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Volume 52 - Issue 20

March 13, 2019


theeyeopener.com
@theeyeopener
Since 1967

DUNGEONS,
DRAGONS & YOU

FOR SOME PLAYERS, IT’S MORE THAN JUST A GAME


ILLUSTRATION: CELINA GALLARDO
P6
2

Your Fees – Your Space – Your Place

SCC OPEN HOUSE


Thursday, MAR. 21, 2019

WhosE space? EVERYTHING FREE 11am-3pm:


• Tons of activities, events, free food!
Students' space! • Scavenger Hunt, Ping Pong
& Gaming Tournaments
Student Campus Centre • Live music
• After Party with Love Wagon
55 Gould ST. (CORNER OF CHURCH & GOULD)
& Craft Beer Tasting at The Ram 5-8 p.m.

@RSCOnline
ryersonstudentcentre.ca /RyersonStudentCentre
NEWS 3

Students condemn firing of former Black staff member


By Zena Salem Once CESAR’s campaign went rounding action. “They have not Human Resources, Christina Sass- or inequitable treatment. Similar to
public and students started to sign communicated to any of us how Kortsak; assistant vice-president Hu- Carol’s story they have faced isola-
The Continuing Education Stu- it, Hoilett says the office of the presi- they are responding to the erasure ofman Resources and Ryerson’s local tion, intimidation, targeting and
dents’ Association of Ryerson (CE- dent reached out. Black folks from our institution.” Ontario Public Service Employees limited training and advancement
SAR) penned a letter condemning “Supporters from the letter action Union president, James McKay. opportunities,” read the letter.
the termination of a former staff have received an email from the office “Other racialized workers at A part of the letter stated that con- The letter also highlights the degree
member while on medical leave ear- of the president offering platitudes Ryerson have complaints” cerns are being raised in regards to in which these incidents are causing
lier this year. about Ryerson’s values surrounding how racialized staff at Ryerson are harm, saying that the incidents hurt
The letter, which was signed by equity, diversity and inclusion.” being treated. Ryerson community members and
nearly 50 faculty members, was ini- Hoilett said despite reaching out, The letter was signed and sent to “It has come to our attention that are detrimental to the university’s
tiated by former Ryerson Students’ the president’s office has not pro- vice-president, Equity and Commu- other racialized workers at Ryerson reputation as a diverse employer.
Union president Rajean Hoilett. vided any further information sur- nity Inclusion, Denise O’Neil Green; have complaints of harassment and/ “This is an alarming step back-
Carol Sutherland, a Black staff wards for a community that is already
member at Ryerson’s Equity and so underrepresented across this insti-
Community Inclusion office, was tution’s [leadership],” said Hoilett.
terminated from her position on Ryerson administration declined
Jan. 8. to comment on the letter, citing
Sutherland was fired Jan. 8 while confidentiality concerns.
on medical leave. She previously told Hoilett wrote the letter action
The Eye that Ryerson University re- alongside a few other students who
quested she see an independant med- were concerned about the firing of
ical examiner before her termination. Sutherland. “We think it’s important
Sutherland did not respond in time to ensure that the office of the presi-
for the publication of this article. dent and the Equity and Community
Sutherland was the founder of Inclusion office know that students
the Ryerson Black Faculty and Staff are paying attention to this matter as
Community Network, an initiative it develops,” Hoilett said.
that works to support Black faculty Sutherland is an important mem-
and staff members of the university. ber of the community, he said, but
The group works to enhance Ryer- “this is bigger than just her.”
son’s academic and cultural diversity, “This attack on her employment is
according to the Office of the Vice part of a larger tradition of systemi-
President Equity and Community cally erasing Black staff and faculty
Inclusion’s website. Carol Sutherland was a union worker at Ryerson’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion office PHOTO: ALANNA RIZZA from Ryerson’s campus.”

Did the RSU ever purchase nap pods? RSU to restructure graduate council
By Emma Sandri they cannot provide us with information By Nathan Halnin decision-making power.”
due to client confidentiality. Grant said she is supportive of a union but
The current president of the Ryerson Stu- The nap pods were a part of the cam- The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) is it would not be attainable. “We currently do
dents’ Union (RSU) can’t find any records to paign platform of 2018-19 RSU executive planning to restructure its graduate council not have a large enough graduate student
prove the purchase of nap pods, as previously slate. They promised to create a designated this spring to enhance support for graduate body to be able to financially or logistically
confirmed by former-president Ram Ganesh. space for students to rest and recharge. students according to the graduate repre- sustain our own union.”
In January, now-former RSU president sentative director. RSU president Maklane deWever con-
Ganesh told The Eyeopener that the union “Unless the company sent us nap pods In 2017, a graduate board member pre- firmed that the graduate council is still going
had purchased and shipped nap pods from from the UK without us giving them sented a motion to establish a union for to be a part of the RSU.
overseas. graduate students. Former RSU president Although the proposed union was sup-
“I am very excited for them. They’ve any money...I’m not expecting them” Susanne Nyaga worked with the graduate posed to launch the past September, Grant
cleared Canadian customs and shipping, so union’s organizing committee and the union said she hopes the restructuring of the grad-
that’s good,” said Ganesh in a previous in- was meant to launch by September of this uate council will finish by the end of April.
terview. “We had to go to the U.K., we had In September, the RSU vice-president ed- year, as reported by The Eye.
to pay in pounds and stuff. It was hectic.” ucation Salman Faruqi said the driving force The proposed union would have been “We currently do not have a large
According to the current union presi- behind implementing a nap space was to separate from the RSU; however, this plan enough graduate student body”
dent, Maklane deWever, the only record accomodate the majority of commuter stu- has been scrapped. The new focus is to re-
he could find of the nap pods was an email dents at Ryerson. “A lot of students struggle structure the RSU and the graduate coun-
correspondence between the union’s ex- to get enough sleep, struggle on the com- cil, said Amber Grant, the deputy chair- In the fall 2017 term, there were over
ecutive and a company called Podtime, mute,” he added. person education for the graduate council 35,000 domestic undergraduate students
located in the United Kingdom. At the time, both Ganesh and Faruqi of the RSU. and under 3,000 domestic graduate students,
confirmed to The Eye that the RSU was The current graduate council is a part according to Ryerson’s population statistics.
“We had to go to the U.K., we had to working to bring about this space to stu- of the RSU and represents all graduate Grant said the restructuring will better
pay in pounds and stuff. It was hectic” dents by the end of the fall semester. It was students at Ryerson. Its goal is to set the represent the interests of graduate students
undecided whether this would involve nap direction of advocacy and social initiatives by establishing a graduate board separate
pods or just a student nap space. for graduate students according to the from the RSU’s Board of Directors. There
However, deWever said the union’s fi- In January, Ganesh said the union had RSU website. will be director and executive positions of-
nancial controller was unable to find any fi- used a customs broker to bring the nap fered, which will not be paid.
nancial records showing an actual purchase pods to Canada. “The problem from get- “Matters will be voted on and “Graduate matters will be voted on and
of the devices. ting it from the U.S. is that you have to get governed by graduate students, governed by graduate students, instead of
“So unless the company sent us nap pods it in bulk, and we didn’t need that many undergraduate students,” said Grant.
from the U.K. without us giving them any [so we ordered from the U.K.]...regard- instead of undergraduate students” Currently, there are 38 undergraduate
money, I think it’s fair to say...I’m not ex- less, [they are] going to be here soon, fin- students, and only two graduate students in
pecting them,” said deWever. gers crossed.” “I have been actively involved in the pro- the Board of Directors.
According to the Podtime website, a The Eye has since reached out to Ganesh cess of not separating from the RSU,” said DeWever, supports restructuring the grad-
standard sleep pod costs around $5,978 to ask whether the pods were ever pur- Grant. “We are working on restructuring uate council, and says that “the ability to have
CAD, while a premium one costs $8,622. chased but Ganesh declined to comment. the [council] so graduate students have services more specific to graduate students is
Podtime’s director Paul Grindrod said With files from Raneem Alozzi & Tyler Griffin more voice, financial responsibility, and better because of the value [it] can provide.”
4 EDITORIAL

Subtle barriers everywhere


JOIN THE EYEOPENER. LITERALLY. By
IT’S ELECTION SEASON AND ALL POSITIONS ARE OPEN! Jacob
IF YOU’VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES TO BE AN EYEOPENER Dubé

EDITOR, GET A NOMINATION FORM AND GET GOING!


This week, Ryerson announced
PICK YOUR FORM UP AT THE EYE OFFICES (SCC207) AND they’re receiving $7 million from
GET READY TO STAND AND DELIVER. A SPEECH, THAT IS. Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam
that will go towards making Gould
SPEECHES ARE MARCH 28 AT THE RAM and Victoria streets more accessible
and beautifying the space, with con-
VOTING IS MARCH 29 struction starting sometime later
this year.
BONNE CHANCE À TOUS ! The plan for the revamping, in
conjunction with the Downtown
Limit access to campus, but make it fashion | COURTESY RYERSON UNIVERSITY

Yonge Business Improvement Area things hasn’t been so great around The planters and the fences were
(BIA), started in 2016. It includes here lately. clearly temporary solutions to limit
designs to potentially make Gould Last year, the Yonge BIA installed who uses space on and near cam-

OTE
Street completely pedestrian, with planters along Victoria Street’s west pus, but with a multi-year beauti-
brick roads and trees everywhere. side. At first glance they could have fication project flush with funding
Anything to make students forget been an attempt to beautify the on the horizon, there’s a chance
about Gould Street’s old yellow space, but in reality their entire goal that more long-term actions will
paintjob, I guess. was to displace a person who was be made. Aggressive architecture
Nobody is saying that they would living in that area. can be built right into campus in
mind if Ryerson’s main arteries At the start of last semester, near a seamless way—a string of trees
looked a little nicer—I could defi- the safe injection site at Victoria where someone used to take shelter,
Ryerson Students’ Union 2019 nitely go with a little less gray con- and Dundas streets, a large fence for example.

ELECTION
crete as I dodge rats and half-eaten was erected, preventing people The new campus might be pretty,
pigeons on my way to work—but staying around the area from ac- and you’ll finally show it off to your
the track record for these sorts of cessing the space. parents, but who will it push out?

Fun Kosalan “Where’s the key?!”


Nathaniel “Infiltrated The Kathiramalanathan

MARCH
Eyeopener with nerds” Crouch Anastasija “I am truly honoured”
Andric
Media Kashish “Evacuate the dance floor”

12, 13, 14
Parnika “On a roof” Raj Hura
Katie “Misses Kiki” Swyers Asritha “All the creative practice
Pernia “Lets switch glasses” Jamshed hours” Swaminadhan
Editor-in-Chief Nina “Always” Jeffery
Jacob “Fetchez la vache” Dubé Copy Editor and Max “Jeans and Jewels” Lewis
Circulation Manager Sofia “This is my mom’s sweater”
News Igor “Huge disappointment” Magun Ramirez
Login to your RAMSS account Raneem “I was enchanted to meet Tamara “Ex Machina”
you” Alozzi Interns Zayachkowski
my.ryerson.ca Sherina “Static noise” Harris Alexander “Keener” Moore Khaled “Forgotten” Badawi
Opens Tue 9am, Closes Thu 4pm Emma “YAYA” Sandri Alexandra “Not at bible camp” Holyk Matthew “Overlooked” Sauder
Joseph “Sleeping in” Casciaro Hana “Abandoned” Tanasijevic
Photo Jezreel Chloe “Brunching” Castillo Taylor “Left behind” Ball
Or visit a polling station Alanna “She’ll turn up” Rizza Isabelle “Dumped” Espaldon
Tue & Wed 10am-5pm, Thu 10am-4pm Celina “ah wud lyk tah” Gallardo General Manager Lulu “Wonderful” Larcenciel
Elana “Peter please stop” Emer Liane “Spider powers” McLarty Kiara “Queen” Rudder
POD POD56 lounge
ENG (ground floor, Natalie “Gotchu” Michie
(across Career Centre) across coffee kiosk)
Online Advertising Manager Matt “Canadian” Vocino
(ground floor, (ground floor lobby
Skyler “Your bib is in my desk” Chris “Fishing season yet?” Roberts Raine “Michigan” Hernandez
SHE across the elevators)
RCC near the entrance doors) Ash Kyle “Headers” Craib
Bryan “Stuffed lobster” Meler Design Director Hayden “Alrighty that’s alright”
(ground floor, (12th & 14th - 8th floor, J.D. “Adopted Nathaniel” Mowat Godfrey
KHE outside KHE127)
TRS 13th - 7th floor)
Features Thomas “For the boys” Debost
Sarah “ALRIGHT so I’m a horse, Contributors Libaan “Wide right” Osman
CAST YOUR VOTE FOR: yeah?” Krichel Megan “Theatre kid” Mullen
• Executive Nabeeha “Baigel” Baig This week’s annoying talking coffee
• Faculty Representatives Arts and Life Cole “Doesn’t need shoes” mug is everyone who doesn’t have a
• Graduate Representative - Deputy Chairperson Tyler “Crown Juul” Griffin Brocksom crush on Brie Larson.
Student Life and Events Cassidy “Naked news” Garbe
Sports Nathan “Knows a lot about Ebola” The Eyeopener is Ryerson’s largest and
You must be enrolled in a full time undergraduate program OR Peter “An otter or some shit” Ash Halnin only independent student newspaper. It
a full time or part time graduate program to be eligible to vote. Christian “Itchy” Ryan Zena “Mom-ager” Salem is owned and operated by Rye Eye Pub-
Heidi “I’ve never been more lishing Inc., a non-profit corporation
For voting accommodations or
Biz and Tech confused” Lee owned by the students of Ryerson. Our
questions, contact the Chief Returning Izabella “Gumless” Balcerzak Madi “Willing to sell my soul” offices are on the second floor of the
Officer at cro@rsuonline.ca Wong Student Campus Centre. You can reach
www.rsuonline.ca/elections Communities Julia “Maestro” Mastroianni us at 416-979-5262, at theeyeopener.com
Lidia “Bee saver” Abraha Carolyn “Violyn” Galganov or on Twitter at @theeyeopener.
NEWS 5

Equity Service Centre funds used for frosh Rye gets $7


million to
By Zena Salem
“beautify”
The Sexual Assault Survivor Sup-
port Line (SASSL) and the Good
Food Centre’s (GFC) restricted ref- By Sherina Harris
erendum money was used for unau-
thorized marketing, The Eyeopener Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam
has learned. has committed $7 million to make
In emails obtained by The Eye, Gould and Victoria streets more
former Ryerson Students’ Union accessible and beautify the space,
(RSU) president Ram Ganesh con- according to Ryerson University
firmed SASSL funds were used to president Mohamed Lachemi.
purchase frosh water bottles and Ryerson is waiting on the fi-
other frosh merchandise. nal permit, but construction on
At the time, Ganesh said “co- the first phase of the project is
ordinators have freedom over the | ILLUSTRATION: ELANA EMER expected begin in the spring and
budget that the board of directors summer of this year, he said.
have approved.” by community members that they When asked about the purchases, to get by,” said Davis. “We have people who are using
The GFC and SASSL referendum had seen these water bottles going RSU vice-president equity Karolina Currently, SASSL still has no accessibility devices that are strug-
passed in November 2017 with the around campus [during frosh],” said Surowiec said she “was not in charge full-time coordinator despite Myers gling sometimes moving between
purpose of providing more food an anonymous ESC staff member. of purchasing frosh merchandise.” leaving during the summer of 2018. the buildings,” Lachemi said.
produce for students and additional “The SASSL budget was used to Former GFC coordinator Claire Davis said she didn’t feel heard, “Yes, disruption is unfortu-
services for sexual assault survivors. order water bottles. No coordinator Davis said she reached out to Ga- and her words were not taken seri- nately coming for the next few
from SASSL approved of that bud- nesh last summer to check in on ously. She said she felt Ganesh was months, but at the end of it I think
“No coordinator from SASSL get being used, and we did not even the upcoming plans for the refer- “insulting and condescending in it will really address the issue of
approved of that budget being know [of] these water bottles,” said endum funding. his emails by unnecessarily using accessibility and making sure that
the ESC member. “From what I could see there caps lock and making snide remarks people are also enjoying their
used” Ganesh declined to comment wasn’t a lot of progress being made about positions I used to hold as stu- time outside,” he said.
when asked to confirm details of and I hadn’t seen any promotion dent staff and on the RSU board.” Beautification could mean dif-
Ryerson University undergradu- the story. [for] the centres on campus since ferent things depending on what
ate students voted to pay an annual According to the ESC staff mem- leaving my job...in April.” the funding was intended for,
$10 levy toward the services with $5 ber, this was not the intended pur- Davis said she, alongside former
“There wasn’t a lot of progress said David Amborski, the direc-
going to each centre. pose of the referendum money. SASSL coordinator Cassandra My- being made” tor of the Centre for Urban Re-
According to 2018-19 RSU bud- “Students willingly approved to ers, spent a lot of time working to search and Land Development.
get, GFC was allocated a budget of give five more dollars into their tu- generate funding through the ref- Davis saisd she wanted to see the He noted it could be for things
$205,000 this year, while SASSL ition, thinking that it’s going to be erendum. “I was so disappointed. RSU’s budget and to know how they like street planting, and “green-
was allocated $200,000. used towards the GFC services and [We] spent so much time going over planned to uphold the campaign scaping.” It could also be for in-
A current Equity Service Centre social services,” they said. a question, practicing a presentation promises of the referndum. frastructure improvements and
(ESC) staff member said SASSL co- They said no one was aware of the for Ryerson’s Board of Governors “I don’t even know for my own safety or accessible features, like
ordinators had no access to their own financial status of SASSL’s budget and just on the ground speaking sake how much budget there was and sidewalks and street lights.
finances while Ganesh was president. and there was no report as to where to students who really needed im- how much we have used so far with- The Victoria and Dundas
“It was brought to my attention the SASSL money was going. provements made to these services in this term,” said the ESC member. campus gateway was one of nine
projects highlighted in Ryerson’s

What else is Ryerson planning for upcoming campus expansions? 2016 campus realm plan.
The report outlines a plan to
add “pedestrian scale lighting”
By Sherina Harris campus that made you look into plan from the get-go.” pretty exciting. We’re looking at 111 and special lighting at entrances
construction projects? What are the updates on the 202 Bond St. which is just across the road on Gould and Victoria streets,
When the study rooms are booked Anthony: “We’ve heard a lot of Jarvis Street project? here, and that will be redeveloped among others. It also says the
and the sixth floor of the SLC is concerns around the lack of space, Anthony: “The next step is wait- and adding a bit of density to it but university would add perfor-
packed, it can be challenging to find and it’s something that we’re quite ing for formal feedback from the it’s mainly as a pedestrian connection mance lighting for special events
space on campus to study. aware of…We work closely with the city…We’ve started to receive some into the new Church street build- in “pedestrian priority areas” at
The Eye sat down with Glenda scheduling units and academic fac- comments back, but we expect to ing. 101-111 Gerrard St. is also a site Gould and Victoria streets.
Mallon, assistant vice-president of ulties and departments. We’re aware have a full set at some point this that we’ve identified as development The plan also suggests the
Facilities and Management Devel- that there’s more space needed. The month. A preliminary report is go- potential, and there’s O’Keefe House roadway at Dundas be raised
opment (FMD) and Molly Anthony, 202 Jarvis St. site was purchased ing to council March 19, and we’ll which will be reimagined soon. to the sidewalk level, so drivers
director of real estate for FMD, to specifically for expansion uses, and continue to get feedback after that Aside from those, there’s [Ted know they are entering a pedes-
learn more about what Ryerson has that was done back in 2013. It takes and have lots of discussions with the Rogers School of Management], trian area—with the rest of the
planned for the future. a lot of time to plan for use but it’s city about any of the comments that where the university has purchased plan outlining the goal to make
Have you heard concerns on- definitely been part of the expansion they have. Following that, we expect the air rights to build a vertical ex- Gould St. a pedestrian-only plan.
there to be a large public consultation pansion on top. “Improved paving materials,
to all of the neighbours.” The university is undertaking an lighting, public art, wayfind-
When will the Daphne Cock- update to its campus master plan ing and trees planted to grow
well School of Nursing open? and through that process we will healthy and large will contrib-
Mallon: “There’s so many us- also be looking at not just what de- ute to making Victoria a better
ers that are going in there, there’s velopment sites we have in build- place befitting of its high profile
a schedule where they will move in ings that we already own, but what location across from Dundas
starting probably at the end of May, else is around us.” Square,” the report reads.
early June, through the summer, so Does Ryerson face any unique Victoria St. will be a mixed-use
it’ll be ready and open probably in challenges in building? area, with some sections curbless
July but certainly it’ll be up and run- Mallon: “We absolutely have and car-free. Additions will also
ning in September when everybody unique challenges. We’re totally include trees and public art.
comes back to campus.” landlocked and we’re landlocked by Wong-Tam and the Down-
What else is in the works? some of probably the most expen- town Yonge Business Improve-
“[Yonge Street Living], we’ve sive real estate in Canada.” ment Area did not respond to
partnered up with Crestford for the Responses have been edited for length requests for comment in time
| PHOTO: SHERINA HARRIS three floors in that building and that’s and clarity. for publication.
6 Illustrations by Catherine Cha

ROLL FOR
SELF-EXPLORATION
words by Nathaniel Crouch

Salem the halfling rogue

Aerin Balderk
the dwarven druid

How roleplay in Dungeons & Dragons allows


players to explore hidden parts of their identities

I
n my first year of university, I gathered five of my closest friends on a cloudy Satur- local merchant for a discount. Both the DM and how high of a number they roll determine
day morning. We sat around my kitchen table, surrounded by maps, dice and character whether their chosen move that turn is successful.
sheets. My friends listened closely as I described the fictional world the story would be set In a moment that surprised all of us, the half-orc, named Solomon, a burly and bearded holy
in: the island continent of Terramorn. Their main quest for the “campaign”—the overarch- knight, began flirting with every male with large forearms. Weeks later, the holy knight was
ing storyline that leads players through the game—was to head north on the island to aid the awkwardly commenting on the girth of the arms of the shirtless, muscular airship captain. We
leader of the nation. The “party”—a group of players working together—was made up of a didn’t think much of it, since flirting with captains is nothing new in D&D. But then, Solo-
half-orc faithful to a sun god, a dashing elf cloaked in shadows, two magic users and a shape- mon’s player turned to us in real life and said: “Man, I’d sure like to have him here in real life.
shifting gnome. Each had their own flaws, personality traits and least favourite food. It was Get it?” We didn’t get it. “Because I’m gay.” It was as if before he did in real life, he had come
each of my friends’ first times playing the tabletop roleplaying game known as Dungeons and out to us in the game.
Dragons (D&D). It took four hours of the most chaotic gameplay I’ve ever witnessed before Playing D&D makes for a fun Friday night with your friends—campaigns take place through-
everyone caught the rhythm of their characters. out multiple sessions, oftentimes spanning weeks, months or even years. The immersive as-
It was also my first time taking on the role of Dungeon Master (DM), whose responsibility pect of the game allows players to choose every element of their character, from their sex and
is to craft the world and run the players through social encounters and battles. As the game gender, what they believe in, to what their strengths and weaknesses are. Once players choose
goes on, players choose the action they’d like to take by rolling a 20-sided die, whether that their character traits, they may be able to draw out their characters, or even purchase and paint
be investigating a crime scene, smacking a monster with their weapon or haggling with a figurines that resemble the characters they choose—but otherwise, you don’t ever really see
Illustrations by Matthew Sauder
7
your character. D&D is a game where you use your own imagination. them are changing. Things
The options are limitless, and some players find that this serves as a form of self-explora- that might not conform to
tion: D&D allows us to escape ourselves through the ability to create any character imagin- society will bleed into the
able that you get to become for hours at a time. books.”
A 2014 research paper conducted by Pamela Livingstone, a graduate of Ryerson’s digital “For now, it’s nice to be a
media masters program, discusses why a D&D character often shares similar traits to its tough guy, be able to save
player. According to the paper, character creation involves a combination of who a player is the party, be strong and be
and who they want to be, based on their community and social norms. quick,” she says.
Some Ryerson students find ways of embracing or escaping their own identities through Salem is also learning what
this aspect of D&D. What they learn about themselves while playing the game can be used in he can and can’t do. Although
their real lives. Solomon and his player coming out wasn’t the only roll for self-exploration. My he is strong and capable—he
other friends found themselves exploring new sides of themselves, such as the gnome staying is still small and isn’t able
in an androgynous animal form. I personally found myself exploring my feminine side through to move a boulder or fight
different characters. I was both feminine and powerful and feminine and patient. a monster one-on-one. Sa-

V
lem, for this reason, repre-
ictoria Menerios has been playing D&D for five months. She plays as a halfling sents two things at once to
rogue named Salem—a plump lad with a bulbous face, as she describes him. Salem Menerios: something she is
stands at about three feet tall, with the classic hooded, leather-clad thief look. The and something she isn’t.
halfling is a stout and strong male character—something she chooses to be in order to escape George Swede, a Ryerson professor who specializes in the psychology of art and creativ-
the struggle of everyday womanhood. ity, says character creation isn’t just affected by what we see in ourselves, but also what we
Menerios happens to play with a party full of men. Male characters are generally more believe others see in us. He adds that whether or not we’re aware of it, our actions in D&D are
relatable to Menerios. “I am not a very feminine person—the male characters dress more like prompted by unconscious needs and desires. “We think it is just chance or accident, but it’s
me and act more like me.” For this reason, it’s easier for her to find a community in male already been determined,” he says.
form in the game. “It creates a belonging,” she says. “There is nothing different about every- Livingstone’s study states that just as in real life, making a character creates a hybrid of iden-
one, and people don’t look at you like a girl, and that you stick out, or think you shouldn’t tities. “It’s the representation of both you and another identity you have taken on instead of
be there.” having two separate personalities, you have one that is meshed together,” she says.
Similar to Salem, Menerios is on the shorter side. Reaching or lifting things are hard “It’s similar to how I feel because I’m a pretty short person. When I have moments where
for her in real life, so she uses her halfling rogue to compensate for the capabilities she people notice how small I am, I find it annoying because people make short jokes,” Menerios
doesn’t have. says. “But, with Salem it is kind of an advantage. It is nice that it is not looked down upon and
Not all players need a completely accurate version of themselves, Livingstone says. “Some it is something needed in a party.”

O
players decide to build an idealized version of some aspect of their life they wish could be dif-
ferent. Many players will choose a character that they could not be in their real life.” ne session, Joy Patterson and her party members finally caught the villain they’d been
“I am hoping these norms will be erased in the future,” she says. Slowly, those norms are hunting for a while. They were deciding whether they should kill him, so they put it to
disappearing within game culture itself. In 2014, D&D released the fifth edition of its rule- a vote—Patterson was the last to to cast her ballot. All she could say was, “Oh, I don’t
book, including various updates to character creation, which encourage more sex and gender know.” This was her first-ever D&D character: a passive paladin.
fluidity. “You don’t need to be confined to binary notions of sex and gender,” it reads. “You She realized her indifference doesn’t allow her to get as invested in quests as other players
could also play a female character who presents herself as a man, a man who feels trapped are. Patterson’s fellow players would come up with large-scale plans to overcome massive ob-
in a female body, or a bearded female dwarf who hates being mistaken for a male. Likewise, stacles in game, but she wouldn’t give nearly as much insight or aid. “It got almost impossible
your character’s sexual orientation is for you to decide.” for me to do anything.” Her personality had bled through to her character—she realized she had
The gender identity of a player’s character doesn’t affect any of their in-game strengths to work on her passivity in real life.
and weaknesses, just the roleplaying. According a 2015 study that explores how privilege When Patterson shifted characters to an unstable druid, she realized a new problem as she
and power shape racial and gender identities in tabletop games, there has been an increase in tried to be more invested in the scenarios the game presented her with: even as a new character
female representation. Example characters drawn in D&D books who are women increased with a very high charisma—which would typically mean they’re good talkers and very persua-
from 22 per cent of all characters in the first edition in 1971 to 55 per cent in 5th edition. sive—Patterson would still avoid talking to others a much as possible. Even when in-game con-
Those characters also no longer have sexualizing outfits and armour. versations happened, she says they’d go badly due to her real-life awkwardness. “Even though
Menerios has seen more fluidity, equity and equality in the campaigns she plays. “With these characters have high charisma, I’m just terrible at it.”
monsters, gender doesn’t even matter. Not mentioning a gender, it doesn’t matter in D&D. The third-year new media student started playing D&D through the Association of Ryerson
You see a lot of characters with good armour and swords, and then you see characters that Roleplayers and Gamers (ARRG). The group runs multiple campaigns by organizing players
are a little more reserved, small or skinny. Things are changing, because the people playing and DMs across campus for semester-long games, and there isn’t a skill level required. The
group works as an intro to D&D and players can request to be in campaigns alongside their
friends, helping people get over those beginning anxieties.
D&D evolves as its popularity fluctuates and as the people who play and influence it come
from newer generations. It’s no longer the inexplicable thing the guy from your local game
shop plays in his basement. According to BookNet Canada, a non-profit organization that
develops technology in the Canadian book industry, sales for the D&D starter set books have
been slowly increasing over the past few years, going from around 15,000 units sold in 2013
to more than 90,000 units sold in 2017. More notably, between 2016 and 2017, units sold in-
creased by 95 per cent. As its popularity grows, self-exploration can too. But it doesn’t always
have to be something as inherent to your identity as sex and gender—for some, it’s something
as small as a social skill.
Patterson is still exploring and improving—she notes how she’s getting better in D&D’s so-
cial interactions. In the last five months of playing as her druid, she’s avoiding confrontation
less and less—both in-game and in real life. If something is bothering her, or there’s a problem,
she confronts the problem. “I’ll actually deal with it.”
As players move throughout the campaign, they come into contact with other citizens of the
world and learn more about the game’s narrative, which gives their characters more meaning
within the context of the game itself, Livingstone says.

I
gathered my friends around my kitchen table in the last week of my first year. Eight months
later, our campaign was coming to a close. New responsibilities meant weekly meetings
would no longer be possible. Before we started playing, I took time in my room to gather
myself, and a wave of sadness came over me—I didn’t want it to end; not having a constant
meeting with my closest friends hurt. I had made a few discoveries about myself as well.
Playing every character from an evil dragon to other players’ love interests, I experienced
adoration for a variety of characters. I realized the traits I considered attractive had nothing to
do with appearances or gender—that was when I cemented my bisexuality.
We closed off our character stories. The holy knight retired to a small church. The dashing
elf started a school to train youngsters in the art of stealth. The two magical individuals started
the Owlbear a farm. And the gnome, who remained in her androgynous animal form, returned to the forest
of her youth.
8 COMMUNITIES

Autistic students lack support navigating campus


By Lulu Larcenciel ments. Autistic students at UWaterloo
“All educational institutions, in- do have an ongoing support group,
Ryerson touts itself as an accessible cluding Ryerson, are inherently something Ryerson must work to
institution, but many on the autism neurotypical spaces that actively develop. Through Academic Ac-
spectrum have found otherwise. disabled the neurodiverse commu- commodation Support (AAS) there
There are sensory issues like class- nity,” he said. “Disablement happens are no ongoing groups or resources
rooms with smoke detectors that at every level of institutions, from specific to autism. According to Di-
produce constant overwhelming low- pedagogies and policies that enforce rector Marc Emond, there is an up-
level ringing, Ryerson’s overstimulat- a one-size-fits-all solution to com- coming summer program with eight
ing hubs and halls, mandatory group plex problems down to the physical fixed workshops that centre around
work and a lack of assistance for stu- infrastructure that is hostile to sen- relationship building. Emond did
dents having social communication sory and mobility differences.” not respond in time for publication
issues with professors or administra- when asked about how this pro-
tion. Autists face hurdles to attain the “ I wish there was gram is supposed to be accessible to
same education that non-autistic stu- a support group or all autists during the summer, when
Busy areas on campus can be overstimulating for autistic students who lack accesible
dents have access to. they’re most likely not on campus.
social group [for resources on campus | PHOTO: CELINA GALLARDO
There are fundamental misun- Workshops like this have the po-
derstandings about autism in our autistic students] tential to be beneficial if they are ex- willing to refer students to outside weekly and monthly, as well as ex-
society that impact students at Ry- on campus” panded into consistent support and specialists to pursue diagnosis else- ecutive functioning coaching and
erson more than you might think. to include other skills. where. For most people it takes a sensory pods—but here at Ryerson,
In second year, I took developmen- As one student, Brit Alexander, Classroom accommodations long waiting list or a lot of money students are left to find outside re-
tal psychopathology because one of said, “Being an autistic university like assistive technology or private to be formally diagnosed, and some sources on their own.
my special interests is mental health student is a very alienating, unset- rooms for writing tests are wel- people avoid getting diagnosed for While general student support
and the human condition. There tling, immensely stressful experi- come, but AAS facilitators do not fear of mistreatment or discrimina- groups were also recommended by
was one brief lecture about autism, ence for me. My mental health is assist students communicating with tion by any authority figure. Some various Ryerson staff from AAS and
and the professor touched on a few impacted a lot...I feel like an out- other branches of the school, navi- also don’t get diagnosed because the school of disability studies, none
common traits before announcing sider in every single class [and] feel- gating socially, or with sensory or they don’t accept the historically- of them have specialists or even spe-
that people on the spectrum have ing like I’m the only one experienc- executive functioning. oppressive medical model of care. cialized training for assisting those
special interests like cars, engineer- ing sensory discomfort and the only A student who asked to remain on the autism spectrum.
ing and bugs. one who doesn’t know how to make anonymous experienced stigma Why is there no support If it isn’t accessible to neurodiver-
“If any of you were on the autism small talk or build friendships.” from ServiceHub staff while navi- structure for autism gent people, then it isn’t accessible.
spectrum you wouldn’t be here,” he This mirrors my own experience gating the confusing and over- spectrum students? A regular day in the life of an au-
said, “because this isn’t the type of as an autist, and so did Alexander’s whelming OSAP process, and was tistic student is stressful and over-
thing you’d find interesting.” I was proposal for making university told by their AAS facilitator they So why is there no support struc- whelming, and it’s time for Ryerson
shocked by his ignorance, and since more bearable for those on the spec- would have to handle the problem ture for autism spectrum students? to support us consistently, both on
I was not comfortable outing myself trum. “I wish there was a support themselves as it wasn’t in the AAS I was continually referred to the campus and in the training of pro-
in front of 200 other students who group, or social group [for autistic prerogative. This is an example school of disability studies, but staff fessors, facilitators, and staff.
had just been told I didn’t belong—I students] on campus that was highly where the “accessibility” of Ryerson and faculty had no answers to that “Increasing academic supports
was shocked alone. structured and facilitated. Some- starts to show some holes. question as well. for autistic students is neces-
Jason Nolan, an autistic professor thing that integrates mental health AAS also only helps those with a Professor Eliza Chandler from the sary and welcomed, but it barely
who teaches in the early childhood support, executive functioning and medical diagnosis, which many on school of disability studies referred scratches the surface, and will nev-
studies program, is all too familiar organizational supports, functional the autism spectrum do not have. me to activist and Ryerson alumni er be enough to create an equitable
with the difficulties of navigating social skills training for the work- The Ryerson Medical Centre does Raya Shields, who noted that there learning environment for autistic
inaccessible educational environ- place, etc,” said Alexander. not diagnose, though physicians are are some groups at York that meet students,” said Nolan.

Inappropiate questions asked and answered “We have guests who have ex-
perience with these questions be
the experiences discussed.
“Every artist who we commission,
the main voices in this podcast,” just like the guest, comes from the
By Natalie Michie binary, co-hosts with Harvinder the podcast as well. As a Sikh man, said Lyle. “[They] decide for them community that we’re talking about.
Wadhwa, a middle-aged man who Wadhwa brings the perspective of whether this is inappropriate or not. It excites me that we’re not just an
Normally, people use questions to happens to be the dad of one of someone who has experienced racial As hosts and producers, we go into audio platform. We’re audio and vi-
understand one another. However, Lyle’s friends. and religious prejudice, which Lyle it with an open mind.” sual.” With a five star rating on the
these questions can often be offen- “We looked at our team and re- has not. Lyle says the podcast aims to be a Apple Podcasts app, Inappropriate
sive and triggering. alized we’re quite diverse but we’re “We did an episode about Mus- resource for people who have these Questions is hoping to continue the
RTA graduates have put together also all mostly young women,” they lim women and whether they do questions. For each episode, they conversation with a second season
a podcast that addresses these ‘inap- said, “and we want this to be a pod- or don’t wear a headscarf. Harv is also post a webcomic on their Ins- in the future. “We don’t want to
propriate questions’, as a means of cast our dads would listen to.” Sikh and wears a turban, so he was tagram that ties back to the episode shut down conversations. We want
both educating the public and serv- Lyle said Wadhwa makes the able to connect with that,” said Lyle. and summarizes its main points or to start them,” said Lyle.
ing as an outlet for members of the podcast more well-rounded, as he “Because of his background, age and
community who are tired of people is coming into the discussion fairly gender, he can see some things that
asking them offensive questions. unfamiliar with a lot of the commu- we can’t.”
“We don’t want to discourage cu- nities discussed in the episodes.
riosity. We don’t want to call people “Harv, my co-host, he told our
out,” said Elena Hudgins Lyle, a co- guest, ‘You’re the first transgender
“We want this to be a
host and producer of the podcast, ti- person I’ve ever met. Can you tell podcast our dads would
tled “Inappropriate Questions.” The me what is a transgender?’ And we listen to”
show covers topics related to race, all in the studio kind of had a laugh,
mental health and the LGBTQ+ but it was just such a genuine ques-
community. tion in this safe space that our guest In each episode, one ‘inapropriate
“It’s more of we want to target really welcomed,” said Lyle. question’ is explored with the help
people who are really interested in “We’re targeting people who are of guests who have lived experi-
social issues and people who might kind of like [Wadhwa] because he ences on the receiving end.
ask some of these questions, and self-identifies as an offensive per- Lyle explains that some of the
educate [them] in a gentle, fun kind son, but he says he wants to learn.” questions aren’t objectively inap-
of way.” Lyle added that Wadhwa has propriate, so they discuss and break
Lyle, an RTA grad who is non- shared his lived experiences with it down in the episode. | PHOTO: COURTSEY OF INAPPROPRIATE QUESTIONS
SPORTS 9

In soccer, concussions are one of the most common inju-


Concussions: on and off the field ries. Kyle Craib tells us how dangerous they are
trating and my eyesight gets blurry out question,” said Ryerson men’s
really quickly,” added Kananoja. soccer head coach Filip Prostran.
Kananoja also says that she had The time period to full recov-
headaches, which made it difficult to ery from the injury depends on its
go to class and eventually caused her severity and can go on for months
to miss school in her second year. before all symptoms fully subside.
These can include dizziness, head-
“We have immediate aches and blurred vision.
protocol to take the “During my first couple concus-
injured player out of sions, there was still not a ton of
research on the subject…I was told
the game” to just turn off the lights and stay in
a dark, silent room. It was very dif-
ficult for me, [especially] during the
The process of returning to school summer,” added Kananoja.
Emily Kananoja, a former forward for the Rams women’s soccer team, stepped away from the sport after the 2017-18 season after can be very difficult for athletes, es- Since then, however, the treat-
suffering concussion-like symptoms | PHOTO COURTESY: HUNG LE pecially because of the increasing se- ment has drastically changed to al-
verity of symptoms that come with low for much more activity during
The soccer is no stranger to criti- Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). “After my last, I actually stepped each concussion. Ryerson athletics the recovery process.
cism when talking about general Major injuries during games, es- away from the game…I just mentally says it has done its part to set up “[Concussion protocol] is very
physicality. pecially to the head, are far more could not put myself in a position to academic accommodations to help individualized…recently, the ex-
From players faking injuries af- common than many people origi- get another,” she said. those who may need extra time re- perts globally have changed that
ter getting fouled to the doubt of nally perceive and can present a se- According to AAOS, women’s covering from their injuries. procedure that encourages the
a player’s toughness, soccer play- rious risk to a player’s brain in both soccer outranked all other high “For instance, if you get a con- player to get active soon after to
ers and fans alike are used to the the short and long term. school sports for having the highest cussion on Wednesday and then monitor their levels and guide their
idea that soccer is often viewed as percentage of concussion related in- have to study for an exam on Friday recovery from this information,”
a softer sport. “When I had my juries. Also, the study found that 27 when everything hurts and you can’t said Finniss.
However, those assumptions
last concussion, it per cent of all injuries in the sport focus, you certainly can’t study,” Major sporting leagues where
couldn’t be more wrong. Soccer is were injuries to the head. Ryerson manager of sport perfor- concussions are prominent (foot-
a contact sport. Slide tackles, mixed amplified my vision Kananoja is not alone. Five per mance Brian Finniss said. “We will, ball, hockey, etc.) have recently
with a steady diet of stray elbows problems” cent of all soccer players will sustain of course, accommodate [each play- made large advancements in the
and headbutts, have the potential a brain injury over their career, ac- er] as needed.” field of concussion prevention, in-
to cause head injuries in the blink This became a reality for former cording to a 2019 report conducted The high concentration of these cluding limiting contact with the
of an eye. Ryerson Rams women’s soccer for- by the Centres for Disease Control injuries is from the physical contact head and issuing penalties and fines.
Also, the notion that concussions ward, Emily Kananoja. and Prevention (CDC). between players on the pitch, caus- With soccer, however, the answer
in soccer happen only because of Kananoja experienced her first Concussions can be especially dif- ing the brain to move at a very ac- may not be that simple.
headers isn’t necessarily true. concussion after getting hit in the ficult on athletes, as the symptoms celerated rate and potentially lead- Because of the wider impact of this
Actual contact between the ball head by a corner-kick. The second not only affect them on the pitch, ing to an injury. injury for students, players are being
and head account for only 10 per came after she got tackled down and but also in the classroom. “We have immediate protocol to taught at about the dangers of con-
cent of all concussions in high hit her head. After a long ball to- “When I had my last concussion, take [the injured] player out of the cussions in the game with the hopes
school soccer, according to a 2015 wards her head caused her third, she it amplified my vision problems and game soon as we are suspicious that of better protecting their brain for
study by the American Academy of decided it was time to stop. now, I have [a hard time] concen- a concussion has taken place, with- the classroom and the field.

process really began, and according staff as all of our teams are pushing SPORTS Men’s Basketball Final 8.

Final 8, looked great to Cohen, the final eight months


leading up to the tournament is
into playoffs and vying for spots in
national vhampionships across Can-
This experience, according to
Cohen, made the athletics depart-
highly focused. ada,” she added. ment confident going into the
By Matt Vocino six months based on the host’s The process involves numerous It can also be challenging to mar- hosting process.
ability to meet certain standards tasks with U SPORTS staff, ket sports events in a city like To- “This is our third national cham-
Running a large-scale event isn’t in a number of areas including including media pitches, ticket sales, ronto where there are so many en- pionship, so we went into this one
easy, but that’s exactly what Ryerson marketing and sponsorship. travel and food accomodations, as tertainment and professional sport with a strong sense of what works
athletics did for the U SPORTS “We are always looking for ways well as game operations. options available to people. both from a marketing perspective,
Women’s Final 8 tournament this to create exceptional experiences for Thankfully for the Rams, this but also the logistics and staffing
past weekend. our students,” said chair of the orga- was not the university’s first time required.”
From March 7-10, the Mattamy nizing committee Amanda Cohen.
“We are always hosting as they welcomed the 2017 “We really felt confident that we
Athletic Centre (MAC) was home “For our student-athletes, it’s an looking to create U SPORTS Women’s Volleyball were on top of all of the details and
to eight women’s basketball U incredible opportunity to compete exceptional Championship and the 2015 U well prepared this year.”
SPORTS teams, thousands of fans for the national championship at experiences for
and countless media. It concluded home and provides a great goal for students”
with the McMaster Marauders the program to build towards over
claiming the gold medal in the 11th two years.
and final game on Sunday night. The event creates fantastic ex- This included transforming the
While the tournament only periential learning opportuni- Mattamy Home Ice rink by remov-
lasted four days, the preparation ties for RTA students in a vari- ing the ice and putting in a regula-
and selection process takes months ety of roles, and to work closely tion basketball court five days be-
on end. with a national broadcaster like fore the tournament tip-off.
According to U SPORTS man- Sportsnet is an invaluable career- “Ryerson does a great job at what
ager of sport technical and national oriented experience. they do,” Ring said. “The venue is
championships Scott Ring, the pro- Also, Cohen said the event awesome. Not often do our athletes
cess begins with a “bid book” being provides other students get to play in a venue like this.”
released and a national call for hosts. opportunities to build career skills Even though the Final 8 didn’t
Once the bid books are released, in event planning, marketing, social come with any obvious problems,
U SPORTS institutions and media and communications. Cohen admits there are some
communities across Canada are Once Ryerson was officially an- challenges of running a national-
called to submit proposals that will nounced as the host of the tourna- wide event. Over 100 staff members helped turn the Mattamy Home Ice Rink into a court. This is
be evaluated over a period of roughly ment on Feb. 1, 2018, the preparing “This is a busy time of year for our how the process looked | PHOTO: CELINA GALLARDO
10 SATIRICAL MEDICINE

HAVE YOU RECENTLY RECEIVED A VACCINATION? AN INJECTION


OR SOME KIND OF CHEMICAL THROUGH A NEEDLE?
A study from the one very legitimate research
team who writes about why vaccines are bad
has found that people who get vaccinated will
survive a measles outbreak, making them are
more at risk of:
- Being involved in car crashes

- Thinking Captain Marvel is bad before


seeing it
- Enjoying travelling around the world but
not ending up even contracting any cool
bacterias
- Not knowing what their birth stone can
do to their physiology

- Tax evasion and identity theft


- Getting a random DM from your ex This is what the contamination looks like, fear it | PHOTO: PIXABAY

- Starting shit on Facebook Here’s what people are saying about our study!
“This information was
really helpful, although
KEEP IN MIND: I was vaccinated in the
The number of vaccinated individuals is on the ‘70s by my parents, I’m
sure as shit not going
rise. Know how to protect yourselves with alter- to vaccinate my kids”
native medicines such as: - George Foreman
“I’d much prefer my kid
- Mud baths contracted the bubonic “Immunity is genetic”
- Believing everything WebMD says about your plague”- 17 parents of - Anne Coulter
symptoms but doing nothing about it. terrified kids

“But we got rid of the


The very best medicine is when you just ratio- measles years ago!”-
That one review on your
nalize that if your child gets measles, it’s all part doctor’s Yelp! page
of ‘God’s plan’.

It’s the Fun and Satire editor Nathaniel Crouch back this week with a puzzle to astonish
you all, unless you’ve been keeping up with this section and know that sudoku is how I
pander to engineering students. Regardless of why you’re reading this, do know it’s not
too late! You too could still solve this week’s sudoku for the glory of Ryerson and bring
shame upon those two students who do this sudoku every week. Should you solve cor-
rectly the pride of being entered in a draw to win a gift card of $25 to Tim Hortons shall
also be yours. You’ve only got about four weeks left of school so remember before the
year ends to stop and smell the puzzles. Enjoy your week, Ryerson!

Name:

Email:
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