ILLUSTRATION: JES MASON
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Ryerson to open a satellite campus in Egypt in fall 2021 By Sarah Tomlinson Ryerson will be launching a new satellite campus in Cairo, Egypt to give local students the opportunity to get a Canadian post-secondary education. The first cohort will begin classes in September 2021, according to an media release from Ryerson Today. The campus will be facilitated by Universities of Canada in Egypt, the first international branch campus in the New Administrative Capital— a new smart city that will house 6.5 million people and relieve congestion in Cairo. The Universities of Canada in Egypt provides Canadian university programs to local students. Now in its third year of operation, students are currently enrolled in the University of Prince Edward Island’s entrepreneurship, sustainable design engineering, computer science and mathematics programs. Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi said the university has been discussing a new campus for several years with the Universities of Canada. “Egypt is the bridge between North America and the Middle East and we think this could be an opportunity to share Ryerson programming with [international] students,” he said.
“Cairo is a great ﬁrst place for Ryerson to start venturing outside of Toronto” The further expansion into Africa would also help meet the demand for post-secondary education in the continent, Lachemi said. Although Africa’s current primary school enrolment rate is above 80 per cent on average, only 7 to 23 per cent of post-secondary-aged youth are enrolled, according to an article by the United Nations.
Awadallah added that many students she knows in Egypt are always looking to study internationally. According to an article by World Education News Reviews, since 2008, the number of Egyptian degree-seeking students pursuing their education abroad has nearly tripled, from 12,331 to 31,822 students in 2017. Egypt is also the fourth-largest sending country of international students in the Arab world after Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Syria.
“Egypt is the bridge between North America and the Middle East”
COURTESY OF RYERSON TODAY
Lana Abouelkir, president of the Egyptian Student Association (ESA), said she’s very proud that Egypt is one of the first countries to collaborate with Ryerson. “I want to help promote the university there and let people know that all this is happening,” she said. Carol Elkhoury, the finance executive for the ESA, agreed and said the Cairo campus creates a sense of pride for all Egyptian students at Ryerson. “We’re excited to show it off because it’s something so major and so amazing,” she said. Zaina Aber, the vice-president of the ESA, said the association hopes to act as a liaison between both schools. Their main goal is to “bring a piece of Egypt’’ to Ryerson, complementing Ryerson’s efforts in “bringing a piece of Canada into Egypt.” Lachemi said the new campus will offer media production, sport media, fashion, and civil, electrical and
mechanical engineering programs through the Faculty of Communication and Design and the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science. Both faculties plan on expanding their programming in the future. The programs will follow the same curriculum as those offered to students in Canada. In addition, 50 per cent of all faculty and staff is expected to be made up of Canadian citizens and are subject to Canadian post-secondary hiring standards. Ryerson will also determine tuition fees for programs in balance with Egyptian market rates, according to Ryerson Today. Aber said it’s a “big investment” for the campus to be located in Egypt’s new capital. According to Reuters, the new capital is the biggest step in a series of mega-projects championed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi as a source of economic growth and jobs. The capital includes govern-
ment and business districts, a park and a planned diplomatic quarter. Nancy Awadallah, a third-year biology student of Egyptian descent, has travelled to Egypt many times and lived there for a year with her parents. She said she’s excited for Ryerson to have a new campus in Cairo. “I think Cairo is a great first place for Ryerson to start venturing out of Toronto,” said Awadallah. “I’ve spent time there on vacations and it always has the same hustle and bustle and busy vibes like in Toronto.”
“We’re excited to show it off because it’s something so major and amazing” According to World Atlas, Cairo is the second-largest populated city in Africa with an estimated 20.4 million residents. Cairo also has the sixthlargest population in the world.
“I think it’ll be a great opportunity for students to learn about Canada, and maybe some will take the opportunity to continue their studies in Toronto,” Awadallah said. Abouelkir said she’d be interested in pursuing her studies in Egypt at the new campus. “I want the same quality learning experience that we have here at Ryerson to be in my home country as well, so I’m very glad that’s happening,” she said. Likewise, Aber said that with the new campus being available and many Egyptian Ryerson students being back home due to online learning, some of them could consider continuing their studies in Egypt. “Most of them are there right now so it becomes easier for them to just transfer and then they would just graduate from a Canadian university the same way we are [in Toronto],” she said. Besides the Universities of Canada in Egypt, the country also hosts other foreign universities, including the American University of Cairo, the German University in Cairo, the British University in Egypt and the Université Française d’Egypte, according to an article by World Education News Reviews.
INFOGRAPHIC: ALEXANDRA HOLYK
The School of Journalism has created the perfect storm for a mental health crisis By Catherine Abes
tions to account is encouraged until the institution is the school itself. CONTENT WARNING: This article There’s no winning for these stucontains mentions of suicide and dents, only fighting to be taken seridiscrimination. ously—an extra layer of labour on top of the amount of work already reFor years, Ryerson School of Jour- quired to make this degree worth it. nalism (RSJ) students have adAccording to the World Health dressed issues within the school that Organization’s International Claswe knew would inevitably lead to a sification of Diseases 11th revision mental health crisis. At this point, it (ICD-11), burnout is a syndrome only feels like a matter of time be- resulting from chronic workplace fore tragedy strikes. stress. The ICD characterizes burnIn the last few weeks, RSJ stu- out as a combination of exhaustion, dents have been discussing in detail feelings of cynicism or mentally disthe years of stress and trauma that tancing oneself from the job and a former and current marginalized sense of inadequacy or failure. students have enThe RSJ is strucdured at the school. tured in such a way This work comes Holding institutions to that burnout is inon top of jobs, account is encouraged evitable. Pushing school and just capacity for until the institution is the your trying to survive work is not only school itself as young people encouraged but in the pandemic; necessitated by the not to mention how specifically ex- lack of opportunity to gain valuable hausting it is do to work that draws experience in classrooms. From the on experiences of being racialized, start, students are encouraged to gaslighted and demeaned—all com- “make the most of their degree” by mon experiences among students. volunteering for on-campus publicaI’m inspired by these students’ tions and racking up bylines so they work. I believe they’re going to bring have a portfolio by the time they about meaningful change in the pro- graduate. We pay thousands of dolgram. But this change should’ve never lars for a degree that still has to be been their burden, and while they give supplemented by unpaid labour. me hope, I worry for them. These stuOn top of this, to do an unpaid indents have long surpassed their capac- ternship to fulfill the requirements ity to advocate for themselves. for graduation, students are charged The school has created a particu- $1,550 in tuition fees alone. We pay larly dangerous space for marginal- to work for free, or for small honoized students, including Black, Indige- rariums at most, for either six weeks nous, racialized, queer and trans folks. full-time or twelve weeks part-time. They’re shamed for acknowledging The workload is difficult at best to their lived experiences of discrimina- balance with a job, meaning many tion lest it compromise their ability to students who need an income never report “objectively” on racism or ho- get these opportunities. mophobia, but are also encouraged to The traditional narrative of hard lean into the “unique perspective” that work paying off that’s happily peddled they could bring to predominantly by many of the RSJ’s white alumni straight, cis, white newsrooms. fails to acknowledge the kind of priviIn classrooms and otherwise, the lege needed to be able to work for onus of change; of embodying diver- free. Students with fewer bylines are sity, is left on these students, but when left behind and overlooked as if they they push back against traditional just hadn’t tried hard enough, creatjournalism tenants and practices that ing a culture of overworking not by have been historically harmful, they choice but necessity. The implication become a problem. Holding institu- is the best journalists would hustle Editor-in-Chief Catherine “5’5 AND A HALF” Abes News Charlize “2’0 Because I Look Up To a Lot of People” Alcaraz Alexandra “5’2 and a Half On A Good Day” Holyk Heidi “4’11 On the Outside, 6 Feet On the Inside” Lee Photo Laila “It’s a Mystery” Amer Harry “5’10, No Short Energy” Clarke Jes “5’3.5 But 5’4 On My Driver’s Licence” Mason Online Tyler “6’2 Can’t Reach Me” Griffin
Kayla “Snack-sized (5’0)” Zhu Features Dhriti “5’7 Obviously Taller Than Abeer” Gupta Arts and Culture Abeer “Splendidly 5’5” Khan Sports Will “6’6 Is Too Tall” Baldwin Biz and Tech Aaliyah “5’1 But Gives Off Will Energy” Dasoo Communities Kiernan “7’11 I Born at the Store” Green
PHOTO: ANNIE ARNONE
and make it work regardless of their personal circumstances. The reality is many of the most successful journalists in the industry had a head start. A hyper-competitive environment alone can be detrimental to students’ mental health. The Varsity, the University of Toronto’s (UofT) newspaper, wrote that students attribute the school’s mental health crisis to “the unhealthy and competitive nature of academic life,” particularly in the Department of Computer Science. UofT has seen five student deaths since June 2018, three of which occurred in the Bahen Centre for Information Technology—the hub for computer science students. It’s cruel but unsurprising that while the journalism school perpetuates these issues, it offers little support. It’s not a secret that Ryerson’s mental health services are dangerously lacking, but these issues are compounded when you have no one to advocate for you. Many students go it alone because they don’t see themselves represented in our overwhelmingly white, straight and cisgendered faculty. Mentorship opportunities work much in the same way, with white students being favoured by white professors, producing more successful white journalists; rinse and repeat. The ICD cited feelings of cynicism as a dimension of burnout. As a marginalized student, it’s hard to take school seriously knowing no matter how hard you work, the same people will always remain ahead. Fun and Satire Rochelle “5’4 Aspiring Oompa Loompa” Raveendran Media Parnika “Director Height” Raj Eli “American 5’10” Savage Web Developer Farhan “Basically 5’9” Sami General Manager Liane “Sensible 5’9” McLarty Advertising Manager Chris “5’10?” Roberts Design Director J.D. “6’5” Mowat
At the Journalism Course Union’s are ways to support students that I’ve recent semi-annual general meeting yet to see from the RSJ. My job as edi(SAGM), an opportunity for stu- tor-in-chief extends far beyond editodents to openly address issues within rial responsibilities. I am not just an the program with faculty, queer and editor but a counsellor, career mentor racialized students brought forward and therapist—I go to therapy every their concerns and personal stories week just to make space for the emoof trauma to a panel of white fac- tional labour that comes with being ulty members. The faculty seemed the person everyone goes to. shocked that there was so much harm I don’t regret the work for a second done to students that they’d seem- because I care about these students. ingly never heard of before, though But I won’t forgive the RSJ for putthese conversations have been hap- ting me and past EICs in this position, pening on campus, social media and especially given we have a fraction of behind closed doors for years. They the resources they’re working with. I questioned why no one felt comfort- know the power of a compassionate able coming to them. But the reality is leader and so I resent the school for there are very few avenues to do so. not acknowledging how necessary Most often faculty this support is for recommend a onestudents. on-one meeting, The RSJ is structured In the next week, something that can in such a way that students of the RSJ be intimidating espewill release their list cially when this fac- burnout is inevitable of demands for the ulty member is emschool. I, along with bedded in the industry you intend on The Eye’s masthead, implore the working for in the future. Opportu- school to take tangible action in adnities to get to know faculty more ca- dressing these demands; not because sually, or spaces for students to speak this is bad PR for the school, not to people they may be more comfort- because it’s in line with Ryerson’s able with, are rarely fostered outside “equity, diversity and inclusion” valof the aforementioned SAGM. ues, but because students’ lives are at When a student is brave enough to stake. Depending on students to do come forward, their concerns often go the work and call for change is fununaddressed. I’ve heard horror stories damentally unsustainable given the of students bounced from counselling existing conditions of the school. to equity centres to chair’s offices and This reckoning is built upon years— back again. The system feels designed decades even—of inaction, but the RSJ to make sure complaints get lost. doesn’t have any more time to waste. Aside from accessible faculty, there The consequences will be dire. Contributors Olivia “Dental Queen” Wiens Anna “Piggy Bank” Wdowczyk Anna Maria “BoG Baby” Moubayed Pooja “Co-op Cutie” Rambaran Mariam “9 Years at Ryerson” Nouser Sarah “Check Their Instagram” Tomlinson Prapti “TikTok Life” Bamaniya Margaux “Reporter in Attendance” Perrin Naomi “World Report” Chen Sidra “In My Backyard” Jafri Donald “Self Care Days” Higney Nabeeha “Joey Exotic” Baig Edward “Converting From Word Doc” Djan Elizabeth “‘Tis But A Rat On The
TTC” Sargeant Nishat “Coffee at 8:30 P.M.” Chowdhury Mariyah “No Sleep, Just Line Edits” Salhia Abbey “Shrugging Emoji” Kelly Julia “Fastest Replier” Paolercio Aishah “Resistance Is Power” Ashraf Claire “Erialc Euhgonod” Donoghue Kassie “Vacationing In Whistler, B.C.” Hura Dream “I’m at Work” Homer Ambika “I’m Sorry I Didn’t Tell You The Eye Uses Google Doc” Sharma Alex “Actually Watches the Panthers” Baumgartner Zanele “Writing is a Gift” Chisholm Chelsi “Powerful Poetry” Campbell
Ryerson Campus Master Plan suggests demolishing Kerr Hall Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi said replacing Kerr Hall with new buildings could open up space on campus By Heidi Lee Part of Ryerson’s Campus Master Plan is to demolish Kerr Hall and replace it with a new building in the future, Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi told The Eyeopener. However, Lachemi said the demolition of Kerr Hall will not happen within the next two years. “We are hoping this will be part of our transformation for our campus towards our vision 2030.” The Campus Master Plan was announced in July 2020 as an update to the 2008 Campus Master Plan. Lachemi said the Campus Master Plan has “a long-term objective to enhance facilities on campus.” The concept outlines the possibility of transforming the Kerr Hall Quad into a campus “jewel”—a community park that provides a green space for the university. This would involve demolishing Kerr Hall and replacing it with two taller buildings on each side of the park, known as the New West Park Building and the New East Park Building in the concept. The New West Park Buiding will be up to 105 metres tall while the New East Park Building will be up to 125 metres tall, continuing Ryerson’s trend toward a “vertical campus.”
“This will be part of our transformation for our campus towards our vision 2030” “In the last couple of years, [Ryerson] have done a lot of consultation with our community to update our Campus Master Plan,” Lachemi said. Kerr Hall was listed as one of many Ryerson “opportunity sites,” meaning areas with the greatest potential to allow land to be used more “intensely and efficiently.” Other opportunity sites include Jorgenson Hall; the Podium Building; Library Building; Victoria Building; the parking garage at 300 Victoria Street; Civil Engineering Building; Architecture Building; 112-114 Bond Street; 104 Bond Street; O’ Keefe House; 136 Dundas Street East; International Living and Learning Centre; and 101-111 Gerrard Street East.
COURTESY: CAMPUS MASTER PLAN
In an email to The Eye, Ryerson Facilities Management and Development (FMD) said the list of opportunity sites is determined by feedback from the community, age and condition of buildings, underutilized land and adjacency. However, being listed as an opportunity site does not necessarily mean the building will be demolished. Each site needs to be evaluated independently before any decisions are made. “It’s important to bear in mind that large changes in the Campus Master Plan require years of planning effort and the plan includes short, medium and long-term changes,” said FMD. “It’s intended to shape future planning to 2030 and beyond.” FMD stated that the planning work helps determine the campus’ resources and create an outline for long-term initiatives that “support the Campus Master Plan and other strategic priorities.” Adaptive reuse, meaning the renovation and reuse of existing buildings for a new purpose, is another option and a strategy being considered by the school. FMD said Ryerson applied adaptive reuse in past projects such as the Mattamy Athletic Centre, the Centre for Urban Innovation and the School of Image Arts. “There may be instances where adaptive reuse consumes more resources or time than a ‘new build,’” FMD wrote. “Some buildings at Ryerson were not built for academic
A: New West Park Building B: New East Park Building C: New lanmark building
COURTESY: CAMPUS MASTER PLAN
uses and are poorly-suited for adaptive reuse. For example, the floorto-ceiling heights might be too low for institutional uses—these cannot be changed.” “Each opportunity site requires rigorous analysis to better understand how it could be redeveloped or improved [because each of them] has unique features,” FMD stated, adding that the opportunity sites listed in the concept plan do not represent final decisions or approval of construction projects. FMD added that feasibility studies are required for the university to understand how to carry out the construction and meet the City of Toronto’s development requirements. The challenge of Kerr Hall FMD said Kerr Hall is “a very complex building” and at this early stage, the approximate cost and schedule for completing the project remain unknown. Ryerson also has to consider the preservation of historical sites when developing other opportunity sites. According to an article by Ryerson Archives and Special Collections, before Kerr Hall was established, there was a building in the same space unofficially known as the Arch, which belonged to the Normal School, a teacher’s college in Toronto that opened in 1852. In 1948, Howard Kerr founded what was then the Ryerson Institute of Technology, and the Normal School building was renamed Ryerson Hall. Ryerson Hall was later replaced with Kerr Hall and its front door and surrounding facade were preserved as the entrance to the Recreation and Athletics Centre. Kerr Hall is considered by the City of Toronto as a heritage-listed property, meaning if the school wants to alter or demolish it they must give the City 60-days notice, allowing the City to consider making the building heritage-designated. If a building is heritage-designated, the City council has “legal authority to
refuse any application that would efficiently and become more accesadversely affect the property’s heri- sible and modern. tage attributes.” “When I was a student, I felt like there was a lack of study spaces and “[Kerr Hall] felt very much common areas,” he said. “It was pretty much like a nightlike a high school because of mare [for me] to get used to it first the lockers and classrooms” because of how hard it was to navigate,” he said. “It’s not a place to According to the Ryerson Cam- hang out with friends, [Kerr Hall] pus Master Plan, a 2017 facility con- felt very much like a high school bedition analysis report found that the cause of the lockers and classrooms.” maintenance cost of older buildings Johnson added that he recognizes such as Kerr Hall is higher compared Kerr Hall is also a historical buildto Ryerson’s newer or recently ren- ing, so he wonders if the school ovated buildings. could compromise it by keeping the In addition, a 2018 asset manage- exterior of the building while renoment plan identified an increasing vating the interior. backlog of postponed maintenance “As Ryerson is growing, there is activities. The backlog is suggested a need to expand our campus,” said to double in length by 2029. Johnson. “It is [located in] downJerome Johnson, a 2016 busi- town and we have very limited ness management graduate, said space. I feel like future students can that it would he would like to see definitely benefit from [the conthe space in Kerr Hall be used more struction].”
INFOGRAPHIC: HEIDI LEE
speak for yourself Many Ryerson students are on their own when it comes to reconnecting with their mother tongue
n a grainy home video, Michelle Belov is just a toddler, running around, playing with her toys and babbling to herself. In perfect Russian, she says, “I’m a princess! I’m queen of the world!” As she watches the old footage of herself, her parents turn to look at her. “See,” they say. “You used to speak Russian.” Belov, a third-year collaborative nursing student, was in high school the first time she saw proof that she spoke her parents’ mother tongue as a young child. The memory, now a little bittersweet, is one she could barely wrap her head around; herself, speaking in Russian with no inhibition about what she’s saying, or her accent. Two things that are now constantly on her mind when she thinks about speaking the language. Although she can read and write fluently in Russian, she decided as a kid that she was going to speak English, something she attributes to her daily consumption of shows on the Treehouse channel and being immersed in English all day at elementary school. As a teen, due to her inability to speak Russian, Belov felt less and less connected to her heritage. Trying to learn from her parents was too frustrating because of her Westernized accent—her dad was mad at her for giving up on the language and she
blames him for his lack of patience. While census data shows that Canada’s younger population is getting more diverse, it also found that mother tongues are becoming less prevalant in the home. The 2016 census found that 2.2 million children under the age of 15, or 37.5 per cent of the total population of children, were foreign-born or had at least one foreign-born parent. If the trend continues, children with an immigrant background could represent between 39 per cent and 49 per cent of the total population of children in 2036. However, in families with two immigrant parents, 24.4 per cent of these children spoke only English and French at home, compared to just 2.5 per cent of their parents. The census also found that 60 per cent of immigrants who came to Canada between 2011 and 2016 (excluding Quebec) spoke English most often at home, despite 78.5 per cent of this same group reporting a mother tongue other than English and French. Guofang Li, a language professor at the University of British Columbia, says university students are among the most likely to try to learn their heritage language in comparison to other age groups. “A lot of university students come back to their mother tongue because some of them failed to learn when they were young,” she says. “All of a sudden when they come to col-
lege, they realize that their cultural heritage is really important.” Li says that this is often due to being away from family, who for a lot of second-generation students, are their main connection to their heritage. Learning a language as an adult is never easy though. People are proficient at learning a second language up until the age of 18, according to a 2018 MIT study. However, to achieve the fluency and proficiency of a native speaker, it’s nearly impossible unless you start learning at the age of 10. The study suggests that this can be caused by biological factors, like changes in the brain’s ability to grow and reorganize, as well as social factors, like leaving your home where the language is spoken or no longer having time to learn because of work and school. For university students especially, Li says there are other factors that can inhibit the ability to speak a heritage language, like selfconsciousness about their Westernized accent, much like what Belov experienced. To acquire a language in its natural accent, some research suggests you have until around the age of 10 to learn it, says Li. Still, students may be inclined to try and learn the language later in life through more self-guided methods. Language apps like Duolingo, Babbel and Rosetta Stone may seem like the obvious solution due to the marketing
words by mariyah salhia visuals by jes mason of their services as cheap, fast and effective. Duolingo claims that just a few minutes a day can improve your language skills. But unlike recreational learners, there are motivations for heritage speakers outside of just wanting to acquire another language, like wanting to connect with their families and their cultural identity. Li says that while language learning apps can help with learning the basics of communication, they often neglect the cultural aspects that help people with ethnic identity. The apps also don’t take into account the regional differences that impact language. Additionally, Li says that the “everything as soon as possible” mindset of younger generations is not conducive to learning a language. “It’s not as fast as three days or whatever Duolingo says,” says Li. “Language learning isn’t fast for young adults.” Belov turned to Duolingo in high school when she decided to try learning Russian again. The app mainly focused on reading and grammar; skills which Belov had already mastered. She also found the exercises to be unhelpful—somehow they were simultaneously too easy and too difficult for her to grasp, given they lacked conversational context. Nonetheless, going to her parents wasn’t an option. The fear of being ridiculed by them for her accent is always lurking in the back of her mind.
tongue tied “Character development, I guess.” The inability to pick up the language can lead to a disconnection to cultural identity, or even contribute to the extinction of a young person’s heritage language. That’s why some Ryerson students are turning to unorthodox and self-guided means of learning their mother tongue— without the help of mainstream language resources or their families.
oing home to the Philippines every few summers to see her mom’s family is something that Gabriella Bunag always looks forward to. Something she’s come to expect from these trips, however, is feeling out of place among her family. Bunag, a fourth-year business management student studying human resources, is unable to speak Ilonggo, her family’s mother tongue. And while she says that they’re nice to her about it, it does mean that her relatives treat her differently. Bunag has memories of sitting at the dinner table and laughing because everyone else was, not because she understood the joke. By the time her mom would translate for her, the moment had usually passed. Her family members were always making sure to switch out of Ilonggo to tell her something simple, like the weather that day; she doesn’t even really recall them speaking to her in a language other than English.
“No, no. In Ilonggo please,” she’d tell them the first few times. “But you won’t be able to understand,” they’d always respond. Dejectedly, she’d reply, “I guess this is what we’re doing.” After a while, she got tired of asking. She even remembers some of the maids at the house going out of their way to make sure that everything was always just right for her, like she was a guest at a hotel. Bunag knew she was loved and she was welcome in her family’s home, but she also knew that she was being treated like an outsider because she couldn’t communicate with her family in their language. Even when they aren’t in the Philippines, Bunag’s mom translates everything from the “hot family goss” to conversations with her grandparents and godson. This works for now, but she knows that her parents won’t always be around to translate. In the Philippines, there are over 100 different dialects and languages specific to different regions. Ilonggo, Bisaya and Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines, are all spoken by her family members. Despite this being the only way she can communicate with a lot of them, the languages are difficult to grasp because no
one ever taught her. Bunag says her parents were never really concerned about her being able to speak any regional tongue until it was too late—something she says a lot of secondgeneration Filipino kids go through. She can recall her mom bragging about how her daughter’s reading level was at a high school level when she was just a first-grader. However, she never talked about Bunag trying to learn Ilonggo. Growing up, Bunag never noticed how her mom had a different accent that she used to speak to her family compared to everyone else until one of her high school friends pointed it out. She didn’t realize it was something her mom did consciously. “[My mom’s] thing is, if you speak English with an accent, you’re going to have less opportunities,” Bunag says. “So she wanted to make sure that my English was perfect before anything else.” According to Li, this mindset is often borne from living in predominantly English-speaking areas of Canada, like Ontario. For some families, this means that English is often considered the most important and French takes second place, leaving heritage languages at the bottom. While Bunag regrets her parents’ decision to not push Ilonggo’s importance in her life, she’s made peace with why they had to. Her lack of understanding of the language goes farther than her parents though. Her efforts to learn it when she was younger were also unsuccessful. When she was in grade seven to eight, every weekend, Bunag would walk into her Saturday school Tagalog class. Students aged 5 to 14 would be sitting at their desks and in each lesson, about halfway through, the older students would have to shift their focus from their own work to help the younger ones. “There were no grade levels,” she says. “So you can imagine how helpful that was.” This is a problem that a lot of weekend or after-school language classes have, according to Li. She says that heritage language schools often have inconsistent teaching methods, don’t differentiate instruction for secondgeneration learners and employ volunteers who aren’t trained language teachers. Many kids in those environments are essentially never set up to successfully learn. A 2019 study from the International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature interviewed students at a weekend Arabic school in New Zealand. The students described feeling dissatisfied with the learning environment. They cited a lack of engaging teaching strategies when compared with mainstream schools; a consequence of low budgets and a lack of resources. In terms of learning the language individually, most language learning apps don’t even have an option for Bunag to try. “Duolingo doesn’t have any Filipino languages out of you know, the 170 that we have,” she says. “So we have to search up more, quote-unquote bootleg ones.” In more recent years, Bunag tried to learn through one of those “bootleg” apps, called Drops. Drops is a game-based app, similar to Duolingo, but more inclusive to Pacific Islanders, with language offerings like Maori, Samoan, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Hawaiian. It also markets fast learning above all else. Much like Bunag’s chaotic Saturday school class, the app only
teaches words, not how to have a conversation. Now, the only way Bunag sees herself successfully learning any of her heritage languages would be to spend a summer doing classes in the Philippines, even though English would still be spoken there sometimes. She feels like in order to truly grasp the languages, she needs to be immersed in a setting where it’s the norm. Much like how her mom used to positively reinforce her accomplishments in English, she needs the same kind of validation in learning her mother tongue.
dmond Xu remembers being excited to visit Taishan County, located in his home province of Guangdong, China. In August of 2019, he embarked on a 17-hour journey to see his family. He’d waited years to be in a place where he could be immersed in his heritage language. He always joked that he couldn’t wait for the day where he could order McDonald’s in Taishanese. Eager to speak to his family in Taishanese, he knew that hours of leg cramps, uncomfortable seats, layover flights and bus rides would be worth it when he finally reached home. But when he arrived there, he quickly learned that most of the younger people he met only spoke Mandarin. His younger cousin was one of the only school-aged people he came across who could speak Taishanese. A common phenomenon he noticed was parents speaking to their kids in Taishanese, only for them to respond in Mandarin. While many people think that Chinese languages are just different dialects of one another, Xu says that for the most part, they’re entirely different. Xu explains that a lot of the older members in his community don’t see the value in learning the language, which isn’t a phenomenon that is unique to Taishanese. With the standardization of Mandarin in schools across China, some think that Taishanese and other regional languages will fall out of use in the next 100 years. “In school, they actually have a policy where you can’t speak any other languages other than Mandarin. So they’re kind of forbidden from talking to their classmates in Taishanese.” Because the government wants to standardize one language across the country, students don’t get a formal, board-certified education in their regional languages. So to people like Xu’s parents, trying to revive it is pointless for the future, as well as challenging. “I don’t see it that way,” he says. “I see it as a means of preserving culture.”
After years of listening to his parents and grandparents speak in Taishanese, Xu understood conversational language, but wanted to learn more. When he consulted the internet,
he was met with virtually no resources. But that didn’t stop him. Initially, he had found two different Taishanese dictionaries online. While it was helpful that they had definitions in Mandarin, Taishanese and English, he realized that they weren’t always consistent with each other due to a lack of standardization. So he started a Discord server with his friend in 2018 to create a place where Taishanese people can be in the presence of each other and talk about Taishanese culture, food, art, language and traditions. Most importantly, the server is a place where people from his community can hang out and be proud of being Taishanese, something that Xu says isn’t always perpetuated in the Chinese diaspora. He’s heard from some people that they initially came to just be part of a community but ended up staying when they were able to learn things about their culture that they weren’t able to learn elsewhere. “It was really cool to hear other people talk about the things that I’ve always experienced.” Xu also helped start Hoisan Sauce, a YouTube channel that’s dedicated to the promotion of Taishanese language, culture and history. Due to the lack of a formal system, Xu created his own Romanization system that he uses in the videos to help others understand the phonetics of the language. Romanization is the conversion of language from a different, often character-based writing system into the Roman script. Li says that if this Romanization system becomes widely used, it can be a helpful tool for preserving the language, but that it also isn’t the easiest task to achieve. Regardless, she says that learning a language has countless rewards, and offers this advice, considering we’re only ever only getting older: “It’s never too late. So now’s a good time and this is the best time,” she says. “You just need to keep at it.”
ince Belov’s situation hadn’t changed with her parents, and language learning apps proved to be a disappointment, she looked for other ways she could immerse herself into the Russian language, on her own. She started small, watching Russian influencers and listening to Russian music. Eventually, they helped her to get more comfortable in speaking the language. Belov says watching Russian YouTubers her age was especially helpful because she’s able to hear the language in a more casual and relatable context, closer to her everyday experiences. In fact, she’s been revisiting poems that her dad used to read to her as she was snuggled in bed as a little girl. Reading them now, she finally gets how speaking the language, not just identifying the words, makes all the difference. A few years ago, once she finally built up a level of proficiency and comfort from practicing, she nervously guided her parents to the living room. She made sure the television volume was low and had them sit down on the couch in front of her. She took a look at herself in the reflection of the television set and breathed deeply. “Hi, how are you? The weather is nice today,” she said in Russian, her parents’ mother tongue. She followed that quickly with: “Are you proud of me?”
BIZ + A TECH FOLLOW UP
So, what exactly would it take to hack the smart campus?
Ryerson alum’s wearable tech company is warmly received
By Donald Higney
A Ryerson alumnus’ company is “Tarek gave [Quanta Vici] a lot of heating up the tech world with tough love to get my business plan its line of apparel designed to deal in place, to really get out there and with the bitter temperatures of a start networking to see if people Canadian winter. would actually put a dollar down Adrien Beyk, a 2017 graduate of for this product,” Beyk said, adding Ryerson’s computer engineering that Sadek’s involvement helped program, is the founder and CEO him secure grants for his company of Quanta Vici, a startup that spe- and create a business plan that has cializes in smart gloves and socks. made Quanta Vici a success. Beyk created the company afSadek credits Beyk’s persistence ter noticing that traditional heat- as the reason why he became a sucing wearables lacked the technol- cessful entrepreneur. ogy to allow users to personalize “He doesn’t give up. Starting a their experience. hardware company is not an easy Beyk said the team was looking thing, in Canada or in the world,” for a “truly viable personal heat- Sadek said. “He was willing to take ing solution.” the criticism. I give him feedback “Going out there doing our and he will spend two nights withprimary market research and our out sleep and redo his business secondary market research, the plan and come back.” data was clear that Sadek’s hope people know heat- “When I ﬁnd someone like is for students to ing wearables have Adrien who is very pas- learn from Beyk existed for decades, and chase their but they don’t fit in sionate...it gives us the dreams and follow motivation to keep going” his path. our daily lives.” Part of the prob“When I find lem with heating wearables for someone like Adrien who is very Beyk was the “bulky” layout of the passionate, is willing to come and technology and how it prevented take our feedback and go and impeople from doing everyday tasks prove…it gives us [professors and using their hands. instructors] the motivation to Quanta Vici’s gloves and socks keep going.” work like a thermostat, allowing Anthony Lau, an entrepreneurusers to set a goal temperature in-residence at the DMZ, is anwhich then adapts based on a per- other person who helped him son’s body temperature. launch the company, Beyk said. The wearables can provide over Lau, who assisted Beyk with the six hours of heat with a tempera- design of his wearables and his ture setting reaching up to 50 C, crowdfunding campaign, said according to Quanta Vici’s website. Beyk’s originality played a role in Users can control the temperature the success of his company. of their gloves and socks using an “He’s never lost energy along the app the company created. way. I love the fact that he takes The app can also send users no- ideas and internalizes them and tifications if they leave their wear- then comes out with his own verables behind when paired with sion of it rather than either just their smartphone. The app is cur- ignoring it or just copying it from rently available for Android users other people.” to download, but according to the Beyk said he plans on expanding company’s Kickstarter campaign, the current assortment of products they plan to expand to iOS devices. Quanta Vici currently has to offer, Beyk credits several Ryerson branching out to both the accesgroups and awards, including the sibility and fashion spaces. CuriBoost Zone and the Norman Esch rently, a pair of socks and gloves Engineering Innovation and Entre- together is over $400. While a preneurship Awards, for providing quick search on Amazon will show funding and mentorship help. companies selling heated gloves “It’s really important for me to and socks for over $1,000, Beyk work with different mentors at said his team is working on reducany given time because there’s so ing the price of the wearables to be much to learn from them. Here more accessible. are these experienced people who “This product, bringing manufacare years ahead of you. Every word turers together, achieving this level they say in my experience is a gold of quality, bringing this many feamine,” said Beyk. tures, something that has never been One particular person Beyk is done before, all leads up to a high thankful for is Tarek Sadek, direc- production cost,” Beyk said. “We are tor at the Centre of Engineering In- doing our best to lower the costs.” novation and Entrepreneurship, a Beyk added that he is working on facility dedicated to engineering and a discount system for students and architectural science students who users with medical needs to make are interested in entrepreneurship. the product more accessible.
One of the greatest concerns following the announcement of Ryerson’s smart campus is the potential of hacking through smart buildings, but according to the university, none of the data collected could personally identify students and faculty members. Ryerson has been working with Vancouver-based system integration company FuseForward since 2016, who is assisting the university with smart building optimization and infrastructure. The partnership is now turning to the optimization of Ryerson’s downtown campus through streaming data between smart devices and sensors. In the Dec. 10 presentation “Building Smart Infrastructure: An Inside Look at the Ryerson Smart Campus,” assistant architecture professor and smart systems expert Jenn McArthur said that one of the biggest fears of smart buildings is the possibility of hacking specific features of the building to get through to Ryerson’s broader security system.
“The goal is to avoid attackers being able to connect to [networks] remotely” The Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex (DCC) is currently one of the buildings being used for smart campus testing. According to Ryerson experts, there are a lot of barriers to entry that make it difficult for someone outside of the network to try and access it. So how do these networks function? The devices and sensors that control heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) in the DCC communicate through wires that are hidden to the public, according to Karim El Mokhtari, a senior researcher in Ryerson’s smart building analytics research group. HVAC sensors are also connected to their own private network that isn’t accessible globally, otherwise known as network segmentation, according to Brian Lesser, chief information officer for Ryerson Computing and Communications Services (CCS), in an email to The Eye. HVAC sensors are part of the building automation system (BAS) network, which is also responsible for lighting and electricity. Information from administrative computers or academic labs stays on their own separate networks. Network segmentation is the first step to protect the information in Ryerson’s buildings, according to Lesser. “We don’t want a remote attacker to gain a foothold somewhere else on Ryerson’s network and then
PHOTO: ANNIE ARNONE, ILLUSTRATION: KAYLA ZHU
be able to get to these systems.” CCS is responsible for granting access to the BAS network to those at Ryerson who request it, but only to read information, like for El Mokhtari’s digital twin system. To transfer information from the BAS system, a one-way connection is established to another system on a remote network. A virtual private network (VPN) connection is set up to secure the transfer of information from that network to an off-campus system for security information and event management. “The goal is to avoid attackers being able to connect to [networks] remotely or for any system on campus to connect to them that doesn’t need to,” he said. According to Lesser, the most common motive to hack Ryerson’s information systems is financial gain. “There are many ways to leverage compromised systems and user accounts. Business email compromises, identity theft, ransomware, banking trojans.” Other potential reasons could be to access confidential research publications that are not available in other countries and hacktivism, meaning people who obtain access to computer files or networks without permission to advance social or political goals. Lesser said although attackers may not know what is on the BAS network, it’s still a potential target. Reasons for a potential hack include installing ransomware and holding data for monetary gain or just to shut down systems to cause problems. According to Lesser, Ryerson students and community members’ personal information have little risk to hackers in terms of the smart campus project since the information that would be targeted has to do with the building’s operations, but without doing a complete audit of the systems the true risk is unknown. Although not connected to the security features of the project, El Mokhtari has been working on ma-
chine learning algorithms for the fault detection aspect of the smart campus. Machine learning is the development of computer systems that can learn and adapt without following explicit instructions to analyze patterns in data. He is also creating a digital twin for the DCC, which will allow him to see the current state of different sensor and “ask questions without going to the real object.” Although the smart campus poses no threat to unlawful use of their personal information, some students have other concerns with the project. Ryan Lukic spent three years in Ryerson’s business technology management program before transferring to Centennial College’s computer technician program. He said he thinks the university needs to refocus its efforts on trying to centralize the operation of information systems on campus. “There are numerous bureaucratic issues that the university itself has that I think needs to be addressed before you can integrate a brand new system into Ryerson for the management of the campus,” said Lukic.
“There are many ways to leverage compromised systems and user accounts” Some of these bureaucratic issues include travelling between different buildings to deal with long wait times with Ryerson faculty and administration. Even with the student critiques, the project’s main goal is to make the campus infrastructure more comfortable for those who study and work at Ryerson. “We’re trying to work [towards completion of the project] to increase the comfort of people and we are also measuring the number of complaints,” said El Mokhtari. “So if the number goes down, it means that our algorithms are working as expected.”
By Edward Djan
Newcomer Students’ Association at Ryerson collaborates on national action plan against gender-based violence The NSA, along with the YWCA and the Canadian Arab Institute, have conducted three community consultations to inform their plan
By Mariam Nouser and Margaux Perrin The Newcomer Students’ Association at Ryerson (NSA) has partnered with the YWCA Canada and the Canadian Arab Institute to create a national action plan against gender-based violence that will eventually be presented to the federal government. Sara Asalya, the founder of the NSA and current master’s student at the University of Toronto, said the national action plan aims to advance the long-term integration and inclusion of immigrant women in Canadian society, and reduce domestic and systemic violence in the process. “We’re looking on how to build leadership capacity through civic engagement, making [immigrant women] leaders in their community,” said Asalya. “Also including [them] in different decision-making boards and having them represented in politics and in the media are vitally important.” Asalya further emphasized the need for immigrant women to have a place in newsrooms and on television. Gender-based violence is political and economic as much as physical, she said. Thus, change needs to occur across multiple levels of society. The NSA has been in collaborative consultation with refugee, immigrant and Arabic women since Feb. 19. Discussions about the women’s experiences, divided into three focus groups, will inform the national action plan. “A lot of organizations in Canada have been working to end genderbased violence for decades now,” Asalya said. “What we are seeing is that we are not heading in any [one singular] direction.” According to Shireen Salti, the executive director of the Canadian Arab Institute, Canada is one of the only developed countries that lacks a domestic feminist action plan against gender-based violence. The Canadian government incorporated an action plan into their foreign policy as of 2011, following United Nations resolutions for women, peace and security with regard to gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls, and respect for female human rights around the world, according to the government of Canada’s website. However, it doesn’t apply domestically. Anecdotal data collected from the three discussion groups will be sent to the Canadian government. “The whole idea of the community sessions is that we are actually able to engage our community and make them [an] expert in their own deci-
ANJUN SALTANA, MUZNA DUREID AND SARA ASALYA. COURTESY: NEWCOMER STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION sions,” said Asalya. “We will analyze the data coming out of these focus groups, [and] we will submit a report that will inform the national action plan to end gender-based violence” she added.
“We’re looking on how to build leadership capacity through civic engagement, making them leaders in their community” Beginning of the Newcomers Students’ Association After immigrating to Canada almost a decade ago, Asalya said her experience was as difficult as any other immigrant woman. It was nearly impossible for her to find a way into the workforce without first obtaining Canadian credentials, affordable childcare or access to education. This is what pushed her to enroll at Ryerson before creating the NSA in 2016. “After a couple of months being at Ryerson...the experience was really harsh, I decided to create my own space in my own community,” said Asalya. She explains that the NSA was created as a safe space for her and anyone who is part of the immigrant community at Ryerson to share their struggles and advocate for their needs. Finding a remedy for disproportionately high levels of unemployment is crucial, said Salti. According to StatCan’s 2016 census, 15.6 per cent of Arab women were unemployed. Salti said that this makes them the largest group of unemployed visible minorities, despite making up one of the
country’s most highly-educated demographic groups. Salti continued that economic status is connected with gender-based violence in the sense that many Arab women struggle to find work, they remain in abusive relationships because of financial dependence on their partners. In other relationships, women are encouraged to work but only under the condition that their finances are controlled by their spouses. She also said that many of the unemployed Arab women are rejected from jobs based on their religious identity. Many Arab women who are visibly Muslim end up getting rejected from jobs because of wearing the hijab, despite landing a great interview.” Anjum Sultana, YWCA Canada’s national director of public policy, said it is often considered taboo to address experiences of genderbased violence within immigrant communities, especially South Asian communities. She said that often when people from her South Asian community try to access resources for survivors of domestic or gender-based violence, they are inaccessible due to language barriers. With language schools closed, it can be even harder for these women to reach out for help. COVID-19 and its impacts on gender-based violence Gender-based violence faced by immigrant women has worsened significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, having increased by 30 percentage points, according to Sultana. “They are living under the same
roof with their abusers 24/7, which gives the abuser full control of their life,” said Asalya. Muzna Dureid is a human rights advocate and active participant in her community to stop genderbased violence. She immigrated to Canada from Syria in 2017 and, on top of being a policy analyst and award-winning humanitarian, she is now a liaison officer for the White Helmets in her home country, also known as the Syria Civil Defence. Dureid said the struggles of the pandemic on immigrant women put them “face to face with violence.” She added that she is currently helping a woman who is facing domestic violence in her home, and the pandemic makes it practically impossible for her to escape the situation. “She doesn’t have enough money to fight. She couldn’t even call the police,” Dureid said.
“She doesn’t have enough money to ﬁght. She couldn’t even call the police” With their last session taking place on Feb. 26, the NSA, along with the YWCA and Canadian Arab Institute, took collective action to draw a national action plan to end gender-based violence. Asalya said she hopes that with this initiative, systems and policies within our government will see a change. “I think it is time for us to really think about what the root causes of gender-based violence are, and if we think about it…it’s our own systems,” she said.
Notes from Canada’s existing National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security The Canadian government has tried to align with the United Nations ten resolutions on Women, Peace and Security since the adoption of their first National Action Plan in 2011. The government launched their second plan in 2017 as a guide for involvement in “fragile and conflict-affected states” with respect to gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls and respect for female human rights, according to its website. Notable highlights of Canada’s National Action Plan’s annual reports include: The appointment of Jacqueline O’Neill as Canada’s first ambassador to Women, Peace and Security in 2019. Involvement in NATO’s 2018 “No Peace Without Women” campaign, which involved a civil society consultation with women in Afghanistan resulting in the country’s commitment to promote women’s participation in the country’s ongoing peace process. A need to engage men and boys to stop sexual gender-based violence within state conflicts. A need to improve: October 2019’s annual report from the UN secretary-general noted low participation from women in efforts for peace, security and high rates of political violence targeting women. Women’s participation in peace negotiations in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Libya, Mali and Yemen’s conflicts is also at upsetting lows.
ARTS AND CULTURE
“I really did think I would come back”: Graduating students By Sidra Jafri In her first year, Molly Peters experienced her first snowfall in Toronto. Ryerson was covered in a blanket of snow, giving Peters a sense of peace. She took out her camera and took pictures of the campus atmosphere. People filled the streets, laughing with their friends and throwing snowballs at each other. It was a moment Peters would never forget. “That was my first time ever seeing snow in a city, not on a mountain. Just seeing the streetlights reflect on the snow, that was my first time seeing that. I thought that was really beautiful,” said Peters. Like many students, Peters misses the campus life at Ryerson and yearns for a return that might not happen due to COVID-19.
“I remember my last day on campus...I wasn’t even prepared for it” On March 13 of last year, president Mohamed Lachemi announced that Ryerson classes and services would be moving online as the university shifted to an essential service model only. Since then, Ryerson has also postponed in-person convocation ceremonies for the 2020 and 2021 graduating classes. Now a fourth-year creative industries student, Peters won’t be coming back to campus after graduation. She’s spending her final year at Ryerson back home in Vancouver, and often misses the campus she used to see every day. While Ryerson is marketed as the pinnacle of downtown studying, students know it colloquially as “Rye High’’ and often joke about being back in high school. Students famously grumble about getting lost in Kerr Hall, tedious and neverending Gould Street construction and the street’s particularly hideous smell. Now, those are just some of the things students reminisce on the most about campus. “I feel like, at the time, you always complain about whatever situation you’re in. I think as humans, we tend to look at the negative of things, even for the sake of conversation,” said Peters. But now, Peters thinks about all the places she used to make fun of or scowl at as places to revisit and treasure in the future. “This one corner, Gerrard and Church, it always smelled like garbage all the time,” said Peters. “Now that I think back, I’m happy that Ryerson has all these really quirky corners because it makes the school so unique. It just makes for good stories and what are humans without stories?” The end of Peters’ undergraduate career definitely wasn’t what she expected. She said she initially believed she would only be taking classes remotely for one semester and would return to campus for her final year and her convocation ceremony. “It was so sad because I really did think
PHOTO: HARRY CLARKE
that I would come back. When the pandemic happened, I was like, ‘I’m definitely going be back in the fall or in the winter just to say hi to my friends.’ But that’s not even a reality.” Journalism student Victoria Marchisello is also in her fourth year at Ryerson. With her plans to graduate this June, she doesn’t see herself going back to campus for any reason. Marchisello was a commuter student who would just attend her classes and then “get the hell home.” In April 2019, her third year of school, she finally began opening herself up to exploring the other buildings and areas of Ryerson. When Marchisello was in between classes on campus, she always found herself exploring the inside of the Kerr Hall and Jorgenson Hall buildings, specifically the classrooms that had pianos. Having played the piano since fourth or fifth grade, piano-hopping became Marchisello’s favourite pastime on campus. But with no set timeline for reopening campus, it’s unlikely she’ll get the chance to explore again as a student. “It definitely sucks. Like, there’s no other way to put it. It’s not a good feeling. Especially because I remember my last day on campus…I wasn’t even prepared for it,” said Marchisello.
“I almost don’t even feel like I’m in school and I definitely don’t feel like I’m done” “It would be interesting to see what I missed because I probably am missing a ton of places on campus that I just never would have heard of. That kind of sucks too. I don’t even know what I’m missing out on.” Lindsay McCunn is a professor of psychol-
ogy at Vancouver Island University, with a specialty in environmental psychology. She explains that a person’s environment can affect their mood significantly through a person’s feeling of belonging to a place.
“I’m happy that Ryerson has all these quirky corners because it’s what makes the school so unique” “The environment offers a lot of stimulation that we just don’t get from social interaction. There’s lighting, thermal comfort, acoustics and olfactory cues. This all often blends together to allow us to form what a lot of people call a sense of place,” said McCunn. A sense of place is a combination of emotional attachment to a place; place identity which connects to a person’s beliefs and goals; and place dependence, where people can have a sense of behavioral compatibility, which is the ability to obtain goals in certain environments. Place dependence can be seen in educational environments. McCunn explains that being removed from campus and campus culture may have a negative impact on students. “I think in a way, what we’re seeing in terms of some people’s feelings of loss, is a loss of attachment not only to the place, but to themselves and who they were, as they went through that place.” For fifth-year urban and regional planning student Merissa Baichulall, whose career and education is dependent on working with outdoor environments, having a lack of access to the outside world has negatively impacted her work ethic. Being away from campus and not being
able to participate in hands-on assignments and labs has left Baichulall in limbo. “It feels kind of weird,” said Baichulall. “I almost don’t even feel like I’m in school and I definitely don’t feel like I’m done.” While Baichulall completed her intensive studio classes before her final year, her friends didn’t get the same experience. “I feel bad for them that they didn’t get that opportunity to feel what that feels like. I’m glad I didn’t have to do it online,” she said. As a professor, McCunn said she can see that her students miss being able to act as students would on campus. “Their identity is changed because of a lack of environmental input that they had, in a face-to-face environment at school, not only with their professors, but with their peers. And it’s just not something that learning online seems to overcome,” said McCunn. McCunn suggests that a way to temporarily combat negative feelings from being away from campus, and the outside world, is by creating a stimulating environment at home. Students can do this by incorporating plant life into their environment or studying near a window. McCunn, herself, sometimes listens to woodland bird sounds on YouTube in order to fabricate a sense of outdoors. Baichulall’s brother began his first year at Ryerson this fall. She said she was looking forward to attending the school together, but with the lockdown restrictions, they never got the opportunity to go to the coffee shops and restaurants they were planning to go to. “It’s stuff that I won’t get to do now. So you miss those opportunities...You’ve missed those little interactions and seeing things like that,” said Baichulall.
How Ryerson’s rugby program was born during frosh week By Richard Coffey
lower price. I had to recruit people. the talent didn’t quite seem to be I had to convince Coach Brohman. there,” said Custadillo. Team capTravelling from Ryerson’s campus It was all really fun for me.” tain Jake Poulin also recognized the to the sports field at Cherry Beach challenge of finding players. “We is not an easy task. Unless you didn’t have tryouts; it was just, ‘ev“We got the idea that drive, you’re looking at a 40-mineryone show up.’” maybe we could start a ute subway and streetcar ride or Eventually, they formed a rosrugby club at Ryerson” more than an hour of walking. But ter of close to 30 athletes. In search for the 31 members of Ryerson’s of a place to play, the Rugby team rugby club who call Cherry Beach As the fall 2019 semester ap- joined the Scholars League, a develhome for their practices, it’s a trip proached with every form signed opmental league organized under they can’t wait to make again. and coaches and trainers in place, Rugby Ontario that’s home to many The Ryerson Rugby Club was all that was needed was a team. B-Teams of more established rugby formed two summers ago by Ian With that in mind, Custadillo and programs within Ontario UniversiCustadillo and Rajiv Bahadur, a Badahur quickly learned the chal- ty Athletics. Even in the excitement, pair of now third-year business lenges of building a team from the the co-founders didn’t want to have management students. “It started ground up. too high expectations for their team. back in 2018 when Ian and I met “We had a training camp in “It was all so new that you wouldn’t during frosh week,” said Bahadur. August, we got the numbers, but expect to win,” said Custadillo. “He noticed my OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations) lanyard for rugby, and we got to talking and quickly became friends...From there, we got the idea that maybe we could start a rugby club at Ryerson.” The two set to work, handling the necessary paperwork and reaching out to potential players. A critical move was connecting with Custadillo’s former high school coach Robert Brohman, who agreed to serve as the head coach for Ryerson Rugby.
On Sept. 21, 2019, the Rams Rugby Club took the field for the first time against the Queen’s 4s and pulled off a surprising 14-5 victory. For Bahadur, winning that first game felt like vindication for a year’s worth of hard work. “It was surreal to think of going from two guys having the idea at frosh...to winning our first game.” Over the rest of the season, the underdog Ryerson Rams faced the ups and downs of a fledgling club in its first season. They lost twice, once to Queen’s 3s and again in a 43-0 shellacking by the Carleton Ravens. On the other hand, they also picked up wins against Brock, York and the Royal Military College (RMC) to
“We have the potential to be more than just a competitive club; we can strive for OUA status”
“We didn’t have tryouts. It was just, ‘everyone show up’” “I think that in helping build the program, a lot of things I did I could take away into the real world as a business student,” said Custadillo. “When I was getting jerseys, I had to talk to a manufacturer in China to design them and get a
finish with a 4-2 record. For Poulin, Custadillo and Bahadur, the team’s victory over RMC stands out for more than just the result on the scoresheet. “We went up to RMC, and it was raining, we were slipping and sliding in the mud,” said Poulin. “We ended up winning, and after the game, a bunch of us rented an Airbnb and hung out together.” As the club waits for clearance to hopefully begin to play again this fall, Bahadur and Custadillo are taking the time to plan for Ryerson Rugby’s future. “We have a fiveyear plan,” said Custadillo. “What we want to do is start playing OUA teams, such as University of Toronto or Laurier.”
In their inaugural 2019 season, after months of hard work to get it off of the ground, Ryerson’s rugby program debuted to a shocking amount of success. | PHOTO: CHRISTIAN BENDER
In Poulin’s mind, as captain, the next goal is establishing the culture for Ryerson’s Rugby program. “Just as a team we are working toward having set practice times, working out together, those typical university sport team things.” Bahadur sees the future as a simple goal: “We have the potential to be more than just a competitive club; we can strive for OUA status.” With a plan in place and an end goal in sight, all Ryerson’s Rugby Club can do is wait to take the long journey back to Cherry Beach, have the opportunity to get back on the field and continue to build their program.
Which Rams stars from 2019-20 have signed professionally? By Will Baldwin
after Alkaldy played for the Iraqi National Team at the FIBA Asia Men’s Basketball Cup 2021 Qualifiers, signing on Jayden Frederick with Nift Al-Basra in the Iraqi SuIn December 2020, Jayden Fred- per League. So far, in four games erick joined former Rams team- as a pro, Alkaldy has averaged 12.5 mates Myles Charvis and Jean-Vic- points and 4.5 assists. tor Mukama by taking his talents to the pro ranks. Frederick was an On- Women’s Basketball tario University Athletics Third- Hayley Robertson Team All-Star in 2019-20 and left Hayley Robertson is Ryerson’s Ryerson after two seasons to play lone former female athlete from overseas. So far with his new club 2019-20 to sign professionally. in the Georgian Super Liga, called After an outstanding career at RyMgzavrebi-Armia Tbilisi, Frederick erson that saw her break the rehas played seven games, averaging cord for assists in a single season 9.6 points and 7.6 rebounds. and attain OUA All-Star status, Robertson agreed over the sumDiar Alkaldy mer to head to France. She started Joining Frederick in January the season with Basket Féminin 2021, Diar Alkaldy announced he d’Escaudain Porte du Hainaut was signing to play professionally. (BFEPH) of the Nationale FémiAlkaldy’s only season as a Ram nine 1 league, however, according came in 2019-20 when he scored to friend and former teammate 10 points and tallied two assists in Marin Scotten, Robertson is no 18 total minutes. The move came longer with the club.
Men’s Hockey Matt Mistele Former Rams captain Matt Mistele is currently playing professionally in Slovakia. The decision was announced in August 2020 for the Rams’ all-time leader in points and goals. Mistele graduated from Ryerson as arguably the men’s hockey program’s best player—on top of the points and goals records, he was also a multiple-time OUA All-Star and U Sports All-Canadian. So far, for HC 05’ Banska Bystrica in the top Slovakian professional league, Mistele has recorded nine goals and 14 points in 17 games. Taylor Dupuis In early September 2020, it was announced graduating senior goalie Taylor Dupuis was taking his talents to France. Dupuis finished his Rams career second all-time in program history in wins and was a stalwart member of the program
for five seasons. He now plays for Neuilly Sur-Marne Bisons in Ligue Magnus, the French first division, where he has played in six games across all competitions.
ing to the pros. Conveniently, the Mississauga native won’t have to go too far as he signed with Toronto FC’s affiliate club, Toronto FC II (TFC II). Like Mullen, when Curic’s pro debut will take place is Andrew Mullen unclear as TFC II withdrew from Unlike everyone else on this list, the USL League One’s 2020 season former Ram’s defenceman Andrew due to the pandemic. Mullen is heading professionally to a completely different sport. After Men’s Volleyball being drafted in 2016, the former Xander Ketrzynski Rams hockey player signed with the Unfortunately for Rams fans, XanNew England Black Wolves of the der Ketrzynski’s final game at RyerNational Lacrosse League (NLL). son was in 2020. The reigning Male Unfortunately, Mullen will have to Athlete of the Year left quite the mark wait until the 2021-22 season, as on the program in just two seasons in the NLL announced in February the the blue and gold. He won U Sports cancellation of any 2021 season due Rookie of the Year, OUA Most to the pandemic. Valuable Player and was a two-time First-Team All-Canadian. Ketrzynski Men’s Soccer signed to take his talents to Al Sadd Antony Curic of the Qatar Volleyball Association. In December 2020, Antony Cu- In 14 matches as a professional so far, ric announced after just one season Ketrzynski has recorded 220 points of U Sports soccer he was head- for his new club.
STARS & SATIRE
Student tries to orchestrate enemies to lovers arc over Zoom By Claire Donoghue First-year English student Jane Swan has been trying to encourage two of her peers to enter a romantic relationship during Zoom lectures. Aidan Leon and Nadia Noel said Swan began private messaging them on Tuesday after their Introduction to Archetypes class. “It was a really long class, I’d been arguing with Aidan and we kind of went over class time. We always disagree during discussions,” said Noel. Swan messaged Noel and Leon for their phone number, saying it was for class purposes. “Class had just finished up and I was writing a list of comebacks to use for when Nadia inevitably says something stupid during again, when I got this notification from Jane,” said Zoom chat with combinations of Leon. “She created the group chat Leon’s and Noel’s names. with me, her and Nadia, sent a gif “So far I have Nadian, Aidia and from Bridgerton and left the chat.” Aidanadia, which sounds a bit like blood pressure medicine,” Swan said. Dr. Cue Pid, their Introduction to “It’s a Wattpad story Archetypes professor, asked Swan made in heaven” to leave the Zoom multiple times for distracting class by spamming Swan has made numerous at- the chat with “<3” and “Nadian” tempts to encourage affection be- whenever Leon and Noel debated. tween the two, including changing Even after being being kicked out, her Zoom background to famous however, Swan often rejoins the romantic settings, like Paris, London Zoom call. and the Toronto Christmas Market. “The fact that I can still keep comThe most recent attempt Swan ing back to lectures proves this love made was spamming her class’ is just meant to be. I also have 10
laid, Aidy.” On Monday, Swan did an inclass presentation about Pride and Prejudice that included subliminal messaging targeting the two, featuring flashing words like “love,” “love each other,” “you should date” and a photoshopped image of their Zoom profile pictures pasted onto Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfayden during the foggy “you have bewitched me” scene from the movie adaptation.
ILLUSTRATION: LAILA AMER different Gmail accounts. But it was still meant to be,” Swan said. When asked why she believed the two should become a couple, Swan said, “Are you shitting me? Their names are literally backward of each other. It’s a Wattpad story made in heaven.” Leon stated that he has no romantic interest in Noel. “Nadia is insufferable. She’s really fun to argue with and kinda nice to look at, I guess, but I still hate her.” Noel said she could never imagine her and Leon in a relationship. “Aidan just makes no sense. I think about him all the time. I mean, I
think about annoying him all the time, so I think about him a lot.” Swan also somehow hacked into The Eyeopener’s transcripts of both interviews on Google Docs and commented on these quotes: “Is no one else hearing this?!” The most recent class discussion in which Leon and Noel disagreed was whether romantic archetypes are overlooked in literature. Leon argued they’re disregarded because they’re overused, and that Noel’s stance on the topic was half-assed and his goldfish “could have made a more articulate argument.” Noel responded: “Well, at least I can get
“I think about him all the time. I mean, I think about annoying him all the time” When asked if her name had any reference to Jane Austen, the author of Pride and Prejudice and other iconic romance novels, Swan had no comment. However, she said she has plans to turn her matchmaking skills to herself and is hoping to find her own Duke of Hastings after changing her name to Daphne. Noel denied having any contact with Leon since receiving his phone number. “Nah, of course not. I mean, I don’t really wanna say. But even if I was texting him all the time, it would just be to annoy him, of course,” she said.
Your midterms mood based on your zodiac sign By Kassie Hura Aries You’re probably running out of walls to punch this midterms szn, aren’t you Aries? I know it’s hard coping now that you and your fellow fire signs with anger issues can’t get to the Kerr Hall rooftop, screaming into the void to relieve stress prepandemic. Have you tried doing the same thing from the comfort of your bedroom? On the bright side, you’ll save on TTC fees. Taurus A Taurus: “I’m just going to rest for five more minutes, so wake me up at dinner time and I’ll get some studying done then.” Translation: “I dare you to wake me up before I’ve napped for 16 hours. The power of my wrath will make you wish you had been struck by lightning instead. And yes, I still don’t have my course schedule memorized.” Gemini Instead of freaking out on being behind, take a deep breath and channel the most productive of your multiple personalities. If you’re struggling with nervous energy, you may not be able to pet some therapy doggos at the SLC but you can watch a compilation of chihuahuas sniffing dandelions and sneezing on YouTube for hours.
ILLUSTRATION: SKYLER ASH Cancer Try not to cry too much, but if you can’t help yourself at least collect your tears in a cute mason jar to water your 1,000 assorted plants and succulents with. Even in tough times, your commitment to your aesthetic is greatly respected. Leo You didn’t learn anything in the first half of the semester because instead of listening to your Zoom lectures, you pinned yourself on your screen to make sure you looked like
the baddest baddie in your accounting class. Now, all you know about accounting is that a liability is what you are on the weekends and an asset is what you throw back. Virgo Try not to spend too much time writing strongly-worded emails to your profs describing how midterms are a monstrosity or commiserating with your peers on a WhatsApp course group chat. They’re still going to happen, so you better start studying, Virgo.
Libra Everybody knows that answering “I don’t know” to everything is your signature move, but you’ve gotta have those answers now that it’s midterms szn. Your natural charm may help you during virtual office hours, but they won‘t be useful an hour before your 3,000 word essay on the German Revolutions of 1848 is due. Scorpio No, you can’t block your prof’s email because they didn‘t curve your midterm. No, don’t plot to set their
house on fire as revenge, either. We know you’re unhinged, but perhaps try avoiding any felonies. Sagittarius Sagittariuses are known to be the most unpredictable sign, so you won’t find them cramming for their tests or making cheat sheets. Rather, they‘re conjuring their dead relatives’ spirits off a Dollarama ouija board, accompanied by a date they will ghost within two days, to help them get that A+. Capricorn Capricorn in summary: Always on top of their work. We have nothing else to say about you because you’re perfect. Boring, but perfect. Carpal tunnel syndrome stretches will be your best friend for when you insist on writing out all your lecture notes by hand this midterm szn. Aquarius You’re way too quirky to feel like you have to do midterms so you booked a skiing vacation to Whistler, B.C. instead. Live out your main character fantasies; midterms are temporary but the cotty is forever. Pisces You’re mad that it’s Pisces szn but we’re calling it midterms szn in this article. At least when midterms end, you’ll have two reasons to cry then black out on Zoom. Happy birthday!