Produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Volume 68, Number 9
@theryersonian / www.ryersonian.ca
Campus groups cramped on style
By Sam Sim Ryersonian Staff
Marissa Dederer / Ryersonian Staff
Lindsay Boeckl, a fourth-year photography student at Ryerson, spent weeks camped out in campus labs, scanning old negatives her grandfather took when he was called to duty before the Korean War. Boeckl’s “Grandpa Bill” died of heart complications this August. For more, please see page 8.
Each Tuesday starting around 7 p.m., rap and smooth R&B music echoes loudly through a hallway packed with the 17 members of Ryerson’s Urban Hip Hop Union (UHHU) competitive dance team. They’d rather be in a spacious studio. Instead, they’re stuck in a corridor of Kerr Hall West between the nutrition lounge and the lower gym. Their biggest competition of the year, Ontario Universities Competition for Hip-Hop (OUCH), is less than two weeks away and the team hasn’t been able to secure a place to practise. Scoring rehearsal space is a bureaucratic dance with the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) and the Recreation and Athletics Centre (RAC). The only professional dance venue designated for RSU student groups at the RAC is Studio 3. To book the studio, student groups first file a form to the RSU. The union then contacts the RAC for studio availability and, after getting a response,
tells student groups whether the booking is successful or not. It’s that middle step that tangles the studio-booking tango. Larisa Bodiu, UHHU’s president, says her group is fed up with the lag time caused by the RSU’s communication with the RAC. But the RSU’s vice-president of student life and events, Danielle Brogan, says the process for booking a studio in the (RAC) is set by the university, not the students’ union. “When it comes to university bookings, it’s more of a bureaucratic process,” Brogan says, adding that the long response times student groups are complaining about are a result of the students’ union waiting on the RAC to confirm booking. “It’s almost out of our hands. We can’t speed them up in any way,” she says. Although Anthony Seymour, manager of recreation for the department of athletics, acknowledges the heavy “email traffic” in the booking process, he understands why the RSU wants to be the mediator. Please read DANCE, page 4
Rye administrator organized Trudeau’s ladies night By Alexa Huffman Ryersonian Staff
A wave of criticism and controversy over a “ladies night” fundraiser with Justin Trudeau has left one of the event’s organizers dumbfounded. Mary Ng, one half of the duo that organized the “Justin Unplugged” fundraiser held last Thursday, said critiques of the event — which was labelled sexist and patronizing — were blown out of proportion. “There was never any intention to offend anyone,” said Ng, the acting director for the office of the president at Ryerson. “We deliberately wanted a lighthearted, creative invitation to create some interest and intrigue.”
The electronic invitation, or e-vite, featured colorful AndyWarhol-esque images of Trudeau around text inviting “ladies” to “really get to know the future prime minister.” It advertised “cocktails, can-
Conservative MP Michelle Rempel showed her outrage on Twitter. “What is the biggest issue facing women? This kind of crap,” she tweeted, mocking one of the questions on the e-vite.
“What is the biggest issue facing women? This kind of crap.” — Conservative MP Michelle Rempel did conversation and curiosityinducing ideas.” The e-vite led to an influx of flak online and offline. Niki Ashton, an NDP member of parliament for Churchill, Man., called the event and its invitation patronizing.
But Ng, who volunteers with the Liberal party and has helped organize events in the past, said the e-vite was intended to be different in order to get all types of women. The event was crafted to appeal to those who don’t typi-
cally participate in political fundraisers, interested in the event. The goal was to make it look nothing like a standard political invitation. “I like it. I’m proud of it,” said Ng, whose friend Lindsay Mattick designed the invitation. “I think people have read a lot into what is an invitation. “This is an effort of women getting together to create an invitation to their friends, to their colleagues, their family, saying please come out. That’s all it is.” Ryerson students differed in their opinions of the event. “I don’t think Justin Trudeau is being sexist by doing these cocktail parties,” said Rocco Scavtta, 21, a fourth-year engineering student. “I think
he’s opening up doors for new opportunities for women.” Allison Wilton, an 18-year-old first-year sociology student, said she found the invitation “confusing. I don’t know why he had to single out women,” she said. Around 100 guests, mostly female, attended the fundraiser, with each person paying $250. The money from the event went to the Judy LaMarsh Fund, a Liberal organization which assists women seeking public office. Throughout the evening, Trudeau answered a range of questions on topics like public policy, human interest and pop culture. Some of the questions came through the #askJustin PR campaign on Twitter. Please see LADIES, page 3
2 • The Ryersonian
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism
Ryerson University 80 Gould Street Toronto, Ontario M5B 2K3
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Is Ryerson’s student-athlete code of conduct too strict? Last week, The Ryersonian With the combined responsibroke the news that the Ryerson bility of attending practice, home men’s hockey team was dealt a and away games as well as their one week suspension. academic commitments, how can Why the harsh suspension? Ryerson deny the team a couple The team was penalized for of brews after a tough game? doing something that many other It is safe to assume that many Ryerson students did that week- Ryerson students aren’t strangers end: drink. to sharing a few drinks with felOn the weekend of Oct. 18 low classmates after school and during a pre-season trip to New over the weekend. Jersey to play the Princeton Once in a blue moon you can Tigers, team members admitted even run into a “cool” professor to drinking some beers while in who invites students out to the their hotel room. campus pub after their last class The heavy-handed punish- of the semester. Change those ment that followed forced the students into players and that team to forfeit two games on the cool prof into a coach and the road against Queen’s University same thing can’t be done, accordand the University of Ontario of ing to Ryerson. Technology. With the Ryerson men’s hockRyerson University athlet- ey suspension reaching people ics also fired assistant coach across the country, National Post Lawrence Smith and suspended columnist Joe O’Connor took the head coach Graham Wise for issue of Ryerson suspending the four games. team a step further. Drinking while on a road trip He claimed the boys were goes against the student-athlete punished for “acting like code of conduct because Ryerson Canadians.” sees athletes as ambassadors for While most of O’Connor’s the school. arguments centre on beer and W h i le hockey schools going like the Why is there a double standard h a n d We s t e r n in hand University between “regular” students and l i k e a n d peanut Laurier student-athletes? b u t have simiter and lar rules in jelly, he their student-athlete handbooks, raises some other valid points. it’s worth noting that many other Particularly around the strict universities don’t. environment that student-athRyerson insists on sticking to letes find themselves in today. this policy for its athletes drinkShould this suspension triging even though the school lets ger the conversation that the unistudents consume beer while versity is holding our studentthey watch hockey games in the athletes to too high of a standard? stands at the MAC. Regardless of the controverWhy is there a double stan- sy around the suspension, it is dard between “regular” students clear that Ryerson is robbing its and student-athletes? student-athletes of a normal uniThe issue lies in Ryerson’s versity experience. view of our athletes not merely A suspension like this is as players, but as students who much too strict. The punishment represent the school not only on doesn’t fit the crime. the ice, but off the ice.
Managing Editor Print Diana Hall
Managing Editor Broadcast Tanya Mok
Arts & Life Editor Maria Siassina
Managing Editor Live
Editorial Page Editor
Greg DeClara Sydney Poulos
Thank you, Mayor Ford
By Dillon Rahkola Ryersonian Staff
Ever since Toronto police recovered a digital video file that allegedly shows Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine, the city has been in the international media’s spotlight. All eyes were on our dear leader last week when he made frontpage news, surprising everyone by admitting, for the first time, that he has smoked crack cocaine. This came as a complete shock to the local reporters, who had been camped out by the mayor’s office since police Chief Bill Blair’s announcement about the infamous digital video file the week prior. The media storm that rained upon city hall was unlike anything Toronto had ever seen, and Ryerson journalism students were in the thick of it, shoulder to shoulder with every journalist and camera crew imaginable. Gaining experience that no amount of tuition could ever buy. When Rob Ford was elected in 2010, my classmates and I were
fresh-faced, first-year journalism students. Many of us were sent to city hall to cover the mayor’s first few days in office. Upon our return to the classroom, many were shaken up by our first real journalistic experience. Our professor at the time warned us to get used to heading down to city hall more often than not. He had a feeling that during our four years here, Ford’s first term as the mayor of Toronto wouldn’t come without controversy and a lot of media coverage. Needless to say, he was correct. From fighting the gravy train to ranting about ripping an unnamed person’s throat out on a leaked video, Ford has almost begged for this unprecedented media attention. Journalism students such as myself have watched in both awe and disgust at how reporters have taken the bait. It has all made for a strange, chaotic and incredibly interesting time to study journalism in the city of Toronto. The mayor’s brother, Doug, actually sought out the city’s young journalists when he recently spoke to a second-year master of journalism class here on the Ryerson campus, just before the mayor cracked. While speaking to the class, he alluded to the fact that he could no longer listen to the news produced by the Toronto media because it simply isn’t accurate.
“Do your due diligence and find the facts,” he said. Despite what Doug Ford believes, the Toronto media has found the facts. It would have been a lot easier to report on the facts if the mayor didn’t withhold those facts from the people of Toronto in the first place. The scandal revolving around the mayor is shaping up to be one of the biggest stories that students in the journalism program will ever cover while studying at Ryerson. With our campus situated in downtown Toronto, we are among the lucky few who can report on this scandal first-hand. And it’s an experience that has not been taken for granted. As the clock ticks down on the mayor’s first term and he plans his re-election next fall, this train wreck of a news story won’t stop. For now, the controversy at city hall will not go away until the mayor steps down or is defeated in the upcoming election. If Rob Ford gets re-elected and begins his second term as mayor of “this great city,” Ryerson journalism students may be lucky enough to experience another four years of absolute mayhem. If that happens, they should consider themselves lucky. His pain is our gain. God bless Toronto, and Mayor Rob Ford.
Mohamed Omar Victor Ferreira
Managing Editor Online Sahar Fatima
Maria Siassina / Ryersonian Staff
Arman Aghbali Dillon Rahkola Dan Berlin Victor Ferreria
Photo Editor Maria Assaf
Carly Thomas Jean Ko Din Hayley Brauer Sam Sim Erynn Sally Peter Lozinski Michael Duncan Sarah Warne Alexandra Sanders David Rockne Corrigan Nuruddin Qorane Shazah Ayub
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Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Skinner case evolves with murder charge By Diana Hall Ryersonian Staff
Ellen Skinner stood in front of a swarm of reporters and bulky television cameras, gutted. An expression of disbelief and emotional exhaustion crept across her face — and even turned into a sad smirk — as a reporter called out from the horde to ask about her dead son: “What do you remember about Christopher? And what kind of person was he?” Ellen and her husband, Warren, caught their breath and laughed joylessly at the idea of having to “remember” their son once more for the media. Skinner has been trying to put her family’s despair into words since the couple’s son, Ryerson graduate Christopher Skinner, was assaulted and run over by a black SUV in Toronto’s Entertainment District on Oct. 18, 2009. He died of his injuries in hospital.
Last Thursday, more than four years after Skinner’s death, his parents stood beside Toronto police officers at the department’s headquarters to announce the arrest of 23-year-old Agustin Caruso, whom officers believe to be the driver of the vehicle that killed Skinner. Caruso, a resident of Etobicoke, has been charged with seconddegree murder. At last week’s press conference, Det. Sgt. Stacy Gallant confirmed Caruso was arrested in the city’s north end in the morning of Nov. 6. Police have also seized the “murder weapon: a black, 2004 Ford Explorer.” Skinner, who was an openly gay man, graduated from Ryerson’s graphic communications management program in 2006. Gallant denied rumours of his death being the result of a hate crime. He said Skinner might have touched the SUV that would later kill him, but it is an unconfirmed motive in the case.
Gallant said there were six people in the SUV on the night of the brutal beating that led to Skinner’s death. “I’m disappointed to say that in the four years of this ongoing investigation, none of the individuals that did not participate in any way in the death of Chris Skinner, chose to come forward on their own,” Gallant told reporters. “They instead kept this information to themselves and lived with it for the past four years.” Although Skinner’s mother said she does get a bit of relief knowing that the man who allegedly killed her son has been taken into custody, she said it doesn’t make living without him any easier. “This doesn’t do anything to bring Christopher back, and it starts a whole new chapter of agony and pain that we have to go through.” Skinner’s death, and news of the recent arrest, also hit home on campus, where he was known to be a vibrant member of the community.
The Ryersonian • 3
Jean Ko Din / Ryersonian Staff
Christopher Skinner’s parents, Warren and Ellen.
The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) awards two students with the Christopher Skinner Memorial Bursary each year. Two $500 bursaries are given to openly gay lesbian, bisexual or trans students
enrolled in a full-time program at Ryerson who are eager to participate in social justice activism. Police expect to make more arrests as the investigation into Skinner’s death continues.
RSU to propose new student groups levy By Mohamed Omar Ryersonian Staff
The group that regularly demands Ryerson drop fees is now hoping to get enough student support to increase them. At its semi-annual general meeting today, the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) will table a motion to kick-start a Student Life referendum. It would ask students whether they agree to a new annual levy that would go towards bankrolling campus groups, the union’s Sexual Assault Survivor Support Line, its equity service centres and a travel grant for graduate students. The motion in the meeting’s agenda, moved by vice-president student life and events Danielle Brogan, says the RSU’s support for “over 150 campus groups including course unions, student groups, graduate course unions and affiliate groups with resources and funding” necessitates a new student levy for additional cash. The motion does not specify how much the new levy would cost students, but RSU president Melissa Palermo said the union knows “that the need (for funding) is there and the growth is there. “We want to ensure that we’re able to keep up with that need and that growth and support our groups in the best way possible,” she said. The levy motion isn’t the only one homing in on concerns over student group funding.
A motion submitted by Mohammad Nazir Amir aims to “immediately and permanently” remove spending allocation limits for student groups as they “greatly inhibit their ability to function effectively.” Currently, RSU-funded student groups and course unions receive specific annual budgets for expenses like advertising and events. Amir not only wants to obliterate those limits, but he also — through another motion — aims to double available funding for all student groups beginning in the next fiscal year. And it doesn’t end there. Uthman Said’s motion, last on the agenda, seeks to permit student groups to charge for “premium membership, which entails paying an initial fee at the beginning of the year for discounts at future events.” Said’s submission will likely directly clash with the RSU’s student group policy, which bans groups from charging RSU members membership fees. One of the important motions Palermo hopes students can debate concerns women’s only gym times on campus. If the motion passes, the union will conduct a student survey to determine the need for gender-specific hours, using collected information to lobby for improved access for women to campus athletic facilities. The RSU’s semi-annual general meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at SCC 115.
Mohamed Omar / Ryersonian Staff
Mary Ng, acting director for the office of the president at Ryerson, co-organized the fundraiser.
‘Ladies night’ not sexist: Rye administrator LADIES cont’d... One specific question that caused some controversy asked which country Trudeau admired the most. Trudeau said he has a “level of admiration” for China, sparking a frenzy of criticism from his political opponents. But Kelly Aizicowitz, a senior consultant with StrategyCorp, and an adviser to Ontario’s Liberal party who worked on Kathleen Wynne’s leadership campaign, attended the event and liked what she saw. “It was nice to be able to hear from (Trudeau) directly,” said Aizicowitz, who pointed out that women involved in or curious about politics, no matter what their political stripe, were welcome to attend the casual Q-and-A. “He was unscripted. He was hearing some of the questions for the first time. It’s refreshing to have a leader who is willing to put himself out there like that.” She said she doesn’t think the event or invitation were problematic, adding that the questions posed on the e-vite — such as, “what’s your favourite virtue?” and “who
are your real life heroes?” — were ones most Canadians would ask each other. “When you think about the goal of the whole night, which was to raise money for the Judy LaMarsh fund to support female Liberal candidates, I think it’s very hard to say an event that had that aim was sexist,” said Aizicowitz. Patrick Gossage, founder and chairman of public relations firm Media Profile, said he is surprised by the intense media reaction. “He has to practically walk on glass because he’s being monitored so carefully,” said Gossage, who was press secretary to former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. It’s a critical time for the Liberals because of the Toronto Centre byelection scheduled for Nov. 25, Gossage said. With Bob Rae’s exit from the riding this past July, the Liberals’ Chrystia Freeland will have to battle the NDP’s Linda McQuaig to keep it. However, Gossage doesn’t think the cocktail hour invite will undermine Trudeau in the long run.
“If this is the worst mistake he makes, let him make a few more.” Tracey Raney agreed. The associate professor in Ryerson’s department of politics and public administration said Trudeau’s event was “strategically quite savvy.” “I think he will probably do more of these type of events, meeting more Canadians. I think he’s trying to rebuild the Liberal party and find his own voice in doing that.” Raney said the controversy of the event came from the Liberals’ opposition. “I think that the controversy that’s been drummed up mostly by the Conservative party is really just a distraction from the main issue, which is that the Conservative party is losing its appeal to female voters in favour of the Liberal party,” she said. “If the Conservatives want to have a fundraiser where they charge $250 per person and invite only women, that’s certainly something they can do. The fact that the Liberals have done it, I don’t really see what the problem is.”
4 • The Ryersonian
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
FCAD society wins big By Mohamed Omar Ryersonian Staff
It’s official: students in the Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) have their very own society. The Ryerson Communication and Design Society’s (RCDS) referendum passed favourably last Thursday, bagging it an annual allowance of $60 from every student in the faculty starting September 2014. The four-day referendum had a voter turnout of 39.9 per cent. That means 1,746 votes. out of the faculty’s 4,414 eligible ballots, were cast with 1,400 in favour, according to official results from Ryerson’s Board of Governors. RCDS has chosen six executives. Third-year photography student Tyler Webb as president and new media student Karina Nicole as vice-president of administration and operations. RCDS will hold elections for its board of directors in Winter 2014, with FCAD’s nine schools each electing a director to represent it on the
board. Any student in FCAD can run. RCDS’s three pillars are to provide professional, academic and collaborative opportunities to its students. One of the society’s most ambitious goals is a yearend arts festival that bundles FCAD’s shows into one giant event. Michèle Maheux, executive director and chief operating officer of TIFF, is RCDS’s honorary president. Another referendum held at the same time also passed. The Ryerson Engineering Student Society (RESS) was seeking student support to raise its annual levy, to $65 from $33.70. By contrast, the RESS vote had a much lower turnout when compared to the FCAD referendum, with a participation rate of 15.3 per cent. Only 651 ballots were submitted out of 4,246 eligible voters. RCDS, the newest student society on campus, joins already-established groups like RESS and the Ryerson Commerce Society.
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: What is your experience? Ryerson students, faculty and staff are invited to attend a community town hall to discuss the Student Code of Academic Conduct. Do the current processes for dealing with suspected incidents of academic misconduct work? Are the consequences and penalties that can be imposed on a student who has committed academic misconduct appropriate and effective? Share your ideas on:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to share your ideas electronically or if we need to make any accessibility accommodations to ensure your inclusion in this event.
Policy 60 Review Committee Co-Chairs: David Checkland Professor, Department of Philosophy Chris Evans Vice-Provost, Academic
Members of the Urban Hip Hop Union rehearse in a Kerr Hall hallway.
Sam Sim / Ryersonian Staff
Booking dance space a tough tango DANCE cont’d... Seymour says an electronic system could speed up the studio booking process, but added that the he understands “where the students’ union is coming from. “They have to ensure there is equitable use of the space.” Bodiu says she believes eliminating the RSU’s middleman role in booking studio space would allow groups to immediately know their availability. A dance studio, she says, is essential not just for its space, but for safety. “If we were in the RAC and had the studio space we would feel more secure,” says Bodiu. She adds that UHHU started using a “buddy policy” when using washrooms during late rehearsals after team members said they felt unsafe walking alone. The search for dance space isn’t unique to these three groups. Other groups like the South Asian Alliance’s (SAA) dance team, as well as the troupe from
the Tamil Students’ Association (TSA), have also had booking issues. “We went through the process of filling in the form (for Studio 3), but it’s very hard to get a response and we can’t be waiting on that,” says Gurpreet Saggu, head co-ordinator of the SAA’s dance group. Saggu says she’s starting to see other associations pop up in hallways because of the delayed room booking response. They’ve resorted to dancing in whatever open spaces they can find on campus, she says, such as Kerr Hall West, the Student Campus Centre and “the dungeon” of Kerr Hall North. A year ago the team received one studio booking through the RSU, the night before OUCH. They submitted that request in September, two months before their competition. “This year we got nothing from the RSU,” says Violeta Martinez, vice-president of UHHU.
Dance groups without proper practice space also have to learn choreography without mirrors, which isn’t as effective. The UHHU team uses doorway reflections when possible, but even then there are distractions of people walking through and interrupting. Sometimes they can watch themselves dance by hooking up a laptop to a projector and then using its webcam, but that’s only possible if the room has a projector and laptop hookup. Martinez says that UHHU intends on making a formal complaint to the RSU for its lack of timeliness in responding to studio space requests. The RSU currently has no policy on the maximum time that can pass before they must respond to a booking request. “They’re supposed to be helping student groups with this, but they really aren’t helping at all,” says Martinez.
Termite trouble in the theatre school
By Arti Panday Ryersonian Staff
A plague or two might be on their house. The Ryerson Theatre School hasn’t aged well: it has been afflicted by structural nuisances such as flooding and termite infestations. A heavy rainstorm in July led to the flooding of three rooms in the building’s basement, according to Kerri Bailey, manager of finance and strategic planning at Ryerson’s campus facilities and sustainability department. While dealing with damages from the flood — which Bailey said has amounted to a $180,000 insurance claim for all affected campus buildings — the department has also been working to rid the old performing arts building of termites. Erica Myers, president of the theatre school student union, said she’s taken unsual steps to temporarily avoid termite infestations. “I’ve seen termite tracks up the wall … which is why we have to leave the lights on all the time,” said Myers.
“If we shut them off, the termites can get into the set pieces.” The school has been working in collaboration with MMM Group, a planning, engineering and management company that has been inspecting the building. Although an MMM report said there were no visible termite tracks on the second floor at the end of October, the structural engineer recommended that the school implement a termite extermination program and an annual inspection. Peter Fleming, production and operations manager at the theatre school, said campus facilities have been helpful in ridding the building of the termites, but he added there is no permanent solution to the problem. “It’s a team effort with an old building and every time we find something new, we call in and Campus Planning responds right away,” he said. Fleming said exterminators would be back soon enough, as termites were found on the theatre school’s second floor. “I honestly don’t think the termites will be gone until we
have a new building,” Fleming said. “So I don’t know enough about termite abatement to know whether or not in 10 years the poison will wear off and we may have them back again. All we’re hoping is that we can nip them in the bud and stop the progressed state.” Aside from fixing the problem, the school is also making an effort to renovate the building. “They have carpenters in taking out wood that’s damaged and putting in new wood after the spraying has happened,” said Fleming. “There is a plan to put new mouldings in and pieces of walls and new door frames, so that’s going to be an ongoing process.” As for the flood, Bailey said in an email that the theatre school’s basement was damaged the most, with three rooms affected. Wardrobes that had been stored in the basement were washed and sold at the start of the year, Myers said. “What we didn’t sell off to students, we donated to a charity.”
Wednesday, Wednesday, November November 13, 13, 2013 2013
The Ryersonian Ryersonian •• 55 The
Levy: school wanted control over suspension news By Mohamed Omar Ryersonian Staff
To Ryerson president Sheldon Levy, sweeping media coverage on the suspension of the school’s men’s hockey team, an eruption of online criticism and an Ontario judge’s thumbs up all meant the same thing: nothing. Levy said the university knew its “true north” when it made the call to punish the athletes. On Nov. 4, Ryerson athletics director Ivan Joseph held an impromptu press conference announcing the suspension of the Rams men’s hockey team because players drank alcohol during a road trip to Princeton, N.J. — a violation of the student-athlete code of conduct.
While the team was forced to forfeit two games, head coach Graham Wise was suspended for four and assistant coach Lawrence Smith no longer works for the school. The story, unleashed to the online news world with a Ryerson Rams press release, quickly founds its way to the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, CP24, the National Post and even The Canadian Press, the national wire service. From there, it was lobbed to the social media soapbox, raising a ruckus on Twitter from the suspension’s yea and nay camps. But Levy said the administration not only predicted the widespread coverage, it wanted to control it.
“We had to communicate this. We knew it was going to be news,” he said, adding that the school needed some sort of supervision over the story’s “vehicle of communications.” “This was something that we knew we had to have some control over, how it was communicated. So that’s the way we did it. This wasn’t an action that you could say, ‘let’s not tell anyone.’” One supporter of the school’s actions is Judge Marvin Zuker, of the Ontario court of justice, who wrote a letter of support to Joseph. “Too often, universities are criticized for inaction, for doing nothing,” said Zuker, who taught at Ryerson from 1972 to 1981. “I believe that it sets an important precedent for Ryerson, if not
other places, because too often too many universities have been criticized for not doing things when students — whether it’s athletics or otherwise — have done things that they should have been disciplined for and they weren’t.” But some, like the National Post’s Joe O’Connor, say the team didn’t do anything worth being disciplined for. O’Connor wrote a column on Nov. 5 arguing “Ryerson’s killjoys” punished the team for doing what “most university students do on the weekend.” “Getting juiced-up on performance enhancing substances is a serious foul, to be sure, and a punishable offence,” he wrote. “But a Canadian university hockey team having a few cold beers — after a hockey game?
What could be more Canadian than that?” Still, Levy said the university carefully planned its decision after “deliberately” putting away politics and public opinion, adding that when an administration confuses the two, big mistakes could be made. “You do what’s right in this case, not what’s popular,” he said. “I wasn’t listening or even caring, to be honest, if someone said the (suspension) was good or not good. It was, in our judgment, the right thing to do.” The Rams hockey team returned to the Mattamy Athletic Centre Monday for its first training session since the incident. They play their first postsuspension game against Royal Military College on Friday.
iBEST of both worlds: Rye, St. Mike’s tag team
A President Remembers
By Michael Duncan Ryersonian Staff
Khadijah Khan / Ryersonian Staff
Ryerson president Sheldon Levy attended a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Quad Monday, telling observers Nov. 11 is a day he dedicates to the memory of his father, who died in the war. Levy was joined by Glen Murray, Julia Hanigsberg, Mohamed Lachemi, Chrystia Freeland and others.
Ryerson’s new partnership with St. Michael’s Hospital may have never happened if it were not for a chance meeting between a Ryerson dean and the director of a research centre at the hospital. The partnership for a new institute and research collaboration got its start because then dean of engineering and now provost Mohamed Lachemi and Ori Rotstein, director of the Keenan Research Centre, were close to each other. Literally. “I was sitting with dean Lachemi at a conference, we introduced each other and said maybe we can get together,” said Rotstein. “We would just start off with a lunch meeting and get a bunch of scientists from Ryerson and scientists from St. Mikes.” Rotstein and the hospital announced plans last Wednesday for the creation of the Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Science Technology, or iBEST. Construction on the 22,000-square-foot facility, which will be housed in the Keenan Research centre, is expected to start in the spring of 2014 and finished a year later.
“I think we all have this ambition when you bring great people together there will be things that will be discovered and ideas that will be commercialized that none ever imagined,” said Ryerson president Sheldon Levy at the project launch last Wednesday. The space will include a 2,000-square-foot “incubator” space for transforming projects and research into commercial projects. The incubator was inspired by Ryerson’s popular and successful Digital Media Zone, which provides resources and “energy” for Ryerson startups. “It’s a fantastic use for students working in biomedical area, they’ll have access to a robust research institute,” Rotstein said. Ryerson’s share is supposed to be for 15 faculty members and 40 students, though according to Rotstein as long as there are students with innovative projects there will be space. The partnership is reportedly for 20 years but the reason for the length and Ryerson’s financial contribution have not been released because, “... construction does not start until spring 2014, the costs and other elements of the agreement are still being finalized,” according to the provost’s office.
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6 • The Ryersonian
Grand Chief of Ontario Indians, Patrick Madahbee, at an HST protest in Toronto. He believes that First Nations need more say in their own affairs.
Courtesy Union of Ontario Indians
First Nations Want More Funding By Maria Assaf Ryersonian Staff
Renata Meconse once dreamed of enrolling in Ryerson University’s journalism program. But the mother of three rapidly woke up. “The cost of living is higher there. It’s very hard for a First Nations person to move to one of the big cities for university,” she says. Meconse, 35, had to take what was available to her. She was lucky enough to get funding, and enrolled in the creative communications program at the University of Winnipeg. During her third year, she got offered a job. It was a good opportunity and one that would also allow her to bring some extra cash to her household. But it took away the possibility of getting future funding for her studies. To a great portion of aboriginal youth, going to university in a place like Toronto is a challenge not many of them can face successfully. The Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development recently released a proposal for a First Nations Education Act (FNEA). But aboriginal youth and education specialists believe that while they’re crafting acts on education, the government should address the lack of funding for post-secondary education. The latest proposal for a FNEA was released on Oct. 22. It was met with widespread opposition by aboriginal communities. Government funding for primary and secondary education, which has been frozen since 1996, continues to decline with the rising inflation and subsequent rise in the cost of living.
This lack of funding early on in a student’s career distresses leaders in the aboriginal community as students struggle to keep up with the rest of Canada later in life. Since the mid-19th century, many aboriginal nations signed treaties with the Crown, where in exchange for land and resources, they would get education, health care and infrastructure.
“If we got 10 students who want to get post-secondary education and we only have funding for five ... which five you cut out? That is just wrong.” — Patrick Madahbee
When many of the treaties were signed, aboriginal chiefs thought that the only way to participate in the new economic order would be for First Nations to obtain a modern education. Because there are more students than funding, the only chance people like Meconse have of going to university is by applying to their local reserve for sponsorship. As many reserves across Canada struggle to provide education to a growing number of students, they have to make hard choices. “If we got 10 students who want to get post-secondary education and we only have funding for five, you know, which five do you say can get educated and which five you cut out? That is just wrong,” says Patrick Madahbee, Grand Council Chief of the Union of Ontario Indians.
Money is usually given to students who choose cheaper college programs, such as a seven-month certificate. It gets even harder if they want to apply to a university and relocate to a place like Toronto, at least in Meconse’s experience. “I’m very happy that I took the job, but I missed out on completing my degree when I had the chance. So now it’s even harder for me to finish,” she says. When she tried to return to school after three years of working in communications, she was told the priority were first-year students and she was put on a year-long waiting list. Meconse, who now works as an engagement liaison with Cancer Care Manitoba, says many of her First Nations friends have had similar experiences. “Sometimes they have social issues that limit them, or they can’t afford to be students because they have to feed their families.” The amount of exploitable resources a reserve has can determine how many of its youth can attend a post-secondary institution. “If it’s a community that has quite a bit of resources … they can pinpoint dollars for other community-driven needs like education,” says Laurie Hermiston, executive assistant at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto. While some communities are able to fully fund their members into even graduate studies programs, others struggle to afford any program at all. “More remote and more north, it’s harder to get access to education, health care and resources,” says Hermiston. “That’s where we get our Third World conditions.”
Though the federal government wants First Nations to learn how to extract their own reserve’s resources, a lack of funding prevents them from reaching higher education. “When people are oppressing people there are two things they do — keep them uneducated and in poverty,” says Madahbee. “And guess what? This is what’s going on in Canada.”
“More remote and more north, it’s harder to get access to education, health care and resources ... That’s where we get our Third World conditions.” — Laurie Hermiston
When the first proposal for the act was being drafted in 2011, aboriginal leaders countrywide boycotted talks for a proposal in which they claim they had no say. “The problem with the FNEA is that there is no consultation in any meaningful way with First Nations about what goes into this thing, the design of it,” says Madahbee. The October 2013 proposal, which was published as a press release, says it gives aboriginal communities the chance to provide input on how to govern their own education systems and parameters. “That’s an outright lie,” says Madahbee. “Writing a letter or reporting something out on a media release is not consultation. They haven’t talked to every First Nation community across the country. ” The communities are concerned about losing the ability to govern their own institutions.
ember 13, 2013
The Ryersonian • 7
Arman Aghbali / Ryersonian Staff Source, StatsCan
To Send Students to University “There have been more and more moves for First Nations to take over their services and education,” says Madahbee. “It is a logical step, obviously. They got many different agencies outside of the communities that have delivered services in the past, and we are saying we should be delivering these services.” But many aboriginal communities see the proposed FNEA as a violation of the treaties they signed. Amanda Thompson, aboriginal academic support adviser at Ryerson, believes that part of the difficulty is that the funding programs change with every new government. “Much of the money comes from the federal government, so as those programs change, the landscape changes as well,” she says. “There isn’t a single answer. Nor do I think there should be.” As part of the Economic Action Plan 2013, the federal government proposed expanding the Indspire campaign. This program would add $10 million over two years in funding post-secondary education for First Nations and Inuit youth. The government says this will add to the $300 million it already provides to these groups. It has yet to pass, though Indspire currently provides 2,200 scholarships annually to aboriginal students. Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Bernard Valcourt, has said he wants education system reform before the government will provide any additional funding. Jeremy Kinsman, a former Canadian foreign ambassador, thinks these rifts in domestic policy are just as important as
Canada’s foreign policy discussions. He says part of the problem is public ignorance on aboriginal issues. “I felt humiliated that I grew up downtown Montreal, and I was (on the advisory board for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg) with four native Canadian women, lawyers and human rights people. (There were) stories they told that I had no idea of. “I felt terrible. But I didn’t know. And that’s always the answer — I didn’t know,” says Kinsman. What Meconse knows is that it will be challenging for her to advance in her career in professional communications. “For jobs that I want to apply for that require a degree, I’m limited.” she says. “I have very good work experience, but that piece of paper, it limits me still.” Meconse still plans to finish her studies eventually. She only has a year’s worth of credits keeping her from getting a post-secondary degree. But she’s lost faith in her local reserve’s funding channel. When the wait list was wiped clean, Meconse lost her spot, and had to start the application process all over again. “I didn’t bother,” she says. “Because when you apply for a scholarship, it’s usually for people who have no income, but for me I have to work and support my family. And that’s where my money is going.” Check out the Ryersonian’s webcast with Chief Patrick Madahee of the Union of Ontario Indians on the Ryersonian.ca
Courtesy Chiefs of Ontario
Students at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay protest FNEA.
8 • The Ryersonian
ARTS & LIFE
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
William’s War: learning to say goodbye By Mohamed Omar Ryersonian Staff
A young William Boeckl left America for the very first time in 1946. He was 18 years old when he was drafted into the U.S. army on Feb. 4, 1946. After completing his schooling in Fort Belvoir, Va., Boeckl was shipped off to the Korean Peninsula on Oct. 30, 1946. It was his 19th birthday. He never saw action. Instead, he drafted maps later used in the Korean War. During his time in Korea and Japan, with a camera he tucked into his shirt sleeve, Boeckl photographed scenic views aboard vast vessels, locals he met during patrols and, most interestingly, himself. He was honourably discharged from the army on March 29, 1947. Sixty-six years later, in a laboratory at Ryerson University’s Image Arts Building, his 21-yearold granddaughter maps out his first journey away from home, painting a portrait of “Grandpa Bill” and his adventures as a young man. For her minor thesis project, fourth-year photography student Lindsay Boeckl has scanned and edited 200 Kodachrome photographs her grandfather took while serving as a draftsman
in the 657th Engineers Survey Battalion. Boeckl has married around 175 of her grandfather’s photos with oral captions and descriptions of his experiences abroad, cut from phone calls with her brother Brian and father Marc. The 11-minute projection, which she’s dubbed William’s War, went on display at the Image Arts Building on Monday. “It’s about this kid who had never left Milwaukee who was all of a sudden going around the U.S. and then to Asia,” says Boeckl, who moved from Bloomfield Hills, Mich., to Toronto in 2010 to study at Ryerson. “It was this really crazy time for him ... (the projection) is showing you his transformation and his discovery of all these new places, and I guess I want people to walk away knowing a little bit about who he was.” Figuring out how to describe her grandfather to complete strangers proved to be a challenge, Boeckl says, since the photographs and their descriptions weren’t directly relatable. “It can be really meaningful and interesting to you, but as a work if it’s not accessible it doesn’t matter how great the person in the story was,” she says. That’s where the phone calls come in. Boeckl insisted on
recording her interviews with her brother and father through the phone, despite the less-thanstellar audio quality and her professor’s criticism. This is to make the audience feel as if they’re sitting down with the Boeckl family, hearing about Grandpa Bill from his descendants. “It’s not him telling the story. It’s us doing a second telling,” she says. “In a way it feels like you’re listening in on a more intimate thing.” Boeckl’s project was never just an assignment. After her grandfather died of heart complications in August this year, she says the many hours spent scanning and editing morphed into a daily ritual of remembrance. “In a weird way it’s been me being able to spend time with him, and I’ve kind of been postponing saying goodbye,” Boeckl says. “I definitely think that, when all is said and done, that this is my way of getting closure.” The photos Boeckl used are only the tip of the iceberg. She says her family found five huge, heavy metal boxes in her grandfather’s home, all filled with photo negatives. She plans on going through them all. William’s War runs at the Image Arts Building from noon to 5 p.m. until Friday.
Mohamed Omar / Ryersonian Staff
Lindsay Boeckl’s minor thesis follows her family’s intimate history.
Toronto’s Asian Film Festival trains inexperienced youth in cinematography Tech Talk: Social Media By Sam Sim Ryersonian Staff
He hits the floor of the boxing ring with a heavy thud. The main character, a young Asian man, lies on his side deciding whether to fight back or run. His doppelganger appears, a rough-talking Australian fight coach. He yells at the young man to get back on his feet and fight. The young man stands back up and finds himself looking into the face of an experienced mixed-martial arts fighter. This is just one scene from the short film Open Gym, produced in Unsung Voices 2, a program created by the Toronto International Reel Asian Film Festival that throws six young filmmakers (with little-to-no cinematography experience) into a six-week video production workshop. Now in its second year, the program’s participants have ranged from high school students, to an accountant-turnedactor to a computer engineering student. Participants soak in the wisdom of professionals in the film industry, who guide them from the very early stages of refining their story idea to filming and editing. The final products were screened last Wednesday at the Art Gallery of Ontario. This year’s short films ranged from stories of lost love to a young rapper pursuing his dream, despite his family’s disapproval.
Simu Liu, one of this year’s filmmakers, believes Unsung Voices 2 offers an outlet for young Asian creative minds to showcase their talents in an industry that can often discount the community. “It’s hard to know you can make it in this community, especially as an Asian actor,” says Liu, 24. “There’s no Asian Brad Pitt.” The festival’s director of education and programming, Aram Collier, says the program offers a rare opportunity for Asian youth to experience the art of filmmaking. “A lot of the Asian community loves film, but when it comes to your son and daughter doing it, then people aren’t as enthusiastic,” says Collier.
Liu’s experience was similar to what Collier describes. Up until April 2012, he was an accountant at a “top four” firm until being laid off. He jumped into the world of acting, something he had always been interested in pursuing as a child — but couldn’t see through because of family pressure to become a professional. The inspiration for his film, Open Gym, is a personal one. Realizing being an accountant wasn’t for him, and then subsequently losing his job, was a low point in Liu’s life. One chapter of Liu’s cinematography journey may have ended, but film lovers can continue to check out contemporary Asian cinema this week. The Toronto International Reel Asian Film Festival continues until Nov. 16.
Program participants of Unsung Voices 2.
Courtesy Unsung Voices
By Michael Duncan Ryersonian Staff
With Twitter’s IPO having gone bananas, some analysts wonder if we’ll see more advertising fused between our favourite tweets and facebook photos. Perhaps it’s time to step back from the major social media platforms that have most of us hooked ... or maybe it’s just time to try out some other emerging platforms. Here are three free social media platforms that might get you hooked — again. Path Path is a photo sharing and messaging service based only on smartphones. If you’re wondering why it’s so special, it’s because it focuses on quality rather than quantity. Path only allows you to have a maximum of 150 contacts. If you’re still unclear about the big difference, you can think of Path as more of a private life-sharing platform,
whereas Twitter and Facebook are arenas that broadcast to thousands about how mad you are that your bus is late. The app design is gorgeous as well. deviantArt DeviantArt is more of a niche social network — some call community — that focuses on allowing any artist to share their work or collaborate. Its list of art categories includes photography, digital art, traditional art, literature, Flash and filmmaking. DeviantArt has been around much longer than the other dominant platforms, having launched in 2000. If you haven’t heard of it and are worried about a lack of popularity, don’t be: the site has an estimated 25 million unique visits per month. LiveJournal Simply put, LiveJournal is Facebook for writers. It describes itself as an online journal service with a focus on sharing and interactions. While it might not be wise to scrawl your darkest secrets online, it seems like a great social media tool for writers of any genre or skill. LiveJournal has many notable users, including George R. R. Martin, Billy Corgan and a bunch of professional wrestlers for some strange reason. If you’re into writing (or wrestling), LiveJournal could be a great tool to help you kick the Facebook crack.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
ARTS & LIFE
In conversation with Q-and-A: Raina Douris By David Rockne Corrigan Ryersonian Staff
Raina Douris is living the indie dream. The former radio and television arts student has been busy since graduating from Ryerson in 2009. In addition to stints at Toronto’s the Edge and CBC’s Radio 3, Douris also hosted her own Internet talk show, called Rain’s World, out of her basement apartment. More recently though, Douris has taken the job of music director for the upstart radio station Indie88 which, after a lengthy application process, took over the 88.1 FM signal formerly occupied by the Ryersonaffiliated CKLN. She describes her role at the new station as her “dream job.” We caught up with the energetic and talented Douris last week. Here’s what she had to say. Q: What have you been up to since graduating? A: When I was at Ryerson, I had an internship at the Edge. I graduated right around the economic collapse, and they weren’t really hiring, so I was an intern forever. Eventually I got an internship in their interactive department, which turned into a part-time gig. Then I started getting on the air, but no one told the boss. And then one day he heard me, and asked what I was doing. “You’re not supposed to be on there … but you sound good, do you want to try it?” Which was always my dream. I was incredibly lucky. It was an insane, insane fluke. A couple months later, I heard from my now boss, Adam Thompson (of Indie88), and he asked for my demo. Q: What does the music director do? A: At traditional stations, you’re in charge of music on the station. Right now, because we’re new, I work really closely with Adam, who’s the program director. We’re in charge of shaping the sound of what you’re hear-
ing. And because I am newer at that role, it’s still a big learning experience. Basically, what we do is choose the music that goes on air. I get all the submissions, so I live in a cave made of CDs. It’s mind-blowing how many bands are in this city. And I have to go to a lot of shows — well, I don’t have to. I like to. Q: In what ways did Ryerson prepare you for this gig? A: I had a very conflicted relationship with Ryerson. There were definitely a lot of good things. It gave me networking opportunities I never would have had otherwise. It taught me how to work all night long on something I’d left until the last minute. The one thing about Ryerson that’s a little bit tricky is that I felt they didn’t teach me a lot of the technical aspects of doing radio. I would go into the Edge, and there were Humber College kids who knew how to use every single piece of software we had, and I had never even seen the things before. (At Ryerson) they teach you the storytelling side, which is amazing, but I think the university education for radio is more geared for a place like the CBC.
“I get to work in the morning, and I leave at 8:30 at night — because I just want to be there all the time.” — Raina Douris Q: Did you always want to do radio? A: No, when I started ... I thought maybe I wanted to do on-camera stuff. There was a class at Ryerson called electronic film production, where you go out and shoot stuff. I hated it so much. It was super tedious. And radio is a very immediate medium, you say it and it’s
The Ryersonian • 9
Q-and-A: Douglas Coupland
there. I have a hard time focusing, so I like just having one thing to focus on. Like audio. That’s enough. Q: Do you enjoy your job? A: Oh my God. Yeah. Of course. It’s literally my dream job. I can’t believe it. I am still so excited every day. I get to work in the morning, and I leave at 8:30 at night — because I just want to be there all the time. It’s crazy. It’s really overwhelming, and sometimes really terrifying. Sometimes I leave work thinking, “I’m such a hack, what am I doing?” But overall, it’s such an exciting thing. It’s a really young staff too. Everyone loves music and wants to be there. No one is jaded yet, so we all think we can do anything. Q: What’s the best part of your job? A: I don’t know. There are some days it’s hard, but I love being on the air. I’m still sort of realizing that I can call anyone and ask for an interview, and they will probably say yes. That hasn’t really clicked yet, but it’s very exciting. I love all of it. I sometimes get stressed out, but it’s the best kind of stressed out I’ve ever experienced. Q: How do you define indie music? A: It’s so hard. When we program our music, we understand that people have different definitions of it. Indie used to mean “independent music,” but it’s become its own genre. Indie is almost impossible to explain. We play Talking Heads. We play stuff that came out before the indie label existed. It’s sort of “heritage indie” — the stuff that laid the groundwork for indie. If you work for a classic rock station, or a top 40 station, it’s easier to define what that is. But it’s more difficult for us. Edited and condensed.
Courtesy Robyn Payne
By Maria Siassina Ryersonian Staff
Douglas Coupland is a Vancouver-based writer, designer and visual artist. He is best known for his novel Generation X, which gave a name and identity to a group of adults born after the infamous “baby boomers.” Coupland has pushed (or rather shoved) boundaries and norms in his lengthy resumé of short stories, novels and nonfiction. He’s not quitting any time soon. Besides releasing a new novel in October, Worst. Person. Ever., he has also partnered up with Metro newspapers to come out with a serialized novella. The series, titled Temp, is already well underway with eight parts released, which can also be read online. The remainder of the 20-part novella comes out every weekday for the rest of November. Coupland answered some questions for The Ryersonian about writing, his new novel and his partnership with Metro: Q: You once said that fiction isn’t keeping pace with life and how we live it anymore. What can be done to change this? A: Acknowledge that we live in a new era and stop pining for the past. If you pine for the past too much, your brain calcifies and you officially become depressing and people avoid you — which locks you into a downward warp of uselessness from which there is little hope of escape. Q: Why didn’t you choose to publish Temp in an online format? A: I can’t think of an online format that makes sense, even in 2013 ... Temp is about making people see and accept the current era and seeing it as inviting and positive, rather than discouraging. Q: What do you want readers to take away from Temp?
Courtesy Raina Douris
Raina Douris says that indie music is hard to define and it means something different for everyone.
A: We are not surrounded by problems. We are surrounded
by opportunities. The old ways of looking at culture are maybe broken. So then, what’s working? Q: What’s your advice for students to keep their writing “in pace” with the way world is changing? A: Be honest with yourself: Do you really enjoy writing? Be honest. If you don’t — or if you’re doing it to please your parents, or because you’ve painted yourself into a corner with family and friends, just stop right away and figure out what it is you like to do, and then go do that instead. Readers can tell if you’re faking it and it’ll never work, so you’re just wasting your time. Q: Was there advice you received as a student that helped you become a better writer? A: Leave out the boring bits. I’m not kidding. My first editor, Mac Parry, asked me, “Would you want to read what you just wrote?” If you flinch even a little, then you’ve bunged it up and should reconceive what you’re doing or stop. It’s good advice. Q: How do you think fiction can deliver the message of truth as opposed to non-fiction writing, like journalism? A: Fiction as a form must generate an emotional bond with a reader. Non-fiction doesn’t have that. Each stricture generates its own freedoms and drawbacks. Q: How does your newest novel, Worst. Person. Ever., attempt to push boundaries? A: Many people don’t perhaps understand how prudish or locked-in their thinking is until it’s challenged. What’s swearing anyway? Fuck, shit, piss. How hard was that? Get over your personal internalized morality hit squad and look at the real world. Swearing is a part of language, always has been. And wherever you find profanity, you’ll also always find the sacred, but you have to conquer your internal prig. Edited and condensed.
10 • The Ryersonian
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Goalie trio backstops Rams to respectability By Greg DeClara Ryersonian Staff
Goaltenders are arguably the most important part of a hockey team. They’re the last line of defence and can single-handedly carry a team to glory. This responsibility makes the choice of whom to put between the pipes a long and difficult one. Just look at the Leafs: Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer have been battling for a spot all season at the Air Canada Centre. While these two have the hockey world divided, they haven’t been the only goalies in Toronto vying for their team’s top job. The Ryerson women’s hockey team has struggled since its start in inter-university play back in 2011 — recording only three wins in their first two seasons combined. This wasn’t a big surprise for a new team, but the unexpected emergence of goaltending prowess has turned its playoff hopes into a possibility this year. Just a third of the way through the current season, the team has already surpassed the total number of wins it racked up last year. Cassandra McNichol, Alex Armstrong and Emma Crawley are big reasons why — posting a 2.67 goals against average in nine games. Just like the Leafs, the question of who to start is one interim head coach Pierre Alain tackles before each game. “Every coach hopes for this situation,” he said. “They push each other. It’s good for them and it’s good for the team, but it makes my decision hard to make.”
Alain called on McNichol to open the season in early October. She’s by far the most experienced of the three, coming off a stint in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) and having played for the University of Guelph. However, the 25-yearold’s experience wasn’t enough to stop the Varsity Blues, who snuck four goals past her in the first period. “There’s expectations based on my resumé,” she said. “He threw me in thinking I could do it, but I guess the pressure got to me.” McNichol was pulled before the start of the second in favour of Armstrong. As a first-year student, she is the youngest option for Alain. A solid relief performance earned her a start in the second game. However, Armstrong, 18, wasn’t able to carry over her success as the team was blown out by another crosstown rival, losing 5-2 to York. With another lacklustre season looming, Alain turned to the only remaining netminder in his repertoire: Crawley. She was entering her third year with the team, but a devastating concussion in practice last October forced her to miss much of the previous season. “I couldn’t lift weights or go for runs,” she said. “I was worried I wouldn’t recover. It’s tough because you sit there falling behind while everyone is out there getting ahead.” Crawley, 20, would have had a valid excuse if she had failed, but she didn’t have to use it. She allowed only one goal against Brock, and the team picked up its first win of the sea-
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Dan Berlin / Ryersonian Staff
Cassandra McNichol (left), Alex Armstrong (centre), and Emma Crawley are all vying for the No. 1 job.
son. Riding the hot hand, Alain kept with Crawley in net and was not disappointed. She carried the team with a sparkling .939 save percentage over her five games that included a 5-0 shutout win over Laurentian. Just when the team thought they found their No. 1, Armstrong reignited the debate. With a backto-back against Windsor and Western, Alain had to rely on one of his other goalies. Armstrong got the start against the sixth-ranked Western Mustangs and pulled out a shocking shutout victory for the Rams — the biggest win by far in the team’s short history. “I didn’t expect to be one of the top goalies this year,” said Armstrong. “I wanted to show my team that I work hard and help in any way. Our goaltending has helped our team a lot and I just want to contribute to that.”
Alain stuck with Armstrong against the No. 3 ranked Queen’s Gaels this past Sunday, but she couldn’t repeat her previous performance. Armstrong was pulled after allowing four goals in the first period of a 7-1 defeat. Despite the loss, the team has already set a record for wins in a season (three) after only nine games. “Especially in this league, goaltending is so important,” said Alain. “The forwards have good skills, but goaltending affects the game the most here. If you don’t have it, you’re in trouble.” Alain is in no rush to declare his No. 1 and is comfortable with his current situation. Crawley seems to be the slight favourite, given her success over consecutive games. She credits the entire team for boosting her performance.
“Age and experience has helped us,” she said. “Once you get in the groove of what to expect from this level, you get better. Once you’re established, you can find other good recruits that want to be here. Our defence is an entire team effort.” Despite the heated competition, McNichol, Armstrong and Crawley all consider themselves friends. They hang out outside of hockey and help each other with homework, which they have agreed is uncommon among goalies. The trio also insists the rivalry isn’t going anywhere. “Age is a factor in trying to keep up with these youngsters, but it’s been a fun time,” said McNichol. “I haven’t gotten to play since (the first game), but I’m still gunning to outshine both of them … in a loving manner.”
Rams back after suspension By Dan Berlin Ryersonian Staff
The Ryerson men’s hockey team is back on the ice after serving its seven-day team suspension, but for the first time in eight years, there will be a new face behind the bench running the show. Assistant Johnny Duco takes over as interim head coach for the team’s next two games while longtime bench boss Graham Wise serves the final two games of his four-game suspension. Wise and the team were suspended last week when players were caught drinking alcohol during an October road trip to Princeton, N.J., violating the student-athlete code of conduct. “It’s an unfortunate situation but I’m going to make the most of it,” said Duco, who is in his first year with the team. “It is a great opportunity for me to get the reins here for a week until coach Wise returns (next) Monday.” Duco will run four practices this week, leading up to Rams’ next two games at the MAC against RMC on Friday and Carleton on Saturday. Rams captain Andrew Buck admits the coaching change, and
Hayley Brauer / Ryersonian Staff
Interim head coach Johnny Duco leads Rams’ practice Monday.
adjusting to Duco’s system, will take some getting used to. “It’ll definitely be different,” said Buck, now in his fifth year with the Rams. “Having Graham here my last four years and a bit, it’ll be a different game for sure.” The Rams (5-4) hope to regain the winning form they had prior to the suspension. After being forced to forfeit their last two games, which counted as losses in the standings, the team slipped from third place into a tie for sixth in the OUA West division. “We know how important these (upcoming) two games are,” said Buck. “It’s about mak-
ing sure guys stayed focused and just put the last week behind us.” To help fill the void left by the firing last week of assistant coach Lawrence Smith, Duco will be joined on the bench this weekend by women’s interim head coach, Pierre Alain, and Duco’s brother, Mike, a professional hockey player for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. “(Mike’s) been signed to a short-term contract,” said Ivan Joseph, Ryerson’s director of athletics. “Coach Wise will make the decision and put a recommendation forward as to who the next assistant will be.”
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The Ryersonian • 11
Keith Capstick / Ryersonian Staff
Ryerson Quidditch braved bruises, brooms and brewing storms at Cherry Beach last weekend.
Keith Capstick / Ryersonian Staff
Shaughna Boara and her Rye teammates were flattened by Ottawa 270-0.
Snitches, stitches and without riches By Keith Capstick Ryersonian Staff
Ryerson competed in the third annual Quidditch Canadian Cup on Saturday in Toronto in search of a berth in the upcoming World Cup in April. They left with their brooms — and tails — between their legs. Ryerson’s entry in the 16-team competition struggled to keep up with other eastern Canadian universities. In one of its three roundrobin games, the recreational “club” team — as listed on the Ryerson Rams website — lost a match 270-0 to the Ottawa Gee Gees. Ottawa’s team earned itself the treasured gold foilwrapped maple syrup bottle awarded to the tournament’s champion on Sunday.
“We didn’t have a great showing, but … it was a good team-building thing,” said Jesse Savoy, a fourth-year business student now in his second year as a member of Ryerson’s quidditch team. While the Ryerson squad still has a lot of work to do to compete with the top teams, its showing last weekend is proof that the “sport” of quidditch isn’t as easy as Harry Potter once made it look. At the Cherry Beach Sports Complex, players from across Canada fought through a day of abysmal weather, thunderous collisions, and multiple injuries in search of victory, and the elusive golden snitch. “In general, we’re friendly people. (But) it can get aggressive sometimes,” Savoy said.
“You won’t always (get hurt), but expect it.” Player intensity and passion in the league may come as a surprise to those unfamiliar with the sport, but Quidditch is quickly catching on in the mainstream. Played in more than a dozen countries, the sport was even depicted in the recent film The Internship, starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as two aspiring interns competing for a job at Google. But quidditch isn’t just a fantasy game to laugh at; the sport also has its own governing body. The International Quidditch Organization — founded in 2007 to promote intercollegiate play in North America — now comprises more than 1,000 teams and strives to gain greater respect for the sport and its athletes worldwide.
Trips to U.S. put Ryerson’s team spirit, discipline to test By Michael Duncan Ryersonian Staff
It was a tale of two trips to the United States for the Ryerson Rams sports teams: It’s where the competition was tough and the punishments were rough — but the rewards well worth the pressure. Last month, the men’s hockey team’s excursion to Princeton didn’t end well on
when they visited New York State recently to play the powerhouse Syracuse Orange, a perennial top-ranked U.S. college team that has made 29 NCAA tournament appearances under head coach Jim Boeheim. “I just hoped to make some dreams come true,” said Rams basketball head coach Roy Rana about the trip. “For our kids and for our staff to be able to play in the
“It’s not just about basketball sometimes — it’s about a little bit more.” — Roy Rana the ice, and was even worse off it. The team was suspended seven days because players drank alcohol in their hotel rooms. The team hit the ice together Monday afternoon for the first time since their suspension. The men’s basketball team also lost on the court to neighbours to the south, but benefitted tremendously as a team
Carrier Dome against a legendary coach and a legendary program is a special experience. “It’s not just about basketball sometimes — it’s about a little bit more. So, I’m just happy we could give them that.” In light of the recent men’s hockey team suspension for drinking alcohol on a recent road trip, Rana was matter-
of-fact when asked if he addressed his squad about team conduct prior to departure. “No,” said Rana. “They know what’s expected of them.” Despite losing 81-46 to Syracuse, the 2013-14 men’s basketball team has high expectations for this season. The team is currently ranked sixth in the nation, despite suffering an unexpected loss at McMaster early in the year. With the pressure of a championship season mounting, the team’s trip to Syracuse may have been the perfect antidote to any earlyseason hiccups. “It was nerve-racking, but at the same time it was a learning experience for us,” said fourth-year guard Jahmal Jones. “We know that (top-ranked) Carleton (took Syracuse) to overtime. It shows what we need to work on and what it takes to be at that level every day. It shows the bar that Carleton has set and we’ve got to find a way to match that.”
“I think when people first hear that quidditch is played as a real sport they picture it as
event in North America, with more than 200 of the best university teams competing from
“In general, we’re friendly people, (but) it can get aggressive.” — Jesse Savoy sort of live action role-playing, like Harry Potter fans living out their fantasy,” said Alex Benepe, CEO of the International Quidditch Organization. “But it’s actually a very intense sport; people play very hard, they train very hard, and they spend a lot of money travelling around to tournaments.” Along with Ottawa, Carleton and McGill earned berths in April’s World Cup in Myrtle Beach, S.C. It has gained a reputation as the largest quidditch
around the globe. But the future growth and success of quidditch lies in its ability to reach a broader audience. “We’re hoping to provide more and more high quality webcasts,” said Benepe, whose association is planning expanded online coverage and broadcasts of the upcoming World Cup tournament. “I think it’s the type of sport you need to see to believe.”
/ Ryersonian Staff
The men’s basketball team took on NCAA giant Syracuse last week.
The Carleton Ravens have won the CIS championship for three straight years. If Ryerson hopes to win it all, they’ll likely have to get past the Ravens in either the OUA playoffs or CIS championship. But for the coaches and players, it wasn’t about matching Carleton’s success at the famous Carrier Dome. Challenges and trips can often serve as a way to bring a team together. If a team is
bonding off the court, it can lead to success on the court. “The camaraderie, learning about each other and just spending more time as a unit (is key),” said third-year guard Aaron Best. “That’s what happens a lot when we’re one unit; it’ll transfer a lot like it did tonight. So hopefully all these trips we have actually pay dividends.”
12 • The Ryersonian
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Remembering the veteran in my life
By Carly Thomas Ryersonian Staff
Every year Canadians go through the motions of Remembrance Day — wear the poppy, stand for two minutes of silence, and for some, attend ceremonies, reciting a rendition of In Flanders Fields in their heads. More important than the ceremonies are the people they are about and the sacrifices they made for our freedom. I think we know this. But this past day of remembering got me wondering whether we spend enough time reflecting on the veterans who have touched our lives. My grandfather is that person to me. But I’ve never felt generic Remembrance Day poems read in gymnasiums or death toll statistics printed in history books have ever done his sacrifice justice. My grandfather, Harry Sherburn Hall, was a flying officer for the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was responsible for bombing bridges and railroads to isolate and eventually weaken Hitler’s army. During the war he received five medals, but would not go into great detail about what they were for. For him, it was too painful to talk about. Rare as they were, the stories he told painted images of bodies being pulled out of the rubble and long hours spent in the cockpit, never knowing what flight could be his last. My experience with my grandfather lives far away from the decorated war pilot he was. He always had a container of ice cream in hand when he came to visit and would spend hours running up and down the stairs playing “horsie” with me or my brother on his shoulders.
Courtesy Carly Thomas
Harry Sherburn Hall (left) at the age of 80 with his granddaughter, Carly Thomas (right). The fun came to an end in 2003, when he was diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia, a rare form of the brain degenerative disease. My grandfather’s brain cells were dying and there was no way to stop it. At this point he was already living with us, telling unusual stories and coming up with crazy theories about
anything at all. I was 11 years old and found my grandpa’s new behaviour humorous and frightening at the same time. His unusual behaviour included stacking pots and pans in the bathroom, folding the corners of the tablecloth and carrying a small stuffed animal with him around the house.
Dinner time was particularly challenging because he was always trying to get up and walk away before he finished eating. Once, I found him lying on his back in the living room, after falling, with both feet in the air. He had been fit and thin his whole life from years of tennis, so I was able to rock him forward
My grandfather was among the many Canadians who defended and continue to defend our freedom, and even in his time of great weakness, he taught me about great strength.
Harry Sherburn Hall, deployed as a flying officer during WWII.
and get him back on his feet on my own. It was on that afternoon I realized it was time for me to carry Grandpa on my shoulders. When I came home from school at 3:30 p.m. each day, I would relieve the Red Cross worker and be responsible for him until my brother came home at 4. It was within that half hour every afternoon that I learned more about compassion and patience than any other time in my life. But his condition worsened and eventually simple tasks such as sitting down or swallowing became a challenge. While dementia takes away a person’s ability to function in the simplest of ways, the disease is different from Alzheimer’s, in that even right before he lost his ability to speak, my grandfather never forgot who we were. And when we brought our puppy Bracken home for the first time, only months before my grandfather passed away at the age of 82, his smile and quiet laugh at that wiggly ball of fur reminded me of the jovial person he always was. My grandfather was among the many Canadians who defended and continue to defend our freedom, and even in his time of great weakness, he taught me about great strength. As we look back on the remembering we did last Monday, it is important to consider whether we acknowledged in our minds not only the message of the day, but also the individuals close to us to whom the day belongs. The imprints they leave on our lives have value far beyond a day marked on the calendar.
Courtesy Carly Thomas
What do you think about Mayor Rob Ford being booed at the Remembrance Day ceremony?
“It was disrespectful to the veterans. You should put the mayor’s problems aside and focus on remembering our fallen soldiers.”
“It was unnecessary because Rob Ford was there to pay his respects to the veterans. He was there in good faith.”
“It was disrespectful. We should remember the veterans and not what Rob Ford did. Not (on) that day.”
“Remembrance Day is a day to respect people who have sacrificed their lives for our country. Regardless of what Rob Ford did, who cares if he smokes crack? That doesn’t matter in that circumstance.”
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