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Volume 53 - Issue 16

February 5, 2020
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NEWS 3

‘Losing faith’: Reflecting on the buzzword ‘reconciliation’


Two years after Rye’s Truth and Reconciliation community report, what does the term mean to the Indigenous community?
By Samreen Maqsood and Madi Wong PHOTO: JIMMY KWAN Nim says that this has happened on multiple oc-
casions. “The amount of times I’ve been in class

O n Dec. 17, 2019, Eva Jewell published a


report for the Yellowhead Institute at
Ryerson that measured the progress of the
and have had my people and culture incorrectly
described [or] portrayed by profs and students
is incredulous,” says Nim in an email.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Nim hopes students and professors can put in
Canada’s (TRC) 94 calls to action. They found effort to seek knowledge about who Indigenous
that only nine were completed. people are. “Learn the difference between Can-
Despite the lack of action, Jewell knows that ada’s Aboriginal groups, learn about the nations
monitoring Canada’s progress is crucial to the whose land you’re on, stop teaching classes as if
country’s reconciliation with Indigenous peo- no Native kids are in the lecture hall...stop ho-
ples. She said this moment was an “eye opener” mogenizing us into just Indigenous people.”
to what reconciliation means to her. “We all come from somewhere and where
“We need to be checking in on it every year we come from is important to us and it makes a
and asking, ‘Are we moving forward?’” says difference. It’s not enough to talk about us, start
Jewell. “I can see why Indigenous peoples are talking to us,” Nim says.
losing faith in reconciliation when we still Julie Robertson, a statistics teaching assistant
endure so much injustice and violence.” in the geography and sociology department,
Jewell says Canada must start from scratch. It adds that she can see why people have called
must build a new relationship with communi- reconciliation dead.
ties to account for the historic damage caused “Federally...nothing has moved forward,”
by genocide and ongoing colonial violence. For says Robertson. “Nothing is really changing.”
Jewell, that means seeing a “concerted” effort Robertson shares a mixed heritage as a de-
across Ryerson to support Indigenous learners, scendant of Chief White Peter of the Seneca
staff and faculty through practices like culturally tribe in Southwestern Ontario, whose wife was
responsible curricula and teaching. a member of the Six Nations tribe. She is also a
Jan. 26 marked two years since the release 12th-generation Canadian. She adds there has
of Ryerson’s TRC Community Consultation been change in reconciliation over time because
Summary report. The report is separate from before a couple of years ago, there was no ac-
the government’s 94 calls to action. It was knowledgement “that there was anything that
laucnhed by president Mohamed Lachemi, led we needed to reconcile.”
by vice-president equity and community inclu- “I wouldn’t say that reconciliation is dead.
sion Denise O’Neil Green and “supported” by It’s just been evolving and growing as time
the university’s Aboriginal elder Joanne Dal- goes on,” says Victoria Anderson-Gardner,
laire, according to Ryerson’s website. an Ojibwe filmmaker and activist as well as
The report “summarizes [the] community’s Eva Jewell, assistant professor in Indigenous feminisms and Vanessa Nim, first-year journalism student former RSU vice-president marketing.
aspirations that were voiced” at various talk- In regards to Ryerson’s TRC progress, An-
ing circles, consultations, events and projects, That summer, the Ryerson Students’ Union Another popular form of reconciliatory derson-Gardner noted appreciation for Ryer-
according to the website. It is meant to be the (RSU) dealt with the controversy of the cel- action are land acknowledgements. Karly son’s powwow, Indigenous People’s Day and
“first stage” of Ryerson’s path to reconciliation. ebration as well. When a statement on be- Cywink, a third-year media production other initiatives, but added that they would like
The report summarizes “major themes” which half of the RSU was posted to their Facebook student, says she has a “love/hate relation- to see the continued process of hiring more
emerged from the community consultations, page stating their stance and 11 demands in ship” with land acknowledgements. “Often, Indigenous faculty and staff and “Indigenizing
such as developing strategies to “Indigenize” relation to Canada 150, three executives and I see [land acknowledgements] as a superficial more of the course work.”
Ryerson and increasing Indigenous staff and
faculty, among other themes.
Ryerson public relations did not confirm to
board members claimed they were unaware of
the campaign and were not onboard with it.
Removing the Egerton Ryerson statue was
illusion to give honour and respect for the In-
digenous lands and Nations. They’re all written
like a script and I believe this takes away the sin-
J ewell is one of eight recently hired full-time
tenure track Indigenous faculty members.
Ryerson announced in February 2018 that
The Eyeopener how many calls to action the uni- one of the RSU’s demands in the “Colonial- cerity of them,” says Cywink. In 2019, Hayden they would be hiring six new Indigenous fac-
versity has addressed in time for publication. ism 150” campaign, but it was not approved. King, director of the Yellowhead Institute, ulty members following discussion of both Ry-
In 2017, CBC Edmonton reported that some However, a year later, a plaque which “con- told The Eye he regrets writing Ryerson’s erson’s TRC report and the RSU Canada 150
Indigenous communities have called reconcili- textualized” Egerton Ryerson’s role in creat- land acknowledgements because they “[ob- campaign’s demands—one of which was to hire
ation between Canada and its Indigenous com- ing Canada’s residential school system was scure] the fact that these treaties are real in- more Indigenous staff.
munities “dead.” placed in front of the statue. stitutions and not metaphors.” Indigenous academia at Ryerson and other
But many Indigenous students and faculty Chapman says that reconciliation feels like “all To Lynn Lavalleé, strategic lead in Indige- post-secondary institutions has also been a part
still have hope that slowly, Canada will mend talk and no action.” nous resurgence in the Faculty of Community of the reconciliation discourse. But the provin-
their broken relationship with Indigenous peo- cial government has played a role in hindering
ples. However, the concept of “reconciliation” “How many Indigenous students are graduating from that goal—in July 2018, the provincial govern-
has evolved over time and has come to mean ment cancelled curriculum rewriting sessions,
something different from community to com- Ryerson? Let’s publish the attrition of which included Indigenous content being
munity and individual to individual. Indigenous students in university” worked into Ontario’s curricula.
“I don’t feel like reconciliation is dead, but As for Ryerson, many of the Indigenous
do believe it’s not the Canadian government’s courses offered at Ryerson are electives. But
priority to address it,” says Julieann Chapman, Despite some media outlets and online dis- Services, says “reconciliation” is a buzzword. according to Jewell, some programs, such as
a mature Aboriginal knowledges and experi- course referring to the word as a monolithic Lavalleé is an Anishinaabek Qwe registered sociology, make it mandatory for their stu-
ences student, who is Oji-Cree from Kitchenu- concept, Canada’s TRC report defines reconcili- with the Métis Nation of Ontario and her an- dents to take Indigenous courses.
hmaykoosib Inninuwug in Northern Ontario. ation as “establishing and maintaining a mutu- cestral roots stem from the Anishinaabe and “Making these courses electives doesn’t
ally respectful relationship between Aboriginal Métis. She says that while people have good really match up with the reconciliation

R yerson is a unique space for conversa-


tions around reconciliation. Jewell says
the university “in particular has a responsibility
and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country.”
To Chapman, the word means acknowledg-
ing the injustices Canada has committed against
intentions using the term, “there is no metric
behind it.”
“How many Indigenous students are graduat-
agenda,” says Jewell.
Reconciliation doesn’t have to just mean
plaques and land acknowledgements. An-
to truth and reconciliation, because it is named Indigenous peoples and providing resources to ing from Ryerson University? Let’s publish the derson-Gardner says with more education
after the architect of residential schools.” assist those healing from trauma. attrition of Indigenous students in university.” come more ways to practice reconcilia-
In 2017, when the country celebrated its “Only then can we work towards rebuilding Vanessa Nim, a first-year journalism student, tion. “I think it’s understanding that it’s not
“150th birthday,” many criticized the celebra- a positive relationship between Indigenous has seen several of her professors brush off her something that’s just going to stay stagnant,
tion of the genocide of Indigenous people. people and Canadian society,” says Chapman. culture. A descendant of the Red River Métis, it’s a process.”
4 NEWS & OPINION ON NEWS

RSU: THE SAGA CONTINUES...

SAGM RECAP: RSU doesn’t OP-ED: So you have a


governing problem...
reveal promised forensic audit
By Alexandra Holyk working for students,” according This op-ed was written by Maklane
to vice-president operations James deWever, former Ryerson Students’
Monday marked the Ryerson Stu- Fotak. Another amendment called Union president, who uncovered last
dents’ Union’s (RSU) first Semi-An- for the RSU’s executive director and year’s RSU credit card statements
nual General Meeting (SAGM) since financial controller to hold two- and took over when former president
the university terminated its 1986 year terms and be renewed by the Ram Ganesh was impeached.
Operating Agreement on Jan. 24. Board of Directors. Students won’t
Ryerson and the union agreed upon be able to vote for RSU elections on PHOTO: PERNIA Once again, the student body has
three conditions to make amends after RAMSS—instead, an in-person elec- JAMSHED been let down. PHOTO: ALANNA RIZZA
last year’s alleged financial misman- tion will use paper ballots, says Fotak. rector Reanna Maharaj. On Monday night, the Semi-
agement. Two of those conditions Fotak said this position was made Annual General Meeting (SAGM) clusivity of the student union setup.
were to complete a forensic audit and PASSED: Three-day strike “under shady circumstances” to give for the Ryerson Students’ Union Another issue—an overarching
share its results. A three-day strike organized by the former president’s friend a job. (RSU) released what should’ve been one—is the refusal of the university
Students expected to see that foren- the RSU and Socialist Fightback will a forensic audit. It turned out to be to work with the RSU to find solu-
sic audit, but the RSU said that due to take place in March, put forth by Ry- PASSED: Amendments to VP ops a “financial review” release, and tions. None of the above can happen
cost and time constraints, a financial erson Student Strike spokesperson The vice-president operations will what should have been an opportu- if the school doesn’t engage.
review conducted by Pricewater- Hermes Azam. This follows the one- now be responsible for putting out nity to discuss the future of the RSU It hasn’t always been this way.
houseCoopers was revealed instead. day strike in November against pro- a call for motions, forming agendas, turned into petty arguments. Over its 72-year lifespan, wthe
Here’s what else you missed at vincial government education cuts. booking space and and detailing the The financial review isn’t the RSU opened the seven equity ser-
Monday night’s SAGM. marketing team on the next meeting. same as the would’ve-been-fo- vice centres, a food bank that feeds
PASSED: VP marketing removed Maharaj said the RSU will not be rensic audit. A forensic audit is 300 students a month, closed off
PASSED: Bylaw amendments Students are no longer able to run hiring any full-timers since Ryerson an exhaustive examination of an Gould Street, lobbied for fall read-
These included an update to the for this position as the RSU employs is withholding funds. organization’s financial records ing week—among other wins for
payment policy to have more “trans- a full-time graphic designer and co- The next Board of Directors meeting which collects evidence which the student body.
parency and ensure that the RSU is ordinator, according to executive di- will take place on Feb. 24. can be used in a court of law— Ripping up the 1986 Operating
whereas the financial review only Agreement has no real impact on
Editor-in-Chief Nathaniel “Lawful Evil” Crouch Uhanthaen “A Culture Of Spicy reviewed the three credit cards the day-to-day operations of an in-
Sarah “Chaotic Neutral” Krichel Communities Memes” Ravilojan at the centre of last year’s alleged stitution. While renegotiating is a
Dhriti “Lawful Good” Gupta Joshua “Sidewalk Till Death” Scott misspending. This is a problem worthwhile effort, it doesn’t solve
News Joseph “Got Trash Headsets” She- because the university specifically the problem. It doesn’t solve issues
Alexandra “Lawful Good” Holyk Fun & Satire nouda requested a forensic audit. of accountability and accessibility. It’s
Emma “Lawful Neutral” Sandri Andrea “Chaotic Neutral” Josic Gavin “Lover Boy” Axelrod Currently, our situation is this: an external document, and has noth-
Madi “Lawful Good” Wong Donald “Cowin Whisperer” Higney the university has dismissed the ing to do with what goes on inside an
Media Adrian “COD” Bueno student union as our official gov- organization.
Photo Connor “Chaotic Evil” Thomas Reid “Features God” Kelly erning body and has halted its Right now, we’re only hurting
Khaled “Neutral Evil” Badawi Parnika “True Neutral” Raj Larry “KOBE” Heng funding. But the student union the people who are currently rep-
Pernia “Chaotic Evil” Jamshed Curtis “Hockey” Martin does not recognize the move as resented and employed by the stu-
Jimmy “Lawful Neutral” Kwan General Manager Ben “Clutchness” Okazawa legitimate—so now we’re left with dent union, like the RSU’s more
Liane “Chaotic Good” McLarty Raine “Returns” Hernandez a $2.7 million legal claim against than 10 full-time staff, who have
Online Xavier “Marin Scotten Superfan” the university. mortgages and children, who could
Kosalan “Neutral Evil” Kathirama- Advertising Manager Eesawaran So you have a major governing soon be out of work. More than
lanathan Chris “True Neutral” Roberts Daniel Michael “Noah” Centeno problem. What’s the solution? 50 part-time student staff could be
Zachary “Neutral Good” Roman Sarah “Kwik Kween” Tomlinson One issue to address is accessi- out of work too. Students who rely
Design Director Pooja “Another Petition” Rambaran bility: the RSU needs a format for on the food bank could go hungry.
Features J.D. “Chaotic Evil” Mowat Jonathan “Sorry We’re Late” its meetings where students can Students who rely on the equity
Catherine “Chaotic Good” Abes Bradley share their concerns without the service centres will be missing re-
Contributors Merida “Oh Goodness!” Moffat bureaucracy. Having open con- sources they need to succeed. Stu-
Arts & Culture Jemma “Welcome Back to My Pod- Jennifer “First Time Fun <3” cept meetings allows for students dent groups will suffer.
Rhea “Chaotic Neutral” Singh cast” Dooreleyers Nguyen to speak freely and criticize their Instead of spending thousands
Samreen “Contributed To Three Simay “Never Late” Alkan elected representatives. of dollars on lawyers, we need
Sports Sections???” Maqsood Ryan “Killed The Spider” Dioso Another long-standing issue to focus on accessible solutions.
Libaan “Lawful Evil” Osman Nishat “Source Detective” Chow- Min “ANGY” Angadji has been accountability. Indepen- Heck, with all the lawyer money
dhury Jes “Where Acapella Group At” dent oversight would help miti- they’ll save, maybe we can finally
Biz & Tech Julia “Dinosaurs In Love” Duchesne Mason gate the consequences of the ex- get those nap pods.

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STUDENTS
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Enter Today!
BLACK AT RYE 5

Chantelle C.W shares her journey with ‘Note to Self’ Black artists at
Ryerson to look
The R&B singer talks healing, changing and overcoming in her overwhelmingly well-received debut EP
out for
By Rhea Singh from 41 different countries around
the world. By Rhea Singh
Growing up on the East end of To- As C.W talked about her experi- Many artists get the chance see the
ronto, Chantelle C.W has been sing- ence in the music industry in To- spotlight or get their careers pro-
ing for as long as she can remember. ronto, she said she didn’t expect the filed, but Black artists are often
“It started out with karaoke, reaction she got for her first EP. overlooked and underappreciated.
which is mainly because I’m half- C.W said there had been a over- This week, The Eye introduces you
Filipino,” said C.W. whelmingly positive response from to five Black artists at Ryerson.
The third-year journalism stu- the scene, and that she was consis-
dent had initially started off writing tently booked for shows. Christina Oyawale, photo artist
poetry, but soon realized the songs “The first place I performed was and designer
she was writing could all be com- the Enzo showcase, [which was] for Christina Oyawale is more than
prised into one project titled Note to Asian representation for artists,” said just a second-year photography
Self. C.W. “People were soon asking [me] student. Their work focuses on the
“[Note to Self] is a very long story, to perform at places and then it got humanistic aspects of everyday life
but at the same time, a healing expe- hectic balancing everything.” through portraits, zines and fashion.
rience,” said C.W. COURTESY CHANTELLE C.W Oyawale founded Tx4, an art
The singer links her inspiration community that gives young artists
for the creation of the EP to people “I have to believe est things I’ve ever had to do.” said isn’t as showcased as someone who a platform to showcase their work.
changing, having things with some- C.W. “We filmed for a month in is lighter or white.” They’ve also been part of the
one close to her not working out,
and pushing herself out of the re-
that I can do it” between classes… it [was] very hard
balancing [the video and] school.”
According to C.W, she also
found immense support through
School of Image Arts’ Maximum
Exposure 24, and will have their
sulting rut. But soon enough, the “Oceans” her friends, who have gone to first solo exhibition from Feb. 3-8.
“Sometimes you need an out- The singer songwriter has recently music video was released on You- great lengths in helping further Entitled “Where I End, U Belong,”
let to get over people or overcome released a music video for “Oceans,” Tube, on June 9. her career. it highlights male vulnerability and
things.” said C.W. filmed by media production student C.W found herself flourishing in a “If I ever wasn’t able to pay some- mental health.
Note to Self consists of six tracks, Ruhama Dechassa. “Oceans” features scene that was welcoming and inclu- one to collect tickets at an event, a
including “Oceans” and “Take Care.” Ryerson Athletic Centre yoga in- sive, but was aware of the struggles friend would automatically do it,” Tristan Sauer, filmmaker and
“Take Care,” which was produced by structor Katie Allen dancing through other artists faced. said C.W. “They’re always there.” digital/installation artist
Toronto producer IGNORVNCE, scenes of the video, and also includes “I’ve been lucky compared to peo- At the moment, C.W said she For Tristan Sauer, his love for
was written by C.W when she was her friend Lexson Millington as her ple [in the media] who have been aims to focus more on her school life digital art started in high school,
only 18 years old. co-star. bullied when it comes to the [music] and hopes that, in the future, she can creating movie posters through
Since the release of her EP on However, C.W did face complica- industry.” said C.W. pick up where she left off. Adobe. At the time, he wanted to
March 29, 2019, C.W has recieved tions along the way while filming. “In the actual music industry the “I have to believe that I can do it,” be a filmmaker.
over 6.2k streams on Spotify alone, “It was probably one of the hard- representation of dark skin women said C.W. Sauer now focuses on interac-
tive, immersive, computive art in-
stallations. An upcoming project,

#BlackOnRes wants safer space for Black students


“Thoughts and Prayers,” discussing
10 of the deadliest school shoot-
ings in America through 10 clocks,
will be showcased in April.
By Samreen Maqsood source of tension for some.
“I feel...people are not willing to Alex Douglas, filmmaker, writer
A group of Black students are work- spread the information, probably be- and musician
ing at Ryerson to address the experi- cause it’s uncomfortable to talk about When writing fiction and pho-
ence of Black students on campus— specific events that are for specific mi- tography in middle school started
specifically, in residence. nority groups,” she said. blending together for fourth-year
Black Talk is part of a series of Chisholm, who is a residence film student Alex Douglas, she
events called #BlackOnRes. It’s be- desk agent at Ryerson, said that as found her love for film.
ing organized by a group of Black Black staff members, she and the Douglas also became passionate
housing and residence life employ- other organizers are a minority and for music through Garden View—a
ees in Pitman Hall in honour of want to make sure their voices are duo with her partner. They make al-
Black History Month. The purpose being heard. ternative music and recently released
of the talk is to give Black students The organizers of #BlackOnRes their EP “Homegrown.” Douglas
an opportunity to rant and bring have had some trouble promoting is also working on “Better for Me,”
up concerns about their experienc- these events with Ryerson resi- her thesis, which looks into mental
es in a comfortable environment other Black students.” To decrease these interactions in dence administration. health, Blackness and community.
on residence. She described being called “Lil university residence halls, the study Chisholm said it’s been a “difficult
“We’re trying to create a safe space Yachty” because of her red braids and recommends “recentering histori- time trying to make sure the word Michael Wamara, actor and model
for Black students to feel like they having to hear non-Black students say cally marginalized group narratives is [getting] out,” as she was not “Ever since I was a kid, [I’ve
can talk about their experiences on the n-word when singing along to through Afrocentric event program- sure that everyone on the staff team been] interested in the forces that
res so far,” said Zanele Chisholm, a popular rap songs at par- ming.” It also mentions could promote things the way the develop us as human beings,” said
second-year English student and one ties during her year-long “I found a safe restructuring hous- organizers planned. third-year acting student Michael
of the organizers of the initiative. stay in res. ing organizations to As of now, Chisholm said ‘word Wamara.
“Especially because we don’t really A qualitative study haven through... include more BIPOC of mouth’ has been their biggest tac- Wamara has previously starred
have that sort of space.” from 2017 found that representation. tic to get people involved. She and in Blessing Adedijo’s play “Do Right
“I found that living in Pitman Hall Black students living in Black students” While all of their the other organizers have also been By Me,” featured at Ryerson New
last year was a really isolating expe- residence experienced other events at res are promoting the event via posters, Voices Festival, which explored the
rience as a Black woman, specifically difficulty finding a safe space that open to everybody, Black Talk is floor meetings and emails to resi- complexities of race and the cost of
because of the micro-aggressions catered to them in residence. Partic- in collaboration with several Black dence advisors and housing staff. unpaid emotional labour in the lives
and passive-aggressive racism I ipants described instances of racial student groups on campus and is Black Talk will be taking place on of two Black couples.
experienced on a daily basis,” Ch- microaggressions and hyper-sur- dedicated to Black students only. Feb. 25 at Pitman Hall. #BlackOnRes He has also modelled for cloth-
isholm said. “I found a safe haven veillance as part of their residence But Chisholm said having an event will also include an art showcase on Feb. ing line 1990x by Patrick Brennan.
through friendships and bonds with experiences. for only Black students might be a 9 and a movie night on Feb. 18. Full article at theeyeopener.com.
THE GIFT
66 EDUCATION

The gifted program may do more harm than good for exceptional students.
Julia Duchesne reports on the difficulties faced by students who have
to “learn how to learn” when they get to university
EDUCATION 7
Content warning: This artiicle contains mentions says students can experience a “crisis of self” ing dimmed by depression during her time program, also helped. “I was super ready for
of self-harm and suicide ideation. as their gifted identity, which once set them in the gifted program, her love of learning is school. More so than I had been in awhile, and
apart, suddenly feels meaningless. Finally, burning brightly again. She’s now excelling I was a bit more motivated.”

A mar Singh, a third-year mathematics stu- Sauder says gifted students often struggle in
dent with an option in computer science, silence. “Because they’ve been told that they’re
was raised to be an overachiever. As a child in so smart and so capable for so long, they really
in her second year of chemical engineering.
If she doesn’t understand something right
away, she turns to her friends or her profes-
Maura O’Keefe, clinical coordinator at Ry-
erson’s Centre for Student Development and
Counselling, knows how tough the transition
Seattle he was tutored by his parents—an elec- struggle to ask for help.” sors rather than getting frustrated. Wearing to university can be—particularly for students
trical engineer and a computer scientist. By Gifted programs are supposed to give ex- her Ryerson engineering jacket adorned with who are used to small class sizes and one-on-
Grade 3 he was in a gifted program, and after ceptional students a space to succeed in public various patches, Saturn is already thinking one support. She says these students can feel
his family moved to B.C., he skipped Grade 7 education. But some former gifted students about a master’s of engineering. more overwhelmed by having to work inde-
and started Grade 8 in a new gifted program. say that while they were made to feel smarter Sauder, who is also a learning skills strate- pendently in the university setting.
He pushed himself to take more and more ad- than their peers, the program made education gist wants gifted kids to have opportunities to
vanced classes, thinking, “I want to go faster, I more difficult for them in the long run. For exercise their intelligence while also learning
want to be a phenom, I want to be something many gifted students, coming to university is
special, and this is how you do that.” a struggle as they question their life choices,
how to fail, get back up and continue learning
with resilience. But offering enriched curricu-
“They’ve been told
But by Grade 11, Singh started to feel like intelligence and even their identity.
an impostor. He was getting into poetry, but
lum and teaching students how to be resilient
takes time—and teachers’ time is scarce. On-
that they’re so
in gifted and International Baccalaureate (IB)
programs, subjects like English were con-
tario Premier Doug Ford cut over $40 million
from the Toronto District School Board bud-
smart and so
sidered “soft skills,” that didn’t lead to valid
careers. Only “raw STEM intelligence” was J
ody Saturn* and her parents were excited
when she got into the gifted program. As a
get in 2019, leading to a loss of almost 300 staff.
Province-wide cuts to education will mean in- capable for so long,
valued—science, technology, engineering bright child who enjoyed school, she was ea-
and mathematics. ger to take on the challenge, while her parents
creased class sizes, more online courses and less
funding for enriched education. they really
Despite this, Singh pursued pre-med at were happy to have a gifted kid. “They almost Furthermore, while some students are strug-
University of British Columbia (UBC). He put me on a pedestal,” she says. gling in gifted, other exceptional kids never struggle to ask
figured the program would be pretty easy, But her time in the gifted program was any- even make it to the program. A 2018 study
thinking he would just “look at bones”—and thing but glorious: she experienced depression, published in the Canadian Journal of Disability for help”
it seemed like the obvious next step. Becom- anxiety and suicidal thoughts. As for her par- Studies found that white, male students whose
ing a doctor meant helping people, pleasing ents, Saturn says they wish they’d never put her parents had higher-ranking positions at work
his parents and making good money. in the class. had the highest probability of being identified Students who performed well in advanced
In university, though, Singh struggled. Saturn started the gifted program in Grade as gifted. “We know that students that have high school programs often expect to keep
Having mostly coasted through education be- 5. She loved the academic challenge, but not lower socio-economic statuses get less pro- doing well in university, but O’Keefe cautions
fore, he’d never developed the skills to study the social environment. She was stuck with gramming,” says Sauder. “And that’s not fair.” against making that assumption. She advises
and manage the heavier workload. He failed the same group of 25 kids for four years and Ideally, every student would have the op- students to focus on choosing the program
some courses, barely passed others and after says a lot of her classmates had behavioural portunity to learn in a way that challenges and that fits into their life and career goals.
two years, he dropped out, watching his gifted problems. In Grade 6, several classmates be- supports them. Sauder, though, isn’t hopeful Cohen says many of his gifted peers from
peers surpass him. gan bullying her. “I’m a very sensitive person, that the funding situation in secondary school high school went on to “have really spectacular
Singh says that gifted kids are unlikely to so I guess they noticed that—and they started is going to improve. “In the 30 years from academic careers,” going into programs lilke
ask for help, given that they’ve been condi- to target me,” she says. She told her teachers, when I was a gifted student to now, I think engineering and pre-med. For them, it works,
tioned to believe that they don’t need it. He but felt the school wasn’t taking it seriously. nothing’s changed. And if possible, it’s gotten but he’s grateful that he ended up on a differ-
had the same attitude, growing up. Now, he worse, because more and more programming ent path. In Grade 12 his friend asked him to
thinks the way to help gifted kids may be sim-
ple. “Stop saying they’re so goddamn smart.” “In the 30 years is getting cut.”
Instead, Sauder is thinks there’s space to
write an article about alternative schools for
his school newspaper. It spanned into a three-
improve post-secondary education for gifted part series. Cohen enjoyed writing it so much
from when I was students. She thinks that they would benefit that he realized “I could probably do this for
from a University 101 course covering basic, the rest of life, if someone paid me to.”
a gifted student to
T he Ontario Ministry of Education defines
giftedness as “an unusually advanced de-
gree of general intellectual ability that requires now, I think
vital skills such as how to learn, how to fail
and how to be resilient in the face of challeng-
es. It could help gifted students before they
As it turns out, he found his calling: four
years later, he’s set to graduate from Ryerson’s
journalism school.
differentiated learning experiences of a depth crash hard enough to admit that they need
and breadth beyond those normally provid-
ed in the regular school program to satisfy
nothing’s changed. help. Furthermore, if it was geared towards
all students, it would give a leg up to students
the level of educational potential indicated.”
In other words, gifted kids are too smart to
And if possible, it’s who didn’t receive enriched programming in
high school. A fter dropping out of UBC, Amar Singh
took a year off before going to Carleton
learn with the other kids. A typical gifted pro-
gram operates within a regular public school
gotten worse” University to try a philosophy degree. He en-
joyed it, but later transferred to Ryerson to
but separates students from their non-gifted pursue a path that he was more certain would
peers. The program offers advanced academ-
ics, smaller class sizes and more personalized
attention from teachers. All gifted students in
On top of the bullying, she struggled with
high expectations set by her and her fam-
ily—if she didn’t understand something, she
I n Grade 9, Ben Cohen was going through
a rebellious phase. As a gifted student
at Northern Secondary School, he started
lead to a financially sustainable career. Now,
he’s planning to work as a programmer to
support his stand-up comedy career “until
Ontario have an Individual Education Plan. would get frustrated, second-guess herself skipping class and eventually failed several [he’s] famous or dead.”
Adrienne Sauder researches how gifted and feel like she was disappointing her par- courses. The gifted program acted swiftly: at Singh is ambivalent about his experience of
students adapt to university. Sauder herself ents. Depression and anxiety set in. She began the end of Grade 10, he was asked to leave. being gifted. On one hand, it gave him confi-
was identified as gifted in Grade 3 and now self-harming, and by Grade 7, she was having “I think they have higher academic expecta- dence when he was treated like he was smarter
she’s a sessional instructor at King’s Univer- suicidal thoughts. When her parents found tions for people in the program, and when I than everyone else. On the other hand, Singh
sity College at Western University. In her out, they tried to get her admitted to a ward. wasn’t hitting those targets, they were like, says that the gifted program gives you “a ter-
doctoral thesis, a 2015 study of 39 students After that, her teachers took a more active ‘Okay, goodbye.’” rible sense of arrogance which will carry you
who had been in gifted programs, Sauder role and the bullying ended. Nonetheless, af- At the start of Grade 11, Cohen transferred through the world.”
found that these students faced significant ter completing the gifted elementary program to SEED, North America’s oldest public alter- He wishes the program encouraged stu-
challenges at university stemming from their in Grade 8, she left for good. native secondary school. Alternative schools dents to branch out beyond STEM, so that
gifted experience. Saturn believes that isolating gifted kids are typically smaller and more hands-on when people like him realize they don’t actu-
Firstly, gifted students have to “learn how from their peers can lead to toxic environ- than regular schools, with a particular focus ally want to be a doctor, they know what else
to learn” in university. Despite being in aca- ments—with no “fresh blood,” students learn on subjects like physical art, social justice or is out there. Singh, for example, didn’t discov-
demically advanced programs, many gifted how to get on each other’s nerves, and ten- entrepreneurship. SEED describes itself as er his love of standup until after graduating
students are smart enough that they don’t sions build up. When she switched into a mu- a nurturing, supportive environment for from the gifted program.
have to work hard in elementary and high sic program in Grade 9, she felt relieved not students with high potential. Cohen credits At the very least, his time as a gifted stu-
school. Then in university, they’re faced with to be stuck with the same people every day. SEED’s schedule of four classes per term for dent makes for a good punchline. “Gifted
a more difficult work load—but no study Away from the gifted program, Saturn flour- his smooth transition into university, as op- program?” he quips. “The only gift I got was a
skills. Further, they may have never failed an ished, learning flute and discovering a passion posed to the eight classes per term he faced superiority complex!”
assignment or a midterm until university—so for science. at Northern. Taking a year off, something
when they do, it can feel catastrophic. Sauder Saturn still deals with anxiety, but after be- commonplace at SEED but rare in his gifted *Name has been changed for anonymity.
8
SPORTS 9

Rams assistant coach Niko Rukavina steps into the spotlight


After unexpectedly being named interim head coach for the men’s volleyball team, Rukavina changed the game with trust from Ram to Ram

By Reid Kelly gold medals twice. over Nipissing and Toronto in the
Rukavina then went on to play same weekend.
It’s Labour Day 2018, and Ryer- professionally overseas, spending Rams outside hitter Xander Ket-
son Rams men’s volleyball assistant years in Sweden and Germany. rzynski was quickly establishing
coach Niko Rukavina receives a After moving back to Toronto in himself as one of the greatest play-
phone call. 2016, Rukavina met Harris through ers to ever put on a Rams jersey in
He hears that head coach, Matt a youth volleyball program called just his first year alone.
Harris, was put on administrative Pakmen in Mississauga. When Har- Ketrzynski ranked first in the
leave. Rukavina is suddenly named ris was named Ryerson’s head coach country in kills and hitting percent-
interim head coach. in April 2018, he tapped his young age while leading the OUA in ser-
There is no explanation given. colleague to be his assistant. vice aces and points.
No timetable for his return. It’s Rukavina never expected that Ryerson, who was swept by Wind-
one week before open tryouts. One after joining the coaching staff in sor in the regular season, would
week before what was to be his August 2018, weeks later he would eventually take the same team to five
coaching debut. become the interim head coach. sets in the OUA playoffs, but fell 3-2.
That moment meant Rukavina The Rams, a very young but Regardless of not being able to make
was about to be thrown into the strong team on paper, started the it out of the first round, it was an im-
fire to lead one of Ontario’s up- season slowly. Aside from adjusting pressive feat for a team coming off
and-coming premier university to a new coach and a new program, such a rollercoaster year.
volleyball programs. the team lost two of their starting PHOTO: ALEX D’ADDESE
“The first couple weeks were players in the same week. “He understands what
definitely overwhelming,” said Ru- “It was really tough; we were Rukavina has adapted to the role hovering just above the .500-mark.
kavina. “There wasn’t a lot of com- scrambling,” said third-year set- players need...I feel like I of assistant coach and enjoys being a Yet, no one seems worried. The
munication of what was going on. It ter Greg Vukets. “A lot of what we can always communicate development-minded coach, which team knows the talent they have
with him”
was tough on the coaches, tough on did was temporary. We started off allows him to be in the gym every and are confident they can turn on
the athletes. We were just kind of kind of putting band-aids on prob- morning with players. His youth the jets late.
going week by week for at least the lems. The vibe was kind of, ‘This and experience on the court made
first semester.”
Still, Rukavina was excited about
the opportunity. This was his goal
is what it’s going to be until Matt
comes back.’”
In November 2018, the team took
I n summer 2019, Rukavina re-
ceived another phone call.
This time it was to inform him
it easy to form strong relationships
with players.
“He understands what players
“I’m never going to be the
perfect coach. Just trying
for years, and with the wealth of a trip to Windsor. A snowstorm hit that Harris would be coming back need,” said Vukets. “And that’s half to get better every day,
every week, every year”
knowledge from his playing career, southern Ontario, and the bus ride to the team and resuming as head of coaching, just understanding
Rukavina had a lot to offer. Howev- took nine hours. The Rams strug- coach for the 2019-20 season. Ruka- your personnel. I feel like I can al-
er, he wanted to fulfill Harris’ vision, gled and lost to the Lancers 3-1. vina was thrilled, also coming back ways communicate with him. And
as this was his team.
“In my mind, I was still Matt’s as-
sistant. I was still supporting Matt
They were forced to put players in
positions they weren’t used to, try-
ing to find something that clicked.
as a lead assistant coach.
While becoming a head coach was
his ultimate goal, he had originally
that’s authentic, you know? That’s
not something you can force, that’s
something that comes through time.”
A s hectic as the 2018 season was
for Rukavina and the Rams,
they have walked away with a valu-
and [wanted] him to come back,” Still, it was a stepping stone for joined Ryerson to work alongside Harris, who also brings with him able lesson: to learn how to swim,
said Rukavina. “I didn’t want to im- the Rams, as they took a set from Harris and was more than willing to a mountain of experience and suc- and jump in the deep end.
plement too much of my own stuff.” a great program. Maybe this was do it again. cess, is a technical savant. His tacti- “Coaching to me is something I’m
a sign—a sign that they were still a The only question left was how cal expertise lends itself well to this never going to be at the peak of,”
“We started off kind of
team, and they still had the pieces stepping back into this role would talented Rams roster. said Rukavina. “I’m never going to
they needed. affect the coaches and team. But it “I’ve been really happy with the be the perfect coach. Just trying to
putting band-aids on “As the year went on, I think was seamless. relationship with me and Matt,” said get better every day, every week,
problems” guys respected my knowledge of
the game a little bit more,” said
“It’s even better,” said Vukets. “We
still see Niko every day, he’s in the
Rukavina. “We do converse about
a lot of things, and we attack the
every year.”
Rukavina coaches with more
Rukavina. “They understood that gym with us all day. Back to business.” team as a partnership, so that tran- confidence than ever, helping lead a
In 2007, Rukavina committed to we were still in a good enough The Rams entered the 2019 sea- sition has been really good. Now, I team he has quickly created a deep
playing volleyball at Queen’s Uni- place with me as a head coach. We son with high expectations. A solid can use the confidence from being bond with. While the ultimate goal
versity. The outside hitter went on weren’t at a disadvantage.” coaching staff, as well as the addi- head coach and take that into being of a U Sports Championship was
to play five successful seasons with The team got red-hot in the new tion of recruits and a great transfer his lead assistant, and tackling that, not achieved last year, Rukavina
the Gaels, reaching the Ontario year. Ryerson went on an 8-2 run in outside hitter Taryq Sani, has left both of us.” stepped into the spotlight and the
University Athletics (OUA) finals in the second half of the season, the team feeling confident to jump The Rams have found themselves Rams proved they would not let any
four times and winning silver and highlighted by back-to-back wins the first-round hurdle this season. in a similar position to last season, adversity stand in their way.

Toronto Ultra ready to call Mattamy Athletic Centre home


Toronto’s latest esports franchise have finalized their home series dates and will be hosting tournaments at the MAC in March and June

By Adrian Bueno “[This is a] monumental event in ferent modes and matches are first During the Call of Duty league’s esports teams, said in an interview
the history of Ryerson,” said RTA to three. inaugural weekend in late January, with Daily eSports that they are ex-
Toronto’s latest esports franchise, professor of video games Kristopher According to ESPN, creating a city- live streams of the event peaked at cited about the potential growth of
Toronto Ultra, is getting ready to Alexander. “We’ve had access to the based franchise for the Call of Duty over 102,000 viewers. esports in the city.
play their home series’ at the Mat- MAC for some time, and we’ve yet league costs around $25 million. “I think there’s still room to grow, Toronto Ultra currently sits at 1-1
tamy Athletic Centre on March 21- to have a flagship event out of it.” For Benson Figueirdo, a Call of but based off the numbers from last on the season after a loss to the Min-
22, and June 27-28. The Toronto Ultra’s roster is Duty league ticket holder, the game year, this was pretty high for view- nesota Rokkr. The team will travel
The team is participating in the comprised of five starters and five has been a large part of his life, and it ership,” said Figueiredo. “With [Call to England for their next match
2020 Call of Duty league and is the reserves from several nations, in- all started with Call of Duty 2. of Duty], it’s so much easier for ca- against the London Royal Ravens.
city’s second official esports fran- cluding Canada, the U.S., Spain, “I can’t believe I get to now see sual fans to watch and understand.” “The world is going to see the first
chise after the Overwatch League’s Denmark, England and Scotland. people playing video games in a sta- OverActive Media, the organi- Call of Duty franchise in Canada call
Toronto Defiant. Games are played across three dif- dium,” said Figueiredo. zation behind both of Toronto’s Ryerson their home,” said Alexander.
10 LET’S GET WEIRD

Epidemic of students signing souls away, free stuff involved


Zachary Roman signed up for a Canadian Tire credit card in exchange for a coffee. What happened next will SHOCK you

It’s 7:55 a.m. on a Monday. With a gram on the other side of the paper, plans and BeaverTails. Some promi- ing to sell our credit cards is an im- ing humans because torturing them
one-day-past-expiry bagel topped but I’m not sure. The moment my nent religious scholars and conspira- poster and should be avoided at all emotionally and economically for
with one-day-before-expiry cream pen touches the page, I feel a stabbing cy theorists think that demons might costs, considering the recent string their whole lives is way more fun.”
cheese in my hand, I’m shuffling pain. With each letter I write, I feel be tricking people into signing away of disappearances.” Dee Muhnn and Susan start blast-
out of the Student Campus Cen- increasingly lightheaded until I real- their souls to the devil in disguise as I look up from my phone and see ing firebolts at each other, com-
tre (SCC) with all the energy my ize that the names on the sheet aren’t campus promoters for companies Susan—or what used to be Susan. She pletely and utterly decimating the
burnt-out self can muster. A voice written in red pen at all—they’re writ- like Canadian Tire and Fido.” is engulfed in flames with horns pro- first floor of the SCC. I use the op-
calls out to me. It sounds friendly, ten in blood. And now, so is mine. I freeze up and goosebumps break truding from each side of her head. portunity to escape, but it’s already
but I know it’s not a friend. “Want Susan pours me a coffee. It looks out all over my body. I swipe right She starts to float toward me. I try to too late. Canadian Tire owns my
some free coffee?” asks the credit mustier than a Kerr Hall classroom and the second photo was, in fact, a run, but I’m unable to move my legs. soul. At least I stole some lip balm
card sales rep from the Canadian and smells like the gas tank of a 1984 news clip of Phil Tire, CEO of Ca- Shaking, but desperate to know the from their promotional table.
Tire attached to the Ted Rogers Toyota Corolla. I look at my bleeding nadian Tire. truth, I swipe to the third and final Ever since Canadian Tire—may
School of Management building. hand and wonder if it was worth it. “We have not sent any employ- photo. It was text on a black screen Satan bless their profits for all
Her name tag reads “Susan,” but it It wasn’t. Then, I get an Instagram ees to promote our credit cards at that read: “Fido, on the other hand, eternity—gained ownership of my
may as well say “I’m Paid to Try and post notification from 6ixBuzzTV. Ryerson this year,” said Tire. did say they sent promoters to work soul, I’ve been unable to say any-
Fuck You Over With Debt.” Still re- There were three photos in the “Anyone you see there try- at Ryerson outside of the SCC.” thing negative about Canadian
gretting drinking that seventh beer post. The first photo was a penta- When I look up from my Tire, the best company on the face
last night, I reluctantly say, “Sure, gram made out of five Ca- phone again, another of this earth.
why not.” For a brief moment, I nadian Tire logos. demon is in front of There are killer sales on snow-
swear I can see Susan’s eyes roll back The caption read: me. It was holding a blowers right now, so be sure to
into her head as she smiles and the “Since the cute dog on the end of check that out as soon as you can,
ground trembles beneath her. “All start of a bejeweled pink leash. and tell them Zach sent you. Fuck,
you have to do is defeat me in a the semes- “My name is Dee Muhnn, it happened again. It’s just that
game of Jenga, spin this obnoxious- ter, over 100 CEO of Fido,” it I can’t help myself from always
ly loud Wheel of Fortune and tag us Ryerson students says, handing thinking about how awesome Ca-
in a post on Instagram.” The crowd have gone miss- me a branded nadian Tire is. I mean, I get 3.25
of students around me don’t notice ing after signing fidget spinner. per cent cashback on all purchases
a thing. As I stare into the whites their names and “All cell- that I make with my Tire Rewards
of her eyes and notice her fangs, I emails away to phone com- credit card. I have already bought
wonder, “am I still drunk?” companies on panies are actu- seventeen fishing rods and four
Susan smiles. “Just sign your name campus, in ex- ally run by demons. tackle boxes with the money I
and email here,” she says, pointing to change for things I’m surprised people saved. Somebody please free me
a list of other names and emails writ- like free coffee, haven’t caught on by from this flesh prison. Please go to
ten in red pen. I think I see a penta- cheap cell phone ILLUSTRATION: JAIME STRAND now. We have no interest in kill- Canadian Tire.
IMAGE: JOSHUA HOSHUA UNDER CC LICENSE CONTEST OPEN
TO RYERSON STUDENTS
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BEFORE YOU BUILD YOUR


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11

The Student Campus Centre

COMMUNITY
BUILDER
AWARD
Tell us how you have contributed to building
community in the Student Campus Centre (SCC)!
This award is designed to recognize students within the Ryerson community
who have contributed to campus life and building community at the SCC as
demonstrated through exceptional volunteerism.

Applications Open SUBMIT YOUR


Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 at 9am APPLICATION ONLINE:
www.ryersonstudentcentre.ca
Applications Close
Friday, Feb. 21, 2020 at 9pm
Annual awards:
$500 x4
NOTE:
Eligible: All full-time, part-time, and continuing
education students enrolled and in good standing
during the Winter 2020 term. for Continuing Education
students
Not Eligible: RSU Board Members, CESAR Board

$2,000 x3
Members, Palin Foundation Board Members,
seniors enrolled through the Chang School.

for Undergraduate students

$2,000 x3
for Graduate students
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