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Volume 50 - Issue 10

November 16, 2016
theeyeopener.com
@theeyeopener
Since 1967

GENDER GAP?
FUCK IT.

THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE,
SCIENCE NEEDS WOMEN.
PHOTO: DEVIN JONES

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Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

NEWS

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CFS petition under fire, called ‘sketchy’
After a RESS annual-general meeting ended in threats, some student leaders are questioning the petitioning tactics of RU Aware
By Keith Capstick
A petition to leave the Canadian
Federation of Students (CFS) has
recently started circulating at Ryerson in the form of the campaign
group RU Aware. But after allegations of threats and student leaders
describing their petitioning tactics
as “sketchy”—some student leaders
are hesitant to get involved.
At last week’s Ryerson Engineering Students’ Society (RESS) annual general meeting, a motion for
RESS to stop supporting RU Aware
and assisting with their campaign
was voted down emphatically. But
according to Matthew Smith—the
mover of the motion and former
RESS executive—the meeting’s attendees were dominated by those
close to RU Aware in order to ensure the vote went their way. Smith
said after the motion was shut
down, more than half the people in
the room left.
“The motion failed miserably
and almost immediately afterwards
everyone who voted against it just
stood up and left,” Smith said. “We
went from having 60 or 70 people to
having maybe 20-30 people.”
Smith said that it was clear the
room was divided and that a large
portion of students were only there
to vote down the motion.
RU Aware organizer Omar Falasteen—who spoke on behalf of the

group at the meeting—said that
students have a right to leave when
they don’t feel the rest of the proceedings matter to them.
“If they don’t feel like the other
motions [have] value, they obviously won’t stay,” Falasteen said.
Smith made a public Facebook
post denouncing RU Aware for a
lack of transparency in their campaign. Smith’s post led Falasteen to
approach and physically threaten
him.
“He ends the discussion off with
‘be careful people might find you in
an alleyway, all I’m trying to say is
watch what you say,’” Smith said.

“He ends the
dicussion with ‘be
careful someone
might find you in an
alleyway’”
Falasteen admits to the threat,
but said he wasn’t representing RU
Aware. Instead he said he was defending his friends, whom Smith
called “minions” in the post.
“It wasn’t meant literally,” Falasteen said.
The CFS is Canada’s largest provincial and national student-advocacy body. They represent and advocate for students on issues ranging

from tuition fee increases, creating
sexual consent culture on campuses
and creating more environmentally
sustainable student spaces.
In order to defederate from the
CFS, a petition with 15 per cent of
a campus’ undergraduate population
is required for a referendum to take
place, according to CFS bylaws. The
decision would then go to a vote at
a Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU)
annual general meeting, where the
union’s membership would decide
the fate of the relationship. The CFS
takes in about $500,000 per year
from the RSU, paid for with student
money. So far, RU Aware has collected almost 4,000 signatures for
the petition.
Since the onset of their campaign,
RU Aware has been canvassing
campus leadership to help support
their campaign and contribute publicity and additional bodies to collect petitions. Specifically they’ve
targeted students societies. Both
RESS and the Ted Rogers Student
Society have joined, but the Ryerson
Communication and Design Society
(RCDS) declined.
“I chose not to support it because
historically speaking the students’
union always ends up getting sued
in some way … and I’m not comfortable putting myself behind something that will potentially directly or
indirectly affect the students that I’m
working for seven years down the

The petition has 4,000 signatures so far.

road,” said Tavia Bakowski, RCDS
president.
Part of Smith’s reasoning for
his motion is what he described as
“sketchy” petitioning tactics. He said
that he had witnessed people looking
to collect signatures without explaining their cause. Smith specifically described one instance when he heard
someone say, “I don’t know, I was
just told to collect signatures,” when
prompted to explain the campaign.
Martin Fox, a fourth-year psychology student and a candidate for
vice-president education on the RU
Connected slate during last year’s
RSU election, also said he’d witnessed a lack of transparency from
RU Aware.
“I spoke to a campaigner from RU
Aware recently, and they made sev-

PHOTO COUTESY RU AWARE

eral misleading statements in their
pitch,” Fox said. “If RU Aware genuinely cares about transparency and
student empowerment, they should
be addressing the problems with our
student union as well—and I find it
really one-sided that they’re not including that in their campaign. Ultimately I’m just disappointed that students aren’t being given full, impartial
information about this subject.”
But Falasteed was adamant that
RU Aware instructs all of its volunteers to make sure they explain
their cause clearly before asking
for signatures. He said that the RU
Aware campaign is aiming to create a conversation so that students
can arrive at a substantive decision
about their national and provincial
advocacy.

RSU/Rye want more control of Gould
The Ryerson Students’ Union met with Ryerson President Mohamed Lachemi to discuss gaining stewardship rights over Gould St.
By Annie Arnone
The Ryerson Students’ Union
(RSU) has plans to work with the
university to gain stewardship
over Gould Street, following recent pro-life protests taking place
on campus.
The city of Toronto owns the
street, but stewardship rights
would transfer management responsibilities and allow Ryerson
or the RSU to kick off any nonstudent protesters.
RSU vice-president equity, Tamara Jones, is behind the proposal.
Pro-life protesters have been on
Gould Street since September, carrying anti-abortion posters with
enlarged images of aborted fetuses.
Ryerson students and RSU executives have responded by covering
the pro-life images with signs of
their own, reading “mind your own
fucking business,” and bringing
blankets to cover up pro-life signs.
However, most of these people
are not Ryerson students.
Another solution Jones proposed would be to allow a peaceful

Controversial protesters have sparked an idea to take control of Gould St.

protest without the use of graphic
imagery.
Jones met with Ryerson President Mohamed Lachemi on Nov.
15, after she was approached by a
group of students about the protests. In the meeting they discussed
moving forward in dealing with
non-student protesters who come
to campus, as well as her visions
for the street.

“Students are getting really upset
about the photos being shown. I
don’t think students are even upset
about what they’re protesting, but
the majority of students are affected by the graphic images—that’s
what’s most triggering,” Jones said.
After meeting with Lachemi,
the president concluded that the
university has a legal team looking into the options that the school

PHOTO: IZABELLA BALCERZAK

has in terms of working around
city property. Jones said in the
meeting that she and the president
discussed the importance of freedom of speech, and agreed that the
problem lies in the use of graphic
images to convey a message.
“It’s not very effective to give a
list of asks or demands and then
expect him to do something, so instead I want to work with him to

find a solution,” Jones said.
According to Ryerson’s manager
of security and emergency services,
Tanya Poppleton, Ryerson security
does not have the power to enforce
the Trespass to Property Act or any
city bylaws.
For example, if someone were
to smoke weed on Gould Street, a
Ryerson security guard would have
a limited amount of authority in
handling the situation.
Similar to protesting, smoking
weed in public falls under a grey
area and is not under all circumstances considered to be a criminal
act in Ontario.
“We can make an arrest under
The Criminal Code, under citizens
powers of arrest ... but outside of
that we don’t have any powers so
we would have to call Toronto Police,” Poppleton said.
The areas of campus within the
Gould Street enclosure, that are
city property, include Victoria
Lane, the gardens going up to Kerr
Hall West, as well as the ledges,
sidewalk and road of Gould Street.
With iles from Alanna Rizza.

EDITORIAL

4

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

Wait, you’re telling me there’s a gender gap?
By
Nicole
Schmidt
Over the past few months, women
have been a focal point in mainstream media. It’s a similar story
almost every time: take any competent female character, slot her into a
subject and voilà! Brace yourself. It’s
a conclusion bound to shock you.
Surely, no one saw this coming.
Ready?
Women can accomplish things,
too.

No kidding. Thanks, journalism.
Sexism isn’t new. It manifests itself in almost every profession: in
music, in sports, in law, in science,
in engineering, and, most notably
right now, in politics.
With the deplorable outcome
of the U.S. election, we’ve all been
slapped in the face with a cruel, all
too familiar reminder that bigotry
and misogyny can win.
You can tell the world that
there’s a problem. You can scream
it as loud as you want. But in spite
of this, we’re still discussing gender
in the same regurgitated way. The
gap exists. We know that.

Opinions surrounding Hillary’s
loss are scattered. A few days after
the ballots were tallied, the Huffington Post ran the headline, “Dear
‘Brogressives’ — Please Let Women
Mourn Hillary Clinton.” Meanwhile, the Toronto Sun wrote that
people need to “stop blaming Hillary’s loss on sexism.”
Spin the argument any way you
want. As Michelle Obama so eloquently put it, yes, Clinton “happens
to be a woman,” but that’s not why
we should care. “She has more experience and exposure to the presidency than any candidate in our lifetime. Yes, more than Barack, more
than Bill.”
Let’s stop acting like it’s some
sort of groundbreaking discovery
when a woman does something re-

markable. I don’t want to hear your
harrowing tales about those who
“overcame the hardships of being a
female” to find success. I don’t want
you to remind me about the statistics because I already know how unsettling they are—I’m one of those
numbers, after all.
Life rafts, fire escapes, medical
syringes and the first algorithm
intended for a computer were all
invented by women decades, even
centuries, ago. Shouldn’t we have
learned to disassociate accomplishment with gender by now? We’ve
seen that yes, women can be doctors, or engineers, or politicians.
That’s because skill defines a person. Intelligence defines a person.
Moral obligation defines a person.
Genitalia does not.

PHOTOS COURTESY: FLICKR/DONKEYHOTEY

Goodbye, cruel world.
Communities

Sidney “RU uncomfortable?” Drmay
Fun

Skyler “Cut in half” Ash
Media

Editor-in-Chief

Nicole “Two strikes” Schmidt

As you’ll read about in our features section this week, enrolment numbers for women in science, technology, engineering and
math programs are lower than they
should be. This story isn’t meant to
turn women into antagonists, nor
is it supposed to make them out to
be heroes. Instead, it goes one step
further to look at why the problem
still exists.
Women have always been at
odds when it comes to opportunities, but let’s not for one second
assume that makes us victims, because it doesn’t. If you identify as
a female you may be at a disadvantage, but you, as a human, are not a
hinderance to anyone or anything.
You are capable, and you are more
than competent.

Thomas “Desktop sensation” Skrlj
Carl “Nice hat” Solis

Josee “Master of Food” Foster
Bryan “Balling in the Afternoon”
Meler
Scott “Persuasion” Zhang
Malachi “I asked you 6 times”
Rowswell
Zayna “Super Star” Kassab
Zeus “Dobry Piesek” Balcerzak
Olivia “Popswag” “Bednar”

Playing the role of the Annoying
Talking Coffee Mug this week is,
you guessed it, the election. Tabatha
General Manager
Southey wrote, “What we just witLiane “Another bourbon” McLarty nessed was a tantrum, one that will
Photo
cost everyone dearly. And if you are
Chris “Re-circ” Blanchette
Advertising Manager
Black or Hispanic or Muslim or trans
Devin “Chalkduster” Jones
Chris “Ads R Us” Roberts
or gay or a woman, the answer is: Yes,
Izabella “Bon Voyage” Balcerzak
they do hate you that much. America
Design Director
just cut off its nose to spite its face.” No
Online
J.D. “What’s your job, again?” Mowat truer words have been spoken about the
Igor “Makes Sierra cry” Magun
shit show that was once the “shining
Sierra “Christmas in July” Bein
Intern Army
city on a hill.” The toddlers have their
Lee “Queen of England” Richardson
Jonathan “Snap” Parasiliti
Troll King and now demand obedience
Zadie “Crackle” Laborde
from the rest of us. Well, FUCK YOU,
Features
America.
Jacob “Clean the basement” Dubé
Contributors
Neha “I choose you” Chollangi
The Eyeopener is Ryerson’s largest and
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News

Keith “Spiffy jeans” Capstick
Alanna “Hunts you down” Rizza
Sarah “Steam?” Krichel

Circulation Manager

Farnia “Join us” Fekri

NEWS

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

5

The Ram works towards sexual violence prevention
The Ram in the Rye designed posters asking customers to alert staff if their space isn’t being respected
By Alanna Rizza
By Nov. 18, the Ram in the Rye will
be placing posters around the pub
asking customers to alert Ram staff if
they feel uncomfortable on a date or if
someone isn’t respecting their space.
The posters, which say things
like, “Things getting weird? Let your
server know” and “We are on your
side,” will be placed in the main area
of the pub and in the bathrooms according to Michael Verticchio, Student Campus Centre general manager. The posters were designed in
October with input from Ram staff
and Farrah Khan, coordinator of
Ryerson’s Office of Sexual Violence
Support and Education (OSVSE).
“I think it’s amazing that the Ram
in the Rye is at the forefront of such
an important issue,” wrote Verticchio
in an email.
Ryerson Students’ Union vice
president equity Tamara Jones said
she thinks it’s great that posters are
in the bathroom because it’s a private area that people usually go to
when they’re trying to get out of a
situation that could lead to sexual
assault.
The Ram is also enforcing sexual
violence prevention in their staff

This poster will be going in the Ram in the Rye.

training sessions.
This past summer, Khan helped
train Ram staff on how to identify
and intervene in an instance of sexual
violence.
“With [the] training program, we
are hoping to foster an environment
of respect among students and create
a safe space on campus,” Verticchio
wrote via email.
Jones said the training is necessary

COURTESY MICHAEL VERTICCHIO

because people need to recognize the
warning signs in order to prevent
sexual assault.
“I’ve been a bartender and worked
in the service industry and sometimes
it can seem like it’s not in the job description to do that kind of prevention work—but it really really is.”
There were about 21,500 police-reported sexual assaults in 2015, according to Statistics Canada. But only 5 per

cent of incidents of sexual assault experienced by Canadians aged 15 years
and older are reported to police, according to the General Social Survey
on Canadians’ Safety (Victimization).
On Nov. 8 Toronto city council adopted a motion proposed by
Ward 27 Councillor Kristyn WongTam. The motion requests that the
province of Ontario add sexual assault prevention training to Smart
Serve—the training that alcohol
servers have to take in Ontario.
According to the motion, this
initiative is a response to Toronto’s
number of incidents of sexual assault being higher than the provincial and national average.
“[Universities] should encourage
an unreserved dialogue between
staff and students about open consent at the beginning and throughout the school year, in order to promote education and awareness on
sexual violence,” Wong-Tam wrote
in an email.
Verticchio said the Ram is looking
to regularly update staff on trainings
regarding sexual violence prevention.
“Having an ongoing conversation will be important to making
the Ram in the Rye a safe place for
everybody,” he said.

Adopted youth not satisfied with OSAP efforts
By Sarah Krichel
November is Adoption Awareness
Month in Ontario, and the provincial government recently addressed
funding post-secondary education by
implementing a grant for those who
are adopted or without legal guardian. But adopted students at Ryerson
aren’t getting their hopes up.
Under the new grant, adopted
youth will receive a monthly fund
of $500 and First Nations families
who adopt an Indigenous child will
receive a one-time $5,000 fund.
But those eligible for the grant
don’t think that it will work, due to
past experiences.
RyePRIDE coordinator and second-year criminology student Camryn Harlick, who uses they/them/
their pronouns, said that this pledge
doesn’t come through with the
grants that it promises. They said
that they are $35,000 in debt, and
that no “radical change” to make tuition accessible for students in their
situation is being made.
“If you look at the old policy and
the new policy, there are really only
a couple things that are different,
but it’s basically the same thing,”
Harlick said. “So [I think] they’re
just making it look new to seem
more progressive ... but I’ll believe it
when I see it.”
Previously, the Living and Learning Grant (LLG) was offered to stu-

dents between the ages of 21 to 24.
The LLG will now apply to anyone
adopted after Aug. 1, 2013, between
the ages of 18 to 24, granting a maximum of $6,000 per year for postsecondary education.
Harlick said that people they
know who are emancipated still
haven’t received their grants either.
“So I feel like it doesn’t work.”
According to Deb Matthews,
minister of advanced education and
skills development, OSAP reform
is being prioritized to make sure
finances don’t serve as a barrier between students and education.
“We know that Crown wards and
former Crown wards face particular challenges when it comes to accessing education. That’s why I am
delighted that we are moving forward with this Living and Learning
Grant,” Matthews said.
Harlick said that they experienced
issues with OSAP previously, which
is why they do not trust the promises that the provincial government
is making. They were told by one of
Ontario’s children’s aid societies that
they would receive full tuition, but
they only received $3,000.
“Although that is great, that is
not even half my tuition,” Harlick
said. “I feel like any time they do
anything that’s remotely good, they
say it’s huge and that it’s this impossible advance that they’re so happy
to make—when it’s not huge. It’s the

Camryn Harlick, second-year criminology student.

same policy you already had, you’re
just rebranding it.”
Rajean Hoilett, chairperson for
the Canadian Federation of Students—Ontario (CFS-O), said that a
better support system is lacking.
“I am a little bit disappointed that
we’re not having the real conversations about the root causes of a lot
of these issues,” Hoilett said. “We
haven’t heard any constructive conversations about where we can go to
ensure that everyone has access to
post-secondary education.”
The CFS is a federal student lobbying group that has advocated for
free education and elimination of
student debt for all students, including part-time and international students. The CFS has a Fight the Fees
campaign, which recently held a Na-

PHOTO: IZABELLA BALCERZAK

tional Day of Action on Nov. 2.
According to Matthews, the
ministry is currently working on
OSAP transparency and accessibility, by focusing on things such as a
mobile app on which you can apply
for and use to estimate how much
OSAP will grant to you, as well
as ridding students of the tedious
processes when applying for OSAP
loans and grants.
Harlick is also an Indigenous student, and said they didn’t receive the
grant for that “special consideration”
either. “They make it seem like we
are receiving all this help when
we’re really not,” they said.
“If tuition was going to be accessible, it would be free. You’re not
doing anything revolutionary really.
You’re doing the bare minimum.”

News
Bites
Rye Law Practice
Program
extended two
more years
Ryerson’s Law Practice Program
(LPP) will be extended for two more
years. The Law Society of Upper
Canada put the extension of the
program to a vote last week, and
according to an LPP press release,
Ryeron intends to take the two
years to “further assess the pilot, and
to develop a sustainable licensing
process for all.”
The LPP was introduced in 2012
as an alternative to articling—an
obligatory workplace placement law
students must complete following law
school. The Eyeopener previously
reported that the LPP’s alternative
to articling was not recieved well by
practicing lawyers.

Ryerson’s new
building won’t be
used for at least
three years
Ryerson won’t be using 104 Bond
Street for another three years, despite having recently paid $10.25
million, according to Ryerson
president Mohamed Lachemi.
He said part of the deal was that
the original owner would continue
using the building while Ryerson decides what to do with the new space.
“Having a new property will really add to the space that we really
need to accomodate the demand
that we have from our students,”
Lachemi said.

Student Learning
Centre wins gold for
energy efficiency
and design
Last week, Ryerson received a gold
certification for energy efficiency
and design for the Student
Learning Centre (SLC).
The Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED) is a
green building certification that is
used worldwide.
“We will continue to make sure
that any new buildings that we
have, including the ones under
construction, will meet those very
high standards,” said President
Mohamed Lachemi.

6

FEATURES

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

The Glass
Obstacle
Course

Why aren’t there more
women in science and
engineering programs?
By Skyler Ash

N

ika Zolfaghari grew up in a family of engineers—male
engineers. Her dad worked as an industrial engineer, and
her uncles electrical and civil. She grew up not quite knowing
what she wanted to be, but she knew that she liked math and
science. Still, she thought, “engineering is for boys,” and because
she’s a girl, she didn’t see it as an option.

PHOTO: DEVIN JONES

In her senior year of high school, Zolfaghari walked through the campus at Ryerson and made
her way to the lower floor of the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre. She sat
down in a classroom with about 15 other students from Grades 11 and 12, mostly girls. As she
unpacked her things, she looked around to see that everyone was just as nervous as she was.
She plucked up some courage and began talking to a few of the kids around her. The tension
eased. This was Zolfagari’s first day of Ryerson’s Research Opportunity Program in Engineering (ROPE), a month-long summer program that gives kids the chance to work with engineering graduate students and professors at Ryerson.
Nine years later, Zolfaghari has her undergradaute degree in biomedical engineering and her
master’s in electrical and computer engineering, both completed at Ryerson. She works at the
university as the engineering enrichment and outreach coordinator.
At Ryerson, women made up 22.2 per cent of the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural
Science in 2015. In the Faculty of Science, the number is slightly higher, at 39.6 per cent.
Gender imbalance in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs has always
been an issue, but despite a growing emphasis on promoting these programs to women, little
progress has been made. Post-secondary institutions boast inclusion, but many have overlooked the root of the problem. It comes down to the way girls are culturally conditioned from
a young age, long before they fill out their university applications.
In a male-centric profession, different perspectives are essential in changing what we research, and how. But low female enrolment numbers in STEM programs are the norm at
universities across Canada. At the University of Toronto, January 2015 saw a “record” number
of women enter their first-year engineering program, at 30.6 per cent. Similarly, at Memorial
University of Newfoundland, women make up 26.5 per cent of engineering and applied science
and 52.7 per cent of the science program, while at the University of British Columbia, women
make up 23.3 per cent of the faculty of engineering. There are few official statistics on the
number of trans or non-binary people enroled in these programs.
“Record” numbers may seem optimistic, but outside the post-secondary scope the realities
are even worse. In 2015, according to a poll from polling company Ipsos, only 22 per cent of
people working STEM jobs in Canada were women.

FEATURES

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

T

he concept of the “glass ceiling”—a figurative invisible
barrier preventing women and minorities from climbing the corporate ladder—is often described as a barrier for women. Imogen Coe, dean of the faculty of science at
Ryerson, says that for women in STEM, it’s a glass obstacle
course. As you navigate your career path, she says, you’re left
to maneuver around unexpected “walls”—you either break
through them, or get knocked off the path altogether.
From a young age, girls are often taught to be overly feminine, while boys are given “practical” toys: from construction
sets to electronics. Coe notes, however, that kids are “born curious,” and that they’re all natural scientists. They just need to
be given the chance to explore.
In the same Ipsos poll, 28 per cent of women in university
and 38 per cent of graduates said they would have gone into
STEM programs if they had proper support in school. “If you
talk to young women, sometimes they’re tired of feeling like
they don’t fit in, and they want to fit in,’” says Coe. “It’s important to promote diversity in pretty much any human endeavour.”
hen Lexi Benson was seven years old, she remembers watching her father work on the circuit
breaker while he was refinishing the basement.
She looked around the room, wondering how it was made and
why the lights turned on. As her father trifled with the wires,
she started to see how everything came together.
Her parents put her into math tutoring to help compensate
with the difficulty of learning a new language in French immersion school, and she never lost her curiosity for tinkering.
Before long, Benson was taking things apart and putting them
back together to understand how they worked. Her parents
began to notice her interest in math and science and suggested
she consider engineering.
Now, Benson is in her fourth year of aerospace engineering at Ryerson specializing in the avionics stream, which is
a mixture of electrical and aerospace.The first in her family
to go to university, she is working alongside Zolfaghari as an
engineering outreach ambassador this year. As of 2015, the
aerospace program at Ryerson was 13.7 per cent women. “I’m
about one of 10 girls in my year,” says Benson. In some of her
labs, she is the only female.
“When I tell people I’m in engineering, most of them say,
‘Oh, really? You?’ and I respond with, ‘What’s that supposed to
mean?’” She says that people are often surprised by how competent she is when it comes to math.
Coe refers to these misconceptions as the unicorn concept.
Women in STEM are viewed as “rare, special, amazing, almost imaginary beasts.” But many women in the program do
go on to become successful engineers—something Coe says is
“not something to feel special about.” Instead, women’s presence in these fields needs to be normalized. “If you love physics, go do physics. If you love math, go do math,” says Coe.
High school test scores show that women often outscore
men in both science and math, but a 2014 study revealed that
women with degrees in STEM tend to underestimate their

W

Total gender breakdown in
Ryerson science programs

7

abilities. Their male counterparts, in contrast, overestimate
themselves. The same study showed employers were two
times more likely to hire male candidates, because they seemed
more qualified and confident.
uring her first year at Ryerson, Madeleine Catz was
studying for her calculus final with a few other people
in her program. She completed the answer to a practice question and waited for the others to finish up. When she
gave her male peer the answer, he told her she was wrong and

D

kids build circuits. The goal is to get students, girls especially,
interested in taking Grade 11 or 12 physics, which is a requirement for engineering students at Ryerson.
Zolfaghari says it’s about trying to rebrand engineering so
women know it’s a viable option for them.
“Google the word ‘engineer’ and you’ll see guys in construction hats,” she says. “We’re always coming up with new programs and new ways to engage girls.”
Ryerson also has groups that support women in STEM pro-

“What we should be doing is identifying the barriers and
getting them out of the way so that everybody has a fair
chance to get where they want to go”
proceeded to check with a TA and in the back of the textbook.
Turns out she was right all along. “I guess we’ll give you that,”
he said.
“You know, one third of engineers end up dropping out?” a
different male told her.
After a while, the jokes stopped being funny. Men in her
program repeatedly told her that she was going to fail. Catz
told them to stop, and when they didn’t, she started ignoring
them. Ironically, of the guys who taunted her one fell behind
in school and the other dropped out because the program was
too difficult.
Catz is in her fourth year of civil engineering in the transportation stream. Although she’s almost done her program,
she still deals with male classmates who doubt her abilities.
Some programs are worse than others. In mechanical engineering and computer science, there are approximately 8
per cent women. Before the ‘80s, more than a third of the
people pursuing computer science degrees were women.
This number dropped 10 per cent when home computers
were first made available and marketed as gaming devices
for men.
“I used to think, ‘Programming is for boys’,” says Catz. “A lot
of girls have that stereotype.”
Both Catz and Benson say popular culture plays a role.
“Movies just always show guys,” says Catz. Take Bill Nye, Neil
deGrasse Tyson and the guys from Mythbusters, who dominated the stereotypical image of a scientist.
Zolfaghari says that Ryerson has made it a priority to have
more women in their programs. Working as an outreach coordinator, she organizes events in order to get girls thinking
about science and math. These programs include events such
as Go ENG Girl and Go CODE Girl, which invites young girls
to come to Ryerson to participate in engineering and coding
activities. Alongside other Canadian universities, Ryerson has
been hosting these events for 12 years.
Zolfaghari also organizes Pitch Black, where Ryerson engineering students go to Grade 9 science classes to help the

Percentage of women in
engineering at universities

grams, such as Women in Science at Ryerson. The group was
created to help mainly graduate women to network and fine
tune their professional development skills. The Undergraduate Women in Science at Ryerson group, and Women in Engineering have similar goals.
“What we should be doing is identifying the barriers and
getting them out of the way so that everybody has a fair chance
to get where they want to go,” says Coe. “If we want a good
standard of living, if we want economic development, if we
want the best science we can, if we want everybody’s voice
to be heard, we need diversity. It’s not just a good idea, it’s
essential.”
t was a crisp Saturday in September in a big lecture theatre at Ryerson’s George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre. About 60 girls, grades 7 to 10, sat with their
parents as Zolfaghari welcomed them to the Go ENG Girl
event. Excited whispers went back and forth from daughter
to parent.
Zolfaghari went through a few explanatory slides, and then
stopped. “We’re going to do a little quiz,” she said. Some girls
looked excited, others looked apprehensive.
The screen said, ‘car battery’, ‘sewing machine’, ‘circular
saw’, ‘dishwasher’ and ‘modern eyeglasses’. “Now,” said Zolfaghari, “Which of these were invented by a woman?” Girls
and parents drew close together and discussed it for a minute.
Zolfaghari went through the list, as various people raised their
hands to vote on which creation was a woman’s invention.
Pausing to let people quiet down, Zolfaghari said, “Trick question: they all were.”
Girls looked at their parents, eyes wide with excited
smiles spread across their faces. “Today, we all get to be
engineers,” said Zolfaghari. As the girls split into groups
to complete activities to teach and test them on their engineering skills, one girl turns back to her mother to yell
goodbye, waving frantically. Skipping down the steps, she
joins her group to get to work, because today, she is a girl,
and she is an engineer.

I

Gender breakdown in
engineering at Ryerson

Women—39.6%

U of T—30.6%

UBC—23.3%

Women—22.2%

Men—60.4%

Memorial—26.5%

Ryerson—22.2%

Men—77.8%
ILLUSTRATION: SKYLER ASH

BIZ & TECH

8

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

Big battery has power-saving potential
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The Centre for Urban Energy (CUE)
at Ryerson finished its five-year-long
study of a massive battery system
in the heart of Toronto. The study,
which finished last month, found the
battery has strong potential to help
the city’s power grid save energy.
The 150 kilowatt hour lithiumion battery was installed at Dundas
and Mutual streets in late 2015, towards the end of the study. The CUE
partnered with Toronto Hydro for
the project.
“In Ontario when the wind power
is very high, the generation is very
high and the demand is low, we can
store the energy. And [when] Ontario demand is high and generation
is low, we can discharge and supply
energy to the grid,” said Chandrabhanu Opathella, lead researcher on
the project.
Electricity costs more money and
energy to produce when there are
more users on the grid and is cheaper
when there are fewer users on the
grid.
The battery can power 150 houses
for about four hours.
Researchers can use it to measure
how much power needs to be discharged or charged at certain times,
as well as automatically maintain the

voltage grid or correct problems of
frequency variations in the grid.
The battery system demonstrates
how off-peak electricity can be
stored to help improve grid performance during outages.
Opathella said the drive to test
a battery energy storage system
downtown came from the need
for flexibility in Ontario’s generation stations. “We thought, ‘Let’s
... check whether energy storage
systems can handle this kind of required flexibility,’” he said.
The battery, manufactured by energy storage company Electrovaya,
is non-toxic and produces no emissions. Its lifetime is set to be 15 years
if it goes through one cycle of charging and discharging per day.
Once the six-month pilot project
ends, the battery will be returned to
Electrovaya.
Both undergraduate and graduate
engineering students worked alongside Opathella for the project. He is
currently building a business model
for the battery which is set to be
published within a year.
“In [the] future, if other companies or if someone wants to install
energy storage systems into [the]
Toronto Hydro grid, they can look
at the results of this project and then
they can make their decisions.”

App of the
Week
By Sylvia Lorico
Pretend real life is a role-play adventure with Habitica. Free on Android
and iOS, this app allows you to improve your habits by turning your
tasks into things you can conquer,
fantasy-game style.
Habitica gives you points as you
complete tasks which you can then
use to level up and buy armour and
weapons for a character.
There are three different types of
tasks listed in the app: habits, which
can be completed multiple times a
day, dailies, which repeat on certain
days, and to-dos, which need to be
completed once.
The app lists some defaults for
each category (such as exercise in the
habits section), but you can add your
own tasks to each category, specify
difficulty, set due dates or organize
them with filters based on categories
like health or creativity.
Once you complete a daily or todo, you can check it off on the app.
For habits, you can either tap the
plus sign if you followed it, or tap
the minus sign if you failed to do it.
Completing tasks daily makes you
level up faster and unlock features
like pets, skills and quests. Failing

to maintain a habit or finish a daily
task makes you lose health or points.
Habitica users can interact with
friends and other players. Under the
social section of the app there arethree subsections. The Tavern section allows you to chat with other
players who are using the app. Party
allows you to form teams with other
friends who use app. Guilds are public groups you can join. They range
from habit-achieving groups to
groups that share similar interests.
Within guilds or parties, users
can team up with other players to
go on quests or challenges. Those
who complete the most habits under
challenges win special items.
In quests, members battle as a
team against monsters and bosses.
Those who go on quests with other
members must work to keep their
tasks in check. If one team member
fails to keep up with their habits or
dailies, the current monster deals
damage to all players.
The app allows more features as
you reach higher levels. At level three
you are able to hatch “pets” which can
be leveled up into “mounts.” By level
10, you can pick your “class.” You can
choose to be a warrior, mage, healer
or rogue.

SPORTS

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

9

A Zeem-less transition
Women’s volleyball assistant coach Becky Zeeman is doubling as a player this year

Men’s Basketball

WoMen’s Basketball

Men’s volleyball

WoMen’s Volleyball

Nov. 11 - Rams: 88 Toronto: 61 Nov. 11 - Rams: 55 Toronto: 42
Nov. 11 - Rams: 0
Nov. 12 - Rams: 0

Men’s Hockey

Nipissing: 3
York: 3

Nov. 11 - Rams: 3
Nov. 12 - Rams: 3

WoMen’s Hockey

Nipissing: 0
York: 0

Nov. 12 - Rams: 4 Queen’s: 3
Nov. 11 - Rams: 5 Nipissing: 1
Nov. 12 - Rams: 5 Laurentian: 2
For more game coverage, visit theeyeopener.com

Women’s volleyball assistant coach Becky Zeeman is back on the court as a fifth-year player.

By Bryan Meler
Becky Zeeman was one of her team’s
top players when the Queen’s Gaels
won their first Ontario University
Athletics (OUA) women’s volleyball
championship in 2012. Last year,
she watched from the bench as an
assistant coach while Ryerson’s
women’s volleyball squad came
within one win of accomplishing
the same feat. This year, she has the
chance to do both.
At 26 years old, Zeeman is a
student-athlete once again, taking
on the rare dual role of a player and
coach. She’s using her fifth and final
year of university eligibility to join
the Rams on the court in their quest
for provincial and national greatness.
Ryerson made the OUA final last
season, but lost to the University of
Toronto in the gold medal game.
This year, they’re looking to claim the
OUA championship before hosting
the U Sports national tournament
in March. It will be the team’s first
national tournament appearance
since 2002, and the Rams are hoping
to win the school’s first-ever national
championship in front of their home
fans, with Zeeman on the court.
“Being on the bench last year
coaching, it’s my dream ... but I just
missed being on the court so much,”
said Zeeman. “I talked to [head
coach] Dustin [Reid], talked to my
husband about what he thought, and
I just decided, ‘Why not? I’m young
enough, I still love the game.’
“I thought I could give more to the
team, and I thought it could really be
a fun year to do it.”
Zeeman has provided the Rams
with another leader and plenty of
experience. She spent four years as an
outside hitter for Queen’s University
from 2008 to 2012, earning OUA
second-team all-star status in her
final season. She went on to play
professional volleyball for another
two years in Germany.
To become an eligible player on
Ryerson’s roster, Zeeman had to
enrol in at least three courses. She’s

currently taking classes in nutrition,
philosophy and sociology. Returning
as a player has also meant taking a step
back in her capacity as an assistant
coach. She doesn’t help run practices
and lead film sessions like she did in
the past. Instead, head coach Dustin
Reid has helped her adjust to a playeronly role whenever they’re in a team
atmosphere, while consulting with
her as a coach in other settings.
“Her being an assistant coach is
not something she’s espousing to the
players or anyone else when we’re
together,” said Reid. “But with the
amount of work we need to do to be an
elite team—which we’re trying to be
with our preparation, our recruiting,
and our leadership development—
she’s definitely continued to be a big
help to our team behind the scenes.”
Reid and Zeeman first started to
form a working relationship at a
volleyball camp in Palmer Rapids,
Ont. When she came back from
playing in Europe, Zeeman took a
position as the full-time assistant
coach for the Ryerson women’s team.
Reid was in the process of assuming
head coaching duties for both the
men’s and women’s volleyball teams,
making Zeeman’s role with the
women even more important to their
run to the OUA final.
“The work she did last year was
astounding,” said Reid. “She was a
really great addition to our program.”
Zeeman says it’s still a bit of
a struggle to constantly switch
between a player and coach mindset,
but she makes sure to stay focused
on what she can do to help the team
win in whatever role she’s filling.
She also believes that her experience
as a coach will help her on the court
this year.
“Hours and hours of watching our
own tape and watching other teams,
I just see the game in a different way
than when I was back at Queen’s or
overseas,” said Zeeman. “The game
slows down and you can go back in
time, you can pause it, and you can
really dissect what other teams and

PHOTO: CHRIS BLANCHETTE

[you] are doing with positioning or
technique in a moment.”
“It really helps to look at the game
in a different way, and it’s also helped
me develop as a player.”
Over the summer, when Zeeman
was getting ready to make her return
as a player, she was worried there
would be hurdles to overcome,
especially when it came to playing
time. But, thanks to the support of
her teammates, she said her transition
has been “seamless”. At the same
time, the team has stayed focused on
having their best possible line-up on
the court at all times.
“We’ve all been handling it really
well, and I know if I’m not playing
my best I shouldn’t be on the
court,” said Zeeman. “Dustin has
been doing a great job, while we
continue to get stronger and rely on
each other as teammates.”
Zeeman has shown little rust
since returning to the court for
Ryerson. The team got off to a slow
start this year, dropping their first
two matches. But the Rams made a
statement with a 3-0 win on the road
against Queen’s in their third match
of the year, with Zeeman posting a
team-high 14 kills against her old
squad. Heading into their Nov. 19
match against Windsor, Ryerson is
undefeated in three contests since
facing Queen’s, and hasn’t lost a single
set in that span. Zeeman, meanwhile,
has the 10th-best hitting percentage
in the OUA, and is one of only two
Ryerson players to appear in all 19 of
the team’s sets so far.
“For her to bring her energy and
her wisdom on the court has been
incredible,” said fourth-year setter
Haroula Giovanopoulos. “We admire
her so much as a player and not just
as a coach, so this year we can all go
to her and ask for help, for technique,
and things we can do to improve on
our game on the court as well.”
“She doesn’t take it upon herself to
run a drill, but it doesn’t stop people
from coming up to her and asking
for advice.”

ARTS & LIFE

10

RU ready for K-pop?
The RU K-Pop group has its first orientation this month. Here’s all the cool shit they do:
By Olivia Bednar
With K-Pop’s recent Canadian
emergence, Ryerson students are
coming together to enjoy the genre
with RU K-Pop—Ryerson’s club for
fans to socialize, dance and bond
over the biggest crazes in popular
Korean music.
The group has been growing

RU K-Pop member sings at event last year.

steadily in popularity since its creation last year, but will be hosting
its first orientation event on Nov.
23. K-Pop is not only present at Ryerson. Strong online communities
dedicated the genre exist all over the
world.
The musical genre originated in
South Korea and can be categorized as pop music with an insane

dance component and outrageous
fashion. K-Pop artists usually front
a group of dancers during performances, and dance a choreographed piece where their moves
act out the lyrics of the song being
sung.
According to Justin Liang, president of RU K-pop and third-year
business management student, K-

PHOTO COURTESY RU K-POP

pop’s emergence in Canada can be
attributed to popular acts adding
certain provinces as tour stops.
K-Pop artist Taeyang—a popular
performer in Korea and teen heartthrob—appeared on tour at the Air
Canada Centre in October 2015. The
singer is known to perform in flashy
outfits, like sequined suits or glow in
the dark attire, and bust crazy pop

and lock dance moves.
“Our group is basically [around]
to bring people that are interested
in Korean pop together, to meet
similar people and be friends,” said
Liang.
A few of the members also enjoy
making remixes and doing covers
of K-Pop. Outside of RU K-Pop—a
group at Ryerson called DnA covers
popular K-Pop songs and compete
in Toronto.
“The K-Pop community in Toronto in general is growing, there are
a lot more events where they bring
in K-Pop groups and local cover
groups to perform at these events,”
said Dasha Larionova, third-year
early childhood studies student and
member of DnA.
“We like to create a theme for all
of our performances and try to make
it a different kind of show.”
DnA have won awards in Superwave Korea and Korean Harvest
Festival and are going to a K-Pop
gala held by the Korean Embassy in
Ottawa next month.
“What I like about the K-pop
community is that there is very little
judgment, it’s very supportive,” Alison Seo, also third-year early childhood studies student and member of
DnA said.

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

How to be cool and artsy at Rye
Want to be as lit as those people you see on Instagram? Part one of
this series will explore the resources you should use and spots you
should hit on campus if you’re a new photographer

Arts & life editor has a blast looking cool with a camera on campus. PHOTO: KEITH CAPSTICK

By Annie Arnone
Toronto is a hub for sick photography spots. But if you’re tired of
abusing our Toronto skyline for
photos (because I’m tired of seeing
it), look no further than Ryerson ‘s
campus.
At Ryerson, there are many
photography resources most
people don’t know about that are
easily accessible for new, upand-coming photographers (and
those of you that just want a sick
Instagram). Here are some tips
on how to be the artsiest, lit-est
photographer around.

Step One: If you’re an
FCAD student, walk to the Equipment Distribution Centre (EDC)
at the Rogers Communication
Centre (RCC). If you don’t have
a camera, this place has all of the
equipment you need to take a
great photo (and look hella legit,
walking around with your lenses
and shit). Grab yourself a DSLR,
and build your own set of lenses
on the spot. I recommend 50mm
portrait lenses if you’re just starting out with a camera. These
babies will give you an awesome
bokeh effect (sharp image in the
foreground, blurred image in the
background), and they’re super
tiny and easy to carry around.
But don’t be late bringing your
equipment back, because you’ll be
charged three trillion dollars (this
might be a slight exaggeration). If
you’re not a part of FCAD, head
over to Henry’s on Queen and
Church Streets. You’ll be able to
rent a camera there.

the RCC). Your depth of field
shots will be insane. And if you’re
down to walk a little further, step
into Allan Gardens, just off of
campus, and grab some foliage
photos. Venture into the areas
where people aren’t.
I promise you’ll find a cooler
photo there than the rest of the
Rye population, who thinks that
the colourful Image Arts Centre is
the only thing worth photographing.

Step Three : Grab a
group, and hit up Ryerson’s streets
together. RyePhoto is a group on
campus that regularly meets for
photo walks. Their mission statement, according to their Facebook
page, is “to build a professional
network for Photographers.”
Shooting sick photos and networking? Double whammy. Photo
walks are really helpful if you’re
looking to grab a shot different from the people around you.
Watch as everyone flocks to one
spot of campus to get that same
photo, and walk across the street
from the herd.
Step Four: Find yourself a
good repertoire of models. Model
work is great practice for a newbie learning about portrait work.
Despite its ridiculous popularity on
Instagram, the Student Learning
Centre (SLC) is a great place to take
portrait shots. Each floor is unique
to its layout of windows—perfect
for natural light on your model’s
face. I recommend the beach floor—
so many damn windows.

I’ve taken so much flack for my
style of photography—a lot of the
campus entrance on Gould and
times people don’t understand “difDundas streets and take the best
ferent.” I stretch my contrast bar
campus shot anyone has ever seen. so far to the right, until my photo
No more Toronto skyline bullshit. almost looks black, but I like it that
Look for spots no one goes to.
way.
Hop into the alley way behind
Shoot what you like, and be a
Rockwell jeans, just off of Bond
different photographer than the
Street, and let your shutter go.
rest. No one wants to see the same
Then, mosey on down to Dalphotos as they scroll down their
housie Street (right across from
timelines. Own your shit.

Step Two: Go to the

FUN!

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

orner
Joke c
Why did the cowboy buy a wiener dog ? To get along little doggy!

11

SLC to be wallpapered

get it?

Because fuck natural lighting.

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H O C K E Y

MEN’S HOCKEY

Ryerson University will begin wallpapering the Student Learning Centre (SLC) on Thursday, Nov. 17
after hundreds of complaints from
students.
“Honestly, it’s just too bright. I
tried sitting in the lobby floor but,
of course, the sun was in my eyes the
whole time. I switched floors and
let me tell you, the Beach definitely
lives up to its sunny name. After
that I gave up and went home,” said
third-year philosophy student Alissa
Ringwood.
The SLC features massive walls
of windows that make up the entire
building, which leads to sun shining
through no matter where you’re sitting.
“It turns out that all those windows just weren’t a good idea,” said
head architect Frank Friya. “Students have been saying that it’s just
too bright.”
A 45-member task force called the

PHOTO: CHRIS BLANTCHETTE

Student Learning Centre Brightness
Issue Where the Sun Gets In Every
Window and Blinds People All the
Time Working Group Task Force,
or SLCBIWSGIEWBPATWGTF,
was formed to deal with the issue.
The top solution voted upon was
wallpapering the entire SLC using
Ryerson’s famous blue and gold.
Some people, like first-year entrepreneurship student Wilbur Robinsun, feel that this is an unnecessary
solution.
“When I realized it was too bright
in the SLC I just started studying
with sunglasses on and then I sold
an extra pair to a friend,” Robinsun
said. “Now I have a whole kiosk set
up in the SLC and I sell sunglasses
to everyone who needs to block
out the brightness. It’s the perfect
solution!”
Despite Robinsun’s efforts to keep
his sunglasses kiosk relevant, the
SLCBIWSGIEWBPATWGTF has
decided to move forward with their
wallpaper plan.

Colour in this picture of me sailing through an ocean of my tears for
your chance to win a $25 DavidsTea gift card! Simply sit and revel in
my pain and then drop off your completed drawing with your name,
contact info and favourite childhood memory to The Eyeopener office
(SCC 207) for your chance to win!

12

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

FREE WIFI

IN THE FOOD COURT

Shoppers Drug Mart
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The Beer Store
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Harvey’s

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Wine Rack

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Subway

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