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Volume 52 - Issue 13

January 16, 2019
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NEWS 3

Ryerson won’t restock sanitary dispensers on campus
By Giulia Fiaoni provides free menstrual products in
70 different female and gender neu-
Sanitary napkin dispensers across tral washrooms across campus.
campus are empty, and Ryerson Shannon Brooks, who helped
University has no plans to restart create the program, said she hopes
the program that restocked them. it will gain traction in other schools
While there has never been a pro- and that providing these products
gram to dispense products in every for free will be considered as basic as
washroom at Ryerson, Cannon Hy- providing toilet paper.
giene, a hygiene services company, The funding for the program is “a
previously stocked 40 coin-operated drop in the bucket with respect to
dispensers in high-traffic wash- the overall cleaning costs and sup-
rooms on campus, according to Fa- ply costs of a college or university,”
cilities Management and Develop- said Brooks, who is also associate
ment (FMD). vice-president of corporate services
The program was later discontin- at the college. “The amount of ben-
ued because of theft, vandalism and efit it provides to the students is just
concerns for the safety of contrac- second to none.
tors removing money from the ma- ILLUSTRATION: CELINA GALLARDO “Is their fear that students are go-
chines, FMD said. ing to stockpile them if they’re pro-
The Eye visited 102 washrooms and three of them are labelled “free.” hopes to have free products avail- menstrual hygiene products free and vided free? That hasn’t been our ex-
in 14 buildings on campus. Seven- Citron Hygiene didn’t respond able in all campus buildings by the accessible is one thing, but the place- perience,” Brooks said. “Once they’re
ty-one washrooms had no dispens- to a request for comment in time end of the school year. ment of these products is imperative. always free, no one is going to steal
er and 31 had an empty one still for publication. According to statistics gathered by “It’s also a matter of safety be- a bunch of tampons. They’re always
advertising prices ranging from 10 An equity service centre offers safe Ryerson in 2016-17, 55 per cent of cause trans people are constantly in there so they’ll take them when they
cents to a dollar. There were no sex and menstrual hygiene products undergraduate students are female fear while in public washrooms, so need them.”
signs on the machines indicating in the public lounge on the second and about 45 per cent are male. Data providing [menstrual hygiene prod- Sefi Sloman, a fourth-year RTA
they were empty. floor of the SCC. The Sexual Assault for students who identify as gender ucts] in all washrooms adds that student, said she tried accessing
Ryerson doesn’t have a record of Survivors Support Line (SASSL) non-conforming or non-binary was little bit of safety against physical sanitary products through the coin-
when the program was terminated, maintains the hygiene products dai- not available on Ryerson’s website. and verbal violence,” said Marley. operated dispensers on campus.
said a university spokesperson. ly, but they have been low on sup- “If you’re presenting as one way, but However, she has had her money
FMD said Citron Hygiene, which plies, said Ryerson Students’ Union doing something that contradicts taken from her with no products
acquired Cannon in 2016, currently (RSU) equity and campaigns orga- “This is the last thing that that, it can potentially cause a dan- in return.
operates six dispensers in the Student nizer Ruben Perez. should be on an already- gerous situation.” “I have no idea where I can even
Campus Centre (SCC), which they Hirra Farooqi, the equity and stressed-out student’s mind” Marley said placing the products go to get free products if these bath-
said are serviced every two weeks. social justice commissioner at the behind the individual stalls of male rooms are out of them, which is ri-
The Eye found four dispensers in RSU, is leading a sanitary and men- and female washrooms would help diculous,” Sloman said. “This is the
the building, including one in the struation campaign and plans to Spencer Marley, a first-year so- avoid conflict and discomfort. last thing that should be on an al-
Ram in the Rye. raise awareness about the necessity cial work student who identifies as a Administration at Centennial Col- ready-stressed-out student’s mind.”
All four of the dispensers are empty of accessible sanitary products. She trans-masculine person, said making lege recently started a program that With files from Sherina Harris.

Ryerson says current free speech statement meets Ford’s criteria And here’s
By Sherina Harris according to Ryerson president Mo- “The university may reasonably statement to happen exactly by the what you
hamed Lachemi. regulate the time, place and manner deadline of the government because
Ryerson University says its current The university began drafting a of expression to ensure that it does we do have one in place.” missed at Rye!
free speech statement meets the pro- new statement around a year and a not disrupt the normal activities of Lachemi said “a lot of things
vincial government’s guidelines and it half ago, according to Lachemi. It the university,” the statement reads. [have] happened” since Ryerson The News Team fills you in on
won’t be rushing to update it for the was put on hold after a November first created its statement. This was what you missed over the break:
purpose of adhering to any deadline. senate meeting. “We did not want the revised one of the reasons the university
Ontario Premier Doug Ford set a The meeting was interrupted by statement to happen exactly by chose to update it in 2017. CUI opens
target date of Jan. 1, 2019 for colleg- protests from members of Ryerson’s The Higher Education Quality The Centre for Urban Innova-
es and universities to comply with Black Liberation Collective (BLC) the deadline” Council of Ontario (HEQCO) will tion opened at the end of November
his government’s free speech policy. and Indigenous Students Rising assess each institution’s free speech 2018. Located on 44 Gerrard St., the
Post-secondary institutions that (ISR). The Eyeopener reported that Socialist Fightback at Ryerson policy this month and advise the building provides space to research
did not meet the Jan. 1 deadline BLC and ISR members said the draft also has said the statement is open ministry of training, colleges and uni- and incubation hubs such as the Sci-
could see their operational funding statement didn’t include protections to interpretation and could be inter- versities on whether the policy meets ence Discovery Zone.
grants cut, according to the govern- for marginalized students. preted as “anti-protest law,” The Eye the minimum standard, according to Coming soon: 41-storey tower?
ment’s August press release. The draft statement said Ryerson previously reported. Rebecca Bozzato, a communications Ryerson submitted an application
Ryerson’s current statement was supports the expression of perspec- The university will be holding advisor from the ministry of training, to rezone a parking lot into a space
adopted by the senate in 2010. At tives and ideas, including “contro- consultations before providing a re- colleges and universities. suitable for a 41-storey building at
the time, it was one of the first uni- versial, extreme or even wrong- vised draft statement to the senate. Dundas and Jarvis streets. The build-
versities to have a public statement, headed” ones. Ryerson provost Michael Benarroch The statement was put on hold ing would have space for classrooms,
will be holding consultations with lab spaces and residence units.
faculty, and Ryerson’s vice-provost,
in November BoD doesn’t meet in December
students, Jen McMillen, will hold The RSU’s Board of Directors
consultations with students. Starting in September 2019, post- did not hold a meeting during the
“The consultation will continue secondary institutions are also re- month of December. Our news edi-
with our community to see what quired to submit an annual progress tor, Sherina Harris, was upset when
are the best ways to revise the state- report to HEQCO. she showed up anyway.
ment,” Lachemi said, “Not because “I think the essence of the uni- Rye law school still a go
we want to please the government, versity is to [have] free speech and The provincial government’s lack
but I think it’s important for us.” academic speech,” Lachemi said. of funding for Ryerson’s law school
Lachemi said Ryerson’s senate- “That’s something that existed be- has not slowed it down. Accord-
approved statement will be valid fore this government, and that will ing to Ryerson’s president, the law
until a new one passes. continue to exist even after this school is on track to accept students
| ILLUSTRATION: ELANA EMER “We did not want the revised government.” in the fall of 2019, for a 2020 start.
4 EDITORIAL

Don’t just talk about periods Communities
Lidia “New year same me” Abraha
Allison “In a parking lot?”
Hannaford
rently maintaining. Giulia “Walked a lot” Fiaoni
By A 2018 report conducted by Plan Fun Emma “My hair changes colour”
Raneem International Canada found that Nathaniel “Copy-censurer” Crouch Buchanan
Alozzi one-third of 2,000 women polled Sam “Absolutely nothing to say”
struggled to afford menstrual prod- Media Harley
ucts. The products were also among Editor-in-Chief Parnika “UberEats Mandarin” Raj Naama “Brexit” Weingarten
When I was in first year, a friend of the top three material costs for Jacob “Bo-dollar sign dollar sign” Katie “Fellow bad dancer” Swyers Valerie “The FBI” Dittrich
mine told me to write a story about women under 65. Fifty-five per cent Dubé Pernia “Floppy Escobar” Jamshed Cole “Am I allowed to be in here?”
why there weren’t any sanitary of Ryerson’s undergraduate popula- Brocksom
dispensers in the SLC and TRSM tion is made up of women, and we News Copy Editor and Madi “New year, same story” Wong
washrooms. As a business student hope the rest of you know sanitary Raneem “Not vegan” Alozzi Circulation Manager Mia “Maintain your structure!”
who spent most of her class time pads aren’t an accessory for us. In- Sherina “Five per cent vegan” Harris Igor “Best Dressed” Magun Maaytah
west of Yonge Street, she said it was formation on students who identify Emma “95 per cent vegan” Sandri Lauren “Is this offensive” Kaminski
ridiculous that whenever she had an as non-binary or gender non-con- Interns Jessica “Busy and important”
emergency, she had to run all the forming was not available on Ryer- Photo Gabrielle “PLEASE” Olano Fonseca
way back to a building like Kerr Hall son’s website. Alanna “Little Shop of Horrors” Maeve “DON’T” Bunga Dhriti “Hell website” Gupta
or the SCC for a hygiene product. When my friend told me about Rizza Ashanti “LEAVE” Anderson Sidra “Line breaks” Jafri
At the time, those were supposedly the lack of dispensers in buildings Celina “Rent” Gallardo Alexander “Still” Moore Sofia “Back at it again” Ramirez
the only buildings with functional like TRSM and Kerr Hall, it sound- Elana “Wicked” Emer Christopher “Chillin’” Sarkar Zachary “Vampires be here” Roman
dispensers in them. ed bizarre to me. And after check-
ing out the bathrooms, it turned Online General Manager This week’s annoying talking coffee
out she was right. My naive freshie Skyler “Misses Kiki” Ash Liane “Rocket Queen” McLarty mug is whatever godforsaken forces of
Why has providing it mind had trouble comprehending Bryan “Still on this Monster nature that are requiring the mug to
in a public institution this. Period discussions have been thing” Meler Advertising Manager wake up at six a.m. once again. Getting
not been a priority? going on for ages; I like to think Chris “Icing loophole” Roberts out of bed feels like Wolverine jump-
everyone knows people get them. Features ing out of that laboratory bathtub and
And although our progress has Sarah “Be nice” Krichel Design Director going on a murder spree. But I’m sure
been limited, it has been present. J.D. “Not so fresh” Mowat we’ll all get used to it... right? Right?
So why has providing it in a public Arts and Life
In this week’s issue, we learned institution not been a priority de- Tyler “Caprese boy” Griffin Contributors The Eyeopener is Ryerson’s largest and
that Ryerson isn’t planning on re- spite its importance? Khaled “Post apopaloptic” Badawi only independent student newspaper. It
stocking 40 sanitary dispensers on Having accessible hygiene prod- Sports Laura “Conversate” Dalton is owned and operated by Rye Eye Pub-
campus. Our reporter went into ucts has never been the norm in Peter “Stickless” Ash Libaan “Chill bro” Osman lishing Inc., a non-profit corporation
102 bathrooms—many of which public places, but maybe it should Christian “Let Bibendum drive” Ryan Hayden “Oh no worries” Godfrey owned by the students of Ryerson. Our
didn’t have dispensers to begin be. Ryerson applauds itself on being Raine “Horseshoe forever” offices are on the second floor of the
with—and all of the dispensers she innovative but is it really if it doesn’t Biz and Tech Hernandez Student Campus Centre. You can reach
found were empty. Including the provide for the necessary needs of Izabella “Out Balcerzak-ing” Tom “Yuurr” McCabe us at 416-979-5262, at theeyeopener.com
ones the university said it is cur- half of Ryerson’s student body? Balcerzak Jonathan “All good” Bradley or on Twitter at @theeyeopener.
SPORTS 5

In his first year as a member of the Ryerson Rams, men’s
Smashing it home: Xander Ketrzynski volleyball outside hitter Xander Ketrzynski is establishing
is Ryerson’s next big thing himself as a force to be reckoned with

By Tom McCabe vina is thrilled with his star rookie,
he echoes these sentiments.
In the world of volleyball, players “Defensive preparation and posi-
like Xander Ketrzynski don’t come tive dig touches are always some-
around very often. thing we can get better at,” Ruka-
Throughout the first half of his vina said. “The main thing with
rookie Ontario University Athlet- Xander is having him working on
ics (OUA) season, the six-foot-nine technical skills that will get him to
outside hitter has been wreaking the next level.”
havoc on the province and serving Ketrzynski also relies on the
as a vital piece of a very young Ryer- advice he receives from his father
son Rams roster. Alex, which usually comes in the
“He has been incredibly impor- form of a (sometimes lengthy)
tant to our team this season,” says post-game text message.
interim head coach Niko Ruka- Alex represented Canada at the
vina. “His strength in attacking has 1984 Summer Olympics in Los
provided the coaching staff some Angeles for indoor volleyball, and
options in terms of our lineup ro he’s also the one who initially in-
tations and decisions which have troduced Xander and his brothers
helped the program.” to the sport.
Through nine matches, Ket- He took to the game naturally
rzynski currently leads the OUA in and was playing club volleyball by
kills (170), kills per set (5) as well as Grade 7. By Grade 10, he was play-
points per set (5.8), while also rank- ing two years above his age group
ing third in service aces with 17. for the 18U Pakmen Volleyball
His current season high of 29 team, one of Canada’s premier vol-
kills, which came against York leyball clubs. Xander Ketrzynski (pictured hitting the ball) has had one of the more successful starts for a rookie in Rams history, as he currently
back on Nov. 23, is good enough It was there that Ketrzynski leads the OUA in kills per set (5), kills (170) and points per set (5.8) | PHOTO: ALANNA RIZZA
for second in Rams history for kills first started working and building
in a match. The record belongs to a relationship with Rukavina and most sought-after recruits in North a handful of current Rams with Pak- sport of volleyball. He admits play-
recently graduated Lucas Coleman, Rams head coach Matt Harris, who America. Calls came from schools men and the continued support he’s ing professionally would be a dream
who had 30 in 2018. recruited Ketrzynski to Ryerson. across Canada, as well as some received from Rukavina has con- come true, but for now he is focused
There is potential that Ketrzynski As he continued to improve, it strong NCAA programs in the tributed to the natural fit. on the season in front of him and
will have his name instilled seemed that wherever Ketrzynski United States. “I’ve known Xander for a while working toward building a winning
throughout the Ryerson record played, he excelled. He spent three Despite all of the attention he was now,” said teammate Navreet culture at Ryerson.
books when all is said and done, but summers with Team Ontario, getting, Ketrzynski says it was the Suhan. “I know that he’s a one-of- With his physical skills, Rukavina
he insists he has plenty of room to highlighted by the summer of trust he had built with both Harris a-kind player that stands out from says that “the sky is the limit for an
grow as a player. 2017 when he won both the and Rukavina during his Pakmen the rest.” Suhan also added that it athlete like Xander.”
“Managing unforced errors, Canada Summer Games and the and Team Ontario years that made doesn’t “matter what age group he It will be his efforts in the coming
whether it’s blocking or attacking, USA Volleyball High Performance it appealing to stay in Toronto. plays against.” years as a Ram that will help shape
I really need to stay disciplined,” Championship, where he was also “At the end of the day, Ryerson In addition to preaching the im- his future, which is a promising
he said. named MVP. had the program that suited me the portance of academics, Rukavina is one for himself and his young team
Recently, he won the national most and Matt was really straight up able to pull from his own experience as they seek to return to the OUA
“I know that he’s a championship MVP in his 18U club with me,” said the Toronto native. as an OUA volleyball player to offer Final Four provincal tournament
one-of-a-kind player season and spent last summer with He also appreciated Harris’ honesty advice to Ketrzynski. for a fifth straight season.
the Canadian junior national team, about which areas he and Rukavina “The main advice I’ve been If the rest of his OUA career re-
that stands out from which he cites as one of his most wanted to help him improve. discussing with Xander is how the sembles the trajectory seen in the
the rest” memorable volleyball experiences. Since walking through the doors length of the OUA season is taxing on first half, expect to witness some-
An impressive club resume of the Mattamy Athletic Centre in the body and mind,” said Rukavina. thing special whenever he touches
He outlines his ball control as an throughout high school led to September, Ketrzynski has felt like Ketrzynski is hesitant when asked the floor. Players like Ketrzynski
area to improve upon. While Ruka- Ketrzynski becoming among the he’s fit right in. He had played with about his personal goals within the don’t come too often.

Oakham House Choir
At Ryerson since 1984
We invite new members, especially Tenors and
Basses to join us in our rehearsals for the 2019
Spring Concert: Mozart Requiem and excerpts
from The Magic Flute
(we perform with a Full Orchestra)

Weekly Practices: Monday 7-9 pm at Oakham House
Registration & First Practice:
Monday, January 7th, 2019 at 6 pm
(Registration Fee: Ryerson Students – Free;
Alumni, Staff and Faculty members: $10; Community: $70)
Conductor: Matthew Jaskiewicz
Jaskiewicz@sympatico.ca
Concert Date: Saturday, April 27th 7:30 pm

For more information, please visit
www.oakhamchoir.ca or email
oakhamhousechoir1@gmail.com
| COURTESY: ALEX D’ADDESE | PHOTO: ALANNA RIZZA
speaking easier / 6

illustration: elana emer

Digital Poets Society
Novice poets are emerging from the internet, popularizing the once-niche art form.
Jordan Currie reports on its benefits and challenges

S
arah Kay’s flowy cobalt blue dress was illuminated by me of “I love this one!” like a band playing their hits at a con- ent’s “To The Boys Who May One Day Date My Daughter”
spotlights as she performed the final stanza of her poem cert. After those countless nights I spent online as a teenager, have acquired millions of views.
“The Type.” At CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio in Septem- I was finally here in person. As poetry becomes more popular and accessible, viral po-
ber, Kay was on tour with fellow poet Phil Kaye. They’re ser- Spoken word is poetry that can be defined as perfor- ems on YouTube have helped amplify the voices of women,
endipitously both Jewish-Japanese poets with one letter sepa- mance-based, sometimes accompanied by choreography or people of colour, LGBTQ+ community and other marginal-
rating their surnames, though they are not secretly married or music, usually in front of an audience. Around Toronto, ized circles.
related, as they explain in their poem “When Love Arrives.” slam events include the BAM! Youth Slam for youth poets
Seated in my aisle seat, I was mesmerized by Kay gracefully and the Toronto Poetry Slam, a bi-monthly competition
moving her arms to the rhythm of her voice. She looked out located at the Drake Underground. At Ryerson, Poetic Ex-
into the audience as if to ensure her words reached every indi- change is a student group that hosts poetry workshops and
vidual. I recited the lines over in my head as she read. slams on campus. They also travel to compete at tourna-
“The Type” and I go way back. Staying up into the late hours ments such as the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational

W
of the night with puffy eyes as a doubtful 15-year-old, I’d mar- (CUPSI). Poetic Exchange encourages beginners and those
athon playlists from Button Poetry, a YouTube channel dedi- not familiar with spoken word to share their work, no mat- hen Magda Uculmana-Falcon was eight years
cated to spoken word performances. I felt healed listening to ter their level of experience. old, communicating her feelings was near im-
people I’d never met. One night, I would find a slightly fuzzy According to a study from the National Endowment for possible. After she told her mother she wanted
recording of “The Type” from 2013 online, which has since the Arts (NEA), nearly 12 per cent of adults (28 million) in to kill herself, she didn’t understand why she had to sit down
garnered 1.4 million views. It was love at first listen. Kay once the U.S. read poetry in 2017, a seven per cent increase from across from a therapist, an adult she didn’t know, and talk
described “The Type” as a “love letter to women”—the message 2012. The demographic of poetry readers aged 18 to 24 dou- about her problems.
being that women aren’t muses for men or antidotes to their bled. BookNet Canada reported that poetry book sales in- Uculmana-Falcon discovered spoken word videos as a teen-
wounds. I cite it and Kay herself as my introduction into the creased 79 per cent in 2016, and units sold increased 154 per ager on YouTube. Writing her own poetry made her feel less
world of spoken word. cent between 2016 and 2017. The NEA estimates that one of alone. It was the only way she could speak freely about what
The 340-seat venue was hardly Scotiabank Arena, but Sarah the main reasons for the increase in popularity is how much was on her mind. An authority figure tasked with fixing her
and Phil were rock stars that night. Audience members wore poetry is being viewed online. problems made her speechless, but an audience of people just
Sarah’s merchandise, blue llama pins on their jackets, and car- Thanks to websites like YouTube, individuals who either willing to listen made her feel brave.
ried around copies of Sarah and Phil’s respective books. In- couldn’t or didn’t attend poetry slams can experience them She performed for the first time at the age of 17 and felt
stead of quiet snaps of support like a typical slam, we cheered from the comfort of their bedrooms. Videos like Neil Hil- connected with the audiences she spoke to. When each of her
each time they read a new poem. I heard whispers all around born’s “OCD,” Rudy Francisco’s “A Lot Like You” or Jesse Par- performances were met with enthusiastic applause, she knew
7 \ speaking easier
spoken word was for her. Poetry readings and slam events have to abide by a strict set of rules to get started. One poet on Eventually, she founded the annual poetry slam at Ink
are typically filled with the sounds of clapping and snapping, a Reddit thread called the style “very personable and relatable.” Movement Mississauga, a non-profit organization that hosts
with the occasional hums and cheers in agreement mid-per- But despite that, it’s not accepted by everyone. On the same writing workshops and events for youth, with chapters in
formance. They let the poet know they should keep going. “I thread, another user said free verse is “not poetry” and called Hamilton and Montreal as well. She surrounded herself with
didn’t feel like the people listening were judging,” says Ucul- it “pretentious shit.” Many argue that without poetic conven- people who looked and felt just like her, but while it was com-
mana-Falcon. “It’s kind of therapeutic.” tions and structures, it doesn’t qualify. forting, it conflicted her. At slams, everyone seems to agree
Button Poetry is a Minnesota-based organization that uses with whatever is being said.
YouTube as its main platform, posting videos of poets and “As beautiful and as unbecoming as [poems] are, a lot of it
slam events to its channel of 1 million subscribers. Rupi Kaur, kind of talks about the same contentious issues and perspec-
an Indian-Canadian poet, whose book milk and honey sold over tives,” she says. “And a lot of it leads to the same viewpoints.”
2.5 million copies and who has an Instagram following of 3.3 While every spoken word poet has unique perspectives
and experiences, nar-
ratives tend to be re-
peated, making it dif-
Uculmana-Falcon left Ryerson, where she was studying ficult to leave feeling
English from 2015 to 2017, to pursue acting at the National as though a lesson was
Theatre School of Canada in Montreal. The same summer she learned or a thought
left Ryerson, she performed a poem of hers called “Afro Peru- was challenged.
ana”—meaning an Afro-Peruvian woman in Spanish—as part This can be seen on-
of an exhibition in Toronto celebrating Latinx artists. The line as well: YouTube
poem, which she also adapted into a short play, is about her poetry channels pull up
struggles growing up Afro-Latina and the unique racism and many works with simi-
isolation that comes with being mixed race. “My blood crosses lar subject matter on
borders,” she wrote in her play. “I’m rich with history yet still racism, sexism, gender,
no one understands the meaning of where I come from.” sexuality, identity and
During her performance of “Afro Peruana,” Uculmana- more. There are even
Falcon stood on the stage in front of a crowd and began to similarities in the tone
cry, being so immersed in the emotion of her performance, and structure. While the
but she pushed through. Afterwards, a man, also Afro-Latino, point of the community
approached her and thanked her. He said he knew the exact is often for marginalized
feeling of existing in individuals to express
an in-between space. their experiences, Tao
“He was just like me. asks whether we’ve ex-
If someone could re- plored the same avenues
late to it, I’m happy.” too many times. “[Have
In a piece for +Col- we] told the same sto-
lective Hub, Elissa ries to a point where
Webster writes that nothing can be new?”
live spoken word de- Perhaps people aren’t
stroys barriers. “Mar- attending slams to “hear
ginalised communi- the other side,” but Tao
ties are able to access says that human beings
an audience imme- million, is often attributed to popularizing the have the tendency to “generalize too much,” which can cause
diately without gate- “Instapoet” genre on social media. The spoken stories to lack the specifics needed to improve storytelling.
keepers and without word interludes featured in Beyoncé’s multi- It could even prevent poets with different viewpoints from
the additional layers award-winning film Lemonade was written by entering the scene. “How do we make space for individuals
of editor, publisher, Somali poet Warsan Shire. Online, those new who aren’t in that poetic mainstream, and who might even
casting agent, direc- to spoken word or too anxious to perform it disagree with certain stories...but who are marginalized indi-
tor—you can write it themselves can still build their confidence by viduals themselves?”
and then stand up in connecting with the digital community. It was But she still believes if there’s any way to have a discussion
front of your own community and say it. People who don’t of- exactly how I was eventually able to start reading my poetry in about acknowledging those differences, poetry is the medium
ten see their own ideas or opinions reflected in the mainstream front of strangers. best equipped to handle it because of its conversational nature.
media outlets have this opportunity to be heard.” I’m still a beginner, more comfortable being in the audience Smith makes it clear, however, that there is a difference be-
Spoken word allows for any type of community to share than on stage, but I’ve dabbled in the performance of my own tween ideas going unchallenged and art made specifically for a
their experiences. Uculmana-Falcon says she herself grew messy poetry a few times. During those occasional readings community. He turns to African-American poet Amiri Baraka
up ignorant of the LGBTQ+ community. “Coming from the in my hometown of Mississauga, the paper I read off visibly as an example, who wrote specifically about the struggles of
Black and Latinx community, my family could be pretty ho- trembled in my hand and my voice wavered slightly. As I re- Black Americans in the 1970s. “He wasn’t speaking to a white
mophobic. I didn’t know anything about that community. It cited my own words about womanhood and my struggles with audience at all,” Smith says, “He was trying to build up their
wasn’t talked about.” anxiety, I wasn’t quite off book like the poets I admired. Still, confidence and give them a source of power.” Sometimes, spo-
But hearing the stories of queer poets helped her overcome I felt a rush when I stepped off the stage and heard the sound ken word isn’t to challenge or to convince, but rather to sup-
it. Being an audience member proved to be just as rewarding of snapping emerging from the audience. I’m no seasoned vet- port and acknowledge.
as being a performer. eran, but the feeling truly doesn’t get old.
Dale Smith, a poet and English professor at Ryerson, says
the performative aspect of spoken word allows people to talk

P
about their oppression in a way that is sometimes more effec-
erformance poetry developed in the Western world tive than a written, academic argument. When someone pres-
with jazz poetry in the 1920s Harlem Renaissance, and ents a perspective to a live audience through poetry, they do

I
a resurgence that took place in the ’80s and ‘90s. Spoken not necessarily have to create the same reasonable arguments
word was generally perceived as too avant-garde to go outside expected in print forms. “You’re using your body to convey walked out of the Glenn Gould Studio into the chilly Sep-
its niche community and become a mainstream art form. emotion in ways others may not have seen,” says Smith. tember night, realizing poets like Sarah and Phil are just as
Online poetry places more emphasis on “free verse,” refer- But as much as spoken word provides refuge for marginal- valuable as highly esteemed authors and musicians. A sold
ring to rule-free poetry without use of conventional rhyme or ized individuals to voice their experiences, the issue of pro- out audience showed up. They likely had the same memories
rhythm schemes. This kind of poetry was popularized in the moting the same ideas over and over persists. and connections with online spoken word poets that I had,
1880s and is associated with poets like Walt Whitman, E.E. In high school, Chelsea Tao was encouraged by her English and had come to watch their idols.
Cummings and T.S. Eliot. teacher to continue with her creative writing and pursue per- As Kay noted in a 2011 talk, not everyone owns a camera
People are beginning to share their free verse poetry online forming. The now-ethics and law student at the University of or can read music, but they can communicate and share pain. I
that sounds more like short stories or monologues as opposed Toronto finds solace as a queer Chinese woman in the poetry never needed big fancy words or a booming voice to be heard.
to Shakespearean sonnets or sestinas, which are forms rarely community. She knew that while she was nervous about be- As Uculmana-Falcon says, poetry is a way for marginalized
used in professional spoken word. ing so vulnerable in front of strangers, her words wouldn’t fall people to “get out all the shit you’re going through. It’s your
Because free verse is so malleable to the author, it’s more onto ears that would disrespect her, because of how support- diary out loud.” For those living in the margins, there will al-
inviting for those who are new to the art, because they don’t ive those spaces tend to be. ways be someone to listen and snap in praise.
8
9

The Student Campus Centre

COMMUNITY
BUILDER AWARD

Applications Open
Monday, Jan. 14, 2019 at 9am

Applications Close
Tell us how you have Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 at 9pm

contributed to building SUBMIT YOUR
community in the Student APPLICATION ONLINE:
Campus Centre (SCC)! www.ryersonstudentcentre.ca

This award is designed to recognize
students within the Ryerson
community who have contributed to
Annual awards:
campus life and building community at
the SCC as demonstrated through $500 x4
exceptional volunteerism. for Continuing Education
students
NOTE:
Eligible: All full-time, part-time, and continuing
education students enrolled and in good
standing during the Winter 2019 term.
$2,000 x3
for Undergraduate students
Not Eligible: RSU Board Members, CESAR

$2,000 x3
Board Members, Palin Foundation Board
Members, seniors enrolled through the Chang
School.
for Graduate students
10 ALL SATIRE. NO FUN.

Good day to you Ryerson! It’s the (for once) full-rested Fun & Satire editor
here, Nathaniel Crouch. We are officially back to work here at The Eyeopen-
er and, like all students, the flow of coffee and due dates has already begun.
The good news, as we begin the end of our collective social lives, is that the
Fun & Satire section has the means to entertain. Below is a Sudoku guaran-
teed to waste time or pencils as you break them due to frustration. Either
way I’ve done my job. When you’ve completed the Sudoku, why not cut it
out and head to our second-floor office in the SCC to submit it. Look for
the X-Men-decorated Box of Destiny for a chance to win a $25 Metro gift
card. Enjoy the games and have a peaceful week, Ryerson!

Name:

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