October 28, 2020
PHOTO: LAILA AMER / JES MASON
Volume 54 - Issue 4
Students demand Ryerson ban proctoring software The software was adopted with Ryerson’s transition to virtual learning in March, but students have said it’s added extra pressure during exams
By Edward Djan A petition calling for an end to the use of exam proctoring software Respondus LockDown Browser at Ryerson has received over 1,000 signatures. Created by “RU Students,” the petition called the software “spyware” for analyzing students’ actions during exams. The petition organizer is demanding for school officials to find alternative ways to uphold academic integrity. The software restricts students from accessing their personal devices during a proctored exam by banning the use of additional tabs or computer programs other than the ones used for students’ exams, according to a product description on Respondus’ website.
“You know someone is watching you but you have no clue who” Features such as copy and paste, printing, keyboard shortcuts and screen capturing are all disabled once the software is in use. If an instructor chooses, they can pair Respondus LockDown Browser with Respondus Monitor, which would not only require students to download software that restricts access to their computer applications but also a webcam to allow Respondus Monitor to flag suspicious activity using the company’s AI. Nichole Shilo, a second-year global management studies student, said she felt added pressure when she had to use the software for her
be shared, and research groups who receive the video recordings would be bound by confidentiality. The software was adopted with Ryerson’s transition to virtual learning back in March. In an email to The Eyeopener, Keep Teaching Taskforce (KTT), the group responsible for Ryerson’s transition to virtual learning, stated that the university studied both Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor before deeming it safe to use. “Prior to making Respondus Monitor and Lockdown Browser available, Ryerson completed privacy and security assessments of these products,” the group stated via email. “While there is no perfectly secure system our assessment was that these sorts of risks are low.” Students at Western University’s business school recently received an email from their faculty about a “data breach” of the proctoring software, Proctortrack, according to CBC News. The company’s CEO told CBC News students experienced a “security breach” rather than a “data breach,” saying the hacker accessed Proctortrack’s system and reached out to students as an employee of the proctoring software’s parent company, Verificient Technologies. A petition was already created prior to the security breach demanding Western stop using the proctoring software. It has over 10,000 supporters. Molly Reynolds, a privacy lawyer with Torys LLP, said the amount of information companies like
PHOTO: JIMMY KWAN
“You do always have the right to know what information is being collected” “Understand what types of uses of data are optional, whether that’s contacting the company directly or going through the educational institution,” said Reynolds. “If it’s not clear from the documentation the company provides what the options are or how their data is going to be used, follow-up with the university and get those answers.”
Reynolds said students have the right to know how their data is being treated. “Even though you don’t have a choice of whether to take an exam without using a (proctoring) software, you do always have the right to know what information is being collected, how it’s going to be used and how long it’s going to be kept for.” Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi said the software programs may not be suitable for every examination and asks that instructors to use proper judgement when deciding to use it. “Faculty and instructors have been strongly encouraged to find alternative forms of assessment and to adopt automated virtual proctoring only if deemed absolutely necessary for assessment.”
Ryerson students face second-longest commute, study suggests A study released this month by StudentMoveTO suggests York and Ryerson lead post-secondary schools in the GTHA when it comes to commute time By Soofia Omari A recent study suggests Ryerson students have the second-longest commute among post-secondary students in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA), according to the 2019 StudentMoveTO survey. More than 18,500 students from 10 post-secondary institutions participated in the survey, making it the largest and most diverse student data ever collected and analyzed for this topic. According to the survey, Ryerson students have an average commute time of about 56.6 minutes, more than 10 minutes above the overall average of 45.9 minutes among all GTHA post-secondary students. York University students recorded the longest commute time with a 57.4 minute average commute time. 30 per cent of students spend
more than two hours commuting to and from campus each day, the survey suggested. The 2019 results suggest that 48 per cent of surveyed students believed their commute was a barrier to their co-curricular experience. Sixty per cent reported their commute discouraged them from participating in campus activities and events. Kiara Rudder, a third-year journalism student who commutes from Brampton via local transit and the TTC, said these results don’t surprise her. “I pretty much didn’t participate in any [campus activities, events] during first-year because a lot of them that I wanted to go to were in the evening at 7 p.m. and they finished at 9 p.m., so I’d be leaving the school at nine and getting home at 11 p.m.,” said Rudder. “I didn’t wanna be on the bus while it’s so late and so dark.”
StudentMoveTO was launched in 2015 with an aim to “generate insights, debates and actions to improve transportation experiences for post-secondary students,” according to their website.
“I think my commute might have a negative impact on my mental health” The study was done by the organization in hopes of their findings being used to create changes in the transportation system to enhance the quality of life for commuter students. Thirty-one per cent of students felt their commute was a barrier to their academic success. This resonates with third-year entrepreneurship and strategy student Alexander Woo, who said
living just five minutes away from campus at Dundas and Jarvis has given him some academic advantages. “I’m more likely to use office hours,” said Woo. “I’m not exhausted when I get back to my apartment from class.” Third-year performance production student Betty Fan said although she doesn’t feel her almost hour-anda-half commute from Markham is a barrier to academic success, it did impact her in other ways. “I think my commute might have a negative impact on my mental health and physical wellbeing,” said Fan. “It can be [physically] draining having to get up two hours earlier and since I’m away from home for so long, I usually pack one meal and have to eat out for my second one.” The survey also suggests the rise of online learning isolation and
loneliness could replace long commutes as a key challenge for students taking online courses. A study conducted in April by Ipsos shows 68 per cent of young Canadians between ages 18-34 have felt lonely or isolated during the pandemic, which is the highest number amongst all Canadians. On Sept. 17, Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi announced the winter 2021 semester will be mostly offered online. For students like Nelson Liang, a first-year computer science student who would have had an hour commute, this is good news. “I save on rent, commute money and also time that I can be better spent on catching up sleep or studying. Not to mention the physical drain from commuting—a more tired student learns less efficiently, [which results] in more time needed to study.”
10th annual Social Justice Week
By Margaux Parrin Ryerson’s 10th annual Social Justice Week (SJW) is looking beyond Ryerson and Toronto to advance the social justice efforts that have become an everyday battle for individuals and groups around the world. Since the event series is entirely virtual this year, the panels from Oct. 26 to Oct. 30 will feature speakers “from across Turtle Island, Canada, the USA, Hong Kong, Brazil, South Africa and Trinidad & Tobago,” said Kiké Roach, the Unifor National Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson and organizer of SJW. Since 2011, SJW has been a forum for social justice advocates and Ryerson’s academic community to come together and interact, as is the mandate for the Unifor Chair, said Roach in an email to The Eyeopener. “It is definitely more challenging organizing events without the benefit of being on campus and meeting with the planning committee on a face to face basis,” Roach wrote. Faced with the challenge of being entirely online, “we’ve decided to focus on a big advantage,” she said. “We can invite speakers from around the world and gain insights on how people are grappling with pressing issues internationally.” With many social justice topics discussed throughout the week—such as fighting for healthcare, democracy and challenging state-sanctioned violence and legacies of colonialism—are happening globally. Roach said that SJW “is an opportunity for us to learn and connect to and show solidarity with people around the world.” “There is an energy that’s built from being around people who are changemakers,” said Roberta Timothy, assistant professor at the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health and director of the Masters of Public Health health promotion program. Both Timothy and Justice for Migrant Workers member, Tracy-Ann Hines, will be speaking on the Food Justice in a Time of COVID panel, discussing food justice as it relates to the precarious work conditions involved in producing and distributing food. Coming from a family activists, Timothy said she was “breastfed with revolution” and grew up going to marches for women’s rights and supporting Pan-African movements, citing the Anti-Apartheid Movement as having a significant impact on who she is today. From a young age, she’s done feminist and decolonizing work; noting that her mother was involved in emancipatory movements and taught Timothy and her siblings the power of resisting. Now, Timothy said she’s “honoured” to
The annual event will run entirely online this year from Oct. 26 to 30, featuring speakers from across the globe
grassroots efforts against climate change and Indigenous sovereignty. Gilmore, a professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the City University of New York, is the co-founder of multiple grassroots organizations such as California Prison Moratorium Project and Critical Resistance. Gilmore recently won the 2020 Lannan Foundation Lifetime Cultural Freedom Prize. Roach’s predecessor and second Unifor Chair, Winnie Ng, was the creator of SJW in 2011. Following the effects of the 2008 recession and the election of a conservative government, “SJW emerged as a place where critical political be part of SJW among a roster of amazing questions were analyzed and much needed speakers. In particular, she appreciates being in dialogue on grassroots community engagement a space where the people who are doing social was fostered,” said Roach. justice work will be supported and recognized. “I stand here, because I’m standing on the backs of others, who sometimes their names “There is an energy are not known, and their voices were not that’s built from being heard,” she said. “I hope that people take away that this is not a seven year revolution, around people who are [emancipation of Black, Indigenous and changemakers” colonized folks] is a 400 year and more revolution that we’re a part of, and that they can make a difference.” At that time, “[Ng] did a wonderful job Thomas added that SJW should make of bringing different people across campus people feel like they are a part of something, together to reflect on the most entrenched and create “a safer space to talk about some of systemic problems we face, and to discuss the difficult conversations that we need to do, solutions powered by the activism and hold people up, and support the change work creativity of so-called ordinary people.” we need to do in this world.” Ng will be moderating the Right Before In past years, SJW events have included Our Eyes: Dissent, Democracy and Creative skill building workshops, panels, speeches, Resistance in Hong Kong session. The event, poetry, rallies, walks, and other events. which will situate Hong Kong as “part of Through these, SJW addresses a wide range a global movement against tyranny and of issues including “Indigenous sovereignty dictatorship” and discuss its connections to and land defence, workers’ rights, democracy, Canadian and other democracy movements, and political organizing, the environment, will also feature RU Stand with Hong Kong. homelessness, the failures of the legal system, Other prominent Ryerson figures who will combatting anti-Black racism, disability be speaking at SJW include Cathy Crowe, justice, food insecurity and feminist activism a street nurse and distinguished visiting to name a few,” said Roach. practitioner at Ryerson, who will be speaking on the Housing in Crisis panel to discuss how homelessness is exacerbated by race, “SJW emerged as a place where colonization and the pandemic. critical political questions were Pascale Diverlus, former Ryerson student and co-founder of Black Lives Matter – analyzed and much needed Toronto, will also be hosting a panel featuring dialogue on grassroots community Black freedom fighters from around the world engagement was fostered” called Global Black Resistance. Dr. Loree Erickson and Adan Jareat-Poole, This year’s theme: Beyond Walls, Beyond the former and present Ethel Louise Post Borders, tackles in particular justice: critical Doctoral Fellows at the School of Disability geography, democracy, political mobilization, Studies, respectively, will host Mad/Crip Jam: labour, global resistance, and feminist Digital Intimacies, a workshop on game design, activism, according to the SJW website. access intimacy, and disability justice. The Monday’s headlining panel, Beyond workshop will create a space specifically for Pipelines & Prisons: Infrastructures of Mad, sick, spoonie, Deaf and disabled students Abolition, features anti-colonial thinkers (broadly defined, not policed or dependent Winona LaDuke and Ruth Wilson Gilmore. on diagnosis, according to Erickson) to The two will discuss how we can build social “share their experiences of COVID-19 and infrastructures to avoid planetary, social, and use collaborative storytelling as a mode of ecological disaster posed by infrastructure community-building and critical intervention,” from pipelines to prisons, according to the according to the event description. event’s online description. The week will end with We Keep Each LaDuke is an international lecturer on Other Safe: Living In a World Without Indigenous and environmental issues and Police or Prisons, an webinar organized community leader at the White Earth Indian by the Toronto Prisoner Rights Project to Reservation in Minnesota. As a Havard- discuss and imagine a future where policing educated economist and life-time award and prisons have been abolished and explore achiever from the Minnesota Women’s Press, collective safety models. LaDuke’s scholarship explores America’s All SJW events are open to the public and attempts at multicultural democracy, free to attend.
Editor-in-Chief Catherine “Simping for Joji” Abes News Alexandra “Catherine Abes” Holyk Heidi “Karen Emoji” Lee Libaan “Halal Franchise” Osman Photo Laila “HOSTILE REMINDER” Amer Jimmy “Vibing, Artisting” Kwan Jes “Scoopin’ the Star” Mason Online Tyler “Depression/Alcohol/Drugs” Griffin Madi “Weed Plants Grow Up So Fast” Wong Features Dhriti “Bisaidual” Gupta Arts and Culture Rhea “EYE-ran” Singh Sports Will “SKRRrrrrrrrttttt” Baldwin Biz and Tech Aaliyah “Recalling...Stance On Fracking” Dasoo Communities Kiernan “Finally Watched Borat” Green Fun and Satire Zach “Skater-in-Chief” Roman Media Connor “Kramer Energy” Thomas Parnika “Lookin’ 4 Furries 2 Luv” Raj Web Developer Farhan “Can Do Math” Sami General Manager Liane “Happy Birthday Legend!” McLarty Advertising Manager Chris “We Miss You<3” Roberts Design Director J.D. “Delete Their Comments!” Mowat Contributors Kayla “4k feachy legend” Zhu Sara “CEO Thorough Copy Edits” Romano Soofia “Let’s Move, TO” Omari Prapti “Bond, Bond Place Hotel” Bamaniya Minh “Got A Tip 4 U” Truong Stacey “Social (Work) Butterfly” Nguyen Mariam “Mitochondria Mom” Nouser Anna “Studying Stunningly” Wdowczyk Julia “Still Rigging” Mlodzik Jackie “Biking” Lam Simay “Big Lifts” Alkan Charlize “Edits During A Workshop” Alcaraz Edward “Out Of This World” Djan Reedah “Cycologist” Hayder David “Happy Accidents” Jardine Margaux “Chair Whisperer” Perrin Richard “What’s next?” Coffey Tom “Destined to live in Buffalo” Pepper Joseph “Wrestling Twitter” Casciaro Luke “I Can Take One” Burrows Therese “LMK If This Works” Sevilla Saif “Arsonist Extraordinaire” Amer Grace “Clutch” Comia Lesi “Always” Yang Brianna “Golden Voice” Roett Emilie “Fabulous Stuff” Collins Francis “Great Job” Humarang
EVERYTHING IS NOT FINE PHOTO: MICHAELA BELL
By Zachary Roman I haven’t shaved my beard or cut my hair since March. I’m bored of my classes and I haven’t been keeping up with my schoolwork. I’m up eating cereal at unholy hours every night because I can’t sleep. I’m always restless, looking for the next opportunity I can leave responsibility behind and go out longboarding or on a hike with my girlfriend. None of that is actually any different than my life before the pandemic, but at least now I have a good excuse for living the way I do. Some days, I’m surprised people put up with me. Luckily, I’m surrounded by amazing friends, family and coworkers. When I see them working hard, it inspires me to try and put in that same effort— be it for an assignment at school, an article for work or mastering a new skill. However, there comes a point when you have to give yourself a break. I like to think I’m pretty good
at it—I’m great at taking it easy, even when I maybe shouldn’t be. You should try it sometime, seriously! You deserve it. I know that it’s easier said than done. You have to work at giving yourself a break just like you would with anything else. I also know it can be hard to relax when the world is absolutely fucked in countless ways.
“This issue...is going to make you laugh in the face of danger” I wish it could, but this issue isn’t going to tell you how to make it better. It’s going to make you laugh in the face of danger and make the existential crisis we’re in a little bit more manageable. With each story you read in this issue, the headline may at first appear positive—as if everything is
fine, so to speak. I like to think that this represents a lot of us right now, putting on a brave face while staring down crisis after crisis in our own lives and in the world. When you dive into an article and start reading, you’ll quickly remember that we don’t believe everything is fine. Not one bit. The goal with these stories is catharsis: to engage with our feelings of hopelessness, sadness, frustration, despair and anger; then let them go. Even if it’s just for a moment before they come back, because if we leave them bottled up inside, it’s not good for anyone. In this issue we explore the different ways large institutions are taking advantage of people during the pandemic. We call out racists, sexists and homophobes for continuing to be the pieces of garbage they are. For the feature, we unleash a no-holdsbarred assault on Ryerson’s broken promises to its communities. Even though this issue highlights all the ways things aren’t fine, I want
you to know that even though that’s the case, . We have to believe that if we’re doing our best to be good people, good things will come to us and the world.
I hope you’ll enjoy joining my exceedingly talented team and I on this cathartic journey of holding power and privilege to account through the lens of humour.
everything is not as it seems. Read the full issue online at
Managing Editor Zachary Roman
Design Lead Jes Mason
Editor-in-Chief Catherine Abes
Visual Team Dhriti Gupta Laila Amer Jimmy Kwan Eli Savage Saif Amer
Web Developer Farhan Sami
Lorenza De Benedictis
ILLUSTRATION: LAILA AMER
Extremely groovy writers Alexandra Holyk
EVERYTHING IS NOT FINE
Student activist excited to steal content from race and ethnicity class for her Instagram posts By Rochelle Raveendran Kayla Turner was only eight years old when she took her first steps towards becoming an advocate for diversity. “I told my dad to buy me a chihuahua instead of a golden lab for my birthday,” she said. Ever since that day, Turner, a second-year performance acting major, has been on a transformative journey towards becoming a “lover of inclusion,” which manifested in her teens as a desire to be an ally for racialized people. Originally, Turner kept her allyship to her private life; she bought tickets to see Kevin Hart on tour twice and gifted her sister a “Henna tattoo” kit last Christmas. But it wasn’t until five months ago when Turner reposted an ad on her Instagram story for her local gym’s Zumba classes that she realized there was an entire potential platform for her activism that remained untapped. “I’ve always loved Latin music. I actually prefer the original ‘Despacito’ without Justin Bieber,” she said. “Reposting that Zumba ad made me realize I could use my Instagram to uplift people of colour.” Turner decided to embark on a “major rebrand” of her Instagram profile. Her first step was to post a black square on June 2 in solidarity with #BlackOutTuesday, though she reduced the exposure to -1.7 and increased saturation to +12.0 so it would fit in with the rest of her feed’s theme. The edits made no
said she found it difficult to imagine a person of colour’s perspective as the closest relationship she has had with one was when she dated an Egyptian boy for an hour in Grade 3. She decided to enroll in Race and Ethnicity in Canada for the fall semester, for the sole purpose of collecting enough information to fuel her Instagram content. “It’s not technically academic misconduct if I add a paisley print border and change the font to Papyrus,” said Turner. PHOTO: ELI SAVAGE
discernible difference to the black square’s appearance. She then posted a TikTok of herself doing the Renegade dance challenge with the caption: “guys, i’m so sad about what’s happening in Syria right now :( link in my bio to donate!” Turner did not verify the crowd-funding link she shared and found out two days later the donations were being used to fund an allwhite remake of Crazy Rich Asians.
“It’s not technically academic misconduct if I add a paisley print border and change the font to Papyrus” “It was definitely disheartening but it taught me that it’s not enough just to share social issues affecting racialized people,” she said. “I had to
become their voice.” This realization prompted Turner to change her Instagram bio from a link to her VSCO profile to “I understand that I will never understand, but still I stand,” followed by a white fist bump emoji, a brown peace sign emoji, and several racially ambiguous prayer hands. The August course enrolment period at Ryerson presented Turner with what she describes as her greatest idea yet. One course in particular caught her attention: Race and Ethnicity in Canada, taught by Amy Williams. Turner said she immediately recognized the course as a way to harvest content for “artsy Instagractivism slideshows.” She had previously tried and failed to create an educational slideshow on racism. Her aim was to provide her interpretation of Black and brown people’s experiences with racism in Canada, however, Turner
“I just feel an obligation to stand up for injustice. I literally cannot keep quiet” In an email to The Eyeopener, Williams declined to comment directly on Turner but said her course is not intended for students “who spent $500 buying everything on Vogue Magazine’s anti-racism reading list in June but have yet to read past a single book’s copyright page.” Turner said she is used to such opposition towards her allyship endeavours. “Being a white person in a nonwhite industry has definitely been a struggle—it’s been really hard not being taken seriously just because of the colour of my skin,” she said. “I would love for more people that look like me to be inspired by my work and know that nothing is stopping them from being a racial
justice influencer.” Turner has not yet attended any of the Zoom lectures for her race and ethnicity course as she’s been busy developing a name for her brand—which she describes as Goop meets How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi—and creating backgrounds for her activist slideshows on Canva. “Why go to the class when the PowerPoints are posted anyways?” said Turner. She also created a Pinterest board of artwork from Black and brown creators that she will “loosely adapt” to bring an “authentic ethnic vibe” to her posts. By this time next year, Turner hopes to have increased her following enough to obtain a sponsorship deal with Fashion Nova and plans on using the money to fund a “mission trip to Africa.” When pressed on exactly where in the continent she hopes to go and what she intends to do, Turner attempted to change the subject by exclaiming that the reporter of this article looked just like Princess Jasmine. (Editor’s note: the reporter looks nothing like Princess Jasmine.) Ultimately, despite the plagiarism accusations and academic misconduct penalties that will almost certainly come her way, Turner is committed to fulfilling her calling as an anti-racist influencer—a destiny she believes was written in the stars. “I just feel an obligation to stand up for injustice. I literally cannot keep quiet,” she said. “I’m a total fire sign that way.”
Residence life is the best it has ever been
By David Jardine
Ryerson Housing and Residence Life may only be operating at a minimal capacity, but that doesn’t mean students are missing out on the residence experience. Residence Life staff members have been working all semester to find ways to actually improve the residence experience, despite the pandemic. The most obvious improvement is that each student has their own bathroom in compliance with public health recommendations. By a happy accident, this also means no first years will groggily walk down the hall and enter the bathroom only to find a floormate projectile vomiting Peach Schnapps into the sink. Students moving into residence are usually greeted with helpful staff, carts that will bruise your ankles at top speed and poorly rehearsed cheers. This year, those cheers were even harder to follow since everyone was mumbling them through their masks. “I couldn’t even figure
PHOTO: LORENZA DI BENEDICTIS
out what they were shouting,” said Peter Parker, a first-year biology student. “Thank god I had a mask on too. I just tried to raise my eyebrows a lot so they thought I was chanting with them.” Screens and barriers have been installed throughout residences, including at the front desks to ensure proper distancing between residents and staff. Sameer Noff, a first-year engineering student and soon-to-be evicted residence student, said she’s “really happy
to see the barriers at the desks.” “Sure, for health reasons it’s great, but it’s going to make it even easier for me to hide my drinks from the desk staff.” Housing and Residence Life has also implemented rigorous and frequent cleaning protocols. Students are happy to hear common surfaces will be cleaned more often, but none are as happy to hear about this than The Stain that has been on the Pitman Hall carpet since 2001. The Eyeopener
failed to receive comment from The Stain after it was determined its smell was just too strong. Another new rule this year is that masks are required everywhere in residence that’s not a private space. Some students were a little frustrated that they have to put on a mask every time they step out of their rooms, but some are looking on the brightside. “If we’re both wearing masks,” said Dan K. Budd, “it’s going to be way
harder for my RA to smell that I just smoked a fat blunt.” Some students are sad to be missing out on the classic Pitman parties, but Matt Alltale, a first-year law student, is overjoyed. “I was looking forward to calling the RAs every night to complain about the noise,” said Alltale. “Now I just call anytime I see someone not distancing or wearing a mask!” Many are also happy about the new way meal plans will work. Students who have meal plans will use recyclable take out containers and bring meals back to their rooms. “I’m jealous of first years honestly,” said Anne Ziety, a former residence student. “It was always so hard to find a friend who wanted to eat at the same time and the crippling stress I got from eating alone pretty much ruined all my meals.” Residence students, like the rest of us, have a weird year ahead. Let’s just hope we can learn from our friends at Western and no one throws a huge party and gets the whole campus sick.
RYERSON HAS DONE A FINE JOB
supporting its community members WORDS BY DOUG LICKRELATIONS REPORTING BY MANUELA VEGA AND ZACHARY ROMAN ILLUSTRATIONS BY LAILA AMER
hile we may have been named after a colonial architect of residential schools 72 years ago, Ryerson has shown students countless times over the past ten years how much we’re willing to level the playing field for people who’ve been historically oppressed. Take our soccer players for example. Everyone in Canada knows how much soccer players get made fun of here— they’re one of the most oppressed groups in the country, constantly being roasted by hockey players for faking injuries. When our soccer teams complained about poor practice facilities, we went and got them a brand-new, extremely level playing field. Marginalized community members at Ryerson have demanded institutional change for years, and we always listen. We’ve responded with practical task forces, dummy thick reports and promises that we 100 per cent, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die intend on keeping. Ryerson is one of the most progressive, forwardthinking and ~innovative~ universities in not only Canada, but the whole world. If a social justice issue is trending on the internet, you can bet that we’ll have something to say about it. On some occasions, if the issue trends for long enough, we’ll even go so far as to do something about it too. If there’s one thing we hate at Ryerson, it’s moving backwards. The last thing we’d want is for a student to burn out or graduate before their demands for change are met. That’s why we now only accept tuition payments by credit card—so there’s no way students can ask us for change, like that one kid who accidentally added an extra zero onto his tuition cheque. Join me and the rest of the Ryerson PR team as we guide you through our past ten years of awesomeness.
Ryerson consistently fought against racism in all forms In 2010, we published our AntiRacism Taskforce report, which was 5,000 pages of pure fire that undeniably changed the world for the better. We were actually required by law to provide a fire extinguisher with each copy of the report. That’s right kids, we’ve been fighting racism since “Tik Tok” was a song, not an app. Can you say the same? We were clearly ahead of this whole
‘diversity’ thing. In 2012, we created the Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion (OVPECI), as per our promise in the report. It exists to provide leadership and direction in the implementation of “equity, diversity and inclusion values, priorities and strategies.” At Ryerson, it’s diversity day every day! Branding ourselves as equitable and inclusive was a nobrainer. Talk about looking good effortlessly, we felt like David Harbour with that one. If only everyone could just forget that the office itself has been accused of discrimination. Sure, in 2019 we fired beloved Black staffer Carol Sutherland while she was on medical leave due to work-induced panic attacks, according to her doctor’s note. Filing a Human Rights complaint and grievances through her union against us for discrimination on the basis of race, ability, gender and creed was not groovy, though. Or maybe it was, but we’ll leave that one to our lawyer Steve. The scorching-hot report also shows that “In many departments or schools, professionally-related courses on diversity, compulsory or not, often depend on the commitment of faculty proponents in those program departments.” That means you should take up any problems you may have about course content with them, dinguses. We just pay those professors’ bills, how the hell are we supposed to know if their curriculum is “exclusionary” or “only looking at things through a colonial lens?” Unfortunately, when you meddling kids keep pestering us about them, we’re forced to take a look at course curriculums. However, the benefit to waiting until students tell us to change a curriculum is that they do all of the work for us! Take the journalism program’s new course, Reporting on Race: The Black Community in the Media, for example. It only came around after four students pushed us to create it with a petition that garnered thousands of signatures. We finally agreed to implement it as a non-mandatory course. After we did, those students were all over the news, which was hella good PR for us. A total win-win all around, if you ask me! To really prove our devoted and non-performative allyship we recently released a 10,000 page report that is TWICE as fire as our 2010 Anti-Racism Taskforce Report. By law, we are required to dispatch a fire truck with a full crew to deliver each report to its reader. That report’s name? Barack Obama. Nah, I’m just fucking with you, but if I was American, I would’ve definitely tried to vote him in a third time. It’s actually called the Anti-Black Racism Campus Climate Review (ABRCCR). This report shows that as of July 2020, 10 of 59 recommendations from the AntiRacism Taskforce Report have been completed. That’s a lightning-fast average of one completed recommendation per year. At this rate, every recommendation will be implemented by 4:20 pm on June 9, 2069. Nice. We actually completed the ABRCCR in 2019, but like a flower, it could only reveal itself to you when the season was just right. The delay was mostly because of the pandemic. However, we really wanted to release the ABRCCR on the date of Nelson Mandela International Day and the 10th anniversary of the Anti-Racism Taskforce Report, just to show how much we care about Black students. We would’ve done it on Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, but it conflicted with our plans for the annual staff roller skating night. Members of the Black Liberation Collective at Ryerson,
who called for the review to take place, would have you believe the delay was because the administration edited the report to its liking. But we only provided “copy editors” and “someone to design the layout,” which means we put Steve on the case. He does everything around here, so we trusted him to design the layout of the narrative of the recommendations in the report to our liking. As a white man, we trusted that Steve would be the most objective person to edit the report. In the 10,000-page ABRCCR, 14 of the dopest recommendations to ever be recommended were published. We know the 5,000-page Anti-Racism Taskforce Report had 59 recommendations, but this time around we really wanted to keep the report dense and the recommendations concise. By keeping the recommendations concise, we made them easy to implement. Let’s take a look at an example: Some of our Black staff reported they’re feeling like they’re not given the opportunity to move up the ranks and like they’re passed up for jobs they’re qualified for, so we’ve committed to training our hiring managers so they don’t see colour. At Ryerson, we’re also committed to campus safety. That’s why we tried to cut a deal with Toronto Police Services to have special constables on campus. We give them some of Eggy’s secret ‘coca-cola’ stash, they give us special constables. Seems simple, right? The ABRCCR was supposed to inform our decision around campus security, and while we did note that it showed Black students felt they were treated by security with hostility and over-surveilled compared to their white peers, we have other, more pressing priorities, like making sure we have enough campus security on hand to banish people experiencing homelessness from our campus into the shadow realm. We wouldn’t want this campus’ stellar reputation ruined by people who are literally not causing any trouble in the slightest. Just when we were about to finally implement our glorious special constables program, worldwide protests against antiBlack racism in policing erupted. Due to relentless pressure from student activists and social media, we had to cancel it at the last moment. For now. We’ll show you proof that we have completely withdrawn our proposal from the Toronto police, and that there’s no possibility of a relationship in the future, when we feel like it.
everything IS fine
Ryerson has consistently worked towards reconciliation In 2010, we started conducting research into Egerton Ryerson’s legacy and his relationship to our university. There were three main takeaways we found in our research about Egerton. 1. He seems like the kind of guy I could have a beer with. 2. He was smarter than any other human being to have ever lived. 3. He was actually kind of hot? All in all, he seemed like the perfect guy to name a university after! No need to change our name. Fast forward to 2015, when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its report with 94 calls to action—dominating the news cycle at the time. We decided, without any outside influence, that year would be a good year to start the process of completing our own Truth and Reconciliation Community Consultation Report. A very short three years later, in January 2018, it was released. I did a control+f search on the report’s PDF and I found that we used the word reconciliation a total of 300 times. If that is not a strong indicator that we’re working hard toward reconciliation with Indigenous communities at Ryerson, I don’t know what is. The report’s release indicated that a working group would be formed, to then develop an action plan based on the report and that actual concrete action would begin in June 2019. So if you could just ignore the fact that it’s 2020 now, be patient and give us a hot minute on this, that would be great. In 2017, the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) launched its Colonialism 150 campaign, which presented us with 11 demands for Indigenous justice. As your gracious overlords, we agreed to some of your ridiculous demands, as a treat. However, two of your major demands were just too egregious to even be worth considering: the possibility of renaming the university and removing the Egerton Ryerson statue. I think folks would be a lot less worried about renaming the university if they just looked at our research that shows Egerton would’ve been a really cool guy to have a beer with. In terms of the statue, we already put up a plaque next to it—which is actually one of the highest forms of reconciliation anyone can do, right up there with pre-written land acknowledgements. Yet somehow, multiple petitions have still surfaced asking for the statue’s removal, even though the former 2017 RSU vice-president equity and president were met with anger and ridicule when they initially put forward their request for it to be taken down. You mean to tell us that students are actually willing to fight through adversity? The most recent petition was made this June and garnered over 8,000 signatures. All we’re gonna say is that the petition-industrial complex has been great for large institutions like us. If y’all don’t show up and cause a scene, or
extra expenses have been for something other than Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi’s new air-tight, apocalypseproof COVID-19 isolation penthouse suite. (The $5 was for Steve from accounts receivable’s Starbucks breakfast sandwich last Wednesday.) Editor’s note: Our lawyer, copy editor and janitor Steve is also Steve from accounts receivable. Speaking of Steve, I tried to get an answer from him about why international students have to pay us so much more to come here—not that we’re complaining about raking in that skrilla. According to Steve, it’s because of some shit about taxes that I don’t really understand and that he didn’t feel like explaining to me—despite the fact that I took the risk of stealing $5 from Lachemi’s penthouse fund to get him a sandwich. Classic Steve, what a fuckin’ dick. Anyways, it’s not like international students mind paying four times the price that domestic students do to come here. Ryerson is a world class institution of higher learning after all—and it’s located in the heart of Downtown Canada to boot. There’s even a Warehouse restaurant nearby! Now is a better time than ever for you to remember that universities in Canada are and always have been for-profit busiat the very least go hella viral, we can and will just ignore nesses, not “public institutions.” Sure, we’ll help you out, but your petition. only if you can afford to pay the price. You scratch our back, We’ve also had issues with the statue being defaced. It’s been we’ll scratch yours. You pickin’ up what we’re puttin’ down? painted on multiple occasions, with some activists going as far as painting blood on Egerton’s hands. They must’ve snuck in and done it while our statue guarding cops were getting a donut at Tims. Ryerson has consistently Anyways, our janitor Steve is getting really tired of cleanfought for climate change ing the statue all the time, so if you could give him a break and stop defacing it that would be awesome. He’s busy enough managing our Human Rights lawsuits. Back in 2016, two Ryerson students from a club called DiEditor’s note: Our lawyer and copy editor Steve is also our vest Ryerson were arrested at Parliament Hill while protestjanitor Steve. ing the Kinder Morgan TransCanada Pipeline expansion. The arrest drew more than 6,000 people to the Divest Ryerson Facebook page and their mission to get Ryerson to stop investing in fossil fuel companies gained traction. Ryerson has consistently What a couple of hippies eh? We were never really concerned that anything would come from that. And nothing did. worked towards accessibility The students who founded Divest Ryerson graduated and Here at Ryerson, we are Accessible As Fuck (AAF). Much of we haven’t heard squat about divestment since! Our retireour architecture was clearly made to be accessible for people ment portfolios are looking super strong thanks to all of our with a range of abilities, with ramps, full-bar door openers, investments in oil companies. braille on elevator buttons and more—you gotta give us credit Now, there’s a new group called Fossil Free Ryerson that’s for that major AAF-ness. looking to pick up where Divest Ryerson left off. But at the Accessibility is usually an afterthought for us though, so time of publication, they only have 84 likes on Facebook we’re asking for your help in making some things work too. compared to the now-inactive Divest Ryerson’s 513. Especially when it comes to the Sheldon & Tracy Levy Student Meanwhile, our Facebook page, “Fossil Fuel Fanclub,” has Learning Centre (SLC), which was built in 2015. more than 10,000 likes and Ontario premier Doug Ford is a It’s super cool hangout steps are inaccessible for people with vocal supporter of it. mobility devices, so we kindly ask that you do us a solid and “If Ryerson invests a few million dollars more in fossil fujust hang out somewhere else. els, I might give the university its funding for the Brampton The winding ramps leading to its front entrance can be campus back,” said Ford. “Though, just like everything I say difficult to navigate and can often be blocked by other stu- lately, that statement is subject to change at any moment.” dents. However, this problem is easily fixed by bringing along I hope the honourable Mr. Douglas Ford, who is a very a boombox and blasting Ludacris’ hit 2002 song “Move Bitch handsome and strong leader, gives us that funding back. Get Out Da Way.” We’re straight funneling all of our investments into the fosWhat about the pillars and sudden grooves in the middle of sil fuel industry now—we kinda blew a ton of cash on Lachethe staircase that provide challenges for people with visual im- mi’s penthouse so pairments, you may ask? Simply wear a helmet and body armour we really need this. (now available at the campus store!) Congratulations! We also know that campus construction caused a ton of ac- If you’re reading cessibility issues for folks. Well luckily for you, it’s finished just this, you’ve made it to in time for you to not be here anyways. the end of the article. Full disclosure: none of what you just read is real. It was satire. Satire is a noun that Ryerson’s tuition prices have describes the use of been consistently fair humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule Surely our wonderful students must understand why Ry- to expose and criticize erson’s long-term economic health must always be a priority. people or institutions. We’re all just out here trying to obtain that grain am I right? Any resemblance to I really don’t understand why anyone would’ve ever thought any real life people, that tuition would be lowered during a pandemic. events or experiences Don’t y’all know that we have incurred $10 million in extra is purely coincidental. expenses since the pandemic started? And at least $5 of those Please don’t sue us.
EVERYTHING IS NOT FINE
Students with OCD incredibly prepared for pandemic By Dhriti Gupta With the TTC regularly disinfecting their subway cars, Clorox wipes flying off the shelves to the point of supply chain problems and automatic hand sanitizer stands getting installed all across the city, it’s safe to say COVID-19 has revolutionized how we view hygiene and sanitation. For many Ryerson students, adjusting to proper sanitation methods has been a challenge. In the case of second-year sociology student Kare Lass it’s been particularly taxing, especially during the weekly parties she hosts in her Pitman Hall residence for her 20 closest friends. “We have to wipe down the door knobs, sanitize the bong, disinfect the keg—it’s exhausting to have to take all these precautions and it’s really started to take a toll on my mental health,” Lass said. “But it’s reassuring to know I’m doing my part to help stop the spread of the virus within my social bubble.” Lass said she’s been cautious outside of the party environment as well by choosing to only engage in self-care safely. She had to make the tough decision to appropriate Indian culture at a hot yoga studio just once a month instead of the usual twice a week. When asked if she was concerned about the studio advertising the classes as “maskless mindfulness,” Lass just laughed. “Of course not, the steam kills the COVID, obvi! Besides, all this sanitizing has really unaligned my chakras—I need to go.”
But for a select group of students, adjusting to pandemic standards of cleaning hasn’t really been an issue. Third-year architecture student Joe Cidi has been living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) since he was 10 years old. He said the disorder has equipped him with years of preparing for “Literally the worst case scenario.” “Other than the crippling rationalization of all my worst fears, I’m doing pretty great! I’ve been sanitizing since day one, so honestly not much has changed,” he said, while whipping out the turquoise rubber Purell holder attached to his backpack by a carabiner. “You know I keep that MF thang on me.” Cidi finds that the pandemic has made his morning, afternoon, evening, before-breakfast, after-lunch and post-dessert routines of disinfecting his phone, doorknob, laptop, soap dispenser, every key on his piano and dog a lot easier.
“Wow, is this what it feels like to have rational fears?” “It’s really validating to see people step into your shoes for once,” he said. “I see others showing their solidarity— wiping down their groceries, disinfecting their mail—and no longer feel
ashamed in indulging the most vulnerable and toxic parts of my psyche!” A study published in June by Psychology Today found that there has been a significant uptick in the number of people who have selfreported OCD symptoms since the onset of COVID-19. The influx of self-reported instances has led experts to create two sub-categories of OCD to differentiate the new cases from the standard ones. Group A tends to suffer from a wider range of chronic, uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts and/or behaviors that they feel the urge to repeat over and over, sometimes to the point of debilitation. Experts say members of this group engage in these tendencies to exert a false sense of control over the deep-rooted sense of anxiety that seeps into nearly every aspect of their lives. Group B consists of those who feel compelled to verbally assert that they are “so OCD,” when carrying out behaviours like quirkily vacuuming their room or simply being in the presence of a ruler. They tend to also form their entire identity around colour-coordinating their closets and being “such a Virgo.” However, according to head researcher of the study, Dr. Chutup Yudontavosedi, members of this group are mostly just “insufferable.” Second-year psychology student Roo Teene, a member of subcategory A, first realized she had OCD in Grade 2. To her surprise, it was actually not normal to feel the need to
ILLUSTRATION: JES MASON
count every single hair on her Polly Pockets’ heads. Teene has found that the pandemic has helped her come to terms with living with her mental illness. “It’s actually awesome because now I don’t even have to think up new ways to keep my family safe! Literally I feel so validated, like, I’d like to see my therapist TRY to tell me that washing my hands won’t prevent the ones I love from dying,” she said. “Goodbye impostor syndrome! Wow, is this what it feels like to have rational fears?” Teene also looks forward to the impacts that COVID precautions will have on everyday life even after the pandemic is over. “I won’t have to share my drinks anymore! Like, no Jessica, you actu-
ally can’t have a sip of my strawberry mimosa—we just came out of a global pandemic and also your boyfriend has mono!” With the COVID numbers in Ontario recently exceeding 1,000 in one day and the government back to enforcing Stage 2 restrictions in virus hotspots like Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region, there’s one thing that keeps students like Teene and Cidi going. “It all comes down to a complete lack of hope and having absolutely no faith in things ever getting better,” said Cidi. “I’m able to stay positive because truly, no matter how bad things are, the hell that is the inside of my brain will always, always be worse!” Disclaimer: This story was written and edited by folks living with OCD.
not to visit homophobic family member: COVID-19 ILLUSTRATION: LAILA AMER
By David Jardine When the pandemic hit in March, many of us scrambled to pack up our student rooms, plan trips home and generally retreat to our parents’ basements, only to surface for food or when the internet cuts out. Queer students around the world, however, were doing quite the opposite. “Sorry Mom, I just don’t think
it would be safe for you to come visit tomorrow after all,” Yue Hall, a third-year nursing student, said into her phone as she re-hung her pride flag. “Yeah, with COVID cases rising and everything closing down I wouldn’t want to risk it for either of us,” she continued, bringing three She-Ra and the Princesses of Power posters out from the back of her closet. The pandemic has provided the
ultimate cover for queer students everywhere to avoid awkward visits with family members who never get the hint (the hint being that when your child brings their “roommate” home for Christmas three years in a row, it’s time to reconsider their sexuality). Avery Goodlay, a local drag queen, said their parents are super supportive. Their extended family, though? Not so much. “Last year,
my aunt got me a bible. It wasn’t even Christmas or anything. She just had one lying around the last time we visited and insisted I take it,” they explained. “But the joke is on her because I use it to prop up the mirror I do my drag makeup in.” This year was the first time queer students made it all the way through reading week without having to hear Uncle Bob go on his patented Thanksgiving dinner rant about how “the homosexuals need to stop rubbing it in everyone’s faces.” Every year, he fails to see the irony in leaving at the end of the night in his truck plastered with garish “THE LORD IS OUR SAVIOUR” and “Believe and you shall be saved” bumper stickers. An additional benefit many queer students have experienced from the pandemic has been more free time. Queer students at Ryerson are taking the time they would have spent defending their right to exist and putting it towards other things. Lexi Jones, a biology student who volunteers with the Ryerson Urban
Water office, has spent more than 20 hours putting chemicals into Toronto’s water supply ever since the pandemic started. “This has been proven to turn folks queer,” they said, when asked why they were devoting so much time to the task. “A happy coincidence,” they continued, “has been a rise in homosexuality among the frog population!” This is not the only useful way queer students have been using their newfound free time. “Personally, I spent my entire reading week working on petitions to make straight marriage illegal,” explained Chet Erophobe, a fourthyear politics and governance student. “I figured I may as well get a head start on the next phase of the plan,” he said, before proclaiming “Glory to Cher!” The pandemic has been hard on everyone, but queer students are determined to see the silver lining. The one thing all queer students will miss, however, is that look you exchange with the other gay cousin over dinner.
EVERYTHING IS NOT FINE
Lachemi reports Rye’s ‘economic health’ looking great despite pandemic ILLUSTRATION: JIMMY KWAN
Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi announced on Monday that the university’s “long-term economic health” is “looking fuckin’ stellar, thanks for asking” despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Lachemi said online course delivery and the school’s decision to keep tuition rates the same have been absolutely crucial in preserving his $400K salary, as well as the university’s 1,363 other six-figure incomes. “We understand that these are difficult and often trying times. I know that many institutions, businesses and students are struggling with multiple challenges under COVID-19,” Lachemi said in his announcement. “R.I.P. to them but I’m different.” Lachemi did not mention anything about Ryerson students’ economic health, nor did he mention their physical, mental, emotional, social or spiritual health. When informed of the hardships many students are currently struggling with, such as making tuition payments and employment and housing insecurity, Lachemi said “Dammmn haha. That’s crazy.” “Kerr Hall may look like a high school, but Ryerson is actually a very serious, top-tier post-secondary institution of knowledge,” he continued. “Ryerson students know when they come to Ryerson that one must always put Ryerson’s life above one’s own. This place is worth, like, $140 mil. How much
are you worth? $43.75?” Lachemi told The Eyeopener keeping tuition rates stable is necessary so Ryerson can afford to maintain vital campus services like the Gould Street stench, cops to protect the Egerton statue and the big tall clock on top of Kerr Hall that goes “Ding” every 15 minutes. When asked if Ryerson could at least spare students from paying fees for buildings and services they can’t access in a pandemic, Lachemi replied “No <3”
“R.I.P. to them but
Asked again to elaborate on why students are paying for buildings that aren’t even open, Lachemi said, “We have to clean the buildings or something? Idk like, why are you so obsessed with me?” Lachemi later backtracked on
that quote, explaining students are now paying for the lights to be on all night so him and his admin crew can have freestyle battles in the SLC lobby, “but with the lights kinda dimmed down. Like in the final scene of 8 Mile.” Third-year media production student Brock Kass said he’s been working as a server at a King Street restaurant in order to make tuition and rent payments. He said he’s extremely concerned about contracting COVID-19 as a result of his minimum wage service job, but added there could be unexpected benefits. “On one hand, if I catch the coronavirus, my respiratory system and general health and wellbeing would be at risk,” said Kass. “On the other hand, I wouldn’t have to write these midterms or go to Zoom class anymore. It’s the little things.” Lachemi said even a handful of students getting sick or dropping out as a result of COVID-19 would be “an immeasurable loss for the university.” “I really need that tuition money,”
Lachemi told The Eye. “That’s like four of my cars gone right there. How else am I going to enjoy sick off-road adventures without the 260 lb-ft of torque and 4x4 payload capacity of up to 725 kg offered by my 2020 Jeep Wrangler Sport™?” He then got into his 2020 Jeep Wrangler Sport™ with legendary off-road performance, four-wheel drive and best-in-class towing capabilities, and began driving away. He could be heard blasting “Girls in the Hood” by Megan Thee Stallion and yelling “BROKE BOYZZ get ya money up SKRRrrrrrrttttt” on his way out. Just when they thought things couldn’t get any worse, students are reporting the rise of a cult of TRSM bros who have decided to worship Lachemi as their leader, devoting themselves entirely to him for his “stone-cold scamming skills” and for “owning the postmodern-neoliberal-Marxist-feminist-Maoistsnowflake-SJWs.” “As a person who identifies as a student of the esteemed and highly prestigious Ted Rogers School of Management institution, the concept of lowering prices is actually oppressive to me,” said secondyear entrepreneurship student Boo Tillicker. “Why don’t they just get their dads to wire them more funds?” The group was later seen outside the Ted Rogers building forming a candle-lit pentagram and playing “The Joe Rogan Experience”
through a Bluetooth speaker, repeatedly chanting “The market will regulate itself!” in an effort to summon Jeff Bezos. When reached for comment, Lachemi said in an emailed statement that Ryerson has absolutely zero tolerance for cults or occultist activity of any kind on campus. “But they actually seem pretty chill so idk,” Lachemi said. “You have to consider both sides.”
to me" Lachemi told The Eye that in a scenario where he were to provide refunds for tuition, Ryerson would need the knowledge students acquired from the semester back from their brains. “Even with online learning, those students still learned some stuff and that stuff is the property of Ryerson University, so it’s only fair they give it back,” Lachemi explained. “If you broke little shits want refunds, I expect every shred of knowledge, every insight, every moment of inspiration and personal development gained to be promptly returned.” Luckily for most Rye students, that means their tuition charges may be forgiven entirely, at little to no cost.
Student’s anxiety cured by Amazon’s ‘We’re all in this together’ email Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, third-year global management student Alma Jones has found herself religiously shopping on Amazon for items she could easily get from a nearby grocery store— like a twin pack of mouthwash. “Why do I do this? Because #StayHomeSaveLives,” said Jones, who is blissfully unaware how that’s hardly the case for the warehouse workers fulfilling her orders, who are being put to work in an environment where there’s a high risk of catching COVID-19. Being the world’s biggest online retailer, Amazon knows better than to betray its most reliable source of income: millions of loyal customers like Jones, who are benefitting the company every second of every day. “Ignorance is bliss, y’all. People don’t need to hear all that fuss about our maybe-questionable working conditions. What would happen to my sales bonus—I mean the greater good of Amazon, if they did?!” said Don T. Namemi, a marketing executive at Amazon that we confirmed was fired immediately following this interview.
Instead, what the public knows because Amazon wants them to is that CEO Jeff Bezos has donated some money to alleviate COVID’s impact, namely $100 million (0.05 per cent of his wealth) to Feeding America to support food banks across the U.S. In the spirit of “philanthropy,” he also put up a relief fund that welcomes donations from average citizens to help his own company’s partners and associates who are under “financial distress” from the pandemic.
“While we aren’t expecting anyone to do so, you can make a voluntary donation to the fund if you desire to,” says the fund website. “But if we as a trillion-dollar company don’t have to spend any more money than necessary that would be dope.” The thing is, Bezos’ net worth has seen an 80 per cent increase since
ILLUSTRATION: JES MASON
mid-March and is at a record high right now: just under $190 billion. Jones gave $15, or as she describes it, “the small price of my go-to #SpookySzn Starbucks drink: a grande no ice pumpkin spice latte with quadruple caramel and -20 per cent vegan cream.” In a message to all employees back in March, Bezos said enhanced, rigorous cleaning is being enforced at all Amazon facilities. Anyone with a little common sense would think all their available resources would be effectively put to use, like the packs of AmazonBasics cotton washcloths lying around warehouses that cost eight cents to make in bulk. But rumour has it that Bezos was fuming at the idea of being dethroned as
the world’s richest person and announced he would charge any employee who dares to touch the towels double their retail price to “make a solid example of thievery.” Jones thinks Amazon is “SO generous” for frequently rolling out steep deals that “help us all save big time.” But as of July, the company’s revenue had increased by 40 per cent from last year. While rival brick-and-mortar retailers have had to close their doors—with many even going out of business—Amazon is thriving and literally profiting off the pandemic. The company plans to hire for 100,000 new roles to meet a level of demand never before seen in its 26-year history. “This was another highly unusual
quarter,” commented Bezos following the release of Amazon’s second quarter financial results. Earlier this week, in a tastefully designed e-newsletter sent monthly to Prime members, Bezos (or his ghost-writing secretary, we can’t exactly tell) said: “These are without a doubt unprecedented times, but we are here for you. We’re all in this together.” According to Ryerson professional communications instructor Capri Tolizam, the statement sounds “studied, perfunctory, automatic” and “like something every other corporate giant has said at least once about the pandemic.” Nonetheless, Jones was gushing about the note, saying it gave her “all the feels.” “To hear that such a powerful company is working towards better days for everybody has literally cured my anxiety,” said Jones. “Of course the world’s richest internet empire will be able to make a greater impact than our collective effort, like, I bet they have a vaccine close to completion. So I’m buying Coachella 2021 tix with a new bandana top tonight because I can feel normal life as we know it will make a comeback real soon.”
EVERYTHING IS NOT FINE
Shocking! Annoying white man turns on camera, lives in mansion By Sydney Brasil While some students say “camera on” policies in online lectures are unfair as low-income students may not be comfortable with sharing their living space, one student is experiencing this unease on the opposite end of the spectrum. Politics professor Paul Litticks was in for the shock of his life when he instructed third-year history student Chadleigh Bersailles to turn on his camera. When he did, some students let out an audible gasp, as it was surprising for them to see Bersailles’ housekeeper cleaning his massive bedroom with silk bedsheets and a solid gold bedframe in the background. “The timing of Chadleigh’s housekeeper appearing on camera was a godsend for me,” said Litticks, who received tenure two years ago. “MY housekeeper just quit, and Chad was able to recommend the cleaning company his family uses.”
“Don’t worry about it sir, some people just can’t take a compliment” “I’m definitely less than stunned to see that he’s the type to have a collection of empty Ciroc bottles and a ‘Saturdays are for the boys’ flag over his bed which has a Travis Scott McNugget Pillow™ on it,” said fourth-year English student Stephanie Meyers.“It’s
lower.” When Syed tried to interject, he said “Hey, the facts don’t care about your feelings.” Warren Crocs, a fourth-year fashion student, decided at that moment to speak up. “Hey Chadleigh, if the facts don’t care about our feelings, how come you become extremely defensive whenever someone says they’re pro-choice, even though you’re a cisgendered man?”
“If this happens again, you’ll be hearing from my father”
ILLUSTRATION: LAILA AMER
almost as cliche as my philosophy-bro ex-boyfriend who didn’t have a bedframe and only drank shitty whiskey.” Bersailles was also recognized by some as the guy who once said he was “Fiscally conservative but socially liberal.” During a class conversation about legal cannabis, he also admitted that he prefers Ontario Cannabis Store weed, because “at least they don’t charge $30 a gram like my plug did.” Even Litticks himself couldn’t contain his bewilderment. “You know Chadleigh, if you thought we would think differently of you because of your upbringing, you should have just told us! Your experience growing up with an indoor pool bought with your dad’s law firm’s money is nothing to
be ashamed of.” A scoff then came from the microphone of Aysha Syed—just two weeks ago, the same professor complimented her “exotic” living room. Bersailles piped in that day when Syed began to look visibly uncomfortable and said “Oh come on! How was he supposed to know THAT would be offensive? Don’t worry about it sir, some people just can’t take a compliment. You really can’t say anything these days.” Because of this experience, Syed says she wasn’t as shocked as others in the Zoom call. “The only time I ever care about what he has to say is when I don’t do my readings and he recites them word-for-word.” Syed then took a second to re-cuff her jeans. “I don’t
Opinion: All cops can’t be bastards PHOTO: JIMMY KWAN
By Brad ‘Alpha’ Memer Police abolition, a once lesser known movement, has recently become widely accepted. In other words, it’s no different from climate change— another activism trend for hipsters to hop on. All these TikToks saying “All Cops Are Bastards” just make me frown. After all, it’s unfair to the good apples when we judge them based on the actions of a single bad apple. My uncle, for example, is the best apple. He’s an apple so good your granny would put it in her signature apple crumble—he’s a responsible officer, proud father, a loving family member
and a loyal citizen of ‘Ford Nation.’ Although he was barely ever invited to any of our family gatherings, and my mom blocked him on Facebook after he sent her aggressive messages for sharing a post about Black Lives Matter, I can assure you he’s a great guy. He’s a man with ambition. In his younger years, he was deeply inspired by the heroic acts of John McClane and decided to join the police force after watching Die Hard 100 times. Even though cop movies can be unrealistic, and they exaggerate, romanticize and over-glorify an institution that’s inherently violent, racist and sexist, we can all agree that Die Hard is a classic.
My dad said he can still remember my uncle’s tears vividly when he learned that Alan Rickman, who played the antagonist Hans Gruber in Die Hard, died in 2016. “He empathizes with villains such as Hans Gruber and Severus Snape, even though they’re fictional,” said my dad. “It just proves how tender his heart is and how much he can really understand where people are coming from.” Like my uncle, most cops are not violent. Oftentimes they’re like Clancy Wiggum from The Simpsons—a donut in one hand, coffee in the other hand, leaning on their police cars and chilling with their bros even though they’re supposed to be on duty. When cops are selflessly maintaining the thin blue line between order and chaos, carding, wellness checks and other measures are just tactics they use to ensure individuals are safe. Despite what the liberal snowflakes will tell you, carding is nothing but an “investigative tool.” A report from Justice Michael Tulloch stated that random street checks are ineffective, with little to no tangible results for solving crime. Think about the amount of time and effort the police put in to do street checks to keep everyone safe, when there
understand how he can try to correct everyone who uses the wrong variation of their on the class D2L discussion board but refuse to accept that the singular ‘they’ is a grammatically correct pronoun.” Once the initial shock had blown over, Litticks continued his lecture. But when a conversation about Ontario’s handling of the second wave was broached, Bersailles didn’t stay quiet for long. “People can still do whatever they want; the government is only giving suggestions right now. I for one am going to my grandma’s for Christmas, or ‘the holidays’ as the libs call it,” he sneered. “Besides, the numbers may be higher, but the percentages are
Bersailles’ face instantly went red. “I’m sorry Professor Litticks, but if you’re going to let students call me NAMES in class, I refuse to have my camera on. If this happens again, you’ll be hearing from my father.” After feeling like he had been shamed for his wealth even though he’s never had a real job, Bersailles was never seen on camera in class again. However, he continues to participate off camera by cutting off students in the middle of a sentence and saying his “computer must be lagging” despite having bought a new Macbook every academic year since Grade 9. The last time Bersailles’ face was spotted was on the popular subreddit r/PublicFreakout, as he was videotaped assaulting a minimum-wage retail worker who he says was “trying to take [his] rights away” by asking him to put on a mask.
‘My uncle’s a cop and his parents were married when he was born’ are other ways to gather and use data much more effectively. That’s dedication right there. Wellness checks, on the other hand, are how cops show they care. Of course, they aren’t trained mental health professionals and there are no guidelines for them, so they don’t know how to respond to mental health crises—still, that doesn’t stop them from responding to calls anyways. It’s so considerate and a great example of community care.
“It’s unfair to the good apples when we judge them based on the actions of a single bad apple” During protests, the best thing cops can possibly do is use non-lethal force on protesters. How much harm can riot control agents such as pepper spray or tear gases do? Exposure to riot control agents only produces minor side effects such as eye irritation, coughing, shortness of breath, or even vomiting. OK, long-lasting exposure may also cause serious health complications such as glaucoma, blindness, chemical
burns and respiratory failure. Let’s also talk about former police chief Julian Fantino, who once said legalizing marijuana is equivalent to legalizing murder. After he arrested and criminalized all the potheads, he had a taste of the good stuff and realized how life-changing marijuana truly is—so he decided to run his own medical marijuana company. His company is here to provide legal cannabis and he isn’t doing it for profit—he’s just doing it to benefit people’s health! What a hero. The police force is trying their best. Especially the public relations department, who are doing all they can to erase the police’s horrible reputation. Officers working in public relations deserve a round of applause for the effort they put in to produce such wonderful propaganda. People who want police abolition should imagine a world without the good cops I just mentioned. Imagine how chaotic our world would be without racial profiling, unqualified wellness checks, the use of riot control agents, state-sanctioned violence, criminalization of drug use and unhinged cop relatives who lose it at criticism against Die Hard. I’m sure no one would want that.
EVERYTHING IS NOT FINE
By Alexandra Holyk A fourth-year Ryerson biochemistry student has created a COVID-19 vaccine in the basement of her parents’ home in Mississauga, Ont., after months without an hour and a half commute downtown every day. The student, Onda Treighn, said developing the vaccine was “lowkey an accident.” “It all started when the news about schools transitioning to remote learning came out in March,” Treighn said, pausing for effect and looking off into the top right corner of her screen during a Zoom interview. When she heard other universities were moving online amid the pandemic, Treighn wasn’t sure how she’d be able to complete her assignments. “I’ve always tried catching up on my readings or assignments on the GO Train, but I usually end up sleeping or watching episodes of Grey’s Anatomy,” said Treighn. Treighn worked most efficiently in the grungy science corridor of Kerr Hall—with its musty fumes, flickering iridescent light bulbs and mysteriously half-eaten ham and cheese sandwich sitting next to the “No Eating” sign. Last semester, Treighn had early morning classes and late-night labs every day of the week. Although she was spending a lot of time on campus, she spent even more time trying to get to campus—and that’s without including the daily “surprise” delays during rush hour. “It’s never a good sign when you hear the PA come on while riding the subway. You can’t hear what the operator is saying at all, but you know it’s never good news,” she said. Realizing Ryerson might move online, Treighn was ecstatic that she
By Postgraduate Malone
wouldn’t have to take public transit anymore. “No more sitting next to the weird smelly guy on the subway who likes to brush his leg up against mine hoping I’ll have sex with him right then and there!” She soon realized she wouldn’t have access to all of the equipment she would need for her assignments, so she came up with a foolproof and totally legal plan that she’s surprised she ILLUSTRATION: JES MASON didn’t come up with sooner. At the end of every class, Onda dis- the equipment. Since campus has creetly put everything from beakers been closed since March, she hasn’t to microscopes into her wheely back- been able to return anything either. pack and rolled out of the room. “No “I could always get downtown one ever comes near anyone with a and let security know I have things I wheely backpack,” she said. need to drop off, but that would reHer professor, Rufus T. Molératt, quire me to refill my Presto card and said he noticed some missing equip- that’s a no from me,” she said. ment, but didn’t think too much of After months of Netflix and baking it because he was busy coming up sourdough, Treighn decided to put with the best way to tell his students her Presto credit where her mouth is they’re on their own for the remain- and finally do something with her life. der of the semester. “I actually started reading the required texts for my classes, not just Command+F-ing the doc and “Not for meth; for finding keywords,” she said. “From school. I swear” there, I learned the steps to developing a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2.” “I’m 75 years old,” Molératt said. Soon enough, Treighn started “The only place I should be ‘Zoom- cooking it up in the kitchen (meth ing’ to is the retirement home, or lab), creating a vaccine to defeat the the Bingo hall for the ‘Wednesday ferocious “Miss Rona.” night Senior Special.’” “Of course Miss Rona is female. Treighn mentioned that by the No man would stay this long in anytime Ryerson announced classes body’s life,” she said. were online, she “basically had [her] Treighn said the concoction for own meth lab” set up in her parents’ the vaccine included something obbasement. “But not for meth; for tuse, a rubber goose, a green moose, school. I swear.” a cup of guava juice, a giant snake, a It turned out that most of Onda’s slice of birthday cake, large fries and assignments didn’t require her to use other ingredients she couldn’t dis-
TIME” whether I’m crying in the club or having the best day of my life. In times like these, it seems like noth- That’s the beauty of this song, it’s aling is fine. When nothing is fine, you ways there for you—like an Old Engneed music that will either cheer you lish Sheepdog that barks in ad-libs. up, chill you out or help you headbang so hard that you disconnect “Could You be Loved” by Bob from reality. Marley and the Wailers I had a spiritual experience with “Take it Easy” by Eagles this song back in the reckless days of I love this song so much that I’m my youth. I was bombing down the probably going to get the title tat- biggest longboard hill I have ever ridtooed on my body once COVID-19 den—for the first time ever—when has finished relegating me to my this came on shuffle. To this day, the house as a paranoid mess. I never song has never hit the same as when I have and never will accept any argu- was flying down that hill at 60km/h. ments against my belief that Eagles Please don’t try this at home—but if are the best band of all time. I will be you do, send me an invite and let’s taking it easy for the rest of my life. If skate together! you’re never taking it easy, why are you working hard in the first place? “Want You” by Kanine When I discovered drum and bass “Long Time” by Playboi Carti this year, I was convinced this song Catch me in my girlfriend’s mom’s has to be the pinnacle of the genre 2002 Honda CRV yelling “I AIN’T (at least out of what I have heard so FELT LIKE THIS, IN A LONG far). If you ever want to get a $600
close. Treighn noted that the vaccine doesn’t include any cleaning products, despite what U.S. President Donald Trump would have you believe. The next step was the clinical trials, which the Treighn family excitedly volunteered for. “She’s been doing this stuff in school for three years, right? What could ever go wrong?” said Treighn’s mother. “I have complete faith in my daughter,” Treighn’s father said with a smile while also shaking his head.
“Of course Miss Rona is female. No man would stay this long in anybody’s life” Her younger twin siblings, Kyle and Kyla, said they only agreed to it because their father gave them $20 each. Her youngest brother, Joe said he didn’t even know his sister was in university studying biochemistry. “She came up with a vaccine but she doesn’t have a boyfriend? What a nerd,” Joe said. Treighn vaccinated her family al-
dollar speeding ticket, or just fuck- “Proud of U” by EARTHGANG ing RAVE it out, put this song on. Ft. Young Thug Don’t forget to boost your bass and You did well on your assignment? turn up the volume to 11. I’m proud of u. You’re getting better at your hobby? I’m proud of u. “Angels” by Chance the Rapper You made it out of bed this mornWEAR YOUR HALO LIKE A ing? I’m proud of u. This song is the HAT, THAT’S LIKE THE LATEST official soundtrack of positivity and FASHION, I GOT ANGELS ALL I am here for it. Catch me sending AROUND ME THEY KEEP ME this link to people all the time when SURROUNDED! I’m not religious they do some cool shit! The producbut I considered it for a hot minute tion and the vocals on this track are after listening to this song on repeat. immaculate, it’s truly a masterpiece Okay not really, but still. Too bad of modern hip-hop. the follow-up to Colouring Book was The Big Disappointment. “LITE SPOTS” by Kaytranada My good friend and Eyeopener “June Gloom” by Prima communities editor Kiernan Green This is the first lo-fi song I ever showed me this song when we were heard and I honestly think it’s still having coffee and some Grandma the best one. Something about this Green’s Sugary Cigars in the backyard song just screams nostalgia and of our mouse-infested garbage can of that’s all you want from a lo-fi beats a rental. When the beat drop hit, we to study/chill/relax to track. Listen transcended the physical realm, floatto this and your studying will never ed out of our chairs and became one be the same. with the rhythm. It’s been our go-to
most two months ago and said everyone seems to be in good health despite blatantly exposing themselves to the virus literally every day. They’re having large gatherings with people outside of their social bubbles who tested positive for the virus—they really wanted to wish their third cousin’s pet hamster a happy birthday! “The twins are going to the mall every day because ‘Urban Planet is having a sale,’ and I’m pretty sure Joe came home from school with a different mask on because he traded it for a cooler one,” Treighn said. To continue testing the vaccine, Treighn is willing to brace herself and get back on the GO Train and subway one last time to look for volunteers. “I’m sure people would be willing to get something injected into their arm from a random girl with a wheely backpack on the subway, right?” So far, Treighn’s had no luck within the commuter crowd. Her next step is getting the government to buy into her product and distribute it on a mass scale. “Right now, I’ve only created a solid five. I’m not exactly sure if my basement lab can handle 20 million,” Treighn said. She’s also considered expanding her lab to the Kerr Hall basement. However, that would require her to commute to campus with her equipment and would take way too long. “I’d have to make 10 trips back and forth. That’s like 20 hours of just sitting on the trains, if I’m lucky enough to find a seat,” Treighn said. “Even if it meant curing COVID-19 for good, I wouldn’t subject myself to that much commuting.”
party song ever since; no aux cord is safe from being commandeered by us. Here’s hoping parties can happen again one day. “Can’t You See” by The Marshall Tucker Band Sometimes, you wanna hop on the next freight train and leave it all behind. Sometimes you wanna find the highest mountain in the world and jump off it. Sometimes you wanna find a hole in the wall, crawl inside it and die. Despite this song beautifully expressing all of those feelings, it somehow makes you feel good inside. “Jerry Was A Racecar Driver” by Primus Prepare to let your hair down and have a one-person moshpit with yourself when you hear “GO!” Every time this song gets to the breakdown, I regret not dedicating my entire life to becoming a drummer in a legendary, genre-bending rock band.
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