
drone-controlled,” he said.
But Ramnarine said automation is a double-edged sword.
“It does provide a lot of new jobs, but it
does take away from people who are trained
in older skills and people who won’t be able to
go back to school to learn robotics or to learn
maintenance,” he said.
Jimmy Tran is a doctoral candidate in the
Ryerson Department of Computer Science
whose research focuses on urban search and
rescue, as well as bomb disposal.
He doesn’t see a problem in developing
technologies that make humans more efficient.
“The idea of cutting jobs is a short-term
downfall that you see right away,” he said.
“But the economic output means if we’re
more efficient, we can output more as a society.”
Tran says robotics are supposed to help humans complete tedious work so people can do
more of what they enjoy.
Alexander Ferworn, who oversees Ryerson’s Network-Centric Applied Research
Team, developed a technology called the canine remote deployment system to manage
emergency situations and criminal investigations. His system still needs living workers to operate.
Most police dogs enter hostile situations
together, when a person is equipped
with a weapon. Ferworn’s
system would
help

provide real-time intelligence to officers as
the scene unfolds with safety being prioritized.
It’s based on deploying a search dog
strapped with food, water, medical supplies
and a radio to communicate in situations
where patients are trapped under the debris
of collapsed buildings.

Robotics help people
complete tedious
work so they have
more time to enjoy

Drones with cameras can develop a 3D map
of the areas they fly over and they’re relatively
balanced and stable. But dogs can get into
places drones can’t. Tran is focusing on 3D
reconstruction using dog-mounted cameras
and filtering algorithms to stabilize footage.
Tran believes this type of technology makes
rescuers more efficient and could save lives.
But the level of automation in the workforce will depend on societal preferences
when it comes to interacting with humans
over robotsm according to Craig Lamb, policy advisor at the Brookfield Institute and author of the report.
“Just because you can automate a cashier
at a grocery store doesn’t mean cashiers
don’t exist, because people may
still want to interact with
humans,” Lamb
said.

ARTS & LIFE

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016

9

Abstract dance film: a step to recovery
Following a life-changing car accident, a Ryerson dance grad documents the pain of her recovery in her new film Wall Stare

PHOTO COURTESY: WALL STARE MOVIE SITE, ILLUSTRATION: ANNIE ARNONE

By Urbi Khan
In September of 2012, around 4 p.m., a week
before her 27th birthday, professional dancer
Miranda Forbes was severely injured after
being struck by an SUV.
The day was, as Forbes recalls, very
sunny. She was crossing the road on Bloor
and Dufferin streets on her way to meet her
friends—she took the day off of work to see
them.
The rest of that day was a blur to Forbes,
as she does not recall anything following

the impact. But the process to heal became
impossible for Forbes when she was told she
would never be able to dance again—something that she would never forget, for the
rest of her life.
Four years later, the Ryerson dance graduate is making her directorial debut with an
abstract dance film titled Wall Stare, the
story of artists who “endure.”
The idea of the film comes from the pain
that can cripple one’s life. Forbes’ cites her
experience in particular.
Wall Stare tells the story about Forbes’

Queer fashion is armour
By Sidney Drmay
While gender-neutral fashion is becoming more popular in trends like unisex
button-downs and baggy, shapeless shirts,
for queer and transgender people it’s a tool
used for resistance and protection. Fashion
is a way for them to express their sexuality
and gender through clothing and accessories that aren’t readily available in mainstream lines.
Recently, H&M released its latest ad campaign that focuses on
‘feminist’ themes, with queer
undertones such as trans models
and two girls kissing at the end
of the commercial. It was hailed
as being empowering by Cosmopolitan and Hu ington Post wrote
that the ad was “redefining what
being ladylike is.” Yet, many saw
through the campaign because of
the company’s lack of commitment
to women and trans folks, despite
the use of queer imagery. The brand
still operates under gender-segregated sections within its stores and
features “boyfriend” style jeans as a
type of denim fit.
Queer fashion writer Arabelle
Sicardi understands the importance
of queer and trans fashion
at its very core: it’s not about pretty,
it’s about survival. LGBTQIA people are
constantly at risk of experiencing violence
rooted in homophobia and transphobia and

fashion becomes a way to cope, resist and
protect.
Chrys Saget-Richard is a third-year social
work student who is nonbinary trans and
describes their style as “femme boi who
likes to wear a lot of black.”
“What I decide to wear is like my
armour, I know I’m gonna have
to face a lot of trash everywhere I
go but when I look good it’s okay,”
Saget-Richard said. “There’s
nothing I do that doesn’t have
a protective layer to it.”
But with the added vulnerabilities of being a marginalized gender and sexuality,
sense of style as armour
is critical. Especially for
racialized people like
Saget-Richard, who has
also deal with racism in
public spaces.
“People don’t understand a Black aesthetic
but I definitely have a Black
aesthetic. It affirms my Blackness
but also challenges you, because I
don’t mind that I scare people, I
understand that all of my identities as they intersect are feared,”
Saget-Richard said.
This relates to SagetRichard’s understanding of
their personal style.
“I love having facial piercings and colourful hair. Fucking with people’s respect-

vehicle accident and the recovery process
that took place afterwards.The dancer spent
a month at St. Michael’s Hospital and went
through three years of physiotherapy.
The physiotherapy helped Forbes regain
balance in her life, but she was left alone in
her apartment to contemplate during the
rehabilitation process.
Forbes said she felt comfortable doing
“nothing” in her apartment, which is where
the film title came from. A very common
thing for her to do was to stare at the walls
in her home all day. She said she felt happy
doing only that.
It stars another Ryerson dance grad, Christianne Ullmark, who now works with the
Toronto Dance Company. Ullmark portrays
Forbes in the film, bringing her journey of
recovery to life.
Dance is a form of art that mainly focuses
on the human body and how it moves. Wall
Stare intends to communicate this with its
audience.
“The film is abstract—there is no dialogue.
It has a lot of imagery and it focuses on the
human body,” said Forbes. “Initially I wanted
to make a documentary about traumatic
brain injury. But instead I chose to make an
abstract film, as I felt this would be a natural
way to communicate.”
Forbes hopes to communicate the joy of
dancing again throughout her scenes. This

film, Forbes believes, will be a step forward
in her recovery.
“Wall Stare explores the nauseousness and
quietness of recovery. It pairs energy and
movement with the excitement of dancing
again,” said Forbes. “The film throughout,
contrasts the apartment scenes with scenes of
dancing.”
The film project also includes Ryerson
graduates Ann Tipper, cinematographer
and co-producer of Wall Stare as well as
the film editor and sound designer Kjell
Boersma.

“Wall Stare explores
the nauseousness and
quietness of recovery...
with the excitement of
dancing again”
Wall Stare recently ran a very successful Indiegogo campaign that wrapped up
in September, when the film was in preproduction.
Forbes and her team are looking forward
to going through with production and they
are aiming for a 2017 release.
With iles from Annie Arnone

For queer and transgender people, gender-neutral fashion is less
about style choice and more about protecting identity
ability politics because fuck respectability
politics,” Saget-Richard said. “Realistically,
nothing about me is respectability. I’m a
Black, I’m nonbinary, I’m queer, so even
when dressed ‘clean’ I still have a queer
edge and I live for that shit,”
Looking to queer and trans
histories, fashion has been a tool of
resistance for generations—whether
it’s an ‘IMRU?’ t-shirt (a play-on
acronym for the “I am, are you?”
phrase, stemming from gay pride)
or a bunch of buttons on a jean
vest. LGBTQIA people use it to
find community. Spotting a patch
with a genderqueer symbol in
a crowd can provide a sense of
safety. It allows people to find each
other in what could be an unsafe
situation.
Saget-Richard explained that
queer style is more than just short
haircuts. Finding people that look
like them in a community is a
very important attribute closely
associated with their style.
Rob Molloy, a first-year
politics and governance
student, developed
his
sense of style as “preppy person at a picnic
with their family”.
“[I like wearing] dress shirts and bow
ties but I also have days where I like to
be really androgynous. I love to paint my
nails, which is seen as very non-masculine.
When I’m in a full suit but my nails are

pink, I love that,” Molloy said.
Transgender people use fashion to
present aspects of femininity and
masculinity to resist gender classification and fight binarism.
Molloy finds himself
blending the ideas of gendered
fashion in order to express
his understanding of
gender identity.
“The whole male or
female thing in stores is
weird, I’ve shopped all
over and it’s the worst to
be forced into the gender
binary and have to fit
everything all together to
be comfortable,” Molloy
said. “It’s annoying to sit
and puzzle piece things
together.”
With queer and
trans fashion becoming more
mainstream, the LGBTQIA
community does what they
can to keep their style their own.
Saget-Richard believes that queer
fashion cannot ever fully be taken
by the mainstream because
it is intrinsically connected to
identity.
“We’re just so fuckin’ cute.
The mainstream is like ‘I wanna be edgy’.
If you’re not queer you can’t take a queer
aesthetic. It’s not yours, why would you
take it?” Saget-Richard said.

10

SPORTS

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016

Going for B-Roque
The women’s basketball team has a new full-time
assistant coach, a first for a fast-growing program

Jessica Roque is the new assistant coach for women’s basketball.

By Bryan Meler
The Ryerson women’s basketball
team is gearing up for another
season following the best year in the
program’s history, and their success
has given them the opportunity to
make an important addition to the
team.
After winning the program’s firstever Ontario University Athletics
(OUA) championship and national
tournament silver medal, the team
has earned “CIS High Performance”
classification, the highest ranking
a team can attain under Ryerson’s
athletics structure. That means a 20
per cent increase in funding and the
ability to hire the team’s first fulltime assistant coach, Jessica Roque.
The team will also have three
part-time assistants on the coaching
staff, but aside from head coach Carly
Clarke, Roque is the only female
coach.
“This is important towards the
sport of women’s basketball,” said
Roque. “Carly played and I played,
and now we’re both young female
coaches. I think, in a way, it’s part of
our duties to serve as role models and
give back to essentially our younger
selves.”
Roque’s primary responsibilities
this year will be player development,
recruiting and film breakdown.
Although the team already has
multiple part-time assistant coaches
to help in those areas, getting an extra
full-time staff member is a benefit of
increased success, one that the men’s
basketball team has experienced
since Patrick Tatham became a fulltime assistant in 2013.
Players are required to schedule

PHOTO: DEVIN JONES

at least one workout a week with
Roque to concentrate on individual
aspects of their game when they have
the time.
“With Jess on our team, there’s
always someone there to do
individuals at any time. It’s really
helpful considering our busy
schedules,” said third-year centre
Sofia Paska. “She’s very outgoing, and
energetic, and her personality makes
her someone you want to be around.”
The Rams have high expectations
after last season’s success, and Roque
knows what it takes to build a
winning culture.
Roque, officially titled as the team’s
lead assistant coach, is a former
Cleveland State University basketball
player. Over her four seasons with
the Vikings, she helped lead her
team to its first two Horizon League
championship titles and a pair of
NCAA tournament appearances.
Following her playing career, Roque
spent one season as an assistant coach
with Cleveland State, but decided to
join the Rams this past summer after
meeting Clarke at a coaching clinic
hosted at Ryerson.
“Her being a young female and
a former player, I think they make
great characteristics for her to be a
good role model for our athletes,” said
Clarke. “She’s given us more time to
connect to the players, make sure they
get the necessary individual feedback,
and with more resources we’re able to
help them become their best.”
The Rams open their season on
the road against Laurier this Saturday, marking Ryerson’s first OUA
game with a full-time assistant coach
on the bench.

Men’s Hockey

WoMen’s Hockey

Men’s Volleyball

WoMen’s volleyball

Oct. 28 - Rams: 3 Carleton: 5
Oct. 29 - Rams: 4 RMC: 2
Oct. 28 - Rams: 3 Toronto: 0
Oct. 30 - Rams: 1 Western: 3

Oct. 29 - Rams: 2 Guelph: 4
Oct. 30 - Rams: 3 York: 2 (SO)
Oct. 28 - Rams: 0 Toronto: 3
Oct. 30 - Rams: 1 Western: 3

Men’s Soccer

Oct. 30 - Rams: 1 Queen’s: 0
(OT) - OUA Quarter-finals

For more game coverage, visit
theeyeopener.com

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016

FUNNY THINGS HERE

11

“I peaked in elementary school”
By Skyler Ash
A Ryerson student has come to
the “shocking” realization that he
will never be cooler, smarter or
as suave as he was in elementary
school.
“My days at Armstrong Elementary were the best of my life,” said
Noah Kilter. In the small town of
Armstrong, Ontario, Kilter spent
his infancy carefully cultivating his
image, “only to have it fade by the
sixth grade.”
Now in his third year as a puppetry major at Ryerson, Kilter has
come to the conclusion that who
he was as a prepubescent youth will
never be better than who he is now.
“I thought that things would pick up
in middle school, but they didn’t,”
said Kilter. “After that, I told myself high school would be my time
again. Then high school came and
went, and I was still just That Puppet Guy.”

PHOTO: IZABELLA BALCERZAK

A sad man and his sad puppets.

As a child, Kilter wanted nothing
more than to be a puppeteer. “I started learning the art—and it is an art—
when I was five,” said Kilter. “My
father was a puppeteer, as was his
father and their fathers before him.”
Kilter said that while his antics
were popular in elementary school,
he has had less luck since his final el-

ementary school performance, Into
This Deep Darkness, a reflection of
his time spent at home with chickenpox when he was supposed to be
at Billy Richman’s seventh birthday
party. “It moved me to tears,” said
Richman, who now studies at École
Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. “I didn’t know

Bathroom vandal getting
own comedy show

he wanted to come to my party that
badly.”
When Ryerson launched its
ground-breaking and innovative
puppeteering program back in
2014, Kilter was the first and only
student to enrol. “He’s still the only
one in the program,” said Lauren
Clegg, a Ryerson media relations

officer. “We thought about scrapping it, but we thought that would
hurt his feelings.” All staff hired to
teach the program were let go two
weeks in, so Kilter only pays $2,000
a semester for a small closet in Jorgenson Hall where he Googles puppetry tutorials.
“I’ve put on a bunch of shows
since I started at Ryerson,” said Kilter, “but not that many people show
up. I think they must have gotten
the dates mixed up or something.”
Kilter has put on a staggering 527
shows, but no more than 13 people have showed up to any show.
“There was this one time in second
year that I had a crowd of 30 people,
but when they realized I wasn’t giving a campus tour, they scrambled
pretty quickly.”
Kilter has come to accept that the
man he is today will never be half
the boy he was during his time at
Armstrong Elementary. “I guess the
glory days are gone,” said Kilter.

STRANGER
THINGS
WORD E
SC R A M B L
GOSGE
ELNVEE
WISNHKA
MRGONEODOG

Haden Webber in his element!

By Robert Mackenzie
Ryerson students are used to seeing Haden Webber’s jokes on bathroom stalls. But in a few months,
they’ll be watching those jokes on
their TVs.
Comedy Central announced Saturday that Ryerson’s most infamous
bathroom vandal will be developing
a pilot for the network this coming
spring.
“This is really a dream come true
for me,” Webber said. “Getting on
TV was always the end game for me,
but to actually see it come to fruition
is really quite surreal.”
Over his past three years at Ryerson, Webber has made his mark on
the school’s washrooms.
Webber’s resume includes some
of the all-time greatest bathroom
gags, such as the bacon joke that’s

PHOTO: CHRIS BLANCHETTE

sometimes on hand dryers, and
writing “kinda looks like boobs”
over toilet paper dispensers.
“Haden’s work always has me in
tears,” said Tyrell Mincey, a firstyear exercise student, who is just
starting to make a name for himself in the bathroom graffiti circuit.
“He has so much confidence in his
work that he’ll often go off on these
unscripted tangents. He’s not just a
bathroom vandal, he’s a storyteller.”
Gary Mann, Comedy Central’s
vice president of programming
and development, caught wind of
Webber’s work after a picture of
one of his jokes went viral on Instagram.
“He drew a face using the lock
of the door as one of the eyes and
the handle as the nose, then wrote
a speech bubble saying ‘I’m always
watching you,’” said Mann. “That’s

exactly the sort of new-age absurdist
humour we’re hoping to introduce
into our original programming.”
Although the pilot won’t be released until May, Webber says he
will be starring in the show as a fictionalized version of himself. The
pilot will be set in 2013, just when
Webber is starting to get big in the
bathroom graffiti scene.
“It’s definitely going to have a lot
of laughs, but it will also be about
the struggles of making it big in a
business that has become saturated
with so much mediocre content,”
Webber said.
As the pilot develops, Webber
plans to continue vandalizing Ryerson bathrooms to develop material for the show. “One thing I can
guarantee is that there’s going to be
a whole lot of bathroom graffiti,”
he said.

PISEDU

ODWN

STUDIN
KIEM
SULCA

Unscramble the
words to win a $25
Starbucks gift card!
Submit your name,
contact info and
favourite Stranger
Things moment to
The Eyeopener o�ce
(SCC 207).

12

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016

RYERSON UNIVERSITY

SAT. NOV. 5 &6

S

MEN’S SOCCER OUA FINALS

Hosted By Ryerson University At Birchmount Stadium

O

ELECTION NIGHT

“THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE”
TRUMP vs CLINTON

C
C

SEMI-FINAL

SAT. NOV. 5 VS GUELPH
3:00PM

E

JOIN THE FAN BUS!
Register at www.ryersonrams.ca
Check out twitter and facebook at ryersonrams for updates

@ryersonrams

#WeRRams

ryersonrams.ca

R

ADMISSION: $10

$5 For staff / faculty / alumni and non-Ryerson students
FREE with your Ryerson OneCard

NOVEMBER 8
8:30 PM, THE RAM IN THE RYE

$5 POUTINE (because, Canada)
Patriotic shots (because America)
Free Popcorn (because popcorn)
Trvia! (because prizes!)
(Because really what else is there? As Winston
so eloquently put it:“Democracy is the
Democracy! Churchill
worst form of government, except for all the
others.”)

SUN. NOV. 6 VS TBD
BRONZE MEDAL 12:00 PM
OR FINAL 3:00 PM

HOSTED BY CESAR & THE EYEOPENER