Volume 53 - Issue 20 March 11, 2020 theeyeopener.com @theeyeopener Since 1967
HATE THE GAME BONUS P6 Obstacles are inevitable from university to career. How will you level up?
ILLUSTRATION: KHALED BADAWI
Launch your path to success
MASTER OF TAXATION
Learn to REACH BEYOND Become a highly-valued member of the Canadian tax community. Join Canada’s most comprehensive English-speaking program for the development of tax professionals. Offered through the University of Waterloo at our downtown Toronto classrooms.
EXPERT FACULTY | DOWNTOWN TORONTO CLASSROOM
learn … develop … experience mtax.ca C017846
The MTax advantage
Superior court judge grants injunction, Rye to pay the RSU After a court hearing on Friday, Ryerson has been ordered to temporarily recognize the RSU as the official student union of the university By Madi Wong, Emma Sandri and Alexandra Holyk This story will be updated with comment from Ryerson University. Following a hearing on Friday, an Ontario Superior Court judge has ruled that Ryerson University must release withheld fees back to the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU). The RSU confirmed in a Facebook statement on Monday that the court “affirmed the RSU as the student government, following a 70-year legacy as the democratic voice of students on campus.” After Ryerson terminated the 1986 Operating Agreement between the RSU and the university on Jan. 24, the RSU announced on Jan. 28 that it filed a legal claim against Ryerson. In total, the RSU asked for over $2.7 million in punitive damages and for breach of contract, and also to cover its legal fees. In his written decision, Judge Markus Koehnen granted the motion for an injunction and ordered Ryerson to comply with its obligations under the operating agreement. This includes releasing withheld fees, including health and dental, and temporarily recognizing the RSU as Ryerson’s student government. This means the RSU will continue operating as the official student union—as they were prior to Jan. 24—until the trial, which is expected to take place later this year.
“The university wanted an agreement...that would prohibit the RSU from criticizing the university” The decision is also expected to result in the disbandment of the two student government structures that were elected on March 6—the Ryerson Undergraduate Students’ Alliance and the Ryerson Graduate Students’ Union. It is unclear how the university will proceed as of yet. In addition, Koehnen awarded the RSU partial legal fees of $68,657.82. According to the RSU’s legal counsel, Alexi Wood, the RSU would have only been able to operate on the funds they have until the end of March. They are required to use their operational reserves to continue supporting student services. Leading up to the injunction, the Continuing Education Students’ Association at Ryerson (CESAR) and the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) announced they were given intervener status in the court case to
PHOTO: EMMA SANDRI The Superior Court of Justice on University Avenue, where the RSU’s injunction was heard by Justice Markus Koehnen on March 6.
represent CESAR students. In a statement emailed to The Eyeopener on Monday, CESAR and the CFS stated they were able to argue the university’s “overstepping” and that the autonomy of students’ unions “should be respected.” “CESAR hopes that the University and RSU will...go back to the negotiating table to address grievances and come to an agreement that respects the RSU as a student-driven and autonomous students’ union.” ‘Inherently undemocratic’: RSU lawyer Part of the RSU’s argument was that the university breached its contract with the RSU—not the other way around—and that the termination of the agreement was improper. Wood argued the union would face irreparable harm if the injunction was not granted. According to Wood, the RSU would cease to exist if the university did not hand over withheld fees and cease the creation of the new student government before the legal matter is resolved. Wood also said if the injunction is not granted, two out of the three parties involved in the case would be harmed—the RSU and students; with the latter losing vital services provided by the union. In addition, Wood said McMillen acknowledged during a previous cross-examination that students were not consulted about the decision to terminate the university’s agreement with the RSU. Instead, the university imposed the creation of a new student government on the Ryerson student body. “[It’s] inherently undemocratic,” said Wood. The university was mandated to collect fees from the students and deliver them to the RSU. There is no oversight provision within the contract to allow it to withhold fees, according to Wood. The union took action to remedy
the supposed breach of contract—the alleged executive misspending on union credit cards in 2018-19—by conducting a financial review, filing a police report and hiring new staff. “These are students who did the best that they could,” said Wood.
“It’s not as if they were sitting back doing nothing” According to Wood, the RSU has policed itself and investigated issues of wrongdoing, mentioning the RSU’s Board of Directors impeaching executive members who were alleged to have not been putting in their full 40 hours of work. The RSU argued that the university is attempting to “read in” rights and obligations into the contract. While Ryerson has implemented an interim agreement to support the student advocacy coordinator, SASSL and the Good Food Centre, this only accounts for $30,000 of the RSU’s budget, said Wood. “[This] is clearly not enough to fund the rest of the RSU’s services such as the equity centres,” she said. Louis Century, the lawyer representing the CFS and CESAR, said he was defending the principles of student autonomy that arose in the case. Century said when an autonomous student union is terminated by a university, the harm can’t be undone. “[A] student union belongs to and is funded by students,” he said. Century added that an RSU exec impeachment this year wasn’t a failure of an accountable student government structure, but the opposite—it imposes accountability on its staff.
‘Troubled and dysfunctional’: Ryerson lawyer Koehnen raised concerns about the new student government structure being implemented by Ryerson. He said it seems to him that the only difference between the RSU and this new structure is that “the university wanted an agreement with the RSU that would prohibit the RSU from criticizing the university.” He added that this was “troubling” to him and seemed like the university was “using the cloak of [student] democracy” to change or terminate the contract. In response, Ryerson’s lawyer Geoff Hall said that “cloaking” the contract “is simply not the case.” Koehnen asked Hall how Ryerson’s new government will avoid wrongdoings. He added that people in post-secondary institutions aren’t running public companies or governments and don’t have relevant life experience, and being part of organizations like the RSU help them develop those skills. Hall said Koehnen’s point is a “double-edged sword” and that “adults need to be treated like adults.” He also stated it’s inappropriate to dismiss problems as inexperienced youth and the RSU should be held accountable. Koehnen said in every organization, someone is bound to engage in wrongdoing, but what matters is how the organization reacts. In this case, the RSU got rid of the wrongdoer, brought in an accountant and new policies. “It’s not as if they were sitting back doing nothing,” he said. Hall said, “this wasn’t a matter of weeks, a matter of months…this was a retractive effort to get things back on rails.” In addition, Koehnen later stated that the only reason this would be reputably hard is because the university has “manufactured a new student government” that is well on its way as opposed to waiting for a resolu-
tion with the current one. He asked Hall what the urgency was of forming a new government instead of waiting for the current one to find a resolution. “Things weren’t really limbo. What would have been so bad about continuing to fund not just the three programs that you chose to run but all the programs until next year?” he asked. In response, Hall listed exam season in April and the turnover of students from summer to September as reasons why the new government was moving quickly. Moreover, Hall said current RSU executives and members are “perfectly free” to run for positions under Ryerson’s newly elected student government structure. He adds there has been “no effort” to stop this process and no one said, “don’t let the students vote.” When asked about the forensic audit by Koehnen, Hall stated that the RSU not conducting the audit was not the problem, but rather the promise made by the union to do so. He said there was no real evidence of why a review was conducted instead of an audit other than “someone thought it was expensive.” At the RSU’s Semi-Annual General Meeting, their “financial review” of last academic year’s expenditures revealed that $99,477 could not be verified as legitimate expenditures by the RSU’s audit committee.
“There were repeated statements that a forensic audit was being done and... turned out those statements were false” Hall said the problem was “continued misinformation or incomplete information about what was coming.” “There were repeated statements that a forensic audit was being done and…turned out those statements were false…that is the breach of trust,” he said. “[There] was never a request from RSU to Ryerson to help fund it…so if funding was a problem, one would have thought the first thing you do was to [go to Ryerson and ask to pay for it].” Hall added that the core issue of Friday’s hearing was for Koehnen to decide whether or not to “hand the keys” to controlling student money back to a “troubled and dysfunctional entity,” and interrupt the six-week process of creating a new government. The next court date has not been announced as of yet.
PLZ WORK WITH US
Features editor Catherine Abes is cool on TikTok, we promise
Editor-in-Chief Sarah “Sarahtonin” Krichel News Emma “1st Eye Mood” Sandri Madi “Goodbye, White Boy” Wong Alexandra “Putting The Cult In Culture” Holyk
The Eyeopener Annual General meeting march 16 2 pm layton room ryerson student centre come for the meeting, stay for the pizza
Photo Khaled “Eggy Looking Kinda Thicc” Badawi Jimmy “He’s Running Again” Kwan Pernia “Sponsored By The NFL” Jamshed Online Zachary “2nd Eye Mood” Roman Kosalan “8 Out Of 100” Kathiramalanathan Features Catherine “Lorde Help Me” Abes Arts & Culture Rhea “Eleven AM” Singh Sports Libaan “Half-Court King” Osman Biz & Tech Nathaniel “Square Milo Thatch” Crouch Communities Dhriti “Always Hustling” Gupta Fun & Satire Andrea “RUN” Josic Media Connor “WHORE” Thomas
Parnika “Might Be Here On Election Night” Raj General Manager Liane “Anti-Bully” McLarty Advertising Manager Chris “Tuckered” Roberts Design Director J.D. “Jackets” Mowat Contributors Gary-Joseph “Oui Oui Baguette” Panganiban Sarah “Hon Hon Hon Croissant” Tomlinson Donald “Bonjour Bed Bug” Higney Jonathan “Edible? Non Monsieur” Bradley Joseph “Cracked Laptop” Shenouda Uhanthaen “Three Email” Ravilojan Heidi “We Getting Coffee” Lee Adele “Doesn’t Care For The Strategy of Chess” Lusuka Hayden “Affable” Godfrey Aaliyah “The Future” Dasoo Kayla “Six Awards” Zhu Katie “Not a Vampire” Swyers Adrian “Smartest Fifth-Grader” Yet Peter “Cannibal” Ash Min “Thank God For You” Angadji Jaime “DSQ ON FIRE” Strand Jes “Cute Stuff’”Mason Emma “Thrift Queen” Moore Laura “Mud Huts” Dalton Tyler “Make Sure I’m In Contribs” Griffin
How a Rye project is battling food insecurity in Vietnam By Sarah Tomlinson Over 2,500 Vietnamese children in preschools have received fortified instant porridge as part of a shared initiative between Ryerson’s Centre for Studies in Food Security (CSFS) and Vietnam’s National Institute of Nutrition (NIN). From November 2015 to June 2018, the CSFS has partnered with Vietnam on Ecosun, a project designed to reduce levels of chronic malnutrition among children in three provinces in northern Vietnam: Lào Cai, Lai Châu and Hà Giang. According to CSFS director Cecilia Rocha, focusing on the development of fortified complementary foods (FCF) from local crops for children aged six months to five years was a priority of Ecosun. FCFs are small sachets of micronutrient supplements to be added to a child’s food immediately before consumption to improve their micronutrient intake, according to an article by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Vietnam’s rural populations have continued to face challenges in accessing agricultural land and dealing with issues of poverty. Despite making progress in improving human capital, undernutrition is still a challenge, UNICEF Vietnam states. An estimated 780,000 children in Vietnam are malnourished and 16 per cent are underweight, according to the Ecosun website. In addition, Rocha said about “35 per cent of children in each of the three provinces are stunting.” Food insecurity in Vietnam has continued to be the forefront goal of organizations such as UNICEF, the Sustainable Development Fund
ILLUSTRATION: JIMMY KWAN
(SDF) who has partnered with the United Nations to advocate for Vietnamese communities. Rocha, who is also a professor and former director at Ryerson’s School of Nutrition, has worked on food security projects in Brazil, where she was born.
“An estimated 780,000 children in Vietnam are malnourished” “I am a strong believer of southsouth exchanges. Countries can learn from each other. I thought my previous experience could also help in this project in Vietnam,” she said. In an email to The Eyeopener, Rocha said the idea for the project, Ecosun, came from Dr. Nguyen Huy, director of the nutrition education program at NIN, who approached the CSFS to help develop the project. Matthew Brown is an associate researcher at CSFS and a research fel-
low with Ecosun. Brown told The Eye that farmers in Vietnam have received training from NIN’s agricultural team. “All you have to do is document what type of fertilizer is used [and the amount of] fertilizer per acre. We had to do water tests to look at heavy metal content in the ground and the amount of phosphates,” he said. In addition, Brown said the project increased profits of local farmers. “They could sell their products for 30 to 50 per cent higher than they would have got just because they could guarantee the quality of their product, whereas if they just go and sell it in the market, nobody cares,” he said. In addition, Brown said one big problem is that mothers are unaware that their kids are malnourished because they compare their children to the others in the village. “If you just look at the kids in the village, they’re all the same size but if you compare that village with a different village, then it’s quite staggering,” said Brown.
According to Rocha, a small-scale food processing plant was opened in Lào Cai in November 2017 where two FCF were developed using its crops.
“Ecosun...provided agricultural training...to 450 women farmers” “[The processing plant] has a daily production capacity of 300 kilograms of instant rice porridge,” stated Rocha. It can also produce 10,000-12,000 of powder sachets by processing 60 kilograms of vegetables per hour. The impact on Vietnam Rocha said that Ninfood, a subsidiary of NIN, developed three lines of products under Ecosun: fortified instant porridge, freezedried vegetable powders and protein and lipid sachets made from milk protein and soybean oil. The products were processed in local facilities, and distributed with
the support of local health units and commercial shops, in order to transform the communities economy and reduce poverty rates. “Often a major hurdle in successful public food procurement strategies is the inadequate capacity of smallholder farmers to meet demand with quality products in sufficient quantities,” Rocha stated. “In the case of the Ecosun project, vegetables to be used in the formulation of the FCF products have to be produced under strict good agricultural practices.” Rocha also stated that Ecosun has helped address malnutrition through counselling sessions with mothers. Over 14,000 children under the age of two and their mothers received infant and young child feeding counselling sessions, which teach mothers about nutrition and how to prepare NIN’s Ecosun product line, according to a Ryerson Today article. “The Ecosun project provided agricultural training on good agricultural practices to 450 women farmers in nine communes located in the three provinces,” said Rocha. She said this helped increase local employment, as well as improving agricultural practices among local women farmers. “This project continued to enhance Ryerson’s international reputation as a centre of excellence for research and education in the area of food security,” said Rocha. CSFS plans to release a paper on the project’s impact on malnutrition and on the public-private partnership model that was adopted this year. “The whole team actually went way out of their way to try and do a good job of doing cutting edge nutrition research...That showed a lot of grace and compassion,” said Brown.
Get ready to smoke: Another cannabis store to open next to Ryerson By Jonathan Bradley
The company already has five locations in British Columbia. Another new cannabis store is openThis HOBO location near Ryerson ing next to Ryerson, meaning stu- will be around other cannabis stores, dents will have three nearby dispen- such as The Hunny Pot, META, Tosaries to get their next high from. kyo Smoke and Canna Cabana. On Feb. 25, HOBO Cannabis Company announced they will be “Wouldn’t you go to where adding 12 new retail locations across Ontario. The location near Ryerson the highest concentration will be at 330 Yonge St., across from of people are?” the Sheldon and Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre (SLC). Harrison Stoker, vice-president Cameron Brown, the communicabrand at the Donnelly Group, said tions officer at The Hunny Pot, said he is pleased Hobo is opening a loca- this store is excited Hobo will be tion near the university. opening a location near them. “We haven’t had any access to “We are happy to see the inToronto because the Ontario licens- dustry expanding,” said Brown. ing system has been by lottery ver- “There is more than enough marsus merit,” said Stoker. “And now ket share in the industry for evit’s moving to a more merit-based, eryone. We are happy to see conopen allocation system. We’re really sumers with choice and increased pumped to get into Toronto.” access to legal cannabis products.” With their 12 new stores, Hobo Tokyo Smoke could not be will have 15 locations in Ontario. reached in time for comment. Can-
PHOTO: JIMMY KWAN
na Cabana declined to comment. Stoker said the new Yonge Street. location will be unique compared to other cannabis stores. “Customer experience we feel is one of our key differentiators,” he said. “The environment that you’re in our stores, the overly personable staff that are really well trained. It’s
really what sets us apart.” Brad Poulos, a business management professor at Ryerson who also teaches the business of cannabis course at The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, said it is unsurprising multiple cannabis stores are opening in downtown Toronto.
“If I gave you a license and said you could open up anywhere in Toronto, wouldn’t you go to where the highest concentration of people are?” said Poulos. “But that will actually saturate itself. So then the business opportunities that exist in the suburbs of Toronto or in smaller centres start to look attractive.” He said cannabis stores love to target students because they’re the most likely to go to the stores to buy cannabis. “More young people than older people use cannabis. It sort of drops off over time,” he said. Talha Karim, a second-year journalism student, said he will go to Hobo as long as they do not charge “more than $20 per gram.” “Somebody else’s use of cannabis should not be looked down upon,” said Karim. “We’ve got cigarettes being sold in every convenience store near campus...Why should weed be treated any differently?”
LOADING NEXT LEVEL When a degree doesn’t guarantee employment post-graduation, students have to make the most of their undergraduate journey WORDS BY HAYDEN GODFREY REPORTING BY CATHERINE ABES ILLUSTRATIONS BY KHALED BADAWI
n a freezing March morning, I did my best to cleanly put on a tie, took the subway down to Dundas Station and walked into the room that held my fate. I was invited for an admissions interview for Ryerson’s Radio and Television Arts (RTA) sport media program—my first choice program. I wanted to be a sports journalist and broadcaster, and the program was the logical next step in my career. The interviewer—an intimidating assistant professor with years of experience in the field— seemed to like me. We chatted for 30 minutes and discussed why I think I’d fit well in their young yet uniquely prestigious program. Despite a few instances of me fumbling over my words, I thought I did well. I spoke confidently about my skills and strengths, sat upright and walked out feeling like I’d be receiving an offer in no time. I might’ve even sent a LinkedIn-style follow-up email when I got home, just as I’d been instructed to do after job interviews. But I never received an offer. I was put on the waitlist for two months after my interview and remained there until I was forced to accept another offer days before the final deadline. Now, I’m in my second year of professional communication at Ryerson. While it has value and, on the best of days, stimulates me intellectually and creatively, it’s not the perfect fit. I feel weird when I’m networking with industry professionals and working on my portfolio, because I know that what I’m spending so much of my time on in school doesn’t match up with what I’m doing outside of the classroom. I can’t help but think about what could’ve been. What if I had been accepted into RTA? What if, instead of having to work for the connections I’ve earned in the industry, I was handed them on a silver platter as part of mandatory classes? According to statistics from the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre, about 88 per cent of people who applied to Ryerson for the fall 2016 academic term did not register as students. While admission rates vary across degree types, this means that nearly nine out of 10 students who applied to Ryerson didn’t end up going. For those students who are lucky enough to have their whole lives planned out, being rejected from their key program can be a significant setback. There’s still a societal notion that postsecondary education is the obvious bridge between high school and employment, so finding that your degree doesn’t align with your career goals can be a harsh reality. However, some students report that a detour in their academic trajectory isn’t detrimental. Rather, it puts things in perspective and allows them to focus on the journey, rather than the destination.
arah Desabrais says the worst thing you can tell people that you want to do with your life is journalism. “You’d probably get a better response if you told them you want to be a skydiver,” says the 2017 graduate of the Ryerson School of Journalism (RSJ). Desabrais entered RSJ in 2013, in hopes of reporting on and writing “more optimistic” stories of people doing good work, feeling overwhelmed by the dark tone of the news cycle. But she quickly learned that hard news wasn’t for her. She dreaded the first-year Wednesday “story days” when she would have to write and file a news story within 24 hours. The introductory news writing course was so anxiety-inducing for Desabrais that she says she had a pact with herself to drop out of the program if she failed any journalism course. “It just wasn’t worth it to go through that second hell,” she says. Although she did pass, this reassured her traditional hard news wasn’t going to be the path for her. In her third and fourth years, Desabrais still had hopes that she would maybe go into magazine journalism. But by the time she approached the end of her degree and started looking for jobs, she came to the sobering conclusion that she didn’t have enough of the skills that a newsroom would want. She had to work long hours at the Maple Leaf Gardens Loblaws on top of being a student, meaning she didn’t have the chance to get as much extracurricular experience as her peers, like volunteering for campus publications.
“I don’t think I really expected to be employed out of school,” she says. “I knew that media jobs are few and far between...[and] I didn’t have the same resumé.” At first she did feel a little defeated, but eventually she accepted that the value of her postsecondary education was more about accumulating a specific skillset than quickly finding a job in the same field. Desabrais still felt it was important to finish the degree, saying that it shows that she can write and pay attention to detail, and she felt that having a well-known program like Ryerson journalism on her resumé would be worth it in the long run. But she still describes the degree as, simply, a piece of paper. “A degree was proof that I could do what I said I could do,” she says. According to a November 2019 report from the university planning office, 73 per cent of students who graduated from Ryerson in 2016 were employed in a field closely or somewhat related to their field of study within six months of graduating. This number rose to 78.6 per cent after two years out of school. The faculty with the best employment rate was engineering and architectural science, with 83.6 per cent of students finding employment in a similar field within 6 months. On the other end of the spectrum, only 44.2 per cent of arts students were employed within six months of graduating. The error rates varied from program to program, but all of them remained under 15 per cent. These results are consistent with a 2015 study from the journal Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, focusing on post-secondary graduates across different programs and their employment status. The study, based on the 2005 National Graduate Survey, suggested that graduates from humanities are “less likely to be employed full time, more likely to have jobs unrelated to their program and more likely to be overqualified for their jobs.” One potential explanation for why humanities programs are less likely to produce employment in related fields, the study suggests, is that “they provide generic skills and focus on theoretical knowledge” as opposed to “domain-specific, practical skills that can be applied to particular occupations.” Adversely, programs like science, engineering, business and education programs “provide a close association between the skills taught and the skills needed in specific occupations.” The study noted, though, that graduates of humanities programs develop greater gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning and communication skills compared to other graduates. These skills can be applied more broadly to different, though not necessarily related, occupations.
“A lot of people focus on their end job, but for me, I’m just focused on building skills” A 2017 study from the University of Guelph on career mobility and post-secondary education found that graduates from a variety of fields, both liberal arts and STEM-oriented, experienced increased abilities in adapting to a new job. The study suggests that the skills imparted by education, no matter what field of study, are transferrable. Since graduating in 2017, Desabrais has worked for Indigo, DavidsTea, a temp agency, a catering company, an audio recording house on King Street, a law firm in midtown and now, a social media marketing agency in Leslieville. A combination of her years of retail experience, the skills she picked up in journalism school and simply being a quick learner has allowed her to find opportunities that work for her. In every position, she’s gained skills and competencies that have helped her get to the next place, wherever that may be. She says she doesn’t regret getting a degree in journalism, even if she didn’t end up working in that field.
“[Journalism is] not what I do now and that’s not what I plan on doing in the future, but it taught me a lot,” she says. “Now, I’m somewhere where my skills from everything that I’ve done prior has me settled.” The next step for Desabrais is hopefully returning to Ryerson to pursue history—a field she wouldn’t have known she was passionate about, had she not taken history electives during her undergrad. She couldn’t switch programs in her undergrad because financially, it didn’t make sense. But now, she’s going to use the courses she had from her history minor and turn it into another degree. When it’s all said and done, she’d like to be an archivist or a history professor. “I know it probably requires a little more than a bachelor’s [degree], but we’ll get there eventually,” she laughs. Her advice for students who are unsure of what comes after post-secondary is simple: sometimes, you just have to roll with it. “Uncertainty happens,” she says. “Look at what you’re good at, what you’re interested in; look at what you like to do. And if you can find yourself a place in that realm, then that’s fantastic. But don’t stress over it. A lot of people leave university not sure what they’re going to do or find something else.”
ena Marcos is a career education specialist at the Ryerson Career and Co-op Centre who works with the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education. In her work, she develops career programming and provides one-on-one advising to continuing education students who are thinking of switching careers. Marcos engages students through self-assessment exercises and points students toward the resources that can help validate their career choices. She says she sees a lot of “apprehension of the unknown” when students come to her for advice. One of the main reasons continuing educating students decide to switch is because they’re no longer content with where they are, or that the career path they chose wasn’t what they expected. But at the same time, these students exhibit “hope for a new opportunity.” “I’m inspired by [these students’] courage to take a completely different route and put in the work to do so,” she says. Taking detours in an academic career is something Eric Rajaratnam is very familiar with. In the fall of 2013, Rajaratnam was admitted to Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM). It wasn’t necessarily aligned with his interests. In high school, he enjoyed working with his hands, but he says the guidance counsellors at his school didn’t talk about options other than university, so he applied to whatever he could think of. Just two semesters in at TRSM, Rajaratnam had to drop out when his mother fell ill and his father was laid off. He then spent the next few years working various odd jobs—including stints at the City of Toronto, Tim Hortons, Mr. Sub and Loblaws. Rajaratnam eventually returned to school, this time resolving to study something he was interested in. In May 2018, he earned his diploma from Humber College to work as a skilled electrician. But while he enjoyed the program, conversations with his professors and industry professionals left him discouraged by the employment prospects that would await him as an electrician. The issue of finding employment after school isn’t exclusive to Rajaratnam. A 2018 report from Indeed Hiring Lab based on Statistics Canada data and analytics from job site Indeed Canada suggested that it’s more difficult for recent graduates to find a job now than it was in the early 2000s. In 2018, the unemployment rate among young grads was 8.9 per cent, down a bit from two years earlier, but still above the 7.8 per cent held between 2000 and 2008. However, the report suggested that it’s just a matter of time before graduates see reward from their degrees, finding that unemployment rates among older university graduates be-
tween the ages of 25 and 44 is historically low, sitting at 4.2 per cent, compared to the 4.7 per cent average between 2000 and 2008. Nonetheless, Rajaratnam decided to pivot back to business, doing one semester in finance at Humber, studying vigorously and keeping his sights set on a second chance at TRSM. By the end of the year, he’d pulled high marks in all of his classes, surprising himself at what he was capable of doing. Rajaratnam’s hard work paid off. In fall 2019, his academic career came full circle as he returned to business management as a mature student. While some people in his situation would maybe be in a rush to finish school quickly, he’s decided to take his time and make the most of his degree.
“A degree was proof that I could do what I said I could do” A 2017 study from the University of Waterloo, published in the journal Studies in the Education of Adults, found that mature students demonstrate greater academic self-efficacy—meaning believing in your ability to succeed—than traditional age students. The study found that mature students reported “significantly higher levels of confidence in judgment ability (e.g. problem solving) and activity persistence (e.g. achievement self-determination),” as well as “significantly lower levels of test anxiety.” Based on his years of experience in education, he knows what works best for him. He limits his course load to four classes a semester so he has time to do extracurricular activities as well. This semester, he joined DECA and placed second in the province in the human resources category. “I didn’t want to be just piled up under books all the time, I want to make the best out of Ryerson,” he says. “A lot of people focus on their end job, but for me, I’m just focused on building skills. I feel like the job will come as it comes.”
either Rajaratnam nor Desabrais is sure of what they’ll be doing in five, 10 or 20 years. While the uncertainty about the future isn’t a position everyone can afford to be in, it’s worth discussing how our paths in university don’t have to be linear. They can veer off course, take a pit stop or take an alternate route. The latter is my approach. I’m counting on my love for writing and sports to carry me farther than a specific program can. I’m betting on myself instead of putting all my worth into the degree. I’m forced to work harder than those who are vying for the same jobs as I am. I have to manoeuvre my schedule to take classes unrelated to my major, but related to my desired career. That just means that every triumph— both professional and academic—makes me more proud of what I’ve achieved, because I’m doing it independently. My degree is only a small part of who I am.
BIZ & TECH
Forget the struggle of Toronto life, let’s all move to Waterloo A new Ryerson study found that students are being priced out of TO. Nathaniel Crouch looks into what’s so great about their future home It’s no secret that Toronto’s housing market has been hot for a while, making it tough for younger people to find affordable spaces to live. It’s gotten to such an outrageous point here that millennials are leaving the city in droves—almost a thousand a year. This is according to a new study by Ryerson’s Centre for Urban Research and Land Development, that looked at where millennials move when they leave their parental homes and enter housing and rental marketplaces. Places to rent in Waterloo averaged at $1,042 in 2017, according to a report from TheRecord.com, an online news site out of KitchenerWaterloo. Along with Ottawa and Simcoe County, Waterloo is one of the top ranking cities for millennials to move to as per the study. The study also found that over the past year more than 5,000 millennials have left for greener pastures. Financially greener that is, according to PadMapper, an online rental blog that tracks the median rent prices of large Canadian cities. Toronto’s average rent prices in February 2020 for a one-bedroom apartment was $2,300, according to the site. So if students are going to be
heading out to good ‘ole Waterloo, The Eye wanted to make a comprehensive list of reasons to live there. Because as much as we love to say Toronto is the best place to live, there some important things you can’t find in our city. Greenery. Actual GREENery Sunshine walks and Toronto parkettes are great places to pretend you’re in a clean environment, but if you look around, you’ll see about 2,000 cigarette buds, more rats than people and a weird purple cloud hovering over parks that scientists call “smog.” Waterloo is out in the middle of nowhere, which means 3,000 acres of parks, six conservation areas and enough space to get lost in a park without hearing a streetcar honk at a dumpster truck for driving past it with its doors open. Someone will ask you to go for a walk or a bike ride and you won’t even have to get anxious about having a near-death experience biking downtown. What if you had a good job? There is no shame in working a minimum-wage job, but if you want to use that fancy four-year degree you got at the Ted Rogers School of
Management (TRSM)— head north. The growing branch of tech companies make Waterloo a Silicon Valley North. With offices for Google, Communitech and more, Waterloo has become one of Canada’s technology hot spots. It boasts some of the highest success rates in the country for the tech companies that are based here. Jobs like those fill up quick here in TO but in Waterloo the companies are trying their hardest to grab the attention of any wouldbe employees.
ILLUSTRATION: MIN ANGADJI
City design can have a purpose On Sep. 25, 2019, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) say a 63-year-old man suffered “life-threatening injuries” after his vehicle was hit by “flying” concrete on the Toronto-bound Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW). In a social media post, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said an excavator arm on a flatbed truck was “too high to fit” but attempted to travel under
a bridge on the QEW, smashing into an overpass and sending concrete onto the roadway. After hours of research and investigations, The Eye can say that Waterloo had zero incidents of life threatening flying concrete. The city is undergoing something Toronto may not see for a while—construction with a purpose. According to TheRecord.com, as
of July 2019, Ontario invested up to $60.7 million in infrastructure projects in Waterloo Region. These projects include upgrades to about 90 bus stops, almost 60 new and replacement transit vehicles and a new bus maintenance facility. If nothing else, we can all buy one house in Waterloo and watch from a distance as the Toronto housing market refuses to cool down.
BUILD THE SKILLS FOR THE CAREER YOU WANT
Enhance your qualifications through a specialized Graduate Certificate program. Apply today at centennialcollege.ca/graduate-certificates
ARTS & CULTURE
Thrifting is trendy but it hasn’t always been
Rye students on growing up with second-hand clothing, its resurgence and its de-stigmatization By Emma Moore Alvea Hurlington was nervous at first to participate in a clothing swap. She had a connection to second-hand clothing growing up, having been the oldest of five kids. Brand new clothing was never an option for her. At the first-ever Ryerson Students’ Union clothes swap in the Student Campus Centre on Feb. 28, students were free to pick up whatever items they wanted. Donations weren’t mandatory and the event was open to the community. She picked up two things: a sequined skirt and a sweater dress. “I’ll probably wear it to church tomorrow,” Hurlington said while at the swap. For some students, thrifting is about originality, fashion and creating an image for themselves. But for others, like Hurlington, it’s something they grew up with, due to coming from a low-income family. Anika Kozlowski, assistant professor of fashion design, ethics and sustainability, said second-hand clothing is being celebrated more today as fashion media narratives de-stigmatize it. She said in more recent generations, second-hand clothing is more popular. According to a 2019 GlobalData survey, 37 per cent of Generation Z will have bought thrifted clothing in 2019, and 64 per cent are considering purchasing second-hand products. “It’s being celebrated more, it’s being worn, being talked about,” said Kozlowski. “So, I think the fact that it is…it’s helping to de-stigmatize it.”
“When you’re a kid...[other] kids usually come through with new clothes, new items, new gadgets” While the practice of thrifting is being viewed in a more positive light, income is still the primary reason why many people shop at thrift stores. The results of a 2017 study in the Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management concluded that the less money a household has, the more likely they are to purchase secondhand clothing. They also concluded that used clothing was viewed as being inferior to new clothing. The results showed income is
negatively related to purchasing used clothing, which suggests that used clothing is viewed as inferior. Clothing bought second-hand may need further efforts to overcome the stigma of inferiority. Due to this stigma, people don’t want it to be known that they are wearing second-hand clothes. Fourth-year business management student John Joseph remembers his mother telling him his clothes were second-hand, and to not tell anyone. He was three years old when his family immigrated to Canada. They didn’t have a lot of money while he was growing up, and the clothes he wore were primarily second-hand. “[My] mom worked at Zellers, actually, and my dad worked as a salesman at a car show. So whatever clothes I got seemed brand new,” said Joseph. “When you’re a kid and you’re in a classroom…[other] kids usually come through with new clothes, new items, new gadgets,” said Joseph. “And then you’re just that one kid who [dresses a little bit differently] because…that’s the best of what is available.” Joseph could tell the kids at school had looked at him differently because of his clothing and pushed him out of social circles. Wearing second-hand clothing is something
As an immigrant, Kelly Imafidon feels he’s at a disadvantage with his financial situation. When he came from Nigeria to Canada he hated shopping for himself, as he thought the price tags on clothing in retail stores were asking for too much. The international economics and finance student began thrifting to search for pieces that would look good, but were in his price range. He wanted to have clothes that made him look good, but he didn’t want to have to give up so much money for it. “Thrift stores allowed me to explore the possibilities of looking good [while saving money],” said Imafidon. He knew he wanted clothing that was good quality and would last him for a long time, but that he couldn’t afford the prices retail stores were asking for. “I couldn’t pay for the quality that I wanted.” However, Joseph said there may be difficulty in convincing people to give away clothes and donate, due to personal reasons. “I think they’re not willing to give up on those clothes just because they have...sentimental value,” said Joseph. He said instead of donating, people give to their family, friends or their own kids. Koslowski believes events like ILLUSTRATION: RHEA SINGH clothing swaps are one of the best initiatives to keep clothing in circulanoticeably visible, and influences tion without purchasing new items. the way people are treated. When “I think [clothing swaps are] children were surveyed for 2008 one of the best things that we can study in the Journal of Educational do right now,” said Koslowski. As Studies, 39 per cent of the responses people don’t have to buy anything, of why people were bullied related it is especially beneficial for people to not looking like everyone else, wanting to add to their wardrobe including wearing clothing that without spending money. wasn’t in fashion. Other factors, like the child’s background, whether they’ve come from a different country, what their parents’ occupations are or if they come from a low-income household also came into play. Eventually, people became less judgemental and more accepting of second-hand clothing, but the idea that it took trends and gentrification to not judge people who use second-hand clothing hurt Joseph. But he still sees the progress of de-stigmatization as worth it. “It just tells me we’re going in the right direction...even if it While the RSU has only held their had to happen much later than it first clothing swap this year, Ryershould have.” son has had other clothing swaps in However, finding a safe ha- 2017 and 2018 at the Fashion Zone ven in thrifting and second-hand and the Social Venture Zone. clothing isn’t just something of the “Along with swapping goes with past, and has many social implica- just taking better care of our clothes tions today. so that we can swap the clothes Many students use thrifting in the future…Make sure that as a way to avoid spending large we’re actually just caring for amounts of money, which could our clothes so that they can be go to costly student necessities, like passed on to someone else,” rent, food or transportation. said Koslowski.
“Thrift stores allowed me to explore the possibilities of looking good [while saving money]”
In Lo-fi We Trust: A guide to surviving exam season By Rhea Singh Two weeks ago, we briefly lost the biggest lo-fi hip-hip radio channel on YouTube. For a moment the one playlist that helped us get through exam season, writing papers at 3 a.m. or even just chilling at the Sheldon & Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre (SLC), was gone. It’s momentary loss made us appreciate what we had. As exam season comes back around, let’s take a moment to appreciate our lo-fi kings. Whether it’s lo-fi music or just calm and upbeat tracks, The Eye presents our March playlist. When U Loved Me - Hether When U Loved Me is what you listen to after your 9 p.m. class, walking to the SLC, getting ready to start studying again. If you want to get back in the routine of studying all day but stress free, this is the track. Monday Loop - Tomppabeats This song is a God-send. If you want anything lo-fi, Tomppabeats does the job. Have a last minute paper you have to finish on the train to campus? Rushing to finish a reading you left to the night before? Whether you’re on the bus coming to campus, or sitting in the library before a class, this song is what you play on repeat. Star - Allah-Las Allah-Las always kills exam season blues. This song helps you get through writer’s blocks when you just can’t finish that essay. Star is your best study friend. Even when you want to take a break and scroll through your phone for a while, this will help you get back into your groove. drip bounce_7_24_18 -Toro y Moi Toro y Moi makes you think about the time when you were exam-free and when you didn’t have 50+ assignments on your to-do list. It also reminds you that exact feeling is coming back soon, and if you just push through it, you’ll get that freedom back. This track always does the job, and never disappoints. Soccer - Gio If you ever want a break and just need to step away from your work, this is the track to listen to. Go to Oakham Café, get some food and coffee and take a moment to breathe before you get back into working. Even when going for a walk or meeting some friends, this song is the perfect transition for your break. If you haven’t listened to Gio already, now’s your chance. Check out the full article on theeyeopener.com
The rise of Rams forward Rachel Farwell
Ryerson knew Farwell was a sharpshooter, but after she became a starter mid-season the whole country would find out the hard way By Libaan Osman Initially, fear kicked in. Ryerson women’s basketball forward Rachel Farwell was set to become a regular starter for the team in January. Farwell had massive shoes to fill— taking over the role of Jama Bin-Edward, who suffered a season-ending injury on Jan. 10 in a road game against the Waterloo Warriors. A sense of pressure ran through her veins, knowing she would be inserted into the lineup and knowing how special of a season Bin-Edward was having—averaging 14.6 points and 4.0 rebounds on 50.8 per cent shooting in 26.2 minutes per game— before the knee injury.
“When we lost her, the initial [feeling] was just a lot of disappointment” “She was one of our top scorers, top defenders and just an overall solid player on all ends,” Farwell said. “When we lost her, the initial [feeling] was just a lot of disappointment within the team. It took a long time to settle into different roles.” Farwell was considered a reliable catch and shoot player that came off the bench for Ryerson. After BinEdward’s injury, she had to adjust to playing over 30 minutes a game. Long conversations between Farwell and head coach Carly Clarke took place to discuss what she could expect from her moving forward. Clarke had patience with Farwell, who averaged just 11.2 minutes per game in her freshman season, as
Ryerson’s veteran roster that year made it tough to crack the rotation. With roles shifting and players expected to take on larger responsibilities, Farwell needed to accelerate her development—but she also knew the team wasn’t asking her solely to make up for the loss of Bin-Edward. It was more of a collective effort. The seniors on the roster, specifically Rams fifth-year point guard Hayley Robertson, made the transition to starter seamless for Farwell. Robertson helped guide Farwell through some of the frustrations and confusion that came along with playing major minutes. Trust was built between the veterans and herself. Whenever her name was called, she responded emphatically. In nine of the last 10 regular season games, she scored double-digit points for Ryerson. Farwell finished the year averaging 11.6 points and 5.3 rebounds as she led Ontario University Athletics (OUA) in three-point percentage, shooting at a 47.0 per cent clip. “She’s a sharpshooter, we all knew that from the get-go,” Robertson said. “The rate that she’s able to hit, the confidence that she has only being a second-year is going to continue.” The entire second half of the season saw Farwell try new things and learn from her mistakes—growing immensely as a player. It all led to her exploding in Ryerson’s final game of the season against the Laurentian Voyageurs. Farwell wasn’t just raising her game to another level—she was evolving as an instrumental piece in Clarke’s rotation and the program for years to come. She tied a program record for
points in a game, dropping 36 while hitting a record eight triples on the night. “That was a crazy game,” Farwell recalls. “It felt amazing to have that rhythm and be scoring that amount of points. That was something I’ve never done on this team.” The team managed to finish first in the OUA Central division. Statistically, they ranked first in threepoint percentage and defensive rebounds while finishing second in blocks, points allowed and opponents’ field goal percentage. In arguably their most important game of the year—on the road in Ottawa with a chance to punch their ticket to nationals—Farwell rose to the occasion. She dropped a gamehigh 21 points while converting all seven of her free throws to help advance her team to the U Sports Final 8 tournament. “The last buzzer went and it was just the best feeling. We’ve gotten so much thrown at us this year with injuries and other obstacles,” Farwell said. “It was really just a beautiful moment for us. In the locker room afterward, we were dancing and singing. It was a moment where we can just take a breath.”
“If [Farwell] is in the game, it’s different. But you gotta play with the cards that you have” Farwell can’t remember a practice where the team had a fully healthy roster, so after helping her team reach their second straight national appearance, she felt like
PHOTO: JOSEPH SHENOUDA
she was on cloud nine. But once nationals approached, it was herself watching on the sidelines. Farwell suffered a sprained ankle in the OUA championship game against Brock. A day before nationals, the team had a couple of on-court sessions to prepare and Farwell couldn’t run. Her ankle was sore, swollen and her mobility wasn’t there. The morning before Ryerson’s quarter-finals matchup against the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), Farwell had one of the toughest conversations with the coaching staff: the decision to have her not dress for the game. Without Farwell, the team suffered a five-point loss to UPEI. When coach Clarke was asked about the absence of Farwell post-game, she could only imagine having her sharpshooter available. “If [Farwell] is in the game, it’s different. But you gotta play with the
cards that you have. The players that we had today played their asses off.” Farwell’s season didn’t end in the most picture-perfect way, but looking back this season was all about growth for Farwell and the Rams.
“I discovered a new level of perserverance that I didn’t realize that I had” In just her second season, she has become one of the most feared threepoint shooters in the country. But she’s not satisfied just yet, hoping to continue branching out her game and become a lethal defender that can stay in front of quicker guards. “I discovered a new level of perseverance that I didn’t realize that I had. I was put into a couple of situations where I wasn’t sure if I’d be successful or not. I learned to push through those situations and that I had another level of grit.”
Rams season ends in consolation semis lost to Dinos OTTAWA—A year filled with adversity, the Ryerson women’s basketball team fought until the very end. But their season came to a close after an 87-64 loss to the Calgary Dinos in the U Sports Final 8 consolation semi-finals. It was an emotional Friday afternoon for graduating players Hayley Robertson, Bronwyn Williams and Emma Fraser, who all played their last game as a Ram.
our culture, our team in a better place than when they arrived,” said Clarke. “They’ve been easy to coach. They’re low maintenance. They do what’s expected.” A back-and-forth match early on saw both teams tied at 45 after the second quarter. Robertson, who lit things up in the four quarter of the national quarter-finals, continued her strong performance into the consolation semi-finals. The fifth-year guard dropped nine points in the first quarter to give Ry“Hayley is one the best erson a 10-3 lead to open things up. first-team leaders we’ve “Hayley is one of the best firstteam leaders we’ve ever had,” said ever had” Clarke. “We had a disappointing loss yesterday and I think she was To head coach Carly Clarke, just inspired from that game.” they’ve all made lasting impact on Robertson finished the afternoon the program. with a game-high 20 points, five re“All three of them have just left bounds and five assists.
Calgary quickly responded though, pressuring Ryerson in the full court, as they looked to wear down a depleted team that played only six players in yesterday’s loss and had been dealing with injuries all season long.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever had more [team] injuries in one season” In their last game of the year, Rams head coach Carly Clarke went nine deep into her rotation. For the first time this season, Eleanor Jones checked into the game for Ryerson with 1:55 left in the first quarter. Jones hasn’t hit the court since November 2018 against Western. Clarke said post-game that Jones had dressed for a couple of regular season games but they didn’t have
the opportunity to get her out there. Shortly after checking into the game, Jones scored her first basket of the season at the free throw line. The entire bench stood on their feet and applauded the six-foot-two forward. Jones played nine minutes and shined in Ryerson’s final game of the season, dropping seven points and two rebounds on 3-4 shooting. “She’s been working hard to return from injury and was finally feeling good enough,” said Clarke. “It was great to get a glimpse of what she can look like in the future.” The third quarter was all Dinos, outscoring the Rams 25-10 as they held them to just one field goal for almost a five-minute span. Calgary had four players finish in double-digits scoring as Reyna Crawford led the way with 19 points and seven rebounds to help advance
her team to the consolation finals. This is the sixth time in program history that Ryerson has faced Calgary. For the second straight game, the Rams were without forward Rachel Farwell due to a sprained ankle she suffered back in late February. “I don’t know if I’ve ever had more [team] injuries in one season,” said Clarke. “Those are things that happen sometimes but nothing stopped this team. The fact that we get to this tournament and develop some more great experience, this team earned getting here and they deserved it.” As the season comes to a close, the future looks bright for Ryerson. Forward Jama-Bin Edward, who’s been sidelined with a season-ending injury, is expected to be back alongside guard Marin Scotten.
Celebrate St Pattyâ€™s Day at the Ram Irish Food & Drink Specials **while supplies last
Prizes, Giveaways and Good Times
TUESDAY, MARCH 17 NO COVER all daY! OWNED AND OPERATED BY THE RYERSON STUDENT CAMPUS CENTRE
KA 819 #163472
Tour both Parkside and CampusOne in March and enter to win a
$100 Visa Gift Card! All-inclusive living in downtown Torontoâ€™s premier student residences. Parkside and CampusOne â€” student living has never been like this.
Live-Parkside.ca | 416.977.8000 | 111 Carlton St
Live-CampusOne.ca | 647.288.0827 | 253 College St
Date and prize are subject to change. *CampusOne is an independently owned and operated residence affiliated with the University and the University assumes no responsibility in regard to any agreements entered into by students/residents with the Owner and the Operator. The University makes no representations or warranties and assumes no responsibility for the conditions of services provided at the Academic Residence.
This is a test upload of a previous Eyeopener issue.