Volume 54 - Issue 11 March 31, 2021 theeyeopener.com @theeyeopener Since 1967
ILLUSTRATION: LAILA AMER
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Self-ID report at the end of the winter semester By Sarah Tomlinson Ryerson’s Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion (OVPECI) is launching its first Student Diversity Self-ID report at the end of the winter 2021 semester. Using data collected from students in 2019 through an online questionnaire on RAMMS, the report will reveal the diversity of Ryerson students while also identifying the gaps in representation in programs. Its goal is to inform deliberate action to increase opportunity and access for current and future students, according to the OVPECI. In previous years, the OVPECI released several Employee Self-ID reports, the most recent one being published in 2018.
“Diversity is not only identifying who’s attending our university but also following up on their progress” The reports are meant to provide updated information on the recruitment, representation and retention of employees from five equity groups: women, Aboriginal Peoples, persons with disabilities, 2SLGBTQ+ people as well as South Asian, Chinese and Black students— the three largest racialized groups in Ryerson’s student population, the GTA and Ontario, according to a statement from the OVPECI. According to Canada Council for the Arts, equity-seeking groups are “those that identify barriers to equal access, opportunities and resources due to disadvantage and discrimination and actively seek social justice and reparation.” Since publishing the employee diversity reports, community members have been asking for a student assessment. On March 16, the university released a sample of the data which showcased a “snapshot” of the demographics among Ryerson undergraduate and graduate students in comparison to that of the GTA/ Ontario population. In an email to The Eyeopener, the
OVPECI said over 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students completed the survey for the 2019 Diversity Self-ID Report—a 96 per cent response rate. According to the sample, women make up 52 per cent of the GTA/ Ontario population. Comparatively, they make up 55 per cent of Ryerson undergraduate students and 54 per cent of graduate students. Further, while racialized people make up 51 per cent of the GTA/ Ontario population, they make up 48 per cent of Ryerson undergraduate students and 39 per cent of graduate students. When looking at the data, Usha George, the director of the Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement, said she wasn’t surprised. “I think we have a student body which is really diverse,” she said. “We have always known Ryerson has a diverse student body so this confirms that in some ways.” In the 2013-14 Diversity Self-ID Report, 55 per cent of students in fulltime programs identified as racialized or of visible minorities compared to 24 percent of full-time faculty. According to the 2019 report, the 2SLGBTQ+ community makes up eight per cent of undergraduate students and nine per cent of graduate students in comparison to 10 per cent of the GTA/Ontario population. One per cent of undergraduate students and graduate students are Aboriginal, compared to three per cent of the GTA/Ontario population. Keely Vaudrie is a former nutrition student at Ryerson and member of the queer community. She said the data fulfilled her expectations because she noticed that Ryerson wasn’t always that inclusive. Although she never had any problems with staff, she struggled to find gender neutral washrooms in areas like Kerr Hall East. Vaudrie also recalled being the only person from the 2SLGBTQ+ community when joining sport teams on campus. “I would find myself consistently being the only queer person. And that to me just internally was hard because you don’t have anybody else
that you associate with,” she said. Sam Howden, a fourth-year social work student, is Red River Métis from Treaty 1 territory in Winnipeg and the equity coordinator at the Indigenous Students’ Association. They said the relatively small proportion of Indigenous students at Ryerson is related to the barriers Indigenous peoples face in accessing education. “It tends to be a very, very low average because of the difficulties of getting into post-secondary institutions and social determinants of health and other social determinants of education based on funding,” they said. In particular, Howden said some Indigenous students leave their reserves to access higher education only to find there’s not a lot of support, which impacts willingness to pursue higher education. They added that the way courses are taught at universities mainly caters to non-equity-seeking groups. As a result, Howden had to adapt their learning strategies to succeed, which has forced them to internalize a lot of shame. “[Indigenous people] traditionally come from a lot of oral storytelling communities, and that’s how our knowledge and information is passed on,” they said. “I would love an oral exam instead of a written exam. I function better this way.” Although Howden said they’re skeptical about how accurate the data is, they understand why not all Indigenous students at Ryerson would want to self-identify. Due to the Indian Act—which was created to assimilate Indigenous peoples into settler-colonial society and terminate their cultural, social, economic and political distinctiveness, Indigenous peoples have been historically “dispossessed” from their identity. Wendy Cukier is the founder of the Diversity Institute at Ryerson, which has tracked the representation of women in leadership roles and hosted projects focused on women in technology. She said gathering data on representation is crucial in any institution. Collecting data surrounding people’s experiences in institutions is also important, she added.
The report is the ﬁrst step, but more needs to be done to monitor the experiences of equity seeking groups at Ryerson, professors say
PHOTO: LAILA AMER
“Connecting diversity data with things like employee engagement, or student engagement or patient satisfaction data is where you really get an understanding of how good a job an organization is doing in creating inclusion,” said Cukier. George said going a step further would be to examine the experiences of equity-seeking groups incuding their graduation and employment. “[The survey] is the first step in being transparent about diversity but diversity is not only in identifying who is attending our university, but also following up on their progress,” she said. Through the work that the Diversity Institute has done, Cukier noticed that breaking down the categories established is also beneficial to promoting inclusion.
“The more intersecting identities that you have, the more responsibility you most likely have” “We know that within the category of persons living with disabilities, there are big differences between people who for example have cognitive differences, versus people who have mobility differences,” she said. Howden added that there should be categories for single parents, for people who work several jobs and for people who do more to support themselves outside of pursuing their education. “The more intersecting identities that you have, the more responsibility you most likely have.” Cukier echoed the call for intersectionality, saying it should play an important role in how data is collected. Different individuals often have combinations of identity factors that play a role in their experience in any institution and that data is important to recognize, she added. “If all you do is look at women as a category, it may conceal the fact that racialized women or Black women or Indigenous women, or women
with disabilities have very different experiences,” she said. Among the broader GTA/Ontario population, 20 per cent of respondents identify as people with disabilities. At Ryerson, students with disabilities make up seven per cent of undergraduate students and six per cent of graduate students. According to the OVPECI, the report will outline specific solutions and strategies that Ryerson will adopt to address barriers and increase access to education through a report card system. Letter grades (A+ to D-) will be given to each program to evaluate the representation of each of the five equity groups, as well as the three largest racialized groups in the student population. “The report cards reveal the pattern that while the overall data may show fairly high representation for some in undergraduate and graduate populations, it is not evenly distributed,” the OVPECI wrote. According to the OVPECI, it received feedback from the community that self-identification is discriminatory in that it separates parts of the population. However, the office wrote that self-identification is a “necessary and important step to creating a robust and inclusive workforce.” Employees and students can currently fill the questionnaire through RAMMS, according to Ryerson’s website on Self-ID reports. Although the university requires that employees complete the questionnaire, self-identification is voluntary as there is a “prefer not to answer” option for every selfidentification question. Howden said they hope the information is used to increase access to resources, education and acceptance for equity-seeking groups. “I want to see other people, not just survive in this environment, really thrive and push through and do good things for this world and for their communities,” they said.
For my last trick, I’m EYELECTIONS FALL 2021 choosing hope So you want to run: •
about as clear of a commitment as we can expect. Despite our print process being derailed and some of us never even meeting in person, The Eyeopener masthead worked together to produce eleven beautiful issues and seven months’ worth of weekly digital content. And I had my first real, romantic and completely delusional crush in a long time. As silly as it sounds, that means I’m picturing myself being happy, PHOTO: JIMMY KWAN and our masthead has material for roasting me, which they’ve found joy in doing, very often. By Catherine Abes I’ve also found hope in the courage and resilience of students who managed to orIt’s been a year, Ryerson. While vague, that ganize despite being off-campus and overfeels like the most succinct way I could pos- whelmed by managing a fully-priced school sibly describe these past months. year on top of work, other responsibilities So much has happened since September: and just trying to survive. discourse about taking down the Egerton Ryerson statue emerged once more because the I’ll hug everyone for longer than university still needs convincing after two I did before...never taking an petitions, numerous open letters and several layers of paint. We lost the best Starbucks at embrace for granted again Church and Gerrard streets. Ryerson casually opened a campus in Cairo without telling anyone in advance(?). And, as per usual, In June 2020, the Black Liberation Collecthe Ryerson Students’ Union kept us on our tive and Canadian Students for Sensible Drug toes with layoffs, impeachments and election Policy at Ryerson pushed administration to recheating (oh my!) because, why not, I guess? voke its decision to allow special constables on The year just wouldn’t stop throwing crises campus. RTA students rallied behind a Black at us, but at the same time, the days somehow professor when her contract wasn’t renewed blended together. Such is the nature of Zoom due to union technicalities, effectively helping University: watching life pass you by through a her role be reinstated. And journalism students screen while you remain stagnant, at the same called out the Ryerson School of Journalism desk, in the same chair, in the same room and for systemic discrimination, demanding better the same bubble—for an entire year. supports for marginalized students within the I came into the role of editor-in-chief not program. Despite the little support students knowing what my term would look like, but have received from their university this year, I never anticipated it would be a full year of they continue to be selfless, empathetic and online meetings, trying to parse out the right compassionate; daring to dream of a school tone over emails and struggling to keep mo- that’s safer and more equitable for all. rale up as we accepted our paper wouldn’t reThese students make me hopeful for a generaturn to stands for the foreseeable future. It’s tion that inherently understands why we should hard not to feel robbed. It’s hard not to resent care for each other—something that’s been rehow tiring the year was. miss in not just Ryerson’s administration, but in the government and older generations’ apathetic responses to the pandemic; valuing business Students make me hopeful for over the health and wellbeing of others. We’re far from the light at the end of the a generation that inherently tunnel but being hopeful finally feels less like a understands why we should pipe dream and more like a reasonable way to care for each other cope. There’s an ending in sight and I’m clinging to it. In keeping with the prompt for our In light of all this, why did we choose to fo- feature spread, I’ve been thinking about what cus our last issue on hope? Partly, because we my first day on campus will look like when have to. There will never be enough words this is all over. to describe the year we have gone through: to I’ll come back to Kerr Hall Quad, where my re-do birthdays and holidays; to save the re- friends and I can sit in a circle on the patchy lationships we lost because being on a screen field, less than six feet apart, enjoying Oakham for longer than necessary was unbearable; to breakfast specials that are a little on the lukebring back the people that should still be here. warm side but it doesn’t matter; they only cost We have lost so much this year that I couldn’t $6 anyway. We’ll interrupt conversations to bear to talk about it more. Perhaps it’s naive, point out the dogs bounding onto the grass, but we’ve spent a whole year having no choice chasing tennis balls. but to confront reality. Now that there’s some I’ll hug everyone for longer than I did before, room to imagine new futures, I’m choosing to tighter than I did before, never taking an emfocus on hope as a means of survival. brace for granted again. And the people around I also choose to talk about hope with the aim me—from new students who are just being inof helping it blossom. Like dandelions that push troduced to that infamous Gould Street stench, through the concrete, I’m starting to see glim- to senior students in awe of seeing the construcmers of brighter days ahead. My dad got vac- tion finished—will be hopeful too. cinated. Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi Every day, this feels a little more attainable. said he’s “optimistic” about a return to campus I am so happy to have hope back. in the fall, which is, by Ryerson standards, Be safe and well, and see you soon.
• • • •
ALL editorial positions are up for election. Nomination forms are due by April 7 at 11:59 p.m. You must be nominated by 2 currrent masthead members, as well as self-nominate. Speeches are on April 8 at 6 p.m., via Google Hangouts. Speeches are 2 minutes maximum (5 minutes for editorin-chief candidates). Photo candidates will present 3 portfolio images. Media candidates will present a 30s to 1 minute clip or highlight reel.
Eligible voters Mariam Nouser Donald Higney Anna Wdowczyk Serena Lopez Sidra Jafri Jimmy Kwan Libaan Osman Connor Thomas Rhea Singh Zach Roman Madi Wong Reedah Hayder Sarah Tomlinson
Samreen Maqsood Edward Djan Gavin Axelrod Armen Zargarian Justin Walters Thea Gribilas Lesi Yang Emma Moore Manuela Vega Reedah Hayder Gavin Axelrod Olivia Wiens Alethea Ng Prapti Bamaniya Jessica Mazze
So you want to vote: • •
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Editor-in-Chief Catherine “Milk Maid” Abes
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Advertising Manager Chris “Thank God For Adults” Roberts Interns Paige “Down At The” McInally Sara “Men In Music” Alves Fernandes Alexis “Business Conference” Gutfreund Contributors Sarah “90 Day Fiancé” Tomlinson Samreen “Olivia Rodrigo” Maqsood Olivia “Area 61” Wiens Kuwarjeet “Best Buddy” Arora Jessica “The Lady Rat” Mazze Thea “Governor Of All The Boards” Gribilas Darya “Rain Drop Drop Top” Soufian Serena “TikTok For Class” Lopez Afua “Books Aren’t Fact-Checked” Mfodwo Alicia “5000 Cameras” Reid Norah “Sung Hoon’s Wife” Kim Yasmeen “Interview Machine” Aslam Madeline “:]” Liao Alethea “My Eyes Didn’t Register” Ng Sidra “Why Are We Cupping Your Boobs” Jafri Minh “A la Tremblant” Truong MJ “We Can Do Better!” Wright Ivana “At The Finish Line” Vidakovic Apurba “Came in Clutch” Roy Sonia “LinkedIn Private Mode” Tumkur Tom “I’m Sorry You’re a Sabres Fan” Pepper Ben “Did Edwards Murder Yuta” Okazawa Sama “Connecting Real Dots” Nemat Allah David “Jet Lagged” Cassels Duaa “Weighs In” Rizvi Christian “He Doesn’t Even Go Here” Maneja Bella “Meownaging Editor” Gambino
ARTS AND CULTURE
Through platforms like My RyeU, Discord and Zoom, students are facilitating community online
to connect in a disconnected time By Yasmeen Aslam Before the school year began, Samir Macklai was worried the pandemic would hinder his chances to connect with new people and make friends like he normally would in person. This all changed for the first-year graphic communications management student when he was messaged by My RyeU on Instagram—an account that showcases student talent—for permission to be featured on their page. As soon as his work was published on the account, he received three direct messages from fellow PHOTO: LAILA AMER students wanting to connect and talk. “I actually developed a few friends, which was probably one of still all at home,” said Macklai. the best things ever because it grew With just over 500 followers on Inmy network of people,” he said. stagram and close to 1, 000 newsletter subscribers, My RyeU is a directory where students can connect through “I’m pleasantly surprised social media platforms, such with how many friendships different as Instagram and TikTok. They also I’ve made” share Ryerson students’ talent and artwork with their subscribers and social Student relationships have be- media followers. My RyeU features come increasingly important during photography, paintings, digital art, the pandemic, with everyone stuck short films and more in the newsletter inside, unable to experience the nor- and social media mal university life filled with people The site was created by Gavin buzzing around campus. Despite the Ouyang, who studied applied chemlack of in-person communication, istry and biology at Ryerson in 2003 Ryerson students are still finding before transferring to the Universiways to befriend each other and form ty of Toronto. Ouyang launched My meaningful connections virtually. RyeU in early February to provide My RyeU creates a space for opportunities for students to meet students to learn about and follow and form friendships, just as they each other, forming a small com- would if they were on campus. munity online. Ouyang said he saw how CO“I’m pleasantly surprised with VID-19 and online learning was how many friendships I’ve made “sucking the life out of the univerand the kind of bonds that can still sity experience—all from home with be developed, even though we are little interaction with professors and
By Norah Kim
song is guaranteed to up your serotonin levels. The group is also well-known for producing bright and youthful music that tends to attract wide audiences. The upbeat tones in “FANCY” will make you want to get up and dance. The song radiates happy vibes all around and has a TikTok famous choreography anyone can do!
classmates.” He decided to create My RyeU to help recreate aspects of the university experience. “I felt there is a real need for a platform that helps Ryerson students find and connect with each other, no matter where they are during this pandemic,” he said. Last month, Kaitlyn Mitchell was scrolling through her Instagram feed when she came across a video posted on My RyeU of a fellow Ryerson student’s artwork. The student had created a collage dedicated to her favourite artist, J-Hope from BTS. The collage, made by third-year media production student Brenessa Roach, was featured in one of the posts highlighting students’ creativity. Being a huge fan of BTS herself, Mitchell immediately reached out to Roach by messaging her on Instagram, complimenting her artwork. From their initial exchange, the two became fast friends, bonding over their love of the South Korean band. Mitchell finds that the art on the My RyeU page has been a main con-
“It’s just that hope of eventually we’ll be able to see each other in person” Wong said she loves seeing students’ small businesses, films and other creative projects being shared on the site. “Knowing the similarities that you share through creativity or art makes you feel more at home,” she said. “I’ve met so many people through one little platform that you never
workout songs to get you motivated.
“Fly High!!” by BURNOUT SYNDROMES As Haikyuu!!’s opening song, this track literally makes you want to “fly high” and reach limitless heights. It has lively verses and an explosive chorus that will have blood pumping through your veins. It’s also great essay writing music if you need an up“Shinzo wo Sasegeyo” by Linked beat song to keep you concentrated. Horizon If you play “Shinzo wo Sasegeyo” “Replay” by SHINee in public, you’ll either get people Adding K-pop boy band SHINee giving you weird and confused into this mix is a must for OG Klooks or they’ll stand up straight pop fans. Similar to most cliche boy like a soldier with their fist placed band songs about chasing a girl, above their hearts. As the open- “Replay” will have you reminiscing ing song for Attack on Titan’s sec- about your childhood crush. ond season, this song will ignite the “FANCY” by TWICE unknown fighter in you. With its “Palette” by IU (Feat. G-DRAGON) From one of South Korea’s most fast-paced tempo and intense drum Slowing it down with some wholepopular girl groups, TWICE, this backdrop, it’s also one of the perfect some vibes, IU’s “Palette” will get you Anime and K-pop are widely beloved among East Asian communities and are gaining rapid popularity and recognition in the West as well. Not only are they forms of media that people enjoy, but anime and K-pop create a sense of community and belonging, as previously reported by The Eyeopener. From BTS to Haikyuu!!, The Eye created a playlist full of some topnotch anime and K-pop tracks that will either ignite the fan in you or introduce you to an entirely different world of musical masterpieces. Grab your earphones and get ready to immerse yourself in a whole new world. Fighting!
tributor in facilitating community for her because of the vulnerability it can showcase. “When you put [art] out there and people like it, you connect with them so well and it’s so nice. I think it’s really good that way.” Trinity Wong, a third-year film studies student, does modelling and embroiders her own tote bags, crewnecks and hoodies for her small business. She uses My RyeU to share her artwork and meet new people.
would have gotten a chance to meet in person,” Wong added. Students are also finding new ways to connect within their programs outside of the virtual classroom. First-year performance production student Alycia Wheeldon has gotten to know a lot of people in her small program of only about 50 students through Discord, where the cohort holds study sessions and works together online. In this setting, they’re able to help each other with work and provide feedback, just as if they would in person. “It’s been really good because if anyone needs help, someone chimes in...it’s just very opening and welcoming,” she said. Ouyang stressed the importance of making student connections now more than ever. “Staying connected not only is good for one’s mental health and social life, but also fuels personal growth,” he said. “People we interact and connect with constantly give us new ideas, inspirations and constructive feedback.” With all of these new bonds and relationships made during the pandemic, students are looking forward to meeting in person once everything gets back to normal. Wheeldon said one of the main things she’s excited for is meeting all her new friends and peers in the fall, if classes resume in person. “It’s just that hope of eventually we’ll be able to see each other in person, even if we can’t give each other hugs, but we’ll be able to be in person,” she said. “We’ll be able to work together, laugh, joke. Just see each other in person instead of just on a video call. That definitely gives me hope.”
PHOTO: LAILA AMER
hooked with her soft tones and make your heart melt. The South Korean singer and K-drama actress is known for producing angelic soundtracks for multiple romance shows which is why her voice is guaranteed have you swooning. “Palette” is a song that reminds you to feel youthful in your 20s with its mellow rhythms, followed by an added rap verse from artist GDRAGON to keep things edgy.
“Life Goes On” by BTS BTS are artists who make music full of love, encouragement and sympathy. “Life Goes On” has a soft nostalgic melody that feels comforting like a warm hug. The angelic strings mixed with BTS’ talented vocals are the definition of wholesome and hopeful. This uplifting song is perfect to listen to on a long afternoon stroll.
‘It’s the simple things This time was full of uncertainty—the kind that creeps over me when someone isn’t standing in their designated circle in the Costco line or when my grandma coughs over the phone. But I’m excited for the world to return to a place where uncertainty is just a regular, forgettable part of my day: the feeling of wondering if I can run from the RCC to the TRSM building fast enough; sitting in a study room I didn’t actually book; walking up to the Presto terminal at Dundas station, not knowing if the screen will turn red or green; waking up each morning, a little unsure of where that day would take me. Maybe the sentiment is weird, but I’m unbelievably excited for that kind of uncertainty to replace the kind that looms over my days in lockdown. - Mariyah Salhia, Journalism, Year 2
ing alright and not Hey man, hope you’re do ; though I guess missing the lockdown life ird year is supTh it has a few advantages. you’re making pe posed to be rough but I ho s. Is the SLC sse the most of in-person cla post-class day Fri still crowded? Are the could reI , mn Da vibes still immaculate? warmas sha ba Ba ally go for one of those Ali ling exfee rt sta right now. Whenever you emrem ep, sle on hausted and running low me ho at ck stu ng ber it’s still better than bei ke Ta ep. sle t bu do and having nothing to us. of all to od go care man, hoping life is - Muaaz Ashfaq, Computer
We asked Ryerson students to write a message to their post-pandemic selves about what they’re most looking forward to when it’s safe to be back on campus. Here’s what they said:
Even though you’re graduating, know that you’re so deserving of this degree and future jobs. It’s been a long and hard four years, it wasn’t a waste of time; your work shows for it. Once this is all over, and you’re working full-time at an amazing company in a phenomenal position, be sure to know your roots. In the great words of One Direction: “Don’t forget where you belong.” Visit the campus and breathe in the somewhat toxic air of Gould Street, remembering the worthwhile memories you made there. - Sidra Jafri, Journalism, Year 4
Science, Year 2
Have you seen a friend in the hallway and spontaneously decided to get lunch yet? I love seeing friends and classmates on Zoom, but it doesn’t com pare to laughing in the classroom, without the sound feedback. There’s so much to be hopeful for; I’ve only been in three Ry erson buildings so far. I hope you can congratulate your friends in person rather than tagging them on Twitter, that you sta y up late in the same building together and that you can say hi to the professors you’ve connected with in your classes. I have ma ny wishes and I hope you can fulfill them all.
- Julia Lawrence, Journalism, Yea
when we’re back
I yearn for the most’ visuals by harry clarke layout by dhriti gupta background by austin laser ; for crowds lle h t r not fea oms and ha wait to lassro . I’m I can’t certs, c ugh and smile ed n o c d la o le v packe p in lv o here pe isks and get and r ways w ress up take d o o t t , d e e tr eing excit ity thea g people I’m b n’t n u m m in co to hu e. I ca ing and irst tim mers, go danc d to for the f oe sum h e c d u e d u o clubs urs intr iends in the safely-p r f r y o f m wait with en in singing random wom eaking screamh br it ding w mplate and bon as they conte just can’t wait m .I s again bathroo eir boyfriends d other ses! h t n u h o it r a w up mas able ing the omfort c e e l s e e o f t to ard ok forw , Year 3 and I lo , English lm o h is h C - Zanele
I’m so excited to be back on campus to spend countless hours pro crastinating with friends at Balzac’s. I’m looking forward to spending all my money on food that I don’t need bu t really want to buy. I’m also so excite d to meet new people and make more fri ends. I’m sure you’ll look back at this past year with so many emotions, but I hope you’ve found peace and joy at the end of it. Cheers to you! - Kennedy Byron, Socia
l Work, Year 2
Yo, I know stuff is tough right now as I write this, but you were always killi ng it before, during and after quarantine. I hope you didn’t cry too much after moving back to Toronto and seeing your friends who are honestly more like family. Bubble tea dates after class and chaotic moments at SLC are no longer to be taken for gran ted. Enjoy them and embrace the little vict ories and things that make you happy. When it’s all said and done, that’s the only thing that really matters anyways. - Jade Eutiquia, Art and Contemporary Studies, Year 2
riencing life to at you’re expe th d . se os cr s Finger your bedroom om outside of fr n, t. ai os ag m st e lle th the fu arn for things I now ye ith friends as It’s the simple sw er ld ushing shou aI anticipate br going to the E g, in SM build R T e g th in to nd k te al at we w d for after as a rewar t s gh ri da e un tr D en d C ton ge an ace, seeing Yon pl st of fir rt e pa th a in g class es, bein lights and stor , Square’s bright owly, yet surely . ds rson crow Sl ye R an g at e lin ar st s bu the -19 case e when COVID d we’ll reach a tim to visit our love ed w e’re allo w d an nw co lo e, eim all-tim e meant confines. In th ar ones with no come in the ne to t’s for wha pe ho l. ng al r vi te ha af r tinue u this fa t has gotten yo future! It’s wha olog y, Year 2 h-Koduah, Soci - Isabella Mensa
Through My Eyes: Cultivating connections as a third-culture kid Canada or Uganda, it’s neither here nor there. David Cassels shares how he came to ﬁnd community centred in people, not place ILLUSTRATION: LAILA AMER
By David Cassels In my first year at Ryerson, I accidentally locked myself out of my dorm room in Pitman Hall. The staff at the residence’s front desk asked me a couple of security questions before sending someone to unlock my room: “What’s your room number? Your birthday? Your Student number? Your hometown?” For the latter, I had to guess. “Hometown? Kitchener? Maybe Waterloo?” “Kampala, Uganda,” said the desk staff, looking at me skeptically. My passport is Canadian and I was born in Kitchener, Ont., but I grew up in Uganda. My parents originally moved to Eastern Africa in 2008 to work with the Church of Uganda. I’ve lived in Ugandan cities like Arua in the west, Soroti further east and the centrally located capital of Kampala. My parents originally homeschooled me, but going into seventh grade they felt it would be good for me to be surrounded by more peers. Since there were no international schools in our Ugandan town, they opted to send me to a boarding school in Kijabe, Kenya, which adds another layer of confusion when thinking of my hometown.
“Hometown? Kitchener? Maybe Waterloo?” ... “Kampala, Uganda” My lived experience makes me a third-culture kid (TCK), a sociological term used to describe children who spent the majority of their adolescence outside of their home culture. The term applies to children of immigrants, missionaries, members of the military and ex-patriots among others. TCKs often experience a lack of belonging, loneliness, trauma and suffer disproportionately from depression, according to a recent study from the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. It determined that 68 per cent of TCKs studied presented a high risk for clinical depression when measuring traits of mindfulness, daily life stress reactivity and common symptoms of depression.
belonging we felt. As I made more friends I started to realize that my experiences weren’t actually all that unique. Obviously, not everyone is a TCK, but I noticed that the better I got at describing my identity, the more people related to certain aspects of it. One of my friends was telling me about how she feels out of place in her program because all of her classmates are interested in different career paths from her. While she is in no way a TCK, I still relate a lot to not being able to find your place in a community that you’re supposed to be a part of.
It’s not until you interact with someone with different experiences that you realize how much there is to explain TCKs tend to feel out of place regardless of what culture they find themselves in. In my case, despite growing up in Uganda, I am not Ugandan or ethnically African, and I didn’t have the same life experiences as the majority of Ugandans. I never attended a Ugandan school, I didn’t learn very much of the local tribal language and my family had far more financial security than many of our neighbours. On the other hand, I’m not really Canadian either. I’ve lived in Canada since 2018, but since I didn’t grow up here or have the same life experiences that people expect of Canadians, I often feel out of place. I had no idea how to dress for the winter; I didn’t know if people my age still wore snow pants or not. I was very surprised to learn that everyone thought I had an accent. I don’t identify with my Canadian home culture and I don’t identify with my secondary Ugandan culture; my cultural identity is a thirdculture somewhere in the middle. While I found it hard to make friends while jumping across borders as a kid, I did form a close community when I went to boarding school. Being at boarding school means being without your family, so the people you study with, hang out with and live with become your family of sorts. We were all TCKs
on common ground; we were all a little culturally confused and we knew what it was like to be away from our family from such a young age. We looked out for each other and we valued each other. When we graduated high school, we said our goodbyes and left for separate corners of the world. It was traumatic leaving all my friends, knowing full well that we may never see each other in-person again. I was desperate to find that same sense of community when I arrived at Ryerson. Sadly, I really struggled to make friends. It felt as if my university peers had bonded over school experiences I’d never had, foods I’d never tried or places I’d never been.
My cultural identity is a third-culture somewhere in the middle Once on my floor in Pitman Hall, for instance, some people were going to watch a Ryerson Rams hockey game during one of the first weekends of my freshman year. I decided to tag along despite having never watched a game before, but I was so confused the whole time I had to ask the people sitting next to me to explain nearly every play. After a while,
I got the feeling they were a little irritated by me and I just sat in silence for the rest of the game. I’ve never watched a hockey game since. My experience growing up in the space between two cultures felt so normal to me; it was all I had ever known. Hindsight showed me that my experience was less than the average. Culture and socialization can often feel universal, and it isn’t until you interact with someone with different experiences that you realize how much there is to explain. Every story or joke from my life I wanted to add to a conversation seemed to require more explanation than it was worth, so I tended to keep quiet around others in my first months at university. Filling the gaps between different cultures and upbringings became especially tiring when I enrolled at the Ryerson School of Journalism: every single assignment required an amount of background context on Canadian culture and society that I simply didn’t have. To me, it feels like the program is designed for students with Canadian experiences to thrive. I always felt like I was playing catch up. I did eventually start making friends at Ryerson among TCK students like myself. It didn’t seem to matter if they had grown up in Kenya, Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, there was common ground in the lack of
TCKs aren’t alone in this experience, either. The same is felt by second-generation immigrant children and mixed-race children who also find themselves in the space between two cultures; neither here nor there. While this realization may have damaged my ‘main character syndrome,’ it was reassuring to know that almost everyone could relate in some way or another to the social discomfort I had experienced at Ryerson. It may feel like the pandemic has ruined our relationships, given many of us have been social distancing for over a year. However, from my experience, keeping friends is far easier than finding them. Despite having not seen each other in years, I still talk to my mates from high school almost every week. Throughout my time at Ryerson I have learned that there’s far from a concrete method to finding your place and forming a community. Making friends can be very difficult and lots of TCKs like myself are quick to forget how much effort we put into our friendships in the past. Friendships will eventually be formed, perhaps from an unexpected place, but no matter where you are in the world, you will eventually find people to relate to and with whom you can truly be yourself around.
BIZ AND BYE
Opinion: Ryerson can and should divest from fossil fuels By MJ Wright
environmental activism. Activists are Despite this core value, Ryerson’s pushing for the movement of money existing investment policy doesn’t As momentum builds in the global from fossil fuel companies and their specify any strong commitment to divestment movement and insti- chief enablers to green industries. sustainability, only stating that Rytutions worldwide move toward erson’s investment managers ‘may’ more environmentally responsible consider what is relevant to environThis is an option policy-making, Ryerson University mental, social and governance factors that’s not only appears to be lagging. when selecting investments. Ryerson environmentally but In the last year alone we have seen currently outsources all investment the University of Victoria commit decision-making to external partner fiscally responsible to investing $80 million in sustainFiera Capital, placing our instituable energy initiatives and Rutgers I became engaged with divestment tional responsibility for ethical inUniversity vow to completely divest as an environmental strategy in 2019 vestment onto these managers. from the fossil fuel industry—two in- and was elected to Ryerson’s Board of Further, Ryerson doesn’t have distitutions among hundreds that have Governors for the 2020-21 year on a rect ownership over stocks but has committed to supporting new green platform that included working with instead bought into a fund that gives initiatives and sustainable energy. Ryerson to divest from the fossil fuel us returns based on the performance Alongside this are other signs that the industry. In my role, I’ve had discus- of the overall portfolio. This fund has fossil fuel industry is on its way out in sions advocating for increased institu- holdings in several companies that priCanada, including the recent cancella- tional sustainability with our execu- marily profit through oil and gas extion of the Keystone XL pipeline. tives and Fiera Capital, who manages traction, including Pembina Pipeline This could spell disaster for those our endowment fund. But Ryerson and Canada Natural Resources. Fiera who work in the energy industry un- has expressed no interest in divesting, expresses a commitment to responsiless wealth is spread to the other en- instead choosing not to challenge any ble investment in alignment with our ergy sectors—such as wind, solar and of Fiera’s investment decisions. policy but is opposed to divestment, geothermal—to stimulate growth and According to the 2020-25 Academ- preferring instead to pursue direct job development. Here’s where Ry- ic Plan, one of Ryerson’s core values engagement with the companies in erson comes in: the university has an is sustainability. The value extends which they invest. opportunity to be a part of the transi- past a commitment to protecting the Engagement is one of two aption to a brighter future for our planet environment but also includes po- proaches when it comes to responand our global community through litical and fiscal responsibility and the sible investment: one can either divestment, then reallocation of funds. development of innovative practices ‘remove oneself from the problem’ Divestment is an investment and actions. This is a value congruent by divesting or be a ‘part of the solustrategy wherein an institution with divestment. The world is already tion’ and encourage companies to deremoves holdings in industries transitioning away from a reliance on velop more equitable practices. Fiera it deems harmful. In the past, oil and gas, so removing support for Capital is firmly in the second camp. divestment has been used successfully what will likely soon be a politically While this dichotomy might make to weaken the tobacco industry and unattractive and financially vulnera- sense at first glance, we should quesin the last decade, there has been a ble sector early is responsible for both tion what equitable solution can acgrowing divestment movement in the university and the planet. tually be reached with corporations
How does Ryerson’s mail service work? Reporting by Sidra Jafri Illustrations by Laila Amer Ever wondered what goes on inside 105 Bond Street? This infographic is an up-to-date, step-by-step breakdown of the mailing processes done by Ryerson’s Shipping, Receiving and Mail Services (SRM). The SRM teams work to send packages to the destinations and recipients awaiting them, in and outside of Ryerson. All mail sent to the university ends up in the SRM building, ready to go through the required processes before delivery. The team processes approximately 7,000 packages monthly that will be mailed to or for faculty, departments and students, in as timely a manner as possible. Their tasks include preparing courier shipments by sorting and distributing them across campus, collecting and metering (printing proof of payment stickers on the packaging) and even stocking and supplying stationery such as paper and exam booklets for all faculties.
that make profits from the extraction and distribution of unsustainable resources. Even if some corporations are pursuing sustainable actions and Fiera is encouraging it, such as Pembina’s investigation of carbon capture technology, unless they are intentionally working to move away from fossil fuels to pursue sustainable energy, we can still do better. The only real solution for Ryerson is to cut all ties to the fossil fuel industry and, if possible, move funds to the sustainable energy sector. Here lies the possibility for a change at Ryerson as part of the global environmental movement; a change that can send a message to the energy market that sustainable energy is the future, and aligns the university with the spirit of boldness and innovation that Ryerson claims guides their actions.
While Ryerson is a smaller university, our investments still have an impact This is an option that is not only environmentally but fiscally responsible. By moving quickly and regaining control of its investments, Ryerson can stimulate growth in the already burgeoning energy industry, getting on the ground floor of a global shift that is already taking place. This will only lead to greater financial success in the long run. And in the short term, divesting from one sector doesn’t nec-
essarily have any negative effects on the overall strength of the portfolio. While Ryerson is a smaller university, our investments still have an impact, especially when taken in the broader context of the overall market. Our size shouldn’t hold us back from pursuing the most environmentally sustainable actions and being a model to all university institutions for innovative thinking and progressive policy development. As for students, they should ask for more from our university, since our bursaries and scholarships come from the returns on investments in the fund Fiera manages. Our success as students is directly linked to the financial success of an industry that is proven to damage our ecosystems and harm vulnerable communities across the world. Working at the executive level has led to little progress, but as a collective, students have a voice that we can use to demand new, sustainable policies. We need to send a message to Ryerson from the bottom-up that substantial action must be made towards environmental responsibility, going all the way up to the corporations we’ve invested in. Divestment is still possible. Through a community movement, we can take an essential step towards creating a better future, for us and our planet.
Catching up with Eyeopener sports editors of the past
BOB MCKENZIE HEADSHOT BY GMCISAAC VIA WIKIMEDIA (CC BY-SA 4.0), COLLAGE: CATHERINE ABES
By Will Baldwin
point. I was a writer there first and then I became a sports editor…You put together some of the most ambitious people that were in the journalism program at the time, and it was a lot of fun. Fitz-Gerald: It’s going to sound hyperbolic; it’s going to sound dramatic. Without The Eye, I’m not in the industry. School is fine, it’s whatever it was. If I just went to Ryerson, I wouldn’t be in journalism 100 per cent full stop. I would have a piece of paper, maybe, I’d have a GPA that I wouldn’t be ashamed to show my parents. But without The Eye, I wouldn’t have learned how to beOver the past few weeks, I’ve had come a journalist. the opportunity to catch up with some of the most accomplished former sports editors in the long his- “Without The Eye, I’m not tory of The Eyeopener. In this Q&A, in the industry” they told stories of their time at Ryerson, what they wished they knew What’s your favourite Eye in university and gave some advice memory? for current Ryerson students. I hope McKenzie: It was fun because it was you get as much out of it as I did. all your buddies. And you would say you were working on your page and All answers have been edited for length you were. But it’s printing Wednesday and clarity. and so we would work on it on Monday night, but you wouldn’t really How did your time at The Eye work on it and just go to the pub and help you in the industry? talk about the work you were going to D’Aliesio: For me, The Eye is ev- do and then you would do some work erything. When I started at Ryer- on Tuesday, but not much. And then son, I always had known at a young you’d be cramming like crazy, enough age that I wanted to be a journalist. to stay up all night Wednesday to get But in my first year at Ryerson, at everything done. It was just an excuse the end of the first semester, I ques- to get together and have fun. tioned whether I was good enough to Valois: When we found out about be a journalist. I grew up in an im- Maple Leaf Gardens, how that was migrant family reading the Toronto happening, how that was becoming Sun. I got to school, and everyone felt the new arena. For a while everyone like they were more well-read than I thought Ryerson was going to buy was, they were reading The Globe and Moss Park and that we were going to Mail and the CBC and that just wasn’t make a big play into soccer. So, it was my world. In the second semester, really cool to be part of the coverage I decided I needed to go to The Eye and how that built out over the year and start writing and start trying to with that announcement. do this thing that I wanted to do for Love: In the quad just off of Jorforever. At The Eye, I found my con- gensen Hall there’s a gym and a bunch fidence to be a journalist, I found my of times, we would be able to access voice and I found a family there. that gym and just play basketball. Mirtle: That was the first time But then we figured out that there when I was actually working with a was a way into the gym; there was a physical newspaper and I was doing way to basically blow the door open things like laying it out and thinking when it was locked. So we could go up headlines, and I was pretty green and play horse and bump all into the in the journalism industry until that daylight hours. I swear to God, just Bob McKenzie: TSN Hockey Insider Erin Valois: National Director, Digital Strategy and Olympic Editor, Postmedia Renata D’Aliesio: Head of Investigations, The Globe and Mail James Mirtle: Editor-in-Chief, The Athletic, Canada Sean Fitz-Gerald: Senior National Writer, The Athletic, Canada Noah Love: Product Manager, Sportsnet Amit Shilton: Former Toronto Editor at the Toronto Star Adam Button: Chief Currency Analyst/Managing Editor, ForexLive
the amount of time we spent playing around at like 2:00, 3:00 in the morning on Eye deadlines, that is one of the most enduring memories of being at The Eye. Button: So, I tried out for five different teams at the start of the year, I did it anonymously. I was a pretty athletic guy but a lot of people think; you know, you’re down at the RAC and everybody thinks they could play on the team, especially then when the teams were bad. There were two reasons to do it: one, we wanted people to connect with the team. So, you want to see, OK, how good are these teams really? You can’t really measure yourself until you play against them. And the second was, I didn’t know anyone. You could always get in touch with the coaches and everything, but this was a way to really connect with the players and coaches. What’s one piece of advice you have for young journalists who hope to end up in the same place as you? McKenzie: Decide for yourself whether you want to be or whether you’re inclined to be a specialist or a generalist and you should have a very narrow focus of what it is that you do, or do you want to have a very broad view of it. Valois: It helps to go into your journalism career as a student, really thinking about different skills that you want to pick up in different ways that you can sort of test out new interests that you think might help you later on in your career. I think that there’s a lot of really neat skills and ways to set yourself apart that you can do on your own. Mirtle: It’s going to be a difficult journey and don’t get discouraged. Think of it as a process and not something that’s going to happen right away. A lot of people look at people like myself and think that where I am is impossible or whatever and for the longest time I wasn’t even covering the NHL. I was almost 30 years old. The industry is really challenging and it’s going to test you emotionally and mentally. It’s very draining. But, if you put the work in and you continue to get
better and you make connections with people and people can see how much you want it and how hard you work, you can succeed in it. Fitz-Gerald: Take a look at all the sports editors and look where they ended up. They ended up all over the place. Bob McKenzie became Bob McKenzie. Renata D’Aliesio became one of the most important journalists in Canada and, I didn’t say important by mistake. She’s written stories and been a part of projects that have changed the lives of Canadians in a good way. Erin Valois is part of moving digital strategy for the biggest newspaper in Canada. I still write about sports. People go on to do really important things and I still write about sports. It’s OK. You can go and find your own path and that’s part of the really exciting thing. One thing you wish someone told you before you left Ryerson? McKenzie: Keep a journal and keep notes. I don’t think I’m going to write a career retrospective book but I’ll tell you what, if I had the notes for the last 40 years, I probably would. Valois: As a newsroom leader now, I think it’s really important for us to be authentic and to really try to get to know candidates that want to work with us. I think before when I was in school, there was a lot of sort of posturing. I wish that I didn’t worry so much about projecting a certain kind of image when I was job searching for those internships because I think that it makes you something you’re not. D’Aliesio: I would like for someone to have told me to not get too down about the layoffs and the transformation that the industry is going through. That’s been happening for decades now. The first full-time job I got at the Edmonton Journal came after a round of buyouts and downsizing in the newsroom. It’s a constant of our business. But through this transformation, we’ve also seen a lot of new media organizations pop up, a lot of independent media that’s doing some really cool things. There are jobs now that exist in journalism that didn’t 20 years ago when I left Ryerson. It used to be either you were a reporter or an editor and there’s just so much more you can do in journalism now. So, I would want to tell people to remain optimistic.
“At The Eye, I found my conﬁdence to be a journalist,I found my voice and I found a family there” Shilton: I really just focused on The Eye and that was really my life for four-plus years, so if I could go back, I’d say, all this stuff is great, but there’s 200 people in your class and in J-school and it’s just as important to build those connections with people as it is with The Eye. So,
don’t lose sight of the world sort of outside of The Eye as well. What are you most proud of since leaving Ryerson? Valois: I am one of the youngest people to be on the masthead of the National Post and I’m one of the youngest people in Canadian media right now at a higher level. So, I really appreciate all the experiences that I’ve had to get to this point. And the fact that I get to run the Olympics for the whole company is pretty cool.
“I would like for someone to have told me to not get too down... I would want to tell people to remain optimistic” Mirtle: Just helping launch The Athletic in Canada. I mean I was like the sixth or seventh person that the company hired, and we didn’t really have any subscribers, hardly at all when I started and now, we’re well over one million subscribers. We have journalists in different countries and the opportunities that we’ve been able to give young people in this industry have been amazing. It’s been the most rewarding thing that I’ve done for sure. Fitz-Gerald: I write about sports, right? I mean, I try to tell good stories. I try to do my job really well and sometimes, I find a story that hopefully changes somebody’s life or people’s lives for the better, inform them or entertain them or create a bit of a distraction because sports is entertainment and maybe something is really interesting or tell the stories of interesting people. I’ve had a couple of things hit here and there, which has been really, really nice. But a lot of times, when you step back and you’re, I guess, somewhat midcareer and certainly mid-life, taking a look back at the people that you call friends and seeing what they’ve done and all of the things that you hope when you’re in journalism school and you can look around and be like, ‘Yeah, I know people who did that.’ Love: I went into my job tasked with turning Sportsnet into a fulltime competitor and leader in the web traffic world with TSN. Being able to do that was probably my career highlight. Shilton: Just recently, last year and a bit ago I stopped working at the Toronto Star and I was really happy that I got to work there. It was the paper that I definitely grew up reading, especially the sports section there. So, being able to spend time there, to work there, to meet people who work there, to have that experience, I think is something that will always stay with me. Button: Building ForexLive. I write all day every day and the internet rewards profligacy currently and just cranking out content and we’re the second-biggest currency website in the world.
BINGO & BONDING
A play-by-play of Rye’s giant cathartic quarantine-themed bingo PHOTO: JES MASON
By Apurba Roy The pandemic hasn’t stopped Ryerson students from adhering to a time-honoured tradition of friendship: bonding over weird things they have in common. In the spirit of this universal truth, 450 students participated in a giant game of bingo over Zoom on Tuesday to commiserate and commemorate all the weird stuff they’ve done during quarantine. Second-year sociology student and bingo organizer Paan Demeek, said her and her team wanted to organize the game “to make sure that we weren’t the only ones staying up all night watching Queen’s Gambit and dreaming up our chess grandmaster fantasies.” With the number of people that showed up to the virtual bingo, it appears that just about everyone was concerned with their strange quarantine habits.
“Can’t wait to look back at this quarantine era with the same grating sentimentality as a 90s kid” The bingo cards consisted of 25 squares containing bizarre activities that nobody would ever do prepandemic, but 99 per cent of the Ryerson population did from March 2020 to March 2021. This included
on a sketchy app to see what you’ll look like in 50 years; you actually have to put work into doing it, and working out during a pandemic is just too much.
“I’m glad to know I wasn’t the only one who made feta pasta and was disgusted with the results”
everything from making Dalgona Coffee to religiously following the Gorilla Glue Girl’s iconic, cultural resetting, hair-raising journey. One attendee sadly observed that everything on that card felt so nostalgic that it seemed to have taken place a decade ago, rather than a year. “Can’t wait to look back at this quarantine era with the same grating sentimentality as a 90s kid looking back on their childhood,” wrote Heya Macarena in the Zoom chat. The first activity called out was making banana bread; every single person could be seen on their little Zoom box crossing out a square. One student yelled out: “I didn’t even know bananas could be turned
into bread!” As much as that sentence didn’t make sense, several people gave the classic Zoom overexaggerated courtesy laugh—a gesture which happened to be another one of the boxes on the card. The game brought back old quarantine memories, such as thinking COVID-19 would disappear by June 2020. A few people were seen softly sobbing as they crossed their box.
shape,” one student said: “I really had a whole year to workout and eat healthy and I spent it in my bed eating ramen everyday.” Another responded: “Didn’t you use to say that you didn’t workout because you didn’t have time?” The student replied: “Why you gotta call me out like that Cynthia???” and left the Zoom meeting. From the expressions on the attendees’ faces, it appeared many could relate to her. Though the “Why you gotta call me out Chloe Ting challenge filled the first month of the pandemic, one bingo like that Cynthia???” square revealed that 229 people gave up after realizing that it’s not When the announcer called out as fast-acting as the other quaran“tried to work out and get into tine trend of uploading your photo
The last square called out was “picking up a hobby and forgetting about it until being reminded right now.” Every single attendee began recollecting how they’d decided to become a gardener after placing one plastic succulent on their desk last April. Other quarantine hobbies of knitting, painting, baking and doing yoga were more forgotten and ignored than attendees who texted a guy named Justin on Tinder—another bingo square that was commonly crossed out. Thirty minutes into the game, first-year student Joel Exotic called out bingo. “After spending my first year of university staring at a laptop and going into breakout rooms where nobody talks, I thought bingo would make my tuition costs worth it,” he said. “It didn’t. But I’m glad to know I wasn’t the only one who made feta pasta and was disgusted with the results.”
Seven steps to prepare for meeting your online friends in-person By Sonia Tumkur With the vaccine rollout out on its way, we’re one step closer to returning to campus. This means finally meeting our online friends in-person. Here are a few tips to make that first meeting a little smoother now that you won’t be able to excuse your social awkwardness on a bad internet connection anymore. Plan a memorable day out If you want to keep your friend date simple, go for a picnic or meet at Balzac’s coffee shop on campus. Feeling too hardcore for that? Doing the CN Tower EdgeWalk is a great way to get your adrenaline pumping. Top off the day with several shots of espresso. The resulting dopamine boost combined with residual EdgeWalk-fuelled adrenaline will emphasize to your new friend the great time you had when meeting up. This might be the best way to make a lasting impression.
mispronouncing someone’s name is always the move if you consider the person you’re meeting to be a 7.5 or higher out of 10 on the scale of friendship. Got a friend named Meghan? Demonstrate your close friendship by calling them Maygin, Mee-gan or even Mee-gahhen to spice things up! The choice to mispronounce a future friends’ name is an art, not a science—it comes from instinct.
stagram. Do the same for the people you’re going to meet. It’ll help you gauge a little more about their style and some of their interests. If you’re up for it, do a quick LinkedIn search in private mode. Just don’t reference their high school’s mock trial team in a conversation; things could get real awkward, real quick. Have a good excuse to leave Sometimes, you meet someone and you just don’t click. Be prepared on how to call it a night without coming off as rude. A few excuses to consider: my mom wants me to come home before it gets too late; my psychic said I’d meet the love of my life outside of the Student Learning Centre at 6 p.m so I need to get going; my goldfish is unwell so I need to go home to check his temperature and note it down in his fever tracker. No excuse is too extreme. As long as you make it sound believable, you’ll be fine.
Predict each other’s heights Zoom can be misleading; guessing each other’s heights is a fun way to prepare for meeting in person. For all my short friends, this has the added benefit of being a solid ego-boost. Compare the guesses to your actual heights when you finally meet up. Raise the stakes by betting money on who made the most accurate predictions; you’ll have no time to feel nervous about meeting a new friend without the Zoom beauty filter when you’re taking money from them! Plan your outfit Learn how to pronounce their With hopeful hearts, we’re prenames correctly Scope them out on social media paring to say goodbye to wearing Pronouncing someone’s name None of us are above looking loungewear pieces on Zoom and correctly is essential to making a through all the tagged photos of hello to getting dressed up to be good impression. That being said, someone we’ve just followed on In- back on campus. Meeting friends
in person means this is your time to dust off an outfit from your closet that you’ve been dying to wear. Be the main character; wear those watermelon earrings, matching necklace and the scarf you knitted over lockdown. Even if you’re just meeting at a park, you should look like you’re about to hit the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival. You’ll only regret it if you don’t go all out.
you’ve managed to be vulnerable in the digital sphere with your friend. It’s good to keep that going in real life, too. Talking about common interests and sharing past experiences is a great way to keep the conversation going while staying true to who you are. It may seem easier to pretend to be normal, but that can get boring quick. Be your weird self, and don’t hold back from what you think is too much information. The real ones want to Be yourself hear all about the time you didn’t If you’ve come this far, it’s likely shower for a week, I promise.
LAYOUT: JES MASON