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Volume 50 - Issue 21 March 22, 2017 theeyeopener.

com @theeyeopener Since 1967


2 Wednesday, March 22, 2017

@ryersonrams #WeRRams
Wednesday, March 22, 2017 NEWS 3

RSU reserve funds hit a low Bites
Projected reserve funds are “unhealthy” largely due to $1 million net loss, says vice-president operations

By Sarah Krichel student groups of $110,000 has been Ryerson’s
reached, as well as the cap for course Brampton
The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) union grants of $50,000, according to
has a projected reserve fund of Muthreja. expansion will
$600,000 after this year’s expenses, ac- Prior to publication, no proof was include an
cording to vice-president operations provided to The Eyeopener of these
Neal Muthreja. caps being reached. Ryerson President Mohamed
This reserve fund is not considered Muthreja said if any group were Lachemi said Ryerson’s partnership
“healthy,” Muthreja said. to apply now for further grants, it with Sheridan College will include
A reserve fund is backup cash from wouldn’t be wise for the RSU to pro- an innovation hub in Brampton.
the student levy that can be used if vide the new grants because they’re “al- This is not to be confused with a
the RSU has gone over budget. But in ready in a huge loss.” “Even though we satellite campus, as the hub will not
the next year, the reserve fund will be might have a thousand dollars left in be considered as an extended Ryer-
used for general expenses due to the that line item, you [have to] look at the Deficit talks strike yet again. son campus.
large $1 million net loss that the RSU overall bigger picture,” Muthreja said. Brampton initially approached
ran this year. “We’ve already lost so much money. reja. The initial cost estimate remains $700,000, as well as the projected un- Ryerson with the proposal, and Rye
Muthreja said the RSU is hoping unconfirmed. healthy cash flow that will be passed then reached out to Sheridan.
to “break even” next academic year In a previous executive meeting, off to next year’s students and RSU
If [we] don’t cover our
with this amount of money and the only three of the executive members board and executive team.
planned expenses. But the only way expenses and at least were present to vote on the event re- It additionally cited RSU executives Yonge and Gerrard
they can do this is if they cut all pos- break even, we’re going ceiving this extra funding, which was having “demonstrated a lack of trans-
to run out of money
greenspace to get
sible expenses starting immediately. approved. The vote went two in fa- parency regarding the management of
“This is a really bad situation that eventually vour and one abstained. students’ funds.” revamped after Rye
we’re in,” Muthreja said. “To think At the Board of Directors meeting Muthreja said that no more big prof killed in 2015
we’re in a perfect and really healthy on March 20, the board voted for a concerts can take place next year. “If
cash flow is not a good way to think. “If [we] don’t cover our expenses statement to be put out “outlining the we do another 6 Fest, we’re going to Downtown Yonge Business Im-
Right now we need to stop spending and at least break even, we’re going deficit and how this will impact the go bankrupt.” He added that there is provement Area and Ward 27 coun-
money on pretty much everything.” to run out of money eventually … It’s allocation of funding collected from only enough money currently to cov- cillor Kristyn Wong-Tam are look-
Muthreja added that student not just events I’m going after. I’m go- student levies in the upcoming years.” er the expenses and nothing more. ing to improve McGill Parkette, a
groups and course unions have al- ing after general expenses.” The executive team was given two Muthreja also said once reports and small greenspace on McGill Street
ready received their base funding, and But on March 17, a Rang De Holi weeks to provide this statement. audits are complete, he will have a near Yonge and Gerrard Streets, by
have now reached the cap for their Event was put on by the RSU on The motion cited reasons such as meeting with the incoming executive making it safer and more welcoming.
additional grants as well. Gould Street, which was given an ad- 6 Fest being expected to break even, team regarding what steps to take for In 2015, Ryerson professor and
The cap for additional grants for ditional $10,000, according to Muth- instead causing a deficit of more than funding. cancer researcher Mark Ernsting was
killed in the parkette, near his home.
The plans for the parkette are to

Wellness Centre delayed for third time increase lighting and make it a more
open space.

The centre’s opening date has been pushed back a year after a planned September 2016 launch Two more mumps
cases at Ryerson
By Raneem Al-Ozzi equity Tamara Jones. She said a
space hasn’t been confirmed yet. Toronto Public Health (TPH) con-
The opening of the Ryerson Stu- Yasin Dwyer, the Muslim Chap- firmed on March 20 that there are
dents’ Union (RSU) Wellness Cen- lain at Ryerson said the delay makes two new cases of the viral infection
tre has been postponed to Septem- it harder to create safe spaces for mumps at Ryerson.
ber 2017—a year after its intended counselling or mentoring sessions. This came after a student was
opening date. “We had great expectations for working at the Recreational and Ath-
The delay is due to “small opera- the winter term, and those expecta- letic Centre (RAC) last week while the
tional” issues that need to be taken tions revolved around the space we infection was contagious, according
into consideration before the centre’s were promised,” he said. “It has been to Heather Adam, manager of opera-
launch, according to Shayan Yazdan- disappointing, but the work will tions and strategy at the RAC.
panah, the centre’s coordinator. continue regardless. Until the RSU Adam said she was notified by
The centre, which is located in The Wellness Centre is located in the basement of the SCC. can make the space available we will TPH on March 15 that a student had
the basement of the Student Cam- continue to improvise.” mumps while working as a part-time
pus Centre (SCC), was initially set ous steps with construction are ap- The Eyeopener previously reported Yazdanpanah said, because the cen- scorekeeper during intramural activi-
to open in September 2016. It was proved by the Palin Foundation— that construction will cost $40,000, tre is not something that existed previ- ties at the RAC. She said the student
postponed until the start of the win- the board that makes decisions on which has been allocated from the ously, it is not something the students did not get the infection while work-
ter semester because of construction behalf of the SCC—and the City of money that was used to run the Used are missing. However he said some ing at the scoring table.
delays and issues with clearing out Toronto. Yazdanpanah said it can Book Room. Yazdanpanah said this students are unaware of the mental
the Used Book Room, which was take time waiting for approval to number was previously intended for health resources available to them on
previously in the space of the centre. continue with construction. programming purposes but was redi- campus and in the community. Ryerson President
Now, for a third time, the centre’s Currently the RSU is waiting on rected to the renovations. Jones said the centre’s opening de- Mohamed Lachemi
opening has been pushed back. accessibility permits and certifica- He said he expects there will be lay is “disheartening” because mental
The purpose of the centre is to tions to approve the space. Yazdan- more expenses and this may affect the health support was something she says he would be
provide extra direction for students panah said if something as simple as budget for the centre next year, but it wanted to improve right from the Ross from Friends
to access mental health resources on a door is removed or the floor plan will have to be revisited with the in- beginning of the school year.
and around Ryerson’s campus. changes, health and fire safety rules coming board and executive team. “It’s really unfortunate [the opening The Eyeopener asked Ryerson Presi-
“There are regulations the RSU then change accordingly. The centre is also set to house a date] is being pushed back this far,” dent Mohamed Lachemi what char-
has to ensure they are adhering to “These enforcements are all tak- multi-faith Chaplaincy space, but she said. “But it’s something I don’t acter he identifies with the most
before they can proceed with the ing place so that when the place does the delay has caused the RSU to look want to rush because I’d rather the from the television show Friends.
launch,” said Yazdanpanah. He said open up, we don’t have to continu- for a temporary space for the Chap- centre be safe for students to use it.” Lachemi said because he’s an “aca-
the RSU has to ensure that vari- ously keep adding or fixing stuff.” laincy, according to vice-president With files from Alanna Rizza demic,” he would be Ross.
4 EDITORIAL Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Intern Army
Nathalie “The Brainiac” Rodriguez
Sierra “The Teen Star” Bellmore

Swikar “Swi Karoli” Oli
Sylvia “Writes Way Too Much”
Editor-in-Chief Sophia “Alarm” Smith
Nicole “The Kewl Kid” Schmidt Adriana “Jekyll” Hyde
Brent “Port Royal” Smyth
News Michael “Thunder Bay” Norton
Alanna “The Bitch” Rizza Andrej “All Weekend” Ivanov
Sarah “The Environmentalist” Raneem “You’re Rude Sandstorm”
Krichel Al-Ozzi
Jacob “The Band Geek” Dubé
This week’s Annoying Talking Coffee
Photo Mug was inspired by International
Devin “The Book Worm” Jones Poetry Day. More specifically, by The
Izabella “Class President” Balcerzak Walrus and the Carpenter (abridged)
Keith “The Edge Kid” Capstick L. Carrol
“The sun was shining on the sea,
Online Shining with all his might:
Sierra “The Party Girl” Bein He did his very best to make
Farnia “The Nerd” Fekri The billows smooth and bright —
Lee “The Exchange Kid” Richardson And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.
Features The moon was shining sulkily,
Karoun “The Boy Next Door” Because she thought the sun
Chahinian Had got no business to be there
After the day was done —
Arts and Life “It’s very rude of him,” she said,
Annie “The Vegan” Arnone “To come and spoil the fun.”
The sea was wet as wet could be,
Sports The sands were dry as dry.
Daniel “The Jock” Rocchi You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
Biz and Tech No birds were flying overhead —
Justin “The Girl Next Door” There were no birds to fly.
Chandler O Oysters, come and walk with us!’
The Walrus did beseech.
Communities A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Sidney “The Gay Kid” Drmay Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
Fun To give a hand to each.’
Skyler “The Class Clown” Ash The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
Media The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
Thomas “AV Kid 2” Skrlj And shook his heavy head —
Carl “The Emo Teen” Solis Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.
Copy Editor
Igor “The Bad Boy” Magun The Eyeopener is Ryerson’s largest
and only independent student news-
General Manager paper. It is owned and operated by
Liane “The Principal” McLarty Rye Eye Publishing Inc., a non-profit
corporation owned by the students of
Advertising Manager Ryerson. Our offices are on the second
Chris “Homeroom Teach” Roberts floor of the Student Campus Centre.
You can reach us at 416-979-5262, at
Have a degree or completing your degree? Design Director or on Twitter at @
Want to teach overseas? J.D. “The Vice-Principal” Mowat theeyeopener.

What: Eyeopener elections
Where: The Ram in the Rye
When: March 30, 6:30 p.m.
Why: Because you were thinking about running when you read this blurb
last week, and now that you’re seeing it again you know it must be destiny.
How: Stop by SCC207 to fill out a nomination form. You must also submit a
poster with your name, face, and position you’re running for on it. All posi-
tions are open and anyone can run! Short speeches take place on March 30.

Voting takes place on March 31 from 10:30-4:30. The following volunteers are
eligible to vote: Emerald Bensadoun, Nicole Brumley, Raneem Al-Ozzi, Nikhil
Sharma, Sylvia Lorico, Noushin Ziafati, Bryan Meler, Brenda Molina-Navidad,
Ben Waldman, Noella Ovid and Lyba Mansoor.
If you’ve volunteered more than six times this year and your name isn’t on
this list, let us know!
Wednesday, March 22, 2017 NEWS 5

Nursing students not prepared for work violence
They will face the highest risk of workplace violence in their field, and Rye students aren’t fully trained to properly respond

own can be detrimental to their ences in their placements. It’s a good be attacked.”
care. place to hear similar stories about Ryerson’s nursing program holds
“No other nurse or doctor wants the incidents and fears of other “simulation”—where an actor plays
to approach that patient because nursing students, she said. out a scenario and the students
they’re scared, and it’s just an end- But she describes methods like have to respond to it, and analyse
less cycle of bad things,” she said. those as more self-directed. She’d their choices later—and Wong said
Nursing student Jim Wong*— rather see the school take action and it would be a good place to test out
who chose to be anonymous to create a class where issues around different responses to workplace
avoid trouble with faculty that he workplace violence and their expe- violence.
said warn students against speaking riences can be addressed more di- The Eyeopener reached out to sev-
out about the nursing program— rectly, she said. eral nursing professors, as well as
said that many people just view vio- “It’s always patient-centered,” the DCSN interim director elaine
lence against nurses as a “part of the Cooke said. “And I feel like we Santa Mina, but none were available
job” that they have to get used to it. don’t get a good understanding of to comment prior to publication.
Patient-on-nurse violence is not addressed PHOTO: COURTESY AGENCIA DE NOTICIAS/FLICKR It was brought up only once in their what it’s like for a nurse to actually *Names have been changed
first year, and he said that everyone
By Jacob Dubé the industry prepared. was scared.
Cooke said that because nurses Ryerson’s nursing program cur-
Nurses and nursing students expe- are usually the first people to inter- rently has no class dedicated to ad-
rience one of the highest rates of act with a patient, and on a more dressing how students would react
workplace violence, and a gap in personal level—by handling needles and prepare for different instances
Ryerson’s curriculum means that and treating wounds, for example— of violence.
Daphne Cockwell School of Nurs- they’re more likely to be abused by York University, however, offers a
ing (DCSN) students are entering them, especially if there are obsta- nursing course that focuses on mental
the workforce without training or cles such as a language barrier, or health, and includes a module on how
support. they have a condition like Alzheim- to recognize and deal with harmful
According to the Canadian Nurs- er’s or dementia. situations for nurses and patients.
es Association (CNA), healthcare In her second year of clinical place- Healthcare facilities in Ontario
workers are most likely to be at- ment, Cooke had a patient that hit have a set of codes to react to cer-
tacked at work compared to other her, pulled her hair and grabbed tain incidents in their workplace.
professions. Nurses are at the high- her arm. In the moment, she felt as An aggressive or violent situation
est risk among them. though she should know exactly what is considered a Code White. When
Sarah Cooke*, a third-year nurs- to do. The truth is, she didn’t. Her a Code White is identified, nurses
ing student, said that Ryerson’s courses had never prepared her for it. can either call it in or use a per-
program mainly addresses nurse- “I do feel scared. It’s definitely sonalized button that they carry
on-nurse violence, also called made me worried about sometimes around, remove themselves from
horizontal violence, which occurs being alone with a patient, because the situation and wait for a team to
when a nurse bullies or attacks a you never know what they’re capa- respond.
colleague. ble of,” she said. But afterwards, it’s hard for nurs-
But violence from a patient to- Cooke said because nursing is ing students to process and cope
wards a nurse becomes one of the about providing care, fighting back with what happened. Cooke said
biggest issues they face when stu- could risk her job. But she said leav- that students have weekly sessions
dents don’t know how to go into ing an aggressive patient on their where they talk about their experi-

Timeline: 6 Fest refunds
June 6, 2016: The good ol’ was transferred into the personal Feb. 7, 2017: $1 million defi-
days bank accounts of Ryerson Students’ cit, anyone?
Ryerson students bought 6 Fest pre- Union (RSU) vice-president stu- According to a document obtained
sale tickets for $41.60 each and theydent life & events Harman Singh by The Eye, the RSU accumulated a
were probably expecting Drake to and finance committee member Ali net loss of approximately $1 million
perform. Yousaf, who is the incoming vice- from overspending on events—pri-
president operations. Money was marily 6 Fest and the 6 Cent Concert.
Sept. 27, 2016: 6 Fest date also transferred into the private
change merchandise business account of March 20, 2017: 6 Fest dra-
The refund drama all started when non-RSU employee Ram Ganesh. ma coming to a resolution?
the date for 6 Fest was pushed back A motion was passed that called for
three weeks to Oct. 9 and 10— Feb. 3, 2017: Board votes to Singh to submit a 6 Fest report to
Thanksgiving weekend. Many stu- not impeach vp student life the board and financial controller
dents could no longer attend the A motion was put forward to im- within 24 hours. The report would
event, and they began requesting peach Singh due to a “lack of fiscal include ticket transactions, refunds
refunds. responsibility” in dealing with 6 Fest and a transaction report of the
The motion to impeach him did not $80,000 deposited into Singh’s bank
Oct. 9-10, 2016: 6 Fest pass. account. ReFUNDS ARe STIll
6 Fest headliners included DJ Diplo, NOT DONe.
Pusha T and French Montana. But Feb. 6, 2017: Five RSU board
there was no sign of Drizzy. members resign March 22, 2017: Today
Five board members resigned due to Hopefully by the time this paper is
Jan. 25, 2017: Dumpster fire lack of transparency from RSU presi- in your hands, you have your refund
The Eyeopener reported that dent Obaid Ullah and Singh regarding and Singh has completed that god-
$79,996.81 of 6 Fest refund money 6 Fest. Refunds are still not complete. damn report.

“I don’t know why you’re wasting yourself women’s national hockey team has been
on sports.” entrenched in a wage dispute with USA
Every day for the past four years, the Hockey, which recently released a statement
words of my first instructor at Ryerson indicating that the players’ demands, if
have echoed in my ears. She wasn’t the first met, would cost a total of $8 million in an
person to question my path and certainly Olympic year.
not the last, but she was definitely the most At first, $8 million seems like a hefty price
direct about it. tag. Until you realize that NHL superstar
There’s a stigma attached to sports Sidney Crosby will make more than $10
reporting. Many professionals within other million dollars just for the 2016-2017 season.
branches of the media see it as a lesser form The playing field isn’t level. Not in the big
of journalism—a childish glorification of leagues, and not at Ryerson.
petty pastimes, an afterthought living in the I have seen Rams teams accomplish some
shadow of truly meaningful contributions to truly incredible things in my time here.
contemporary culture. What I didn’t realize until this year was how
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t encountered many Ryerson athletes are accomplishing
that attitude time and again at the school of great things without anyone taking notice.
journalism. Ryerson’s athletics department is diligent,
Much of the public (sport-loving and not) to say the least, when it comes to promoting
sees sport media as a sycophantic industry, its U Sports teams—its fully-funded teams
populated by a posse of sensationalist puppets that compete for national championships—
that embody everything wrong about the and well it should. The students on those
multi-billion dollar world of athletics. teams are hard-working athletes that have
There is plenty wrong with the sporting accomplished great things.
world, and the media that reports on it. It’s You won’t find any of their stories in here.
the same in that regard as almost every other With all due respect to the members
facet of society. of those teams, we have spent the entire
Sports are supposed to stand for something school year covering those stories, and so
noble. The athletic world is supposed to be have other campus publications, and so has
one where anyone can do anything if they Ryerson Athletics.
put their mind, body and soul into it. Sports But what about the athletes and teams that
are supposed to be a level playing field, a don’t get the exposure? That don’t get the
space of equal opportunity. If you have half fans? The ones that pay to play, or don’t play
a brain, you know things aren’t how they’re at all?
supposed to be. It’s time for some new stories. That’s why
Over the past few weeks, the American I’m wasting myself on sports.

managing editor
copy editing
editor-in-chief JUSTIN CHANDLER
design director IGOR MAGUN
photography PETER ASH

SPORTS 3/22/17

NAME: Jennifer hawkrigg

BIRTH DATE: August 28, 1996

SPORT: snowboarding

PROGRAM: Business Management

FUN FACT: hawkrigg has been to 25
countries. her favourite places are:
1. Queenstown, New Zealand
2. Cape town, south Africa
3. Almaty, Kazakhstan
4. st. Anton, Austria
5. Chiesa in Valmalenco, Italy PHOTO COURTESY: MIHA MATAVZ

THE SnowBoardEr By Peter Ash

w hat pushes Jennifer Hawkrigg to
the next level? It isn’t the fear of
failing. It’s the sheer joy that comes
and hockey, things started to get tough for
“I was juggling school and both competitive
my backbone.”
Since then, Hawkrigg has changed her
schedule, attending school during the
win more Olympic medals. Between that
money and the more than $2.5 million in core
funding that Sport Canada gave them, the
from competing against the best that gets the sports,” she said. “I pretty much had to decide summer and fall and taking the winter off sport looked to be in good hands.
snowboarder’s blood pumping before each which one I wanted to do.” in order to train and compete. It’s paid off, But since the 24-member team won just
and every race. It took a good amount of soul-searching, with seven top-five finishes in Hawkrigg’s two medals at the Sochi Olympic Games in
According to the 20-year-old business but Hawkrigg eventually realized that she last 17 races. 2014—one fewer than they took in Vancouver
management student, it’s just simply who she belonged on the slopes, rather than the rink. There isn’t a snowboarding team at in 2010—there has been a decline in funding.
is. “Honestly, I just knew,” she said. “It was Ryerson, but Hawkrigg was selected by OTP allocates funds on a tiered basis,
“I love the speed,” Hawkrigg said. “But even difficult, but there wasn’t too much of a Canada Snowboard to represent the university investing in sports that have the best chance
on top of that, I’ve always been a competitive barrier. I love snowboarding, I love travelling, at the Universiade (FISU) winter games in to win Olympic medals based on their national
person. I love competing head-to-head and I love competing.” Kazakhstan this past February. teams’ past performances and future prospects.
against someone through a course; it gives me It looks like she made the right decision. Over 2,000 competitors from schools in 57 Since the Sochi games, OTP has allocated
an adrenaline rush.” Since 2015, Hawkrigg has been atop multiple nations participated at the games. Hawkrigg about $5 million to the Canadian Snowboard
Born to a family that grew up on the slopes, North American Cup and International Ski placed fourth in the parallel slalom event. organization. Freestyle skiing currently gets
Hawkrigg quickly followed suit, putting on Federation podiums, and placed third in the the most funding, receiving $11.4 million since
her first pair of skis at the age of one. national junior championships in 2014. In our sport, you can always get Sochi—an increase from the $10.3 million they
After witnessing how much her mom and Her performance has also landed her a faster. the best In the world are received between 2010 and 2014. Stats from
older sisters loved snowboarding, Hawkrigg spot with the Canadian alpine development stIll fIghtIng to get faster Sport Canada don’t go past 2015.
decided to give the board a shot, making the team, a group of young snowboarders who “We only have one coach, we don’t have
transition from skis to snowboard at four years are considered to be future competitors for physiotherapists,” she said.” “It puts more
old. But it was when she watched a race at her the national team. Canada Snowboard—the of a burden on us to be the best, whereas in
grandparents’ home club in Ellicottville, New sport’s national governing body—implements Europe, our sport is huge.”
York that she truly fell in love with the sport. a rigorous training and race schedule to help Abby Van Groningen, a teammate and “It’s just really hard being a Canadian
“I saw that they had a snowboard race team them prepare for competitions. close friend of Hawkrigg, didn’t mince words snowboard racer, because no one really cares
there and I saw older kids racing,” Hawkrigg “When I win a race, it makes me want to when describing the talent and drive of her about our sport unless you know someone
said. “From there, I automatically knew that this continue to improve,” she said. “In our sport, fellow slope-shredder. who takes part in it.”
is what I wanted to do.” you can always get faster. The best in the “[She’s] tenacious,” Van Groningen said. Hawkrigg has picked up sponsorships
Hawkrigg was raised in Toronto. Her world are still fighting to get faster and faster “She’s indomitable [when it comes to] her from Canadian companies BioSteel Sports
grandparents owned properties near ... so I compete and [test] myself to get faster goals and will do anything to reach them. Nutrition and Wake-Ups caffeine tablets as
Ellicottville—a popular skiing destination as well every single day.” She has relentless focus, and is persistent no she continues her quest to the 2018 Olympic
in New York state—so her family constantly Despite her success, a familiar issue would matter what challenge she faces.” Games in South Korea.
visited the area during the winter. re-appear. Last year, Hawkrigg nearly pulled espite her success and her passion In late March, that quest continued at the
When she was nine, Hawkrigg asked her
parents to let her join a race team back home
the plug on her snowboarding career as her
schoolwork started to pile up.
d for her sport, Hawkrigg knows the
infrastructure for snowboarding isn’t
World Cup qualifiers in Winterberg, Germany.
Despite missing a second run by one spot,
in Toronto. She started to snowboard at a “I had to leave training sessions early in the greatest in Canada. Hawkrigg was still ecstatic about her effort.
competitive level, racing against some of order to get an assignment in,” she said. “I’d “It’s a very big struggle for snowboard “Missed it by one spot, but it [was] only my
the best in world through Junior First Inline have to miss races because I couldn’t change racers, because we basically have no funding,” second World Cup ever so I was happy.”
Ski and Sport, as well as the United States of midterms. In December, I couldn’t go to the Hawkrigg said. “It used to be very popular in With her qualification for the Olympics
America Snowboard and Freeski Association. World Cup due to having final exams.” [North America]; the Canadians used to have resting on her World Cup performances,
But life would start to get difficult for the But a confident and honest support team the best team in the world. We [dominated] she’ll have to do fairly well at the next World
snowboarder when she took an interest in gave her the push that she needed, persuading and won a lot of cups before 2010.” Cup this December to make her case for
another major competitive sport—hockey. her to put school aside for a year and focus on From 2010 to 2014, snowboarding received Korea. But Hawkrigg doesn’t seem to feel the
“My former interest in hockey came from snowboarding as a full-time activity. $8.6 million from Own the Podium (OTP), pressure. Instead, as always, she’s looking for
my dad and my brother,” said Hawkrigg. “We “My friends and family told me to try and a funding initiative sponsored in part by the the next best challenge.
were a huge hockey family, so I decided to pursue my passion and try to reach the goal Canadian government and the Canadian “I think it’s just the pure passion that [does it]
give it a shot when I was 12 years old.” of the [2018] Olympics,” she said. “They’re Olympic Committee to help the country for me,” she said. “It’s just an amazing feeling,
She ended up playing goalie for the being able to go as fast as you can through the
Etobicoke Dolphins AA hockey team for six snow, and the conditions are honestly the
SPORTS 03/22/17

years. Between her studies, snowboarding P7 best feeling that I could possibly describe.”
NAME: azra Jessa

BIRTH DATE: oct. 31, 1994

SPORT: Fastpitch softball

PROGRAM: computer science

FUN FACT: at eight years old, Jessa
wrote a children’s book called
Ramadhan and Eid-ul-Fitr to educate
her classmates about Muslim
holidays. it was later published by
a company based in New york

THE woman aT sEcond
by Sylvia lorico

or Azra Jessa, softball has been a Ryerson’s fastpitch team was first created out of their 14 matches in September. But (IOC) has not included softball as a sport
F constant in a world where everything
else was always changing.
in September 2015, but didn’t gain official
club status until March 2016. It is one of
they ended the year playing against top teams
like Western, and finished on an eight-game
in the Olympics since 2008. At the 129th
IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro last August,
Jessa was born in Toronto, but her father’s the newest teams to gain official status from losing streak for a 7-15 record. the committee voted to return the sport to
job in finance meant she had to move around Ryerson Athletics. Heading into the last couple weeks of the the Olympics in time for the 2020 games in
between countries while she was growing up. The then-five-player team spent the 2015- season, Jessa was injured during a game. She Tokyo.
Her first softball team was the Ridgewood 2016 school year fundraising and recruiting was sliding into a base and twisted her knee, Jessa said she hopes softball will someday
travel team in New Jersey. She’s also played members. Jessa joined during one of their forcing her to sit out the rest of the year. gain the same recognition as other sports,
for several teams in small Ontario cities like information sessions and helped the team get She attributed the team’s second-half especially at the Canadian university level.
Aurora and Pickering. off the ground. performance to their game schedule. Back-to- “Some of my friends who played on rep
When Jessa was younger, she had high back games and injuries near the end of the (town) leagues chose their universities or
hopes for where the sport would take her. A lot of people who I tell, ‘oh, I season fatigued the team. colleges because of their softball teams,” she
At one point in her life, she moved with her “We had to keep ourselves to the same level said. “Some were even recruited to those
plAy softbAll’ hAve never heArd
family to Waterloo, Belgium. When she tried throughout, especially during the last few teams. I think that if Ryerson did the same
to sign up for a fastpitch softball league, she of It games,” she said. “We ended up losing those thing, we could really grow our team.”
discovered that the one team she could find games because we barely had our team.” ust as Jessa plays two positions on
was only open to adult players. At that time,
she was in middle school.
Despite not making the playoffs, Jessa
said she’s happy about how well the team
J the field, she has two constants in
her life. One is softball. The other is
The fourth-year Ryerson computer science performed in the first year. But there weren’t photography.
student said she played softball her whole life. In total, they raised $5,000 by the end of the many fans there to see it. Jessa was introduced to photography early
“I definitely wanted to take softball further. I year and recruited 12 to 15 potential players “I think the fact is, a lot of people don’t in her life. Her mother owned a DSLR camera,
wanted to play at the university level and then for the season. Since the team didn’t have club know about the sport,” said Jessa. “A lot of which Jessa used to borrow to take photos at
the provincial and national levels.” status from the athletics department, it didn’t people who I tell, ‘Oh, I play softball,’ have her family gatherings or vacations.
She said it was a “disappointment” that receive department funding. That forced never heard of it.” It wasn’t until the first year of university
Ryerson didn’t have a softball team when she each player to pay around $300 for apparel A major misconception around the sport, that she decided to buy her own camera. But
started university. It wasn’t until her fourth fees and other expenses. Additionally, the according to Jessa, is that fastpitch is not soon she “couldn’t seem to put the camera
and final year that a Ryerson fastpitch team fastpitch team does not have priority access as difficult as male-dominated games like down.”
took to the field in September 2016. to Ryerson facilities because of their lack baseball. The smaller playing surface often When a friend of hers was getting married,
“When I lived in the States it was huge of varsity status, so they spent the summer means players must react and make decisions Jessa photographed her engagement and parts
there. Every university, every high school practicing in Kerr Hall’s lower gym and in a compressed time-frame, especially when of the ceremony. Her audience was impressed
had a softball team,” the 22-year-old player outside in the quad. batters try to gauge pitches. and from that point on, she gained more
said. “I didn’t realize it wasn’t as big in other Despite this, the team had ambitions for “I wouldn’t call it an ‘easy’ sport,” Jessa said. bookings for wedding photography.
countries.” the years ahead. Their two main goals in There are currently 64 college softball Eventually, she created her own
Fastpitch softball is a variant of baseball their inaugural season were to get their first teams in the United States who play in the photography business, focusing on wedding,
invented in Chicago in 1887 as an indoor game. win and make the Ontario Intercollegiate NCAA Division I Softball Championship. engagement and portrait photos.
There are two types of softball: slo-pitch Women’s Fastpitch Association playoffs. These teams play for the Women’s College “I like helping people capture those moments
and fastpitch. As the names suggest, slo-pitch The team was able to secure their first two World Series. of happiness and love forever,” she said.
softball is slower than fastpitch due to how wins early in the season, sweeping York in The Canadian Collegiate Softball Jessa has been taking photography courses
the ball is pitched. In slo-pitch, the ball must their third and fourth games. Jessa played well Association (CCSA) lists 30 softball teams at Ryerson’s Chang School alongside her
make an arc on its way to the batter, while in in the team’s first victory, getting an RBI (run across the entire country, including the computer science courses at Ryerson. She
fast-pitch, the ball is usually pitched by players batted in) early in the game to help lead the Ryerson Rams. plans to make her business a full-time affair
using a “windmill” technique. Rams to victory. According to statistics company Statistica, once she graduates from Ryerson.
Contrary to the name, a softball is not Jessa is both a shortstop and a second- there were 18,967 people playing softball or As for softball, Jessa hopes to continue
softer than a normal baseball. It is, however, base player for the team. While she was baseball in the UK in 2014. In the United playing on a recreational basis in the summer
eight centimetres larger in circumference. an experienced player, she said there were States, about 17 million people played the after graduation.
A standard baseball field has about 90 feet difficult points in the season. sport in 2016. The game has and will always be a passion
between the bases. In softball, the distance is The team started strong, winning seven The International Olympic Committee for her. When she next steps up to the plate,
only 60 feet. Baseball has nine innings while it will be with a camera in one hand and a bat
softball has seven. in the other.
SPORTS 03/22/17

NAME: Christopher Berneck

BIRTH DATE: July 10, 1992

SPORT: Figure skating

PROGRAM: Fashion communication

FUN FACT: As a teenager, Berneck
would help his mother design and
sew his skating outfits


t was a summer night when Korie cope was that his doctor and therapist at the volumes than on May 14, 2016—the day he another memorable performance.
I Paquette received a phone call from
her teammate and friend, Christopher
time both encouraged him to continue skating.
“Coming to the rink each time made me feel
found out he had cancer. He was at his friend’s
graduation dinner party in Durham, N.C.,
As he set himself up at centre ice, ready
to take his turn position, Berneck had a
Berneck, who was sobbing on the other end like I was safe, that I was at home,” said Berneck. when he learned of his diagnosis after a pair flashback. He reflected on everything he went
of the line. Through his tears, he asked her to There were days on the ice where it was of emotional phone calls with his mother and through the past year, from the low points
meet him in person. clear Berneck wasn’t at full strength, and doctor. of his illness to the journey he went through
Without hesitation, Paquette agreed to see he was even forced to miss the Rams’ first “When I got back from hearing the news, I with his teammates.
her fellow Ryerson Rams figure skater. competition of the year. But that setback knew I didn’t want to ruin my friend’s party,” “Regardless of how the performance went,
When she met him in the parking lot didn’t stop him. Instead, it pushed him to said Berneck. “I just sat through a two-and-a- it was a moment where I was just thinking to
outside of her downtown Toronto apartment come back even stronger. half hour dinner, thinking.” myself, ‘You did it, you’re here, you’re healthy,
building, Paquette could see he wasn’t his “It would’ve been easy for him to take a step With his actual family still in Germany, just enjoy this skate,’” said Berneck. “It was one
usual self. He didn’t have the same golden hair back, take a year off,” said Rams figure skating Berneck found support in his fellow Rams, of those moments where I truly felt like I was
that matched the provincial medal he’d won head coach Lauren Wilson. “Instead he did who became like a second family to him skating for myself. I felt like that five-year-old
the year before. Instead, his hair, now back the opposite. He pushed himself even harder, throughout his battle this season. kid again, where I was just having so much fun.”
to its original brown, was just longer than an and even stepped into a captain’s role. It was It’s a special relationship for Berneck, who Berneck would finish with silver, losing to
average buzzcut. amazing to see.” at 13 years old moved with his family from Denis Margalik of Western University, a skater
“That night in the parking lot was when When Berneck enrolled in the only Germany to Delaware. At 18, he and his father he had been competing against since his days in
Chris told me he had cancer,” said Paquette. program he applied for, he didn’t even know moved to Barrie, Ont. while his two siblings high school. The result didn’t matter for Berneck
Berneck had just started chemotherapy Ryerson had a figure skating team. A season and mother went back home. going into his single event, but the competitive
to battle colon cancer, a process that made later, he had become their leader. Along with During that time, the ice rink was Berneck’s atmosphere would nearly overwhelm him
his illness seem real for the first time. Upon taking on a captain’s role, Berneck decided to oasis, with his latest home becoming Ryerson’s the following day as he prepared for his first
hearing of his diagnosis—almost a month do something he had never done before in his Mattamy Athletic Centre. Berneck’s bond with synchronized competition.
before he broke the news to Paquette— career: join a synchronized skating team. his teammates continued to grow, as Feb. 8, espite competing on the world’s biggest
Berneck was in disbelief.
“In the beginning, I just pushed it back,” he REGARDLESS OF HOW THE
2017 became one of their most memorable
D stages in cities from Berlin to Zagreb, it
was in St. Catharines, Ont. where he felt
said. “I didn’t want to deal with it.” PERFORMANCE WENT, IT WAS It marked the moment Berneck learned he a sense of pressure he had never experienced
The chemotherapy took its physical toll on A MOMENT WHERE I WAS JUST was officially in remission. before in his skating career.
Berneck, but it didn’t distract him from what “I just remember my whole team being so “I’ve never been that nervous before,” said
he loved most. As someone who never took excited for me,” said Berneck. “I knew that Berneck. “I’ve competed in so many events by
a vacation longer than two weeks without YOU’RE HERE, YOU’RE HEALTHY, JUST everybody cared for me, and was so worried. myself, but I was so afraid that I was going to
bringing a pair of skates, Berneck made sure ENJOY THIS SKATE” It just brought a new sense of energy to our mess up and hurt my team.”
not to lose focus on what made him happy. team going into the OUAs.” When he and his teammates hit the ice,
“After talking to my doctor, I just kept A week later, Berneck was back in his Berneck refused to let his emotions overtake
training, going back to the rink, and just natural setting on the ice, but his focus wasn’t the hard work he put in all year. He was able
tried to live my life the way I always had,” on defending the men’s free skate title he had to take part in another incredible performance,
said the 24-year-old. Instead of dominating the ice with his won a year earlier. which ended with its own piece of history. The
Before coming to Ryerson in 2015 to study powerful and swift movements as a solo Throughout the two-day Ontario synchronized skate was the most anticipated
fashion communication, Berneck had already skater, Berneck decided to put his faith in the University Athletics (OUA) championship, event of their season, and the Rams had to wait
established himself in the international hands of his teammates. It required him to be Berneck enjoyed every second surrounded by until the bitter end to find out their result.
figure skating community by representing there for every practice, knowing no routine his teammates. When it was time for him to The wait proved to be worth it for Berneck
his home country of Germany at the 2014 was possible without every participant. compete on the first day, Berneck didn’t feel and his teammates. Their weekend came to an
Sochi Olympics. “What makes Chris so special is his ability pressured. He was just relieved to be back end with another silver medal—the best finish
Berneck always thought of himself as a to really put the team first,” said Wilson. “He where he belonged. in program history for a synchronized event
natural competitor, but for the first time, he started off as an alternate, and never had the Just minutes before he was set to compete, at the OUA championship.
knew he was up against a challenge he couldn’t mentality that he knew it all. He was just Berneck had an emotional conversation with “Winning with my team was a special
control. Besides trying to live a healthy lifestyle always ready to help someone when needed.” Wilson, which forced them both to hold back moment for me,” said Berneck. “After
and listening to his doctor’s orders, all Berneck Berneck’s selflessness never spoke louder tears. Berneck then took to the ice to deliver everything I went through, with them by
could do was hope for the best. my side; winning silver felt like we went full
One aspect of his treatment that helped him circle.”
SPORTS 03/22/17

NAME: Mohanad Hekal

BIRTH DATE: april 12, 1997

SPORT: squash

PROGRAM: Business technology

FUN FACT: Hekal was a top-five
nationally ranked squash player in
Egypt for five years straight


THE squasH MasTEr By Brooks Harvey

ohanad Hekal wasn’t yet a teenager on, I just knew that there was no school for shotmaking and improves his fitness level, the squash courts and run into an unexpected
M when he first played squash back in
his home city, Alexandria, Egypt.
two weeks and that I wasn’t allowed to leave
the house,” Hekal said. “I must have beaten
I think he could become a top-20 world-
class player. With his skill and speed he’ll
“There’ll be some people playing
But he immediately fell in love with it. Call of Duty at least three times. There was definitely go a long way.” badminton,” he said. “And I’ll have to remind
The fast-paced, action-packed nature of the no reaching anyone.” According to Gillen, the World Squash them that the court is for squash and is not a
game drew him in. Hekal discovered squash Hekal is currently a second-year business Federation is still optimistic that squash will spare rec room.”
back in 2007, when there was a men’s squash technology management student at Ryerson. be included in the 2024 Olympics. The sport’s Hekal exercises and trains almost every
tournament at the Alexandria Sporting Club The 19-year-old, who lives in Oakville, has governing body is currently negotiating with day to stay competitive. His aspirations
where he and his family were members. competed in junior tournaments around the International Olympic Committee to are high and he’s dedicated to becoming a
After he watched numerous squash games, the world—visiting nations like Germany, make that happen. champion.
Hekal’s father took notice of his newfound France, Italy and the United States. He said Aside from sports, Hekal takes interest in
interest and signed him up to play. he saw Canada as somewhere to grow, both there’ll be some people playIng technology and video games. He plays soccer
From a young age, Hekal had always loved in his professional life and on the court he badmInton and I’ll have to video games on PlayStation and is an avid
sports–whether it was tennis, swimming, holds so dear. remInd them that the court Is gamer.
basketball or handball. Although he’d played “I enjoy playing the game and just getting “I’m really into computers, and I always
many, he found squash the most interesting. on the court and being myself,” Hekal said. for squash and not a spare rec wonder what’s going on behind the
“These guys are running back and forth, “Hitting nicks and drop shots just feels right room technology we use right now to make it
doing drop shots, nicks—it was crazy cool,” for me.” work the way it does,” he said. “So it’s like
Hekal said, recalling the competitors he But he admits it’s not always a matter of running around the squash court, but I want
watched in that first tournament. “I wanted personal identity. to know the ins and outs of how they run
to be like them.” “Of course it’s fun to show off sometimes, around the court.”
He dabbled in a few other sports after that, too. I like to be a little fancy on the court, doing Hekal is also part of a group from
but he ultimately dedicated himself to squash. shots between my legs and that sort of thing.” Enactus Ryerson called Project Welcome,
Hekal came to Canada as a teenager in Earlier this month, Hekal represented which helps Syrian refugees by providing
2013. His parents decided to move to Canada Ryerson at the Canadian University and “Canada has some great players and I think “newcomers foundational business and
to give him and his brother a better life and College Championships, where he faced off we’d do well come 2024,” Gillen said. “We financial knowledge to not only help with
education at a turbulent time in Egypt. against players from schools across Canada. need more players like Hekal to represent adjusting to live in Canada, but to leave a
The tournament consisted of 58 players in Canada if we are going to reach the podium.” lasting impact.”
I dIdn’t really understand what total and Hekal placed second. Squash was shortlisted for the 2020
was goIng on, I just knew that Hekal said he knows Ryerson has a casual Olympic Games, but lost out to wrestling. I have never seen anybody that
squash league, but its level of competition There were attempts to get squash into
there was no school for two has such creatIve shots. he Is
isn’t intense enough for him. Ultimately, he the 2012 and 2016 Games, but the sport
weeks and that I wasn’t allowed wants to participate in the Olympics, and narrowly missed the cut in both those so fast on the court ... I thInk he
to leave the house maybe become an Olympic champion. instances as well. could become a top-20 world-
“One day, I would really like to tell my Hekal has noticed a general lack of class player
kids, ‘Your daddy played in the Olympics,’” awareness in Canada when it comes to
Hekal said. “How cool would that be?” squash. Squash in Egypt, he said, is as big
The problem is that squash isn’t currently as hockey in Canada. Currently, three out
an Olympic sport. of the top five players in the world in both
Lolly Gillen, president of Squash Canada, men’s and women’s squash are Egyptian.
has been following Hekal’s career, and said Hekal remembers seeing squash on live
Hekal remembers the Arab Spring of he is one of the best young players she has TV regularly in Egypt, but said he’s only
2011. He remembers being under mandatory ever seen. seen it on pay-per-view channels in Canada. Hekal is fluent in Arabic, so talking to the
government curfew and not being able to “I have never seen anybody that has such That lack of awareness around squash refugees, he said, was an obvious way to help.
do anything. He had a national competition creative shots,” Gillen said. “He is so fast onmight be translating to Ryerson, too. Hekal Hekal said he hopes to continue his squash
coming up at the time, but he was unable the court, he can get to every ball.” said that on two separate occasions, he has career at Ryerson over his remaining three
to train for two full weeks due to the civil “Once he gets to be more disciplined in his gone to the school’s gym to try to practice at years and aims to take first place at next
unrest. year’s Canadian University and College
“I didn’t really understand what was going Championships.

P10 I S S U E 03/22/17
NAME: Anjelika reznik

BIRTH DATE: June 25, 1995

SPORT: rhythmic gymnatics/cheerleading

PROGRAM: Politics and governance

FUN FACT: reznik was part of the
rhythmic team that won a bronze
medal at the first-ever Youth Olympic
Games in Singapore in 2010


The RhyThmic GymnasT By Adriel Smiley

m any people still refer to rhythmic
gymnastics as “the one with the
ribbon where they dance to music.”
the London Olympic Games.
“You’re with your friends that you train
everyday with, and it was a little circle of
base group, but after one of her coaches’ saw
her Instagram, she soared to a new position
and became a flyer—the cheerleader on the top
compared to their Russian competitors.
Reznik plans to use her education to change
the climate of rhythmic gymnastics in Canada
But during Toronto’s 2015 Pan Am Games, support,” said Reznik. of the pyramid or stunt and is lifted into the air and wants to eventually be involved with the
the sport was showcased under a different But after falling one spot short of qualifying by the bases, something Reznik wasn’t used to. Olympic committee.
light and the Canadian public was able to for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, the team In rhythmic gymnastics they are not allowed “I really want to contribute my politics
learn more about it. disbanded and Reznik retired from group to perform any flips, while in cheerleading, [expertise] into sport,” she said. “Specifically, I
At the games, the Canadian rhythmic competition. She said it was unfortunate that flipping is permitted along with greater heights. want to develop sports in Canada, bring more
gymnastics team won two bronze medals in after all their hard work in training, it resulted “[It was] more of a challenge of facing my attention and get more support for athletes
front of the home crowd, but even before fans in a disappointingly “unlucky” loss. However, fears, I had to pick up everything that girls in general,” said Reznik on her future after
flooded the stands, the team had two silver the gymnast wasn’t ready to step off the mat were doing for years in a day,” she said. graduation.
medals and a bronze from the 2011 Pan Am completely just yet. Fortunately, she was able to acclimatize
Games in Mexico. After her team disbanded, Reznik competed to a new sport and become a member of a I had to pICk up everythIng
Rhythmic gymnastic success is relatively individually in the 2016 Rhythmic Elite winning team that will compete for a national
new to Canada, and Anjelika Reznik has been Ontario Championships and ranked 1st in championship, which she said is “a lot more
that gIrls were doIng for
at the forefront of it. level 9, one of the highest levels of the sport. fun just because it’s a lot more motivating years In a day
Most of the competitions sold out as Last year, Reznik also decided to try out … Individually, it’s kind of hard to motivate
national fascination and curiosity with the for the Ryerson cheerleading team where yourself.”
sport appeared to rise. Reznik and her twin she was able to help earn a spot competing Reznik suggested her sister also join the
sister Victoria, both fourth-year politics and in the Canadian National Cheer & Dance team, but she declined and decided to focus
governance students, were partly responsible Championship this coming April. on her studies. They both plan to use their
for that. Despite her departure from the sport she education to improve rhythmic gymnastics in
“Surprisingly, after the Toronto Pan Am loves, cheerleading and gymnastics have Canada. The Spreading Ideas Providing
Games, many people are aware of my sport,” glaring similarities; the outfits, the team Preparing for previous competition often Opportunities (SIPO) foundation, a non-
said Reznik. “If I [talked about it] five years comradery, the music and the art of the meant travelling abroad to countries like profit organization dedicated to helping
ago, no one would know … [but] our events performance. Spain and Bulgaria in order to have access prepare young adults who are graduating to
were sold out, and they had to open up more to better resources. By comparison, before find a career, sought to collaborate with the
seating.” I was representIng Canada, so the Olympics, they would train in a “rusty Reznik sisters. As brand ambassadors, the
She was a part of the historic team that placed warehouse” or “Korean churches.” duo’s job is to share their story of perseverance.
you have all that pressure, and
17th at the 2011 FIG World Championships, The Pan Am Games were one of the few “They invite kids to perform their talents,
which resulted in them becoming the first- If you make a mIstake you’re times they had adequate training facilities and the whole point is to find your passion
ever Canadian group to qualify for the 2012 lettIng your Country down on home soil in Toronto, since high-quality and pursue it, and me and my sister found our
Olympic Games in London. training spaces were built in anticipation of passion through gymnastics,” she said.
The Olympics is a dream for most athletes, the games. Although Reznik is now cheerleading
one that Reznik can proudly say she lived. One country in particular that has dominated and her sister has retired, they still describe
Through this experience, she learned about this sport is Russia. The country has invested rhythmic gymnastics as “their” sport.
the importance of representing her country a lot of money into the success of its athletes. One quote Reznik lives by is “you are
and the pressure that comes along with They have a national training centre, known the creator of your own reality,” which she
performing on some of the biggest stages in An Olympic gymnast is also almost too as the Novogorsk Centre, that is the main base gained during her time as a gymnast. While
the sport. perfect a candidate for cheerleading; a for 32 sports including rhythmic gymnastics, competing she became infatuated with
“I was representing Canada, so you have seasoned athlete who has succeeded at the basketball, figure skating and volleyball. It meditation, and used her positive thinking to
all that pressure, and if you make a mistake highest level of their former sport is what allows 250 athletes, coaches and doctors to affect those around her.
you’re letting your country down,” she said. every team hopes for in a new addition. train, eat, sleep and rehabilitate. “It really helped me through my training, it
“You learn to use that pressure in a good way Although cheerleading was new to her, After being part of the first Canadian team got to a point where I was known to be as the
and eventually you get used to it.” being part of a team was something she had to ever qualify for the Olympics, Reznik has positive one on the team who would bring up
She said she found comfort in the grown familiar with. Reznik started off at the seen some growth in Canada, but they’re still the group,” she said.
close bonds formed between her and her bottom of the pyramid as a part of the team’s far behind in funding and public awareness As she inspired her teammates, it became a
teammates, despite the intense weight on her part of her. Negativity attracts negative things
shoulders. This sense of comfort helped her is what she says: a testament to the lessons
perform her best as the team placed 11th at SPORTS 03/22/17 learned as an Olympic athlete.

NAME: Marcena lau

BIRTH DATE: March 24, 1995

SPORT: Fencing

PROGRAM: creative industries

FUN FACT: lau plays in a rock band
called MayD that performs for chinese
communities. lau can play drums,
guitar, bass and vocals, but the band
rotates instruments


THE fEncER By sarah krichel
he touch of Marcena Lau’s sword against was a fencing Olympian, convinced Lau that ask herself, “Now what?” To protect herself from that dejection, she
T her opponent’s managed to calm her
nerves. Spectators were silent, watching
the duelling sport was the way to go.
Fast forward to 2017. Lau was in the final
Lau’s parents didn’t exactly support her
fencing dream. They were exceptionally
stopped taking risks. The event’s taint on her
confidence carried on into her third year all
as the two fencers in their stark white suits match at the OUA fencing tournament. She was musically inclined—one a piano teacher, and because of one failure.
stepped towards one another on the large grey struggling to maintain dominance in the bout— one a singer. They wouldn’t fund her desires to “I remember being so depressed about it,”
mat. The clinks of swords and zipping of body the round during which a fencer must reach 15 practice, and encouraged her instead to attend said Lau. “I felt like I let my team down and I
cords were the only sounds echoing through touches on their target in order to win. the University of Toronto’s music program. let myself down.”
the gymnasium. Within the first five or six points, Lau But Lau chose Ryerson. But Lau’s biggest strength is snapping
Lau lunged in towards her opponent, observed that each time the Queen’s fencer At Ryerson, Lau was able to fence for free herself out of a funk.
extending her right arm forward, successfully she was facing performed a parry—a lunge for the first few years, but she had to buy her “After last year, I said ‘OK, 100 per cent all in.
taking the lead. The tip of her sword—known forward to attack or deflect—her left, non- own equipment when she joined an outside No excuses. And if I fail, I’ll fail 100 per cent.”
as a foil—jabbed her opponent’s torso right in dominant arm would bend with her elbow club. The fees mounted up to around $300, From depression and doubt to the top of the
the centre, and the scoreboard beeped. pushing backward, creating an open space. plus consistent replacement fees. podium in just four years, fencing allowed Lau
One point for Lau. Lau decided to use this to her advantage, to claw her way through the fog of uncertainty
The match that took place on Feb. 11 but it didn’t take long for the Queen’s fencer It’s learnIng what It Is to cry and surrounding her investments of precious
changed Lau’s legacy at Ryerson. Her victory to catch on. Lau had to find a new strategy. to be beaten. It’s clImbIng out of time and money. But Lau doesn’t want to be a
made her the first Ram in 22 years to win Lau said Foster describes fencing like “a fencing coach for the rest of her life, leaving her
the gold in the women’s foil at the Ontario game of human chess at 100 miles per hour.”
that mental hole after you lose with a timeless question: “Now what?”
University Athletics (OUA) tournament. “You have to figure out [your opponent’s] everythIng hen the time comes to hang up her
The Ryerson fencing team has reached 40
fencers, a much higher number compared to
flaws,” she said. “You have 15 touches to do it.”
The bout was taking a turn for the worse
W foil and mask, Lau knows she won’t
be leaving empty-handed.
what the team had before they started rounding when Lau’s opponent managed to tie the score She has her license in refereeing, but what
up novice athletes to train them from scratch. at 12-12. But Lau’s eye was still on the black she takes most from her fencing career won’t
The team has also incorporated 7 a.m. practices plaque with the sword-shaped trophy on it. be a job. It’ll be the happiness of being able to
twice a week, in addition to their two evening “It was down to who wanted it most,” said This year, Ryerson began charging a fee of fail at something she loves.
practices. Kyle Foster, Lau’s coach, said she was Lau. “All I was thinking was, ‘I want that sword’.” $200 to returning fencers—one more thing “I never got to experience failure. It was
one of their first from-scratch fencers, and has All of a sudden, the Queen’s fencer started her parents refused to pay for, so she had to. [always] for my parents, not for myself.
become their golden star. making the same mistakes Lau had noticed It taught Lau that fencing is not the most Fencing was something I wanted to do, I
But the craft has proven to be more than earlier. Spectators made their presence known, accessible sport, because it’s unconventional loved—something for me.” Now, the bullying
a university extracurricular for the fourth- cheering loudly. It was Lau’s teammates. They and lacks exposure. The struggle between time and pressuring voices are drowned in the
year creative industries major. Fencing must have been the loudest ones there. and money had Lau promising her coaches she background chatter of the crowd that’s
became a remedy. Before her gold-medal Lau made three straight attacks, and arrived would quit multiple times—but somehow, she cheering for her to succeed.
triumph, Lau was coping regularly with to 15 touches. The final score was 15-12. always ended up at practice the next day. Still, for Lau, it was never really about
depressive turndowns. Questioning her Grinning ear-to-ear, she instinctively Foster believes that Lau epitomizes the winning.
inadequacies took over. She would think slammed her mask and foil to the ground, program’s success, and that student athletes “It’s learning what it is to cry and to be
about her parents, who want a different life clenching her fists and yelling in excitement. like herself are what keep the club going. beaten,” she said. “It’s climbing out of that
for her outside of fencing, or the life-long She pulled herself together long enough to “[Students] come as rookies in their first mental hole after you lose everything.”
bullies she has had to face simply for being shake her opponent’s hand, then the cue was year and [we see] the transition,” he said. “Not Lau said that to become better, you have to
different from her classmates. given for a sea of Ryerson fencers to take over only as a fencer, but as a person.” accept that others will be better than you—
But Lau knows when she bumps into this the mat and toss her into the air. In Lau’s second year, the fencing team was and that’s OK. She learned this as a fencer, but
wall of insecurities, there’s a cure. She quits “I was just overwhelmed,” said Lau. “I one point away from bronze. Lau was the realized it will apply to her life in general.
the cycle of negativity by visualizing herself spent the whole day trying to keep myself anchor for her team’s collective point-scoring. Lau will graduate this April, unsure of
stepping onto the grey mat. Mask on, foil out. emotionally flatlined, and then it all came out By the end of her bout, she had cost her team what the future holds. But this uncertainty
“I would just shut my brain off, and fence.” at one moment.” the medal by just a few points. is no stranger to her. She faces it every week
When Lau first came to Ryerson four years But the elation didn’t last long. She stared at Expectations had been set and when she against her opponent on the mat, and she has
ago, she didn’t want her life to revolve solely the cheering crowd after winning, smiling on couldn’t meet them, fears of disappointing her a strategy for dealing with it.
around her program. She was torn between the outside. Internally, she couldn’t help but teammates and herself were validated. “Pretend the score is zero-zero,” Lau said.
joining the dragon boat, archery and fencing “Turn everything off, and just take it point
teams. Finally, a friend of hers, whose mother by point.”
SPORTS 03/22/17

NAME: danica McPhee

BIRTH DATE: dec. 9, 1989

SPORT: sledge hockey

PROGRAM: disability studies

FUN FACT: McPhee and her
teammates sing Bohemian
Rhapsody before every game


THE NEWCOMER By devin jones

n October 2016, Danica McPhee joined a of potential even though I wasn’t that good,” extended more to music and the creative arts. mainstream hockey.
I roster of women representing Canada in
the first-ever international sledge hockey
McPhee said. “I didn’t even know we had a
national team and so when I tried out I had no
Her father described her as a free spirit, always
looking for the next big adventure.
“We have to be pretty ambidextrous and
a lot of people are really surprised by how
tournament. As of two years earlier, McPhee thought of making the team, but I guess they “At 13 she wanted to be 25,” he said. physical the game is,” McPhee said. “Besides
had never even played hockey. saw potential in me as well.” In the first year of rehab, McPhee was that, the rules are the exact same, except when
McPhee—a disabilities studies major at In February 2013, when she was 23, McPhee set on walking again, eventually being able you run into somebody with your feet and
Ryerson—approached sports and sledge took a trip to Mexico with her boyfriend to to stand up out of her wheelchair. But after you get a T-boning penalty.”
hockey as a form of exercise, not as a celebrate his mother’s 50th birthday. It was realizing she couldn’t accept and love herself Enrolling in the disabilities studies program
competitive endeavour. And the first time there, late one night, when she jumped from if she kept trying to change her situation, was a decision McPhee made after the accident.
her coach, Ken Hall, saw her play, she wasn’t a ledge 10 feet off the ground onto what she McPhee gave up the idea of walking again Previously taking classes in hair-dressing
exactly national team material. thought was sand. Landing on hard concrete, and decided to fully embrace her new life in school at George Brown College, she never
“It was awful, she had no concept of hockey McPhee damaged her L1 vertebra, located in a wheelchair. thought she’d be interested in disability studies.
or team play because she hadn’t participated the lower spine, and had to be airlifted back Her introduction to sledge hockey came Both McPhee and her father note the lack
in sports,” Hall said. “It took her a while to to Canada after an initial surgery in Mexico. from evaluating that change and wanting to of direction she had in her life before the
understand the nuance of the game, but once maintain her level of fitness. Looking first accident, curious about too many subjects
she started to get offsides and other things It Was aWful. she had no concept to wheelchair basketball to improve her to settle on just one. To her, one of the
down, you could see she had a ton of natural of hockey or team play because cardio, McPhee never felt attached to the most interesting aspects of the program
talent at her disposal.” she hadn’t partIcIpated In sports sport. But the sledge hockey community, is that it’s an arts degree, focusing on “the
McPhee met Hall in September 2013 and full of kind and accepting people in similar deconstruction of normalcy, instead of the
began playing for him shortly thereafter. circumstances, according to McPhee, pulled pathology of disability often connected with
The next summer, McPhee heard about the her in and was one of the primary reasons a science degree.”
national team tryouts in August. The same she began playing. McPhee is currently involved with peer
weekend that she tried out for the national To McPhee, it’s easy—but completely support in connection with the disabled
team in Brant County, Ont., McPhee learned At first, McPhee couldn’t move her wrong—to label sledge hockey as a simpler community. She originally wanted to
she made the team. feet, and through the haze of morphine version of the more widely-known sport. At get involved with government policy
After researching the Ontario Sledge and initial surgery, she had no idea that she first, she underestimated just how technical surrounding her peer group, but her interests
Hockey Association (OSHA), McPhee joined had broken her back. and hard-hitting the sit-down version of have gravitated towards grassroots activism
the Mississauga Cruisers, a club founded in McPhee’s parents learned of the accident the game could be. Being able to shoot in the last four years.
1986 dedicated entirely to “sports for the when she called them from the beach while and pass with either hand (players use two “You can build communities of disabled
physically disabled.” In a short period of time, being tended to by paramedics. Thinking sticks to maneuver around the ice) is just people who can create change through activism
McPhee became known for her speed and raw she had broken multiple bones in her legs, one example of the variables not found in and audience interaction,” said McPhee.
talent for finding the puck. they were unaware of the severity of their traditional hockey. “Initially I wanted to get involved with policy,
While Hall noted that McPhee hasn’t fully daughter’s injuries. but I realize now it’s not really for me.”
mastered stick-handling with both hands, her It was only after McPhee was airlifted back When I trIed out I had no It was the little things that were hard to
desire to constantly improve is evident every home, that her father suspected something get used to for McPhee. Holding her coffee
thought of makIng the team, but
time she hits the ice. Sledge hockey also aided was seriously wrong. Eventually doctors told or talking on the phone while pushing
her in learning how to rely on other people, him his daughter would never walk again. I guess they saW potentIal In me herself down the street—the things she
something McPhee’s father Cory says she has “It was devastating. It’s like your whole as Well never thought about before the accident.
always struggled with, wanting to do absolutely world is crumbling in front of you,” he said. But it was the little things she never thought
everything herself. “It seems as if all of your hopes and dreams for about that pushed her to compete and find a
In spite of her inexperience, McPhee— your child go out the window.” welcoming community.
with only a year of house league ringette to McPhee, to her credit, went through tough In the beginning, it was a little thing—
rely on—wound up playing on the Canadian times, but adapted really well, Cory said. “She Also underappreciated, according to sledge hockey—that provided McPhee with
women’s sledge hockey team, scoring her didn’t spend a lot of time wallowing in self- McPhee, is just how visceral playing sledge an outlet for her unrealized talent. And it’s
first international goal in a 6-1 rout with pity.” hockey can be. Skating full speed while a little thing she doesn’t intend on giving up
Team Europe in the Ice Sledge Hockey World Never a competitive child, McPhee wasn’t strapped to a sled weighing 25 pounds anytime soon.
Championships this past October. interested in sports growing up. Her hobbies can evoke physicality just as intense as “Danica made it known that she was going
“[Team Canada] came about really quickly to be self-sufficient,” said Cory. “As a father,
and I had only been playing for a short time. four years on, I’m very, very proud of her and
My coach was really supportive and saw a lot SPORTS 22/03/17 her level of independence.”

NAME: Katie Wilson

BIRTH DATE: Nov. 1, 1996

SPORT: Equestrianism

PROGRAM: Entrepreneurship and

FUN FACT: Wilson originally wanted
to be a teacher. She changed her
mind after working as a babysitter


hen Katie Wilson started riding and handler goes a long way towards a and is home to more than a dozen horses, a Wilson was able to ride both horses well,
W a decade ago, her coach at
Sunnybrook Stables would help
successful ride.
“When you get the perfect spot for take-
handful of cats and two dogs. Windows line
the perimeter of the arena and potted flowers
receiving ribbons for the jumper horse and
finishing third overall with the hunter horse.
guide her horse. She remembers feeling a off—if you’re with the right partner—it’s sit under the bases of the wooden jumps. Whether she’s showing at a Ryerson event
sense of independence the first time she took a super satisfying feeling to get all your Wilson often rides Onyx—a black horse or on the Trillium circuit, Wilson’s parents are
hold of the horse’s reins by herself. distances and get all your lines properly,” named after the richly coloured dark stone. always supporting her by attending shows or
“You’re controlling a 1,200-pound animal,” said Wilson. Onyx is easily distinguished amongst the other helping with the costs of her personal riding.
Wilson said. “It’s a pretty surreal feeling.” The bond with a horse is very special, horses by the dark fur under his nose that Wilson said that her mother understands that
Practicing at the stables and at her aunt’s according to Wilson, but it’s not always resembles a moustache. Thanks to his special riding is a priority in her life, as is her desire
barn in Peterborough, Ont., Wilson became present. Last year, Wilson was lucky to ride aesthetic, each Movember, Onyx is treated to to improve.
infatuated with her sport, and continued with a horse named Eloise. The pair formed a special cleaning and grooming session. “I told her at the beginning, ‘this is my
riding into university. what she called a once-in-a-lifetime bond. passion. I really, really, really want to do this
Now the 20-year-old is the co-captain of “I really connected with her and that YOU COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT and move up, I don’t want to be stuck in a
Ryerson’s equestrian team, representing the translated into our riding,” said Wilson. spot’,” she said. “I wouldn’t be happy if I wasn’t
university in shows organized by the Ontario Participants can compete in different events
University Equestrian Association (OUEA). including the over-fences round, where PUT JUST AS MUCH EFFORT IN AS Wilson started off in the entry division in
Most athletes use sticks, gloves, special horses and their riders jump over obstacles, YOU HAVE the OUEA, moved up to novice last year and
footwear and other equipment to succeed and the flat and under-saddle portion, where will be riding in the intermediate division
in their sports. This equipment tends to riders are judged on how they move with next year. She is currently attending school
increase in both quality and price at higher their horse. part-time in order to balance school, work
levels of competition, with elite athletes Regardless of the connection between and riding.
utilizing state-of-the-art technology worth horse and rider, Wilson said showing a horse For her personal riding, Wilson’s goal is
thousands of dollars. takes a lot of practice. It’s a time commitment OUEA shows are organized by division: to move up on the Trillium circuit, but the
But Wilson relies on something far less that requires confidence, something she has entry, novice, intermediate, and open. The top riders show in the A-level circuit, where
quantifiable to succeed as an equestrian: her gained from being able to ride different horses top riders from each division and zone go horses can be worth thousands of dollars.
relationship with the horse she’s riding. in the OUEA. through to show in the championship. To reach the A circuit, horse owners ask
Whenever she finishes an event, she feels Ryerson is one of 19 universities that are Although Ryerson is not usually considered riders to show their horses in competitions.
relief and happiness. Not only for herself, part of the OUEA. Schools are divided into the stiffest competition in shows—equestrian There are also high entry fees—sometimes
but for the animal that carried her to the three zones: east, central and west. teams from Guelph, Western and Trent worth hundreds of dollars—for each
end. University usually take that role—Wilson competition. It’s not a cheap endeavor.
“I’ve done this for me, I haven’t done I WOULDN’T BE HAPPY IF I WASN’T said the events are still fun, spirited affairs This year, Wilson said the Ryerson club
this for anyone else and I’m really proud of DOING IT for Ryerson’s team. Riders are ranked charged an entry fee of $50, which goes towards
myself and so proud of my horse,” said the individually, but their points go towards the the cost of hosting a show, including renting a
third-year entrepreneurship and strategy overall team. space. There are entry fees for each individual
student. “You could not have done it without “Even if there’s someone in your division show a rider participates in, but they aren’t as
that horse. who you’re competing against, we’re all expensive as fees on the Trillium circuit.
“They’ve put just as much effort in as you teammates and we also support each other,” But for Wilson, the equestrian team is
have; they’re there every step of the way.” Ryerson competes with six other schools in she said. more than just a Ryerson club. It’s a passion
The relationship between horse and rider is the central zone, including the University of When she isn’t riding for Ryerson, Wilson she hopes to one day make into a career by
an important aspect of hunter equitation and Toronto and York University, using horses competes in the Trillium Hunter Jumper opening her own barn near Toronto and
jumper equitation, two of the most common that have been given to the OUEA by donors Association. Last year, she also rode in the running a riding school.
divisions in equestrian competitions. and nearby barns, including the Pause Awhile Pickering Horse Centre Schooling Show Series. Nicole Roach, Wilson’s co-captain, endorsed
In hunter equitation, riders are judged on Equestrian Centre in Stouffville, Ont. where She showed two different horses—one that pursuit.
their riding technique and horses on their the Ryerson team practices. with Trillium and one on the Pickering “This sport can be very challenging at the
manners (their general temperament and The barn is tucked away on the outskirts circuit—with two different coaches in two best of times,” wrote Roach in a Facebook
how well they respond to commands). Jumper of the small town, five minutes off the main different divisions: hunter equitation and message. “It can sometimes discourage us
equitation evaluates the speed at which horse highway. It stands alone, surrounded by fields, jumper equitation. into thinking that we are not good enough.
and rider complete a ride and how many But Katie has proved that with a little hard
jumping errors they commit—known as work and dedication you can do anything
SPORTS 03/22/17

faults. In both cases, trust between animal P14 you put your mind to.”
NAME: Ben légere

BIRTH DATE: Dec. 10, 1995

SPORT: Quidditch

PROGRAM: Photography

FUN FACT: légere drinks a pot of
coffee every day


THE SEEKER By izaBella Balcerzak

A ll he needed was magic.
It was 20 minutes into the game and
Ben Légere was running as fast as he
whatever they want to avoid being caught by
the Seekers, who are released just a minute
after and aim to catch them. Once the Snitch
sport more seriously—they have their own
uniforms, tournaments and even fan clubs.
Canada’s history with Quidditch originates
not having a teacher coach,” she said. It’s
a different experience than having your
40-year-old coach tell you what to do.”
could, not taking his eye off his target. is caught, the game ends and the team with in those cities, as they were the first in the The team will regroup after practices and
He weaved through the aggressive opposing the most points wins. country to adopt the sport in 2005. Just last talk about what worked and what didn’t. “It’s
team. His heart beat faster with each pounding This muggle version of the sport consists year, the Ottawa Gee-Gees won the Canadian kind of cool that we get to work on our skills
footstep. The adrenaline kicked in as he was of the same player roles as its wizarding National Quidditch Championship and that way,” said Bejtić
finally just an arm’s length from his prey. counterpart: the Chasers, the Beaters, the were sent to the Quidditch World Cup in Their skills are tested constantly through
He took a lunge, and was hit instantly from Keepers, the Seeker and the Snitch. The Germany. McGill is equally as competitive, their practices, held rain or shine (and snow
the side. He landed on his collarbone with a positions of each player are marked by coloured playing in the same world cup the year before too). Quidditch is a niche sport, so players are
shattering crack. headbands they wear. The game also has two and placing 21st out of 80 teams. constantly fighting against the idea that what
Légere looked to his left and found his balls (called the Quaffle and Bludger) that are The Ryerson team is affiliated with they’re doing is some kind of make-believe
broom was intact, other than the hay at the aimed at three hoops varying in height (each Quidditch Canada, an organization that game. In fact, Quidditch is a high-intensity
end, which was bent in different directions. worth 10 points). Players often describe the runs under the International Quidditch sport. Injuries are common, since tackling is a
Brooms are usually the first to be damaged game as a combination of rugby and dodgeball, Association (IQA). There are member fees huge component of Beaters’ tactics.
in these incidents. But there was something but with a stick between your legs. that each player must pay that go toward Of course, it’s difficult not to think of
important missing: there was no Snitch. He events, tournaments and the overall Quidditch without thinking of the dark-
shrugged it off. promotion of the sport. The IQA serves haired, green-eyed wizard the world fell in
It was all for fun anyways, even if he had We don’t usually play to Win so thousands of players on six continents and love with, but Bejtić emphasizes that fandom
just broken his collarbone. We don’t usually Win at all unites them in the annual Quidditch World knowledge is not a requirement: “You don’t
Légere is the Seeker for Ryerson’s Quidditch Cup tournament. even have to know about Harry to play this.”
team, the Ridgebacks. He joined as an eager The Ridgebacks have upgraded their The magic doesn’t come from the wands.
first-year photography student, looking brooms from the wooden ones they used in “Just seeing people give it their all and
to combat his nerves, relieve stress and be previous years. They now run on PVC pipes, even just our little achievements and the
socially active at school. He wanted to be part which are far more difficult to break and energy that we all share in that moment,
of a community that could match his fun and therefore safer for the game. Teams must also it’s pretty reassuring,” said Légere. The
quirky personality. In previous years, the Snitch was given wear mouth guards. way they operate as a team shows start to
The team could offer him all that with one the power to leave the field and run through Co-ed games also require two people of the finish because there is always the sense of
exception—he wouldn’t be able to fly. campus, using any props they deemed fair and same gender to be on the pitch at all times. community. Even when they’re exhausted
Quidditch is based on a game of the same appropriate to protect themselves from the This drives home the IQA mission statement: and panting, they know they’re in it
name in the Harry Potter fantasy novels. In the
books, characters play it on flying brooms.
Seekers. Eventually, the quest for the Snitch
came to be considered too risky. If the Snitch
to improve gender education, promote
equality and diversity, and foster a love of
T together.
he rain poured down on the
The Ryerson Ridgebacks (named after one was good enough, these games could go on reading across all ages. Ridgebacks, making running through the
of the novels’ Norwegian dragons) have been forever. That suits the Ridgebacks just fine, since the mud even more difficult. As Légere darted
building a community since 2010. It was only Légere, who is now in his third year, has team focuses on teamwork and having fun. across the field, he took a moment to look at
last year that they finally gained recognition experience in playing different positions and “We don’t usually play to win so we don’t his muddy shoes and soaked uniform. Their
as an official school club, allowing for the is currently the co-captain of the team: “I am usually win at all,” said Légere. tagline seemed more ironic now than ever.
possibility for better funding and player a bit of a jack-of-all-trades just because you Even though they lost every game at the The words, “Citius, Altius, Fortius,” hang
outreach. But they’re still struggling to have to be on such a small team.” eastern regional tournament last year, he felt under their Quidditch logo. It’s Latin for
convince people of the sport’s legitimacy and An average Quidditch game is about 20 to they still walked away triumphant. Everyone “Faster, Higher, Stronger.”
get more students involved. 30 minutes long, with a maximum of seven benefits from the social experience of the He quickly glanced at his teammates, who
While practices are open to anyone who is players on the field for each of the 21-player game: meeting other players, going out to looked like they were enjoying the soggy
interested, the team must often rely on alumni teams. Ryerson’s team usually has less than 15 eat with friends and bonding over roadtrips. weather more than the game. He couldn’t
or each other to take on more roles when it players. Légere’s co-captain, Amina Bejtić, adds help but smile. His ears were still ringing
comes to practices and tournaments. Légere explained that even a half-hour game that this bond also comes through the team’s from the sound of his team chanting “Ryerson
The Seeker’s role is to catch the Snitch, who can feel like a long time. The opposing teams inclusive and self-guided framework. “The Ridgebacks,” over and over again. As hard as
is a player dressed in gold and has a tennis ball from Ottawa and Montreal generally take the ownership is on us to coach ourselves and they tried, they just couldn’t drown out the
attached to a piece of Velcro on the back of thundering chant from the opposing team.
their shorts. This person is released at the But it didn’t matter. Légere wasn’t flying,

17-minute mark and has the liberty to do but he might as well have been.
S S U E 22/03/17
NAME: Monib Baray

BIRTH DATE: Dec. 2, 1996

SPORT: Dota 2, super smash Bros. Melee

PROGRAM: Computer science

FUN FACT: Baray is a self-taught
piano player and an avid cyclist


THE GamEr By Keith CapstiCK
onib Baray was playing Luigi for simply never happens in conventional sports. Baray loves basketball analogies and said don’t get scooped up by the first scout that
m some reason. It was the quarterfinals
of The Melee Games Northern
Dota 2 is the popular sequel to Defense
of the Ancients (DotA) and is considered
preparing for esports events is just like
preparing for a game of hoops. Ray Allen
likes your game and ride the train to a multi-
million dollar contract.
Conference championship and his four a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) would shoot three-pointers over and over It’s almost random—you’ve got to be there
Ryerson Super Smash Bros. Melee (SSBM) game, similar to League of Legends. In Dota 2, before every game to perfect his craft and every day, signed in and online, ready to try
teammates had been eliminated from the five-player teams select individual heroes that refine his mental game–Baray approaches out for whatever pro team is experimenting
match. If Ryerson won this match, they’d they believe work well together. The goal of Dota 2 and Melee the same way. with new midlaners that day.
receive an all-expenses-paid trip to play the the game is similar to classic capture-the-flag Before matches, he’ll load up a game lobby Choosing to do homework instead of
fighting game at nationals. and tower defense games. and have the computer send creeps (small grinding away at ranked matches could be the
McGill’s team still had three players left and enemies) at him so that he can practice his difference between playing for Evil Geniuses’
was ahead 10 stocks (lives) to Baray’s four. I lIke to be able to set the tone of combos with Invoker or refine his last-hits tier 1 professional team, who are currently
The next five minutes of the 10-person the game. I try to go for the bIg, with Shadow Fiend. ranked first in the world, and simply being a
“crew battle”—which pits a five-player flashy plays He then jumps into a public match without computer science student who’s really good at
team with 20 lives between them against his teammates to go through the motions of a game.
another—resembled a four-on-one fast the match, ensure he’s playing his midlane Lee, who also runs the gaming area in the
break in basketball, Baray’s favourite sport. matchups correctly and get his head in the basement of the Student Campus Centre, said
Somehow, the lifeblood of Ryerson esports game. Baray is the best esports player at Ryerson, and
planted his virtual green heel with Luigi and Baray sees himself as a hyper-aggressive has become a mentor to players in the space.
held off McGill’s united attack. You build up the stats of your character Dota 2 player who looks to control the tempo “We have players here that are playing better
Baray punched, kicked and wavedashed by acquiring items and combating. Players of the action. characters than him that are getting easily
with the game’s 13th-ranked character, then mount a unified offensive on the other “I like to be able to set the tone of the game,” destroyed by him pretty regularly,” said Lee.
mounting a momentous comeback. He team’s homebase defensive structures, called he said. “I try to go for the big, flashy plays.” “Despite all that, he stays pretty grounded,
defeated three of his opponents and played “towers” and “barracks.” For Baray, juggling school and matches has doesn’t really brag or anything and is now
down to one stock each against the opposing In Dota 2, each team usually plays with been a fact of life since Grade 12, when he first moderator on our Facebook page because I
team’s last player before finally falling to the a toplaner, offlaner, midlaner, carry and started to compete in Dota 2. But now, he’s respect him as a player as well as a person.”
McGill assault. support. Baray plays midlaner, a role that getting closer to the biggest decision of his aray was sitting in his room with his
It was a performance similar to killing a four-
on-one penalty in hockey—for an entire period.
typically involves a lot of individual play. The
midlaner gets to make “picks,” where they
young life: computer science or Dota 2. B headphones on—headphones big
enough to know he’s a gamer. He was
“I played them down to one stock,” said try to land a kill on an opposing player by We have players here that are in a chat lobby with the other four members
Baray. “I almost did it, but then I choked.” catching them out of position. of his first competitive team—people he’s
playIng better characters
Baray is a 20-year-old, third-year computer Baray’s multi-faceted gaming skillset is never met before.
science major at Ryerson and the captain of something he sees as uncommon among his than hIm that are gettIng This relationship is strictly competitive. He
the school’s Melee team. He’s also the former peers, and something he attributes to his easIly destroyed by hIm pretty was only in this lobby because of his prowess
captain of the Dota 2 team, which disbanded competitive upbringing in a household with regularly in the Dota 2 community. In ranked play,
last year due to a lack of interest and three older brothers. every 10 minutes or so, a little notification
commitment, according to Baray. Outside of “They had all the systems, you know, all the pops up and tells the players how many
school, he plays on a competitive Dota 2 squad everything,” said Baray. “We had four males spectators are watching the series.
named Team Red and ranked among the top in the household, they all play sports they all “27,000 people are now watching your
50 Dota 2 players in the world. play games and it gets really competitive and match,” Baray recalls from a notification
He’s also currently the eighth-ranked SSBM heated. So that’s a big part of my competitive “It is a pretty big life decision that somebody during his first-ever competitive Dota 2
player in Ontario, despite handicapping nature.” needs to make. You can’t just give up Dota. experience.
himself by playing with Luigi instead of top- Baray estimates that Dota 2 is a 35-hour-a- You also can’t be stuck in the middle,” said “I just remember my hands shaking so
ranked characters like Sheik or Falco. Luigi is week commitment—just for practice. Outside Baray. “My general plan is to still get good much,” said Baray. “I was like, ‘Guys, I don’t
just who Baray is most comfortable playing. of actual matches, Team Red practices three marks but I want to try to get onto a tier 1 know what’s wrong with me, I can’t stop
It’s a factor that Connor Lee, who runs the hours a day and Baray also practices on his Dota 2 team.” shaking’.”
Melee team at Ryerson, said potentially holds own. He then has to sprinkle in some melee What worries him is the volatility of Dota I asked him about the difference between
Baray back. It’s like trying to play golf without repetitions to stay on top of his Luigi play. 2. Esports aren’t like professional sports; you conventional sports and esports, and the
top-of-the-line equipment or knowledge of the preparation for both.
course you’re playing, a type of handicap that “Not much, honestly.”
SPORTS 03/22/17

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 DIVERTIDO 17

Draw something!
Fill in this frame with your own self-portrait! Go wild! Chances are I’ve
never seen you, so feel free to exaggerate. When you’re done, submit it to
Ryerson egg hunt afoot
The Eyeopener office (SCC 207) with your name, contact info and favourite
film for your chance to win a $50 LCBO gift card!

Mohamed Lachemi, just having a grand ol’ time. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: IZABELLA BALCERZAK

By Skyler Ash said Lachemi. decorating, downton and sangria,

In memory of With almost one month until Eas-
ter, Ryerson’s president, Mohamed
Lachemi, is planning “the biggest
The hunt will last two days, April
16-17, or Easter weekend. There
will be hand-painted eggs contain-
ing small chocolates all across cam-
Lachemi was ready. He made the of-
ficial egg map the next day, detailing
where all the treats would be hid-
den, and he plans to have finished

one dynamite
campus-wide egg hunt these kiddos pus, from the shit hole that is the sending e-vites to each student in
will ever see.” Sally Horsfall Eaton Centre to the the next few days.
The idea came to him in a dream, cold and desolate Ted Rogers School “I’m sending each faculty a differ-
when he and his “close personal of Management. ent kind of card—engineering gets
friend” former Rye president Shel- “I painted all the eggs myself,” said the pastel stripes and English gets

fish, Bob Fekri don Levy were decorating eggs to-
gether in Levy’s French pied-à-terre.
“I woke up feeling all warm
and fuzzy, like I always do when I
Lachemi. “I invited Sheldon so we
could recreate the dream, but he said
he was busy, so I just set myself up in
my living room with some Down-
the spunky polka dots, it’s quite fes-
tive” said Lachemi.
All students should plan to meet
at the Kerr Hall Quad April 16 at 9
think of my good pal Shel, and I ton Abbey and some water colours a.m. “I want to let the kids sleep in a
just thought I would try and share and went at it.” bit, but I’m also too excited to wait
that feeling with all of Ryerson,” So, after a wild Saturday night of much past 10,” said Lachemi.

It’s more than just being a Bottled-Water Free Campus, Water is Life
In 2010, students at Ryerson took the pledge to become one of (then) 8 campuses to go bottled-water
Bob, 2014-2017.
Today, as much as we celebrate our collective efforts to reduce plastic consumption on campus, we must
My dear Bob, pose, but who believes her? No one, challenge ourselves on a deeper meaning of being bottled-water free.
It’s been two days without you Bob. No one believes her. She’s a liar
to warm our house and already my and a murderer, and she took you When we say Water Protectors out loud, powerful vivid images of Indigenous activists at Standing Rock
come to mind. Yet Standing Rock is not the first, and surely not the last, time that Indigenous people will
family feels the strain of your ab- from us.
have to face corporatized pipeline companies and be forced to halt their projects that cause destruction
sence. My parents have stopped Dad says you lived, tortured, for to the surrounding water and earth.
speaking. My sisters are threatening several days with a scar at your side.
to move out. Even the neighbours He says when he held your frail As much as we need to show support to the Water Protectors of Standing Rock, we also need to support
are fighting. The truth is that with- body, long cold with the ghost of those who are fighting in our own backyard -- literally.
out you, we’re falling apart. I never death, he saw the split on your sun-
knew what it was like to feel the set-coloured scales. You were tor- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has approved not just one, but two major pipeline projects: Enbridge’s Line
clasp of grief choke the life out of a tured to death, for days swimming 3 and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain. Though many will advocate that it is to provide the country with
family until we lost you. around your little bowl, round and sources of energy; the disgusting truth is that the projects will destroy Indigenous lands, which includes
My dearest goldfish—I don’t know round, never saying a peep. Never
how we’ll celebrate the Persian new asking for revenge. Oh, Bob. And if you don’t know already, we invite you to research how your bank (TD, RBC, CIBC etc..) are playing
year, Nowruz, without your pres- I miss you, Bob. The little fish a major role in funding these projects.
ence. We’ve laid out the traditional (fishes?) we bought to replace you
table but mourning darkens the are so stupid, you can just tell. They It doesn’t take a fan of David Attenborough’s Blue Planet to understand that water is an essential part
mood. A fish-shaped shadow (small, don’t compare. You know what I of life. We know that without water, we cannot live. It is the simplest equation of math: Water + Humans =
but significant) is cast over our heads. miss the most? Watching you say life. But what happens when we cut out sources of water? Devastating thought, isn’t it? Yet many
You stayed with us for three years, your own name all over again, gasp- Indigenous communities are forced to think of this, every time a new pipeline project is approved.
outliving the rest of your species ing ‘Bob,’ ‘Bob,’ ‘Bob’ as you stared
Being a campus that is Bottled-Water Free, is more than just a badge. It is taking a political stance for an
by two years and 11 months. And back at me. Opening and clos-
end to environmental racism, a call for divestment of fossil fuels and a full recognition that Water is Life
then, on a cold and stormy Wednes- ing that little mouth—that’s why I and it’s important we save it.
day night, my mother accidentally named you Bob. Did I ever tell you
dropped a picture frame into your that?
water bowl while she was dusting. I will never forget you. I will al- CESAR Board of Directors
Dusting, of all things. She killed ways remember how smart you
you while dusting. She’s begged and were to recognize your own name. Rabbia Ashraf, President Phyllis McKenna, Vice President Equity
pleaded for our forgiveness, she’s I miss you, Bob. Francis Pineda, Vice President Events Janet Rodriguez, Vice President Internal Heba Huzayin, Vice President Services
sworn that she didn’t do it on pur- -Farnia Fekri Sara Asalya, Member-at-Large Ian Royer, Member-at-Large
18 Wednesday, March 22, 2017

1st & 4th year students:

Voice your opinion!
We want to hear from you. Please check your @ryerson email account
for my letter asking you to participate in an important student survey.
The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) measures Ryerson’s
performance and helps improve the quality of the student experience.

This is an opportunity for you to provide input and ensure we have an accurate picture
of student life. I urge you to complete the survey promptly. You will join students from
universities across Ontario who are also participating in the survey, which focuses on
key characteristics of a university education such as:

• academic challenge • enriching educational experiences
• active and collaborative learning • a supportive campus environment
• student-faculty interaction

Your opinion matters.
Thanks in advance to each of you for being a part of this exciting initiative.

Win an iPad Air 2 or Galaxy Tab S2!
There are five tablets to be awarded at Ryerson!
Mohamed Lachemi Each of the five winners gets to choose either
President an iPad Air 2 WiFi 32GB or a Samsung Galaxy Tab
S2 9.7” 32GB. Complete the survey and you’ll be
entered in the prize draw!

Survey closes March 31, 2017

Men’s volleyball
OUA Semi-Final
March 10 - Rams: 0 McMaster: 3
(17-25, 26-28, 19-25)

OUA Bronze Medal Game
March 11 - Rams: 2 Guelph: 3
(20-25, 25-23, 25-19, 21-25, 13-15)

WoMen’s volleyball
OUA Semi-Final
March 10 - Rams: 0 McMaster: 3
(21-25, 17-25, 21-25)

OUA Bronze Medal Game
March 11 - Rams: 1 Toronto: 3
(19-25, 23-25, 25-19, 23-25)

For more game coverage, visit
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 19


WhosE space? Students' space!
OPEN HOUSE Happy 1st Birthday!

Come Celebrate with Us! Tons of activities, events,
free food!
Thursday, March 30, 2017 Free BBQ, Scavenger Hunt,
Ping Pong and Gaming
Student Campus Centre Live Music.
55 Gould ST. (CORNER OF CHURCH & GOULD) All Day!!
20 Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Shoppers Drug Mart The Beer Store Harvey’s WINNERS
Watch It Blaze Pizza Rogers
Adidas Wine Rack California Thai Wind Mobile
DAVIDsTEA Real Fruit Caribbean Queen Baskin Robbins
Bubble Tea
Starbucks Subway Chipotle MII Sandwich
Tim Hortons Curry & Co. Opa! Souvlaki
Gadget City Yogurt Cafe Goodlife Fitness Zeytouna

39713_10 Dundas_Ryerson Eyeopener Ad - Fall 2016 v2.indd 1 8/19/16 4:50 PM