#RamsTalk for mental health
Toronto looks at regulating shisha bars
Jobless? Go teach in Asia
Produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Volume 68, Number 20 Diversity On The Runway
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On the campaign trail By Bethany Van Lingen Ryersonian Staff
Leslie Walker / Ryersonian Staff
Ophilia Alleyne, a model in Project Diversity, strikes a pose on the runway on Monday in the Ryerson School of Interior Design. See page 9 for the full story about the fashion show.
A Ryerson student has a frontrow seat to mayoral candidate Olivia Chow’s campaign. Akemi Liyanage, 21, is a volunteer photographer for the Chow camp. It’s about more than just photos for the second-year journalism student. At Chow’s first rally, Liyanage found support from other students who care about the same issues. She went to cover the event alone, not knowing anyone else involved in Chow’s campaign or in any of the campaigns. “I met a lot of students who have graduated and are now looking for a job. They (were at the rally) volunteering. It was nice to talk about the struggles students face,” Liyanage said. “Being at events like this gives us a sense of hope. Employment situations can become better. We can find contacts, meet people and do things that make progress in our own lives and in the greater situation.”
Liyanage signed up as a volunteer for the Chow campaign after receiving an email blast, to which she quickly shot an email back and offered to bring her camera. She plans to attend future events, including today’s mayoral debate at the CityTV headquarters, and take more photos for the campaign. She said that student participation is important for the upcoming mayoral campaign, especially as a solution to the lack of young voter turnout. According to Liyanage, there needs to be a greater recognition of young people within the political sphere. “I really want the city to use the energy and genius of young people to make it better. We should be using young people the best that we can to make the things better,” Liyanage said. “We’re smart, capable and (available). We have a perspective that older people don’t.” Liyanage isn’t the only Ryerson student taking part in the 2014 election. Claire Stevenson-Blythe, a sec-
ond-year environment and urban sustainability student, volunteers at the non-profit organization, Toronto Environmental Alliance. She canvasses and raises awareness among voters, in both mayoral and ward races, about environmental issues up for debate. She said she noticed a disconnect between students and politics during a class project on political involvement in her program. She surveyed 67 students in one of her classes and about 87 per cent of those surveyed were not involved with political organizations. The Ryerson student is planning a mayoral debate for her program in September. Her goal is to encourage students to apply politics to both their program and the environment. “In this program, we need to be active and aware in choosing our mayoral candidate,” said Stevenson-Blythe.
The studio will be on the fourth floor of the MAC and the control room will be built over the summer. It will feature half a dozen high-end cameras, audio and lighting equipment. The $750,000 gift will also fund student scholarships, digital media training, development and student-driven digital media productions. As for Falzon, he says he is very optimistic for what this
means for the Ryerson community as a whole. “We will be working there to give better coverage, to give more exposure for the events,” he said. “It will become a vicious and exciting circle where the more sports we have, the more sports media we have. “And the more sports media excellence we have, the more pride we will have in our athletics program.”
Please see CAMPAIGN, page 3
Sportsnet to fund media centre in the MAC By Dana Roberts Ryersonian Staff
Ryerson will be getting a stateof-the-art broadcasting centre in the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC), courtesy of Sportsnet. The Rogers-owned Canadian company, which includes TV channels, radio stations and a magazine, has donated $750,000 to Ryerson’s Make Your Mark campaign. The money will fund the broadcast facility, which will be a part of the new RTA School of Media’s Sports Media program. The new broadcasting centre hopes to further the Sports Media program by exposing students to the latest technology in field production, digital media training, student-driven media productions, media marketing and media management. “We are deeply committed to providing opportunities in education for youth and young adults, particularly when it comes to technology, innovation and the future of sports media in Canada,” said Scott Moore, president of Sportsnet and a Ryerson graduate.
The four-year program, which differs from the core RTA program of media production, will be housed in the MAC. Students will have the opportunity to work on covering sports, doing sports feature documentaries and sports feature interviews, among other things. Charles Falzon, chair of the RTA School of Media, said that the program has been in development for the last few years, but talks with Moore were a very recent development. “It’s also significant in that Sportsnet is one of Canada’s leading sports networks,” Falzon said. “The fact that they are saying ‘yes, we believe in this sports media program,’ even before it’s started, has been a real boost to all of us who are working on it and I know will make the first round of students very proud that they are associated.” The program will launch in September, and will accept only 60 applicants in the first year. “It came to be primarily because so many of our graduates are in the sport industry,” Falzon said. “Sport media industry is a growing field and we felt
that there would be a demand and an opportunity to create leaders of tomorrow.” Students will work on covering the games held at the MAC across various media platforms, with an emphasis on television. Students will also use radio and digital media. In addition to its production component, students will learn about sports theory, sports management and sports marketing. As part of the new partnership between Sportsnet and Ryerson, the RTA School of Media plans to broadcast a regular television series featuring university sports from across the country. Students from the program will produce the content, and up to four hours of coverage will be featured on Sportsnet 360, one of the company’s national TV channels, each year. “The program seemed to mix my love for sports and my passion for production perfectly,” says Alex Daddese, a successful applicant to the first year of the program. “Everyone in the program will get to gain experience in the area they wish to enter.”
Matt Oxman / Ryersonian Staff
The new broadcast facility will be in the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
2 • The Ryersonian
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
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New trend turns self(ie)-absorbed Over the past week, a new social media trend swept the newsfeeds, with several women posting self-portraits wearing no makeup. By including the hashtag “#nomakeupselfie” and encouraging their friends to do the same, this was a supposed attempt to raise awareness for breast-cancer research. This trend is reported to have started shortly after American author Laura Lippman posted a photo of herself on Twitter without any makeup on in support of actress Kim Novak, whose looks were criticized at the Oscars. But soon after, others seemed to pick up the idea as a way to get people to support cancer charities. Over $3 million was raised for cancer research after charities like Cancer Research U.K. caught on to the trend. But despite how much money has been raised, is society losing sight of what raising awareness really means? Social media trends are not a new thing, but they certainly gather steam as they make their way across the Internet. From sharing Invisible Children’s viral KONY 2012 video to posting pictures of your favourite cartoons to raise awareness for child abuse, these online movements have become very popular among online profiles. The trends are also generating discussion about what they are actually achieving. The “No Makeup Selfie” trend is the same. While most of these self-portraits were posted for a good cause, critics of the campaign are slamming the trend by saying it misses the mark. Jessica Galang, co-editorin-chief of Ryerson’s feminist magazine, McClung’s, says she has no issue with those taking makeup-free selfies in general, but finds this particular project problematic. Criticizing the campaign for making a horrible ordeal such as cancer into “a vanity circle jerk,” she said the trend puts too much emphasis on a girl’s appearance rather than the cause.
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“I don’t think girls should be praised for not wearing makeup,” she said, noting that going bare shouldn’t be considered brave when compared to cancer. “There are more productive ways to raise awareness for cancer.” She’s right. Many who decided to forgo makeup failed to post links to charities along with their selfies, instead opting to tag their photos with vaguer terms like “#BreastCancerAwareness” or none at all. The fact that the “no makeup selfie” trend is said to be helping raise awareness for breast cancer makes very little sense at all. It’s understandable to shave your head in support of cancer or to grow a moustache to raise awareness or money. But deciding to forget your makeup for the day can also imply that people with cancer can’t wear makeup at all because they’re sick and confined to their beds. In addition, the gendered implications of this trend seem to forget that men are susceptible to breast cancer in rare cases as well. The truth is that this “no makeup selfie” trend is not enough to bring to light the importance of cancer research. Rather, it’s narcissistic and needy. Telling someone they look beautiful has very little contribution to raising awareness for cancer. Deciding to skip the makeup for the day gives the connotation that it’s only OK for girls to do this once a year. It implies that for the rest of the 364 days, they should just go back to their normal routines and never let anyone see them without makeup. It’s great that over $3 million has been raised since this trend started. And it’s wonderful that this fad is trying to normalize the fact that women shouldn’t feel self-conscious about wearing no makeup. But taking pictures of yourself barefaced is still not enough to make an impression. In what society sees as courageous and pushing boundaries for the sake of a good cause, we actually see how self-interested we’ve all become.
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The mystery of RSU fees
Courtesy Marissa Dederer
By Victoria Stunt Ryersonian Staff
Two hundred and forty dollars. It’s a lot of money. With it, I could pay my hydro bill for four months. I could finally fix my phone’s broken screen. I could buy a coveted metro pass, two months in a row. My God. With $240 extra, I could make myself feel like a real star. But as my four years at Ryerson University come to a close, those extra dollars are long gone for me, as well as the rest of the student body. Each student at Ryerson pays a mandatory $60 annual fee to the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU). That’s $240 over four years that students must give to the RSU to do, erm, well, not that much. I came to Ryerson in 2010. During my first weeks here, I observed RSU executives yelling into megaphones in front of the Student Campus Centre (SCC). Even then, the SCC had twostorey posters down the front of the building to promote equity groups.
At a school where I knew no one, the RSU executives were familiar faces who seemed to care about improving campus life. They succeeded in closing Gould Street for six months that year, which later became a permanent change in 2012. The same year, the RSU and other Greater Toronto Area student unions helped to implement lower TTC fares for students. Powerful, I thought. What more would they accomplish while I achieve my degree? Four years later, different RSU executives continue to yell into their megaphones, but I am still waiting to see more changes. The RSU hasn’t really done anything more to significantly improve student life at Ryerson since I’ve been here. The RSU tends to focus on working for large-scale campaigns rather than causes that are easier to put into action and that will more quickly affect students at Ryerson. The RSU’s Drop Fees campaign to stop the rise of tuition costs is a valid one. Ontario students pay the most money for post-secondary education in the country. That’s unfair. But the energy the RSU puts into this campaign does not effect change and the way they go about protesting it is not effective. Last October, RSU executives led a protest for the campaign by marching through through campus. Just 15 students joined them. The Halloween-themed “Rally For The Death of Affordable Education” ended on the 13th
floor of Jorgenson Hall, where Ryerson president Sheldon Levy greeted the crowd. They handed him a funeral wreath, keeping with the rally theme, and then took a smiley photo with him. I’m not sure if handing Levy a wreath is going to do too much to drop tuition fees. If it seemed like the RSU were taking the campaign more seriously, maybe we as students would be able to take it more seriously. As if the RSU doesn’t have enough to do on our own campus, last month some executive members were caught campaigning at the University of Toronto for its student union elections. RSU president Melissa Palermo and vice-president equity (and incoming president) Rajean Hoilett were spotted on the campus in the middle of March. Palermo defended herself saying she was on vacation time. Hoilett refused to comment. A member of the student press there said Hoilett told him he was a U of T student. As an outgoing student, that isn’t behaviour the soon-to-be RSU president should be exhibiting. The RSU’s recent behaviour and its lack of results make me wish I had attended a university where the student union actually made a real impact on campus. I can only hope the $240 I’ve paid to the union goes towards improving student life for future students, because I can’t say it’s helped me at all. Thanks for nothing.
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The Ryersonian • 3
Ontario government joins Ryerson to create jobs By Alexa Huffman Ryersonian Staff
The Ontario government has pledged $800,000 to create 120 jobs in the high-tech sector for humanities and social sciences Ryerson graduates. Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the funding, part of a joint project with Ryerson University, on Thursday. “We thought (Ryerson had) a very strong program especially because of the involvement of major high-tech industry associations,” said Gabe De Roche, spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment. The new project will provide liberal arts grads with job placements and short-term training in “cutting edge,” high tech fields. It aims to give these grads advanced skills within the information communications sector — skills that science graduates already learn within their school programs. Ryerson dean of arts Jean-Paul Boudreau said that the program will also help to shorten the aftergraduation job search. “I am very confident about the extraordinary value of education in the social sciences and humanities in the 21st century university as a complement to industry specific training,” Boudreau said in an email. “I am very confident (that there is an) extraordinary value (to a social sciences and
Students take political action CAMPAIGN cont’d ...
“It’s important both for the environment and our own futures,” Stevenson-Blythe says. “We need to look at who’s running the city and what they’re doing with it, if we care about both of these things.” Sachil Patel, president of the RTA student union, is no stranger to political campaigns. In high school, he campaigned for Soo Wong, the Scarborough-Agincourt member of the provincial parliament. Wong was his school trustee at the time. But now Patel isn’t as attached to the candidates or the issues, since he moved downtown for school. “We’re here on a short-term basis, so it’s difficult to get involved when we’re only here for four years,” he said. “I’m going to move back home after school. I’ll get involved then, because there are issues and candidates I care about. But I can’t picture myself getting that involved here.” For now, urban and regional planning professor, Mitch Kosny, said he’s excited about students who are interested in getting involved. “A lot of my students start as these volunteers and then end up as policy advisers to mayors, councillors and MPPs, or they run for office themselves,” Kosny said.
Courtesy Joseph Morris / Flickr
Premier Kathleen Wynne has allotted $800,000 to create jobs for humanities and social sciences grads.
humanities) education in the 21st century. University (is) a complement to industry-specific training.” The project is part of a $1.55-million expenditure that will also equip commercial bakers and metal workers with hightech skills. The remaining $750,000 will go to George Brown College to train under-employed and unemployed youth in these two fields. “It’s not just training young people and sending them out to the world, although there’s nothing wrong with that,” De Roche said. “This program was especially to train people in those skills that specific industries
have said is in high demand. And that’s what the program does.” The two projects fall under the province’s new Youth Skills Connection program. At a $25-million price tag, the program’s two-year goal is to cut back on labour shortages by linking employers, government, post-secondary institutions and young people. However, Faculty of Arts students — the program had over 15,000 applicants for 12,000 seats last year — are already taught skills that are beneficial in the work field, Boudreau said. He cites skills like critical thinking, communication, prob-
By Hailey Chan Ryersonian Staff
The report also said that smoking tobacco-based hookah can lead to lung, oral and bladder cancer, cardiovascular disease and addiction — similar to the health effects of smoking cigarettes. The Ryerson campus is among the list of Toronto locations that provide opportunities for hookah use. The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) welcomed incoming frosh this year by holding a week full of events, one of which was a shisha lounge. But now there are questions about how harmful smoking can be. “If it was harmful, then I would definitely stop (smoking), but I haven’t seen really symptoms appearing on me,” Rahmam said. “It really hasn’t affected anything.” Anjalie Shivakumar is the team lead at Leave the Pack Behind, a campus smoking information program. She says that many students she’s talked to believe that shisha is “better for them” because it was “herbal and natural.” “It’s a social event,” Shivakumar says. “People usually get together and smoke it.” The activity is also popular among the Bangladeshi Students’ Association (BSA) and Pakistani Students’ Associations, which hosted an Arabian shisha night in November last year. York and the University of Toronto also held shisha events
lem-solving and researching in a variety of fields. “Employers should be looking for social sciences and humanities graduates ... Their prospects for the labour market have never been brighter,” Boudreau said. “Our graduates have always been nimble (and) find jobs in many diverse areas.” The Faculty of Arts, Boudreau said, is in the midst of creating other opportunities to help future arts students. The faculty is currently working on creating the arts-based CivicVenture Zone, which will be Canada’s newest incubator for social entrepreneurship and civic enterprises.
“Technology is ever changing and we must engage it,” Boudreau said. “(CivicVenture Zone) introduces social entrepreneurship and civic innovation as a new viable career path to students, alumni and industry professionals, keeping ideas and jobs in our communities. It’s about passion, purpose and yes, a paycheque.” Rick Miner, author of a report on the mismatch between the job market and the workforce, said that the outlook for arts graduates, however, is not so bright. “The problem is (that) we make students make career decisions in Grade 10 and the labour market changes so much by the time they graduate university,” Miner said. The Youth Skills Connection program may address real-time job demands, but falls short in training for evolving and future jobs, according to Miner. Miner said the solution is for universities to develop short, concise programs that will help people transition quickly into employment. So even if the student is studying in the arts, they can also prepare for the job market with a different skill set. But Miner doubts this will happen. “The university funded system is based on bodies,” Miner said. “We need to get away from body counts and funding issues and look at what benefits students best.”
Rye students hidden in the smoke Naressa Rahmam is an occasional shisha smoker. The thirdyear Ryerson geography student started smoking the herbal-based product about four years ago, while she was in high school. Now, Rahmam smokes at only social gatherings — her favourite flavour is watermelon. “There’s a lot of places in Toronto where you can go hang out and do shisha,” she said. But she, like many Ryerson students, is unaware of the health risks that are associated with this social activity. A hookah, similar to a bong, is used to smoke shisha. Shisha is a vapourized herbal product that is available in a variety of flavours, ranging from fruity to chocolate. At the Board of Health meeting on March 24, Toronto medical officer Dr. David McKeown proposed public consultations to look into the effects of hookah in Toronto bars and lounges. The consultations would determine whether hookah smoking should be banned in bars due to health concerns, McKeown said, referring specifically to tobaccofree shisha. A study conducted by the University of Alberta showed that the air pollution levels in 12 tobacco-free hookah lounges were just as hazardous as secondhand smoke from a cigarettefilled bar.
Courtesy Joi Ito / Fotopedia
Tobacco-free shisha can cause cancer and cardiovascular disease.
during welcome week. At the board meeting, Coun. Sarah Doucette called this “horrifying.” Ridwan Hossein, the co-chair of the BSA, said the group was trying to offer something “different” to students. The event was sponsored by a local shisha lounge, Eclipse, which brought discounted shisha and hookahs for students at the Ram in the Rye. Nearly 80 students attended the event. According to the RSU Twitter account, the student union plans to host another shisha event soon. But most students are unaware of the possible negative health effects of smoking shisha. “As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think there is any (health
issue) — it’s essentially flavoured water,” Hossein said. A University of Alberta study says that carcinogenic compounds can be found in shisha, similar to those found in tar and mothballs — up to three times more than in cigarettes. Though smoking shisha containing tobacco in a public place is illegal in Ontario — under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act — the activity is mostly unregulated. McKeown, however, feels the city should take responsibility. “A large proportion of (shisha) establishments (in the province) are in the city of Toronto,” he said. “We have more of a burning platform to take action on this.”
4 • The Ryersonian
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Ryerson gets a big name for Big Data By Alexa Huffman Ryersonian Staff
Ontario’s information and privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian has been appointed as the executive director of Ryerson’s Institute for Privacy and Big Data. The university announced Cavoukian’s appointment and the creation of the institute last Wednesday. Cavoukian will begin her role at Ryerson on July 1, after ending her third term as commissioner — spanning over 15 years. Her official launch will be in the beginning of the 2014 academic year. Already a guest lecturer at Ryerson, this will be Cavoukian’s first official role with the university. “I think we’re really going to forge a lot of new ground and I want to make sure that privacy is embedded in the big data analytics and big data ventures that Ryerson embarks upon,” Cavoukian said. Cavoukian said that in the long term she wants Ryerson to exceed the work of other universities and similar centres around the world.
Ann Cavoukian will begin her new role at Ryerson on July 1.
“I’m hoping I can add to the existing base of extremely valuable research that already goes on at Ryerson in terms of privacy and cybercrime,” said Cavoukian. “I want this to be a true win-win proposition where Ryerson’s big data analytics excel.” Cavoukian’s immediate goal is to establish new interdisciplinary research on emerging technology. Ryerson’s privacy research institute is still in its early stages. It will be housed in the Faculty
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of Science, said faculty dean Imogen Coe. The institute will place a high priority on curriculum development including specializations, master’s programs or graduate levels so students can be trained in data analytics and data science. Both the data analytics and data science fields face employee shortages; a great opportunity for students. The institute will someday become universitywide so all faculties can par-
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
ticipate, said Avner Levin, the director of the Privacy and Cyber Crime Institute at the Ted Rogers School of Management. “We actually hope that we’re going to take what we have right now and fold it into this new organization we hope to create,” Levin said. By next year, Levin hopes to get in a proposal to bring together the Privacy and Cyber Crime Institute and the new institute. “It’s not going to be an academic centre. It’s going to be
a very real-world, career-driven centre,” Coe said. It will also be home to a project called the Big Data initiative. Big data is a collection of digital information or instructions so large and complex it can’t be processed using traditional tools. The data is processed by alternative methods, which can leave gaps in privacy protection. Researchers will develop technology that analyzes data with privacy protection, teach about privacy and big data and create an incubation platform for startup companies to utilize the new technology. Coe said the institute could partner with hospitals or nonprofit organizations in the future. For now, Cavoukian said she hopes to bring both her experience as the Ontario commissioner, her own concept of embedding privacy into technology and her worldwide network to Ryerson. “This is a global pursuit,” she said. “We’re going to have big data and very strong privacy embedded into the process. And that will set us apart and we will become an international star.”
SLC on track for 2015 By Kelly McDowell Ryersonian Staff
The supporting structure of Ryerson’s Student Learning Centre (SLC) is nearly done and the glass panels have started to arrive. According to Ryerson, construction is on schedule and the seven-storey building should be ready to open by January 2015. The centre is located on the site of the famous Sam the Record Man, on the northeast corner of Yonge and Gould Streets. “It has beautiful and functional spaces from top to bottom for students to study, hang out, receive learning supports,” said Ryerson’s vice-president of administration and finance Julia Hanigsberg in an email. “There will (also) be a graband-go for coffee in the lobby.” Angelo Cofini, Ellis Don head contractor, was unavailable to comment, but did say in an email that the company is working hard towards this target of completing construction at the end of 2014. In 2010, The Ryersonian reported that the university expected the building would be completed by 2013. The budget is projected to come in at a total $112 million and Hanigsberg is confident it won’t go over budget. Provincial funding covers $45 million of the project while $22
Leslie Walker / Ryersonian Staff
The glass panels have recently been added to the SLC.
million comes from fundraising. The remaining $45 million is specified as coming from the university’s internal sources. The second floor of the library building is now attached to the SLC. Students will be able to move between the two buildings freely from the library to the new Learning Commons in the SLC. The two buildings will work seamlessly, said chief librarian Madeline Lefebvre, adding that the connection bridge has already been built. Construction crews have begun applying the glass to the connec-
tion between the two buildings. This structure will bring the Ryerson library to the next level, according to Lefebvre. “Students would say time and time again that they are in desperate need of study space and this is a great opportunity to provide that,” she said. The library’s books will stay where they are, as the idea is to expand the learning and study space, not shelf space. “It is a project that we have all been excited about,” Lefebvre said. “Seeing it come along is very exciting.”
Corrections In a story on page 3 of the March 19 edition of The Ryersonian, “Food change at Rye”, the representative of the food services company Chartwells was misidentified. Kevin Booth, district manager of Chartwells, spoke at the meeting. In a story on page 3 of the Feb. 26 edition of The Ryersonian, “E-exam for nurses coming to Canada,” Kileen Tucker Scott was incorrectly identified as the director of the Ryerson, Centennial, George Brown Collaborative Nursing Degree program. She is the former director of the program.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The Ryersonian • 5
Stuck on studying? Help’s just a click away By Jackie Hunter Ryersonian Staff
Andrei Khramtsov, like many students, turned to online tutoring services for some extra help in his studies. The Ryerson aerospace engineering student quickly grew frustrated with websites that control the tutors’ payment process and didn’t offer reliable reviews of tutors. Khramtsov, 22, decided to use his web-design experience to create Tutorical, a website that helps students connect to knowledgeable and peer-reviewed tutors. The site offers tutor profiles that provide information students need to choose the right tutor. “I have tutored in my life, I have had to try and find a tutor, both of which aren’t the easiest processes,” Khramtsov said. “Once you have a tutor, it’s fantastic, but trying to sift through hundreds of people who pretty much say they are the best tutors in the world is a giant pain.”
Tutorical has over 300 tutors worldwide, including 100 in Canada. Khramtsov said that the site is growing at a rate of about two tutors per day. The website has also attracted Toronto student tutors from Ryerson and the University of Toronto, who want to earn some extra income. Khramtsov started learning web design in high school and made a rough version of Tutorical one year ago, but he put it aside to focus on his studies. He began working on the redesigned Tutorical website in December. “I put myself in the shoes of the student. If I’m a person looking for a tutor, what do I want?” he said. “Regardless of who you are looking for, you want them to be a good tutor.” The site offers easy-to-access information, such as availability, location and reviews, so students don’t have to waste time wondering which tutor is right for them. Tutorical is also free for both stu-
dents and tutors, different from other online tutoring websites that charge monthly fees or take a cut of the tutor’s profits. Khramtsov said he wanted Tutorical’s rating system to provide more information to students than a simple star rating. Tutorial reviews tutors by four different categories: expertise, helpfulness, response and clarity. He said the process allows students to better gauge a tutor’s ability by seeing their rating. “I wanted it to be a website where a student can go on and can see all the information clearly laid out. They don’t have to hunt around for availability or location,” Khramtsov said. “There is an easy way to contact the tutor and also, we can make it easier for a student to know the tutor is who they say they are and that they are a good tutor.” According to Khramtsov, Tutorical has been getting positive feedback from tutors and
Since then, participation rates have steadily declined, with only 22 per cent of students using the online surveys last semester. These response rates tend to be higher for those evaluating instructors on paper, with paper rates typically averaging around 50 per cent. This difference in participation rates is consistent throughout North American universities still offering both survey mediums, according to a report by University of Toronto researchers Pamela Gravestock and Emily Gregor-Greenleaf.
They say, however, conducting some evaluations online and some in class, as Ryerson does, is “not advisable.” “Institutions that conduct or have explored the possibility of conducting evaluations online note that both response rates and overall evaluation ratings are lower,” the report said. “Changes to response rates or average ratings are not necessarily a problem if all evaluations are conducted online and if relevant contextualizing information is provided to faculty and administrators.”
Leslie Walker / Ryersonian Staff
Andrei Khramtsov started his own tutoring website, Tutorical.
students alike on social media websites. Now Khramtsov is looking forward to getting more students and tutors on the site. But Khramtsov said Tutorical isn’t just limited to students.
“I wanted to get away from the idea that tutoring is something that is just done for students because you may just want to learn something,” he said. “This website is for anyone who wants to learn.”
Though there can be many reasons for the decrease in students opting to use the online survey method, the disparity in participation rates may occur simply because of time, suggests Ryerson Students’ Union vicepresident education Roshelle Lawrence. “Students typically don’t like to go out of their way to do something, or they might not remember to do so,” she said. “There are students that do remember to do stuff like that, but a lot of students have a lot of different stuff on their mind.” Being in a class when a paper evaluation is handed out boosts
participation, she said, because of the situation’s immediacy. “I know from personal experience, the (facilitators) would come into my classes and I’d be like, ‘Well, I’m here so I might as well fill it out,’” she said. Despite the difference in paper versus online scores, surveys are still a valuable resource for Ryerson, insists vice-provost of faculty affairs John Isbister. “(Instructors) get unbiased feedback on their teaching and it helps them improve,” he said. “They want to be good teachers. It’s not a matter of indifference to them.”
Students slacking with online surveys By Tara Deschamps Ryersonian Staff
Fewer than half of Ryerson students assess their instructors using online course surveys, reveals the school’s latest evaluation data. When Ryerson debuted its online survey in the fall of 2007, 38 per cent of students opted to complete evaluations on the Internet. The survey allowed students to numerically answer questions about the effectiveness of instructors and their courses.
Online course survey participation is low among students at Ryerson University. Data provided by Office of Faculty Affairs website.
Tara Deschamps / Ryersonian Staff
6 • The Ryersonian
Students in Scarlett Losch’s class play outside in Beijing, China.
Courtesy Scarlett Losch
The number of people learning English in China is greater than the entire population of the U.S. Approximately 100,000 new international teaching jobs become available each year. David Owen explores why so many young people are booking their flights to teach english in Asia.
or Scarlett Losch, an average day at work involves teaching four groups of children between the ages of three and six. The older students learn basic sentence structure while the younger ones play games to remember English vocabulary for food and parts of the body. She has her own classroom and her own office, and educates about 100 children each day. Losch says she is always amazed at how quickly the kids in her class pick up the language. She makes a respectable salary, earning around $1,800 each month, in addition to an extra $1,000 she makes from tutoring and teaching art classes. Her students don’t call her Ms. Losch. They call her Su Jiā Lì. Losch is a teacher in Beijing, China. She moved there to be an instructor after deciding that her first year of film studies at Ryerson would be her last as a student. Despite not having an undergraduate degree, experience in teachers’ college, or even a completed Teaching English as a Second Language TEFL certificate, she was easily able to secure employment. TEFL or TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) is an online course that qualifies one to work internationally as a language instructor. While there are several variations of the course structure, the minimum requirements consist of 100 online hours and six hours of practical experience. There are currently about 80 countries with viable job markets to teach English, according to the International TEFL Academy, an organization
that provides training and guidance to prospective international English teachers. Destinations in Asia are the most popular. While a TEFL certificate is preferred, and can sometimes lead to higher salaries, uncertified applicants can still get hired, so long as they are over the age of 18. This means that young people who were recently students themselves can be the ones leading the classroom. Before she left for Beijing in August 2012, Losch enrolled in a course with Global TESOL College. The organization provides several levels of certification, and the most basic of them costs $995. Losch says she felt prepared to be an instructor upon her arrival, but reflecting back on her introduction to teaching now, she says, “I’m not going to lie, it was a bit of a joke.” Her job was secured and her bags were packed before she had even finished her certification, which, even after a successful year as an instructor, she has yet to complete. Ian Davis, the director of admissions at the Chicago-based International TEFL Academy, says that the program does deliver adequate training to teach abroad. “It is a tough course that dives into language acquisition,” he says. “Most alumni say they’ve never felt more prepared.” During his six years with the International TEFL Academy, Davis says he has seen rapid growth in the desire to teach English abroad. Approximately 100,000 jobs are available for international English
rch 26, 2014
The Ryersonian • 7
teachers. The majority of people filling these jobs are in their mid-20s, and will stay abroad for only one to two years. This high turnover creates constant new opportunities. But teaching abroad is not for everyone, Davis says. As well as having to be a fluent English-speaking adult, he says, “It takes a certain kind of person to do this. Teachers have to have a sense of adventure and be willing to get their hands dirty.” Without hesitation, Davis says the largest job market is in China, where the population of people learning English is greater than the entire population of the United States. Some teachers are provided with health care, paid vacation, housing, and even airfare. All of this, in addition to an average monthly salary of up to 12,000 RMB (approximately $2,000 Canadian), makes this country an ideal destination for students looking to travel and pay off their student loans concurrently. Former Ottawa student Annisa McNish’s story of securing a teaching job illustrates Davis’s point. After graduating from Everest College’s lab technician program, McNish moved to Shanghai, China, where her boyfriend had already been living and working as an engineer for nine months.
he took a few weeks to settle in and begin her online TEFL program. Before she was even certified, she posted her resume on Kijiji. McNish was called that same night about a position at a nearby school and was hired at the end of her interview. She started work the following day. McNish now maintains an English immersion
Annisa McNish with her students in Shanghai, China.Courtesy Annisa McNish
“TEFL teaches you how to teach the simple grammar rules native English speakers take for granted.”
— Annisa McNish
environment with children aged three to nine who spend 45 minutes with her, followed by 45 minutes with a Chinese teacher who is fluent in both languages. Like most other English teachers in China, she earns a substantial monthly salary of 14,500 RMB (about $2,600) and has been using the money to travel on her vacation time and even pay off student loans. McNish has visited Hong Kong and is planning a trip to South Korea but says that, since arriving, her most memorable experience has been touring the Great Wall of China. She acknowledges the benefit of proper training for this type of position. “I definitely feel I could have been more prepared,” McNish says. “But all the lessons are planned out so you don’t have to do too much. It’s so easy once you get started.” After completing the TEFL course, and working with other international teachers who have shared their tips to engage young students McNish says, “TEFL teaches you how to teach the simple grammar rules native English speakers take for granted. The most important part was how to take lessons and turn them into games and exercises.”
nriqueta Zafra can speak to a different kind of language teaching experience. She has been teaching Spanish to Ryerson students since 2004, but her position requires much more than an online certificate. She says that it can be great to be taught by a native speaker because teachers should only be instructing others if they have been immersed in the language or were born speaking it.
Courtesy Jessica Pehme
Jessica Pehme poses with students in her South Korea classroom.
“If she was 21 years old, she would be my best friend.” — Scarlett Losch
Challenges can arise when teachers are not able to translate their instructions into the language spoken by their students, Zafra says. “If you know the language you can easily explain difficult concepts,” she says. “You can help make connections.” In addition to simply being competent with the language, Zafra says there are distinct personality traits that make successful teachers. These include patience, the ability to assess different learning styles, and the ability to convey culture as well as language. Ultimately, she believes that teachers can either study their whole life or take a quick course, but when it comes to teaching something as complex as English, online practice can only take instructors so far. Losch’s experiences abroad have proved successful even without extensive training. Both of her sisters had young children and she says that being around them helped prepare her to be an international teacher. She joked, “Kids are the same no matter where you go. They all want candy and ice cream and for you to pay attention to them.” The job has had lots of payoff. She recalled a young girl from Japan, named Masako, who spoke English well but was very shy. Losch and Masako would sit together during breaks and use an iPad to translate their conversations. The two developed a meaningful bond that made Masako more comfortable around others. Losch was equally excited about Lyla, another student who tried hard to improve her English in every class. “If she was 21 years old, she would be my best friend,” Losch says. Losch says she is certain moving to China was the right choice for her. “Deciding to quit school and leave everything and everyone to go to the other side of the world was the best thing I have ever done,” she says. “I’ll never regret it.” Annisa McNish at the Great Wall of China.
Courtesy Annisa McNish
8 • The Ryersonian
ARTS & LIFE
#Modern: The art critic robot By Bethany Van Lingen Ryersonian Staff
Don’t understand art? Too scared to hitchhike? Ryerson has a robot for that. Frauke Zeller, an assistant professor at Ryerson, has built two robots with very different purposes: one tweets art criticism and the other will soon hitchhike across Canada. The art critic robot, called the kulturBOT 1.0, attends art exhibitions and tweets textcaptioned photos of the artworks, visitors and venue. From January to March of this year, the robot toured around the About the Mind exhibit at McMaster University, exploring how we think and communicate about art, while at the same time exploring how we think about and interact with robots. The hitchhiking robot, hitchBot 1.0, is still being completed. Its intended journey will begin in Canada’s Maritime provinces and span all the way to British Columbia. With hitchBot, Zeller hopes to demystify hitchhiking as a dangerous mode of transportation. “Is hitchhiking as dangerous for robots as it is for humans? That’s something we’re trying to find out,” Zeller says. The robot will even give prompts to its human companions, to share stories while passing the time on the road, and then record these stories through a cellphone chip. “We’re living in an aging society, which is going to need more and more help from robots,” she says. “So, we need people to trust robots and communicate well with them.” Zeller’s robotic research centres on interactions between humans and robots, and how the two communicate. In movies, humans are often afraid of robots (for example, Will Smith’s robot vendetta in the sci-fi movie iRobot). Zeller hopes to rebuild robot-human trust with her creations.
Courtesy David Harris Smith
kulturBOT 1.0, made of found materials, tweets art reviews.
“If you look around, we have robots everywhere,” Zeller says. “They’re not R2D2, but they’re our smartphones and coffee machines.” Zeller started at Ryerson last fall as an assistant professor in the professional communication program. When she came to Toronto, her research on robots moved with her. She is currently hiring research assistants for this summer and will be looking for Ryerson students to fill the positions. The robots are a collaborative project between Zeller and David Harris Smith, professor of communication studies and multimedia at McMaster and a Ryerson alumnus. The two will be using Ryerson facilities as they build, research and problem-solve their robotic projects. During the process of creating kulturBot 1.0, Zeller used a lot of found materials, since it’s expensive to develop tools exclusively for a robot. The art aficionado moves around on a rejigged Rumba – a free-roaming floor vacuum – with its mechanical guts held together by a kitchen sieve.
Zeller and Smith are currently working on kulturBot 2.0, an updated version of their first bot, which will have improved mobility and better battery life. “(The first kulturBot) was a very high-maintenance robot. We would have to rush into the exhibit every two hours, and make sure the robot was charged,” Smith says. The next version will be programmed to return to a charging pad. The two researchers are basing the kulturBot 2.0 design around Xbox Kinect and a Rumba vacuum. With the Xbox Kinect inspiration, kulturBot 2.0 will be able to track the shape of the room it’s in, which means less running into walls. It will also track the people moving throughout the room, which gives the researchers data about how crowds are interacting with the exhibit space and artwork. Zeller and Smith also plan to change the look of kulturBot to be more anthropomorphic, without creating something creepy. “We’re thinking somewhere between R2D2 and Pinocchio,” Smith says.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Exhibit review: WAV(E)S By Bryan Sparrow Ryersonian Staff
larger waves – a sight Anderson stumbled upon only once in her 25 visits to Toronto’s Kew Beach. “I went a couple times with my mom who was in town from Winnipeg and there was just little, tiny waves,” Anderson says. “I said, ‘this isn’t what I’m looking for.’ But when I went back, it was cloudier, and I could hear them, these huge waves. Immediately, I shot four rolls, and that was probably 60 per cent of the project right there. I’ve never seen waves like that since.” But the entrancing sounds and visuals of Lake Ontario’s waves are not all thanks to Mother Nature. Anderson credits the softness of the crashing water to the medium she shot with: a film camera. Mixing a slow shutter speed with a large aperture, the waves in the majority of the collection almost look like they were painted onto prints rather than photographed. Out of the dozen frames in the gallery, the standout piece in the collection takes form in one of the three large-scale images — a melting Lake Ontario on the backdrop of a bright blue sky. The gradient of snow and ice, mixed with the lightness of the clouds, carries a different stillness and weight in contrast to the surrounding frames. Anderson says she hopes this sensory experience creates a resurgence in the appreciation of landscape photography. “With people experimenting more with different media, we’re going to start seeing more integrated practice,” Anderson says. “In a city that’s limited in green space, we’re fortunate to have the water.” Mary Anderson: WAV(E)S is on display in the RIC’s Student Gallery until April 13.
Stepping into Mary Anderson’s WAV(E)S exhibit at the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC), you’re greeted by a wave of sound and transported away from the bustling noises of Gould Street. The multimedia exhibit’s soundtrack is accompanied by a doctored recording of Lake Ontario. The sounds of the waves crashing upon the shore are combined with visuals of the water to create an oddly calming oasis on campus. Anderson, a fourth-year photography student, says coming from Saskatchewan and her interest in American visual artist Roni Horn’s water images inspired this project. “I wanted to shoot horizon lines because that’s one of my obsessions,” Anderson says. “But I had to shoot more than just the water and bring another element in.” A multimedia project was born, with the exhibit fusing together traditional photography, video loops and accompanying audio of waves. Anderson says this mixing of image and sound became key in contextualizing the landscape-art genre and to make her art fit into a contemporary setting. “There’s still a way to appreciate landscape, but you need another aspect to give it more depth,” Anderson says. “I wanted to focus on (a combination) that would slow the pace of the space down and make people present, which people don’t do enough of.” Apart from the three larger images in her showcase, the majority of Anderson’s work requires up-close interaction to really appreciate Lake Ontario’s
Courtesy Mary Anderson
Vicki’s food column: coconut Cajun shrimp and black rice By Victoria Kuglin Ryersonian Staff
Victoria Kuglin / Ryersonian Staff
Victoria Kuglin / Ryersonian Staff
Ingredients CHILLED BLACK RICE: 2 cups of black rice 2 cups of white rice ½ bunch of cilantro 6 shallots, chopped 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (for frying) DRESSING: (proportions are approximate) ¼ cup soy sauce ¼ cup sesame oil 2 tablespoons of honey ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon of lime zest 1 teaspoon of ginger CAJUN SHRIMP: 21 blue tiger shrimp, shelled Homemade Cajun seasoning CAJUN SEASONING: 1 teaspoon of onion powder 1 teaspoon of garlic powder ½ teaspoon of paprika 1 teaspoon of black pepper 1 teaspoon of salt ½ teaspoon of chili flakes
Chilled Black Rice and Coconut Cajun Shrimp I am terrible at proportions when dealing with cooking starchy items like rice, potatoes or pasta. I always make way too much, which worked out perfectly for this recipe because it keeps well and is best served chilled, meaning lots of leftovers. It was pretty tedious to make. Black rice has a bit of a milder, nuttier flavour than traditional jasmine or basmati, but I mixed it with basmati rice anyway (mostly because I was worried I wouldn’t have enough of just the black rice itself — which was a mistake, but my roommate and I didn’t find that out until later). The black rice turns everything purple so it’s a very visually appealing dish. But it stains everything it comes in contact with. Another problem I always have with rice is how to strain it. Fearing the rice would slip through the rather
large holes in our strainer, we decided to MacGyver our way out of that pickle and fashion ourselves a homemade version. It failed miserably when the pot lid we were using became extremely hot. I was scalded, my roommate was scalded, and we spilled purple rice everywhere and stained the counter. Note: if you plan on using this technique, make sure to cook extra rice to make up for the amount you will lose. While the rice was cooking, I chopped up the cilantro, shallots and made the dressing for the dish. This part’s pretty easy, and the amount of ingredients you use depends entirely on your personal preferences. I like my food spicy, so I added extra cayenne and ginger to the dressing, and extra chili flakes to the homemade Cajun seasoning.
Once the rice had cooked, we strained it. When we had finally wrangled it into a giant bowl, I added the chopped ingredients and dressing, and set it out onto the balcony to chill. There was no room in the fridge for a bowl that big. And since we had made enough rice to feed a small country, the balcony was our only option. I then seasoned the shrimp and fried it up for about five minutes (until pink, max heat) in some coconut oil. “Making our home smell like a tropical cabana,” said my roommate. In the end, we didn’t even make a dent in the rice dish, but we devoured the 21 teeny shrimp. The rice will supply plenty of leftovers in the foreseeable future. Difficulty rating: 6.5/10 Roommate Rating: 7/10
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
ARTS & LIFE
Fashion show creates new sort of model
Ryersonian reporter Kelly McDowell explores Project Diversity, the fashion show from a fourth-year student that includes models of all races, shapes and sizes
The Ryersonian • 9
Ryersonian Book Club
Matt Oxman / Ryersonian Staff
Divergent By Alexa Huffman Ryersonian Staff
Leslie Walker / Ryersonian Staff
Leslie Walker / Ryersonian Staff
Founder Kirthiga Rajanayagam introduces the show.
Jane Lee, model, strikes a pose on the runway.
Fashion show Project A total of 11 models took to Diversity featured supermodels the runway, from those sporting of a different kind: for starters, tattoos to another in a wheelthere was a variety of ethnici- chair. ties, ages, shapes and sizes. The models wore what they The show, held on March felt the best in — not what they 24, was produced by fourth-year were told to wear — with outfits fashion communication student ranging from dresses and suits Kirthiga Rajanayagam. to more casual fashion attire. “I wanted to bring together As they walked, each modpeople who aren’t typically ‘the el’s voice played over a sound norm’ when it comes to fashion,” system, discussing what diversays Rajanayagam. “And what sity and fashion means to them. better than a fashion show where “Leading up (to it) I felt they can showcase themselves calm, then I heard the music, and their personal styles?” the curtains opened up and the Fashion weeks in Milan, lights hit my face, and I was London, New York and Paris automatically scared to death,” often feature the same type of says model Martin Kaminskyj, white waifs, where beautiful who works at Ryerson’s Trimodels of different ethnicities Mentoring program. “I needed become a minority within the to take it all in, and I started to industry. really enjoy myself.” This is why Rajanayagam “I’ve never been a size zero decided to create a fashion show and there’s nothing wrong with that showcased regular, every- that,” adds Emma Dehez, anothday beauty, explaining no one is er model from the show. the “norm” — not even models “It’s not practical for life. on the Pe ople m a g a - “I’ve never been a size zero and a r e z i n e allowed c o v - there’s nothing wrong with that.” to eat ers. “I — Emma Dehez and be want beaut it h e ful.” diversity of the models to touch The runway was composed every member of the audience,” of two different rooms, where she said before the show. the models walked down a path,
struck a pose, then walked into the second room for a second hit before turning back into the curtain. The show’s diverse participants went through an extensive audition process. The auditions narrowed 30 to 40 potential models down to the 11 who ended up appearing in the show.
These volunteers helped with the production from its creation in September 2013 until the final show on Monday. Helen Saygan, associate producer of the show, didn’t even know Rajanayagam until she saw a posting for help needed. She says she always wanted to be in fashion and knew this was a project in which she wanted to be involved. “I wanted to bring together “We put people who aren’t typically ‘the blood, sweat and tears into it norm’ when it comes to and I know after fashion.” seeing the show tonight that it — Kirthiga Rajanayagam paid off,” says Saygan. Rajanayagam approached Ryerson professor Ben one model on the subway, Barry was excited to see because she had the final “look” Rajanayagam’s hard work come she was searching for. together, and says the atypical “She was stunning, I thought approach to fashion is one that she was a perfect representation could change the industry. of my diversity show. She was “In many ways, I think this an older woman who looked show represents a new way of confident in her own skin,” says thinking when it comes to fashRajanayagam. ion, it’s all very exciting,” says “Everyone can be who they Barry, who owns a modelling are without judgment.” agency focused on promoting The show’s team ensured it diversity. ran smoothly, consisting of a “Everyone should be comDJ, programmer, dressers, an fortable in their own skin,” associate producer and a public Rajanayagam adds. “Rock it, relations crew. own it.”
Title: Divergent Genre: Science Fiction Pages: 487 About the author: Veronica Roth is an American author best known for the Divergent trilogy, which also include Insurgent and Allegiant. While on winter break of her senior year at Northwestern University in Chicago, Roth, then 21 years old, wrote the first book Divergent, which has now been made into a major motion picture. Plot: Divergent is set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic Chicago, seen through the eyes of Beatrice Prior. The futuristic Chicago has been separated into five factions to keep order. Each year, the 16-year-olds in the society take a test to determine which faction they are best suited for. But Beatrice’s results reveal she is divergent, which means she doesn’t fit into any one. Why you should read it: You shouldn’t. The book has several similarities to both Brave New World and especially The Hunger Games, but falls short. Roth’s ideas are good and the writing makes for an easy read, but the book focuses too much on Beatrice’s introspection and there’s not enough about the other characters.
Street Style: Spring has returned, and so has serious style Text and photos by Elisheva Baer Ryersonian Staff
Carly Doyle, third-year interior design Doyle mixed neutral colours for a subtle but confident look.
Shereeka Mcewan, first-year international economics and finance Mcewan plays with proportions.
Alana Dookheran, third-year arts and contemporary studies Dookheran’s yellow jacket is the perfect spring pop of colour.
Jennifer Drobot, fourth-year sociology Drobot’s leather-sleeved jacket is an edgy take on spring style.
Emma Greig, third-year radio and television arts Printed jeans? Check. Coloured scarf? Check. Greig gets it right.
10 • The Ryersonian
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
#RamsTalk near and dear to Brodett’s heart By Harlan Nemers Ryersonian Staff
After hitting rock-bottom in an off-ice battle with depression, Nella Brodett nearly committed suicide last month. “I was looking around my room and the lights were out,” says the women’s hockey captain. “(My) phone was off and the curtains were drawn. I was in bed. And thought about ways that I could do it. And I thought about my roommates, and they’re actually my teammates, opening up my room and finding me there. “I ended up sitting upright. I turned on my phone. I actually missed the game so I ended up texting my therapist, like the athletic therapist, and asking if there was an update on the score.” It was that moment of hopelessness that served as Brodett’s inspiration to raise awareness for mental illness through a charity dodgeball tournament to be held on Thursday. “I told them I would assist them in a few ways,” said associate athletic director Stephanie White. “(By) connecting them with others in the university (and) helping them obtain donations to support the cause. I respect that it was a student-driven initiative.”
Nella Brodett is raising money for mental health.
Ryerson Athletics made a five cent donation yesterday for every Tweet that used the #RamsTalk to Do it for Daron (DIFD), an organization that helps those with mental illnesses. By Tuesday afternoon, the hashtag was trending in Canada. The connection to DIFD was an easy one for Brodett. Rams teammate Cassie Sharp had played on the same team as Daron Richardson in 2010 in Ottawa. That same year, Richardson, 14, committed suicide, and her parents created the DIFD project to encourage vulnerable youth to seek help. Brodett said the
/ Ryersonian Staff
reaction from around campus in the lead-up to the event has been better than she thought. The only problem is that not everyone can play in the tournament. “I’ve actually received a lot of interest from outside of athletics to join the dodgeball tournament and some student groups as well have asked to put in a team,” she said. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t really expecting that and we only had one day with a five-hour time slot for the gym. So I think next year we’re going to hope to open it up to all of campus.” Sharp approached Brodett in November 2013 about a charity hockey game. There wasn’t
The Presidential Search Committee wants your input in the search for Ryerson’s next President. Share your views on: > Ryerson’s current strengths and future challenges > Key priorities, experience and leadership attributes of the next President Student Town Hall: Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 4:30-6:00 PM Sears Atrium, 3rd Floor George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre 245 Church Street Community Town Hall #1: Monday, April 7, 2014, 3:00-4:30 PM 6th Floor, Digital Media Zone 10 Dundas Street East Community Town Hall #2: Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 10:00-11:30 AM Sears Atrium, 3rd Floor George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre 245 Church Street Can’t attend but want to have your say? Complete the online survey between March 31 and April 21, 2014. Visit the Presidential Search website for updates and information: ryerson.ca/about/governors/Presidentialsearch.html
@Nellaphant “I have the biggest grin on my face guys. I hope more of you do too on this fine morning! THE SILENCE IS BROKEN. #RamsTalk” @HollyBerton “#RamsTalk is why my school is better than yours” @RBC “Great to see the @ryersonrams supporting #mentalhealth through today’s #RamsTalk initiative. Show your support, join the conversation.” @DrIvanJoseph “Join the conversation for mental health. #RamsTalk @ryersonrams #DIFD” @RyersonProblems “#RamsTalk #RyersonProblemSolving” @Leenier1007 “Sometimes, even to live is an act of courage. #RamsTalk”
March Madness fever reaches Ryerson By Alex Chippin Ryersonian Staff
Have Your Say on the Presidential Search
enough time or games remaining to plan the event, so they turned to the idea of a dodgeball event. “I approached Nella at first because it’s something that means a lot to me,” said Sharp. “And in Ottawa, it was always a part of my teams to give money to this charity so I wanted to make sure I brought it to Toronto and kept it going.” Sharp said that when she played in Ottawa, her team used to wear stickers on their helmets and purple hearts on their jerseys to commemorate Richardson. Brodett’s experience with depression has been long and painful. It was initially triggered by the deaths of two of her friends last year. She said dealing with it is still a work-in-progress. “It’s probably one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to go through,” she said. “It came to a point where the stress was just way too much and I couldn’t perform as a leader as efficiently as I should be.” That’s one of the reasons she created this charity tournament, as she hopes to spread the message that mental illness should be talked about. “We just want to spread awareness and show that there is help and resources,” said Brodett.
Duke, done. Kansas, done. Wichita State, done. These are crazy times and they can be characterized simply as “March Madness”, the gigantic single-elimination college basketball tournament in the United States. “(For) any team that makes it this far, no matter what their record was, anything is possible,” says Jean-Victor Mukama, a freshman guard for the Ryerson men’s basketball team. “I think it’s been proven this year more than in previous years.” From Thursday to Sunday, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament narrowed the field from 64 teams to 16. The first two rounds sent home some of the game’s top NBA draft prospects, including Duke University’s Jabari Parker and University of Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins. Third-year Ryerson Rams basketball guard Aaron Best says the teams that pull off upsets seem to have one thing in common. “The most important thing is always cohesiveness as a team,” he says. “That’s why a team like Mercer can beat Duke. You watch the interviews after and everybody says the same thing. They say it’s a great group of guys or they talk about how close the team is.” Upsets of such high magnitude seldom happen in the regular season. But somehow, when the calendar hits March, the clock gets stuck on 11:59 p.m., as multiple Cinderella stories are crafted.
The stakes loom large for higher seeds, while lower seeds are simply happy to be on national TV. That can make a difference, according to Best. “They can creep up on you at the end of the game and beat you. In my first year, nobody really thought of us to be an elite team so every night we played like we had nothing to lose.” That season, the Rams went to the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Final Four and made the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Final 8 in a magical 201112 season. While the Mercer Bears sent shockwaves through everyone’s brackets on Friday with a stunning upset against Duke, the end of the weekend belonged to Stanford University. On Sunday, they surprisingly took out Kansas and reignited the debate over Andrew Wiggins’s draft stock. Rams guard Yannick Walcott believes the latest round of criticism won’t affect the Thornhill, Ont., native’s draft position. “He’s a freak athlete and that’s kind of what the NBA wants now,” Walcott says. “They want athletes, and then they can teach you how to shoot. You can’t teach someone how to be more athletic.” It was a generally underwhelming season for Wiggins, who is expected to leave school for the NBA draft this spring, despite being named Big 12 Rookie of the Year. From one Rookie of the Year to another, Rams’ rookie Mukama says superior team play can overcome better individual talent in the NCAA tournament.
“This is a team sport and there’s a reason why people that have good chemistry always win,” he says. His teammate Walcott agrees, and says that he wasn’t caught off guard when Duke went down early in the tournament, citing its lack of experience. Instead, Walcott was more surprised to see the Wichita State Shockers lose in the second round matchup after going undefeated in the regular season. However, Best still believes Duke was the biggest upset of this year’s tournament, even though it held a lower seed than Wichita State. “Duke was the biggest upset to me because Mercer is just a school that I never really heard of. I mean it’s crazy. And on top of that, the celebration after the game was pretty entertaining.”
Courtesy Quentin Ghent / Flickr
Andrew Wiggins is going home.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Kwok captures badminton gold By William Brown Ryersonian Staff
Ryerson’s Vivian Kwok and Bethany So of the University of Toronto have won gold in the CIS National badminton doubles tournament at Laval University. So is unranked and viewed as an underdog, but the pairing’s teamwork and chemistry led them to an unlikely medal in the national competition and helped Ryerson finish fourth overall in the tournament last weekend. “It felt amazing to come in unseeded and beat most of the seeded players,” said Kwok, a second-year interior design stu-
dent. “Bethany and I have been playing for around two years now. We knew who we were playing and from past results, we knew we could defeat them.” Kwok and So, who arranged to play together in the tournament early this year, advanced to the doubles finals after wins in the quarter and semifinals. They won in the finals by a score of 21-16, 15-21 and 21-14. “It meant a lot because (Kwok) was one of the youngest players and she beat more mature players,” said second-year badminton player Chris Pinto, who also attended nationals. “Everyone was really proud of her. She really came through.
Vivian Kwok is one half of the CIS doubles badminton champions.
Badminton’s such an emotional sport; if something happens it can really bring you down, but she came through.” Overall, Ryerson’s finish was higher than last year’s fifth-place finish. That was the team’s goal, according to second-year player Kirk Hansen. “We wanted to make it out of our pool and make it in the top four, which is what we did,” said Hansen. “You get a lot of motivation going into the tournament. You can see how fit and how strong the other players are. You get a lot of motivation to try and get better.”
Courtesy Winston Chow
Masai Ujiri opens conference at MAC in the sports business industry, Anselmi answered: “You do what you need to do in any indusMore than 50 students and try; you succeed at the most basic industry professionals sat in levels. Work hard, a little bit of silence for Toronto Raptors presieducation, have a bit of a plan dent and general manager Masai and great values.” Ujiri. Hooper’s advice for industry Ujiri gave the keynote speech hopefuls is simple. “Know what during the third annual Ted you’re good at, do it well, and Rogers Sports Conference, held be passionate. The industry will on Monday at Ryerson’s Mattamy always be changing, just stay on Athletic Centre (MAC). top of it.” Several sports business veterCBC’s Monika Platek, a 2008 ans spoke about the current state graduate of Ryerson’s School of of the industry and future opporJournalism, also offered advice. tunities over the seven-hour con“Start working and become ference, but no involved in the speaker held the you want “Find something you love, and then become industry audience as rapt to work in, even the best you can be at it.” as Ujiri. before you graduThe six-foot— Masai Ujiri ate from school. four Nigeria Be proactive and native offered network,” she said. words of wisdom while address- media and growing demand for Starting out in the sports busiing the necessary traits for suc- interactive content was the topic ness industry may seem dauntcess in the cutthroat sports busi- at hand at another panel discus- ing, but the story of Ujiri serves ness world. sion held during the conference. as a reminder that anything is “Find something you love, “I don’t think we’ve seen all possible. and then become the best you the change,” said former MLSE Ujiri said he fell in love with can be at it,” he said. chief operating officer and the sport of basketball at age 13 The Raptors executive also Ryerson alumnus Tom Anselmi. when he was still in Nigeria. discussed dealing with egos and “It’s just the tip of the iceberg. He played college ball in the contract negotiations, saying he Sports are becoming more and United States for a few years, tries to treat others the way he’d more important to people.” then spent time playing profeswant to be treated. Rogers Media senior vice- sionally in Europe. The 2013 NBA Executive of president of marketing and However, Ujiri had his sights the Year fended off questions insights, Dale Hooper, said, set on scouting talent. Since then, about the Raptors’ playoff hopes “Really, digital is gone. We’re he has taken his career from and trade scenarios, and cracked about screens now, consumers being an unpaid international a couple of jokes about how much engage with screens. At the end scout for the Orlando Magic, to he hates the New York Knicks. of the day, our job is to bring president and general manager of Following the presentation entertainment and smiles to peo- the Toronto Raptors. from Ujiri, a panel of industry ple.” “If my dumb ass can do it, heavyweights spoke about the When asked what young you can too,” the 44-year-old said state of pro sports in Canada. people need to do to succeed with a smile. By Sarah Cunningham-Scharf Ryersonian Staff
Chief commercial officer of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), Dave Hopkinson, said people had previously been worried about the increasing number of immigrants to Canada and their lack of interest in North American sports. However, he believes new Canadians can become devoted fans. CFL commissioner Mark Cohon agreed, citing his experience holding a swear-in ceremony for a group of new Canadian citizens at a CFL game. The digital future of sports
The Ryersonian • 11
The power of the kick By Lauren Fogazzi Ryersonian Staff
For women, kick-boxing can be the most impactful experience that Ryerson offers. A weekly one-hour class gives participants a chance to push their limits, both physically and mentally. Here are five reasons you may want to give kickboxing a try: 1) Improves fitness Despite the importance of a mental clarity within kick-boxing, there is no way to ignore the physical element. Powerful kicks and punches to a hitting pad or even a sparring partner bring an irreplaceable rush. A high-impact class also promises to raise the heart rate while improving balance, flexibility and strength. “I appreciate how we utilize the body,” says third-year philopsphy and criminology major Anoshka D’Souza. “It transforms it into this tool we can utilize in other ways than just sitting and walking. “You don’t need any secondary item to protect yourself. You can with your body and mind and that’s all you need.” 2) Helps mind-body connection “You have to discipline yourself, that’s why we have the meditation part of the program,” says Ryerson kickboxing instructor Fred King. “Once you approach a situation in a positive way and you get positive results, it’s empowering.” Kick-boxing originates from ancient martial arts that combine strength and stamina with the power and control of thoughts. Alignment of the physical body with the quieting of the mind leads to a newfound sense of self. “Kick-boxing is 90 per cent mental and 10 per cent physical,” says King. “A lot of the workouts we do are a lot of mental work, especially if you have to push yourself against a certain point beyond your comfort zone.” 3) Kick-starts a lifestyle change Michelle Rocafort, a fourthyear accounting student, found kick-boxing to help her with a major lifestyle change. A degree in accounting while
minoring in law has Rocafort stuck behind a desk and living an inactive life. Before university, she was frequently active and nearly stress-free, and she’s yearning for that lifestyle once again. “I thought about it (kickboxing) as a way of a good release from studying and sitting all the time. I was not as active as I used to be and I didn’t really know or understand the benefits I could get out of it.” 4) Teaches self-defence A kick-boxing practice equips students with the lifelong knowledge of being able to protect yourself. Having the confidence to walk down the street alone at night provides some with a feeling of power. “I have an idea of how to defend myself,” says Rocafort. “I have that confidence that if I was in danger I have some idea of form. “I have the muscle memory for any situation, you never know. It’s a really powerful feeling.”
Courtesy Colby Otero / Flickr
5) Creates a sense of community Everybody needs a friend or family for support. It helps ease the pain of failure and stress but also makes certain accomplishments feel more special. Knowing those people are there for you increases confidence and puts a little pep in your step during everyday life. Ryerson’s kick-boxing class is brimming with community spirit. “It’s a lot of emotions,” says Rocafort. I don’t know, sometimes you can be frustrated, anxious or stressed and typically people are going through the same thing in the class. There is group support and everyone lets it out. You sweat it out together.” D’Souza agrees: “I definitely see it as so homey. It’s intimidating when you walk in, thinking what are these people doing, but they’re the most nicest people. There is a nice community spirit.”
Matt Oxman / Ryersonian Staff
12 • The Ryersonian
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Christian feminist: not an oxymoron By Bethany Van Lingen Ryersonian Staff
I’m a feminist, and a Christian. To many, this sounds like an oxymoron. But in Bible study meetings on campus, in a welcome-back barbecue at church, in church council meetings, baking for a potluck and from the pulpit, it’s my scrappy, daily fight for justice. It started when I was seven. I was coming home from school after a lesson on Gideon, a biblical character, who was an unlikely candidate to lead God’s people in ancient Israel. He had insisted on water droplets on a fleece multiple times from God as a sign of God’s will before he would accept that a shoddy man like him could ever lead God’s people. I identified with that story, as a child and especially as a girl. “I want to make my faith a central part of my life and I want to be that unlikely candidate to lead,” I thought as we pulled up the driveway of my brown clapboard childhood home.
I opened the door of our rusty blue Windstar minivan as I thought about the kind, caring people I looked up to, including my pastor. I pictured myself as a pastor. I imagined myself taking sermon notes, rapping them neatly on the lectern with an opening joke on the tip of my tongue. But when I looked up, there was not a soul in the sanctuary. No one would listen to a girl on the pulpit. I’d never seen one. As I heaved my backpack of homework from the toast crumb and playground pebble-encrusted floor of the van, I felt anger and resignation. And sometimes, on bad days, I still feel that way. Christianity does seem overwhelmingly masculine, from using terms like father and son to describe God to telling the stories of key players and heroes, who are almost all men. Stories — of Jesus, the apostles, patriarchs and prophets — were written down by men and to this day taught by men in churches around the world. Then, why do the feminists stay? Because when we read the
Kelly McDowell / Ryersonian Staff
Courtesy Nithin Santosh Kumar
Bethany Van Lingen leads a Bible study for the Ryerson Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship.
stories those men wrote about Jesus, we see a radical revolutionary. Jesus overturned tables in a marketplace and overturned cultural norms of an ancient Palestinian society. In an era when women were uneducated, not given a legal voice and treated like property, Jesus chose to speak to an adulteress and a bleeding woman. Both these women were considered dirty, shameful and beneath a teacher’s attention. Jesus’ conversations with these women and invitations to them to join his community were much to the shock of his apostles and the Pharisees, the dominant Jewish religious authorities. He first appeared to Mary Magdalene after rising from the dead and made her both the first witness and the first to share the news to the men in mourning. Women were not part of his 12 disciples but they were among the supporters who paid the bills for Jesus and his disciples’ work. The writings of Paul are often a challenge for feminists and used to reinforce traditional gender norms in the church. But it was Paul who wrote in Galatians 3:28 that there is “neither male nor female, for all are one in Christ Jesus.” Many Christians believe these words transcend his concerns about women teaching in Church
and that these warnings apply only to Paul’s culture and this circumstance. I had held onto my faith with ferocity since I graduated from a Christian high school in a small town. We used to pray holding hands in a small circle around a peeling white, crooked flag pole. As we mumbled to Jesus into our collars, our prayers were swallowed by the wind and rushed over a soybean field and cornfield in the sleepy town we bused to. I remember most the clammy hands, the stinging cold and the endless feel of forced prayers. I was careful to echo the concerns of everyone else when a hand squeezed mine. God could hear the longing for justice under my delicately worded prayers, but no one else would. I was first asked about if I had ever been mistreated by the church in a campus ministry meeting during my second year of university. I felt like I should stay quiet, but I was too angry to. It felt like someone had slid a knife under the clamped cap of a glass bottle of pop they had been shaking too long. The words tumbled out — I couldn’t look anyone in the eye — but they were angry and loud and strong. Some of us millenials leave the church because we don’t like the
worship band; some of us stay to fight the injustice. I’m a feminist, and I have faith. These intersectionalities can exist, and do, in me and many others. I was a feminist when I sang hymns with only male pronouns in a loud, proud soprano. I was a feminist when I cooked, cleaned and babysat, cursing under my breath, but still showing up and showing grace. I am a feminist when I teach Bible studies on the book of Acts, and draw conversations around female characters: like Tabitha, who cared for a community of women living with poverty by offering what she had and being herself. And maybe one day, I will apply to seminary, and become a pastor. I’ll be the pastor with curly hair past my shoulders, skinny jeans and T-shirts. I’ll blast indie folk while I write sermons. I’ll open on Sunday mornings with references to Star Trek and to breaking news. I’ll get passionate about a 2,000-year-old book, get loud and do a lot of gesticulating. I’ll care for my community in coffee shops and at potlucks. I think my seven-year-old self and I can agree: I would make a pretty badass pastor. And so would many other women, who would bring their own stories, their talents and their quirks to the way we understand faith.
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Published on Jun 9, 2014