Thursday, November 26, 2009

Arteries 2010

That’s right Faculty of Arts students, it’s that time again: it’s essay season. Long nights in the library and looming deadlines may be getting you down as we come into this last stretch of the fall semester. However, the Faculty of Arts is home to a great diversity of programs, and as Arts students, we have the opportunity to explore so many interesting topics from many different subject areas. So, chances are you have at least one paper this term that you’re particularly engaged with and interested in. If this is the case, the 2009-2010 Arteries Committee would like to extend an exciting opportunity to you: the chance to present your paper at our 3rd annual undergraduate research conference.

Arteries gives you the opportunity to get more out of the work you put into writing your essay by giving you the unique opportunity to present it an academic conference, which is an experience most students don’t get to have at the undergraduate level. Not only will you have the chance to share your work and ideas with faculty and your peers but the experience will prepare you for future endeavours in academia and will also look great on a grad school application.

To view abstracts of essays presented at our past conferences, visit and, and be sure to join our Facebook group:
If you’re interested in being a presenter at the 2010 Arteries Undergraduate Research Conference read the Call for Papers below for all the details you need.


This conference aims to provide a forum for Ryerson undergraduate students to present their best essays to their peers. Arteries 2009 will promote undergraduate research through the sharing of ideas within and across disciplines hosted by Faculty of Arts.
We welcome essays submitted by any student registered in any undergraduate program at Ryerson in any of the following areas: Arts and Contemporary Studies; Caribbean Studies; Criminal Justice and Criminology; Economics; English; French and Spanish; Geography; History; Music; Philosophy; Politics and Governance/Public Administration; Psychology; and Sociology. More generally, we are looking for papers that are related to the humanities and social sciences.

Selection Process: Essays will be reviewed by a committee of six referees (three professors and three senior students) from the Faculty of Arts. Students whose essays have been selected will present their work in short sessions on February 26th, 2010.

Eligibility: Any current Ryerson undergraduate student is eligible to submit a paper.

Submitting an Essay: Essays should be a minimum of 5 pages in length, and authors should be able to present their work in no more than 20 minutes. To ensure anonymous evaluation, submissions should not contain a title page or any indication of the author’s name or department, school, program or course. Students may only submit one essay, and should consider their submissions carefully.

Essays should be submitted electronically, as an attachment (.pdf, .doc, .wpd), to the following address: Your email must include the following: your full name; student number; program of study; year of study; email address; title of the essay, and a short summary of the essay (no more than 300 words).

All submissions must be received via email by January 11th,2010, 11:59pm.

For submissions, further information, or to volunteer to help organize this event, please see: or contact

Thursday, November 19, 2009

An Update from Ali in PEI

My dearest, darling Artsies:

Sorry it’s been forever since my last update! I have been ridiculously busy with research and presentations and conferences and (of course) essays. I know by now that many of you are also feeling the crunch. Don’t forget to take some time out for yourselves though...your brain and sanity will thank you!

For the last few months, I’ve been working with Professor Esther Wohlgemut in the English Department. She’s working on a research project dealing with secret societies and conspiracy narrative in 18th Century British literature. This means that my duties entail photocopying, summarizing, collecting books and trolling both journal databases and e-books for information about fictional representations of such societies. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time to my position as I would like to in the last few weeks, but the great thing about the position is that I can postpone my hours when there’s a lull and start up my research again when life is less hectic. Esther is also extremely flexible, letting me do my own thing and changing gears if a specific research task doesn’t particularly thrill me.

So what have I been up to lately? Well, I took part in the Atlantic Canada Regional Conference in Charlottetown this past weekend. This conference was organized by the Millennium Foundation (the same people who organized the Think Again conference), and it was somewhat similar, though on a much smaller scale. It took place at the Rodd Hotel downtown from Friday to Sunday. I took advantage of several workshops that touched on issues of social capital, the development of the Foundation’s Discovery Program, determining my personality type, and the importance of laughter. =) Of course, like the Toronto Conference, I learned tons of important things about myself (and others!) that will help me in my academic and other endeavors. I was also able to network with lots of other people, including some ultra awesome kids from PEI. Everyone seems to get excited when I tell them I’m here from Toronto, as lots of them haven’t been there. I also learned how to Hungarian folk dance!

If anyone is thinking about participating in the EDGE program next fall, I would strongly strongly strongly urge them to take a class with Jane Magrath, even if they aren’t pursuing the English option. She’s the co-ordinator of the English Honours Program at UPEI, and probably one of the best teachers I have ever had. I’m in her 18th Century Literature class, and I can honestly say I throughly enjoy all class discussions and analyses. I always leave with more questions than I came in with because she raises thought provoking ideas I wouldn't have normally considered.

About a month ago, she asked us to finish the sentence “As a student studying at UPEI, I feel...” with a metaphor. She then asked us to explain our metaphor, but told us not to put our name on the paper. The next class, she read all of the metaphors and their explanations aloud before sorting them into three separate piles. The 30 or so papers were put in negative, neutral and positive piles. There was about 24 in the negative pile, one in the neutral pile and the remaining lay in the positive pile. And then she discussed the results of it with us. Urging us to explain why we felt so negative and burnt out and stressed out and hopeless, she was trying to find out exactly what was wrong so she could fix it.

To my surprise, the majority of the class seemed to be on the same page as I was: the stressed / burnt out page. Many people remarked that they felt unequipped to deal with a degree that has no “defined” career path, or that it was hard to finish university all in four years, or that their loans were constantly looming over them, or that they felt they needed to get on the Dean’s List, even if it was at the expense of a social life. Jane countered this by pointing out that such worries are not inherent, these are worries we invent. Who says you have to finish a degree in four years? Or that you need to be on the Dean’s List? Sure, these are positive goals to strive for, but are they really worth your sanity?

She informed us of her unconventional career path (she dropped out after her first year and completed her undergrad in six years) and of all of the people she went to school with who didn’t pursue any post-grad work, those who graduated with “just” an English degree. These people now occupy job titles that did not exist 10 years ago, and yet they are making enough money to buy a house in Toronto (of all places!). I’ve always thought that professors have always loved school, gotten wonderful grades and have had everything fall into place for them. To hear Jane talk about her struggles made her more approachable and relatable. People always extoll the virtues of following your own path, but personal anecdotes about personal struggles prove much more inspirational. I came away from the class feeling more positive about my situation (or at least at ease with the fact that everyone is as confused / stressed as I am!) and recognizing the fact that there are different paths. A path that’s right for one person may not be right for another, and that’s okay.

Being the co-ordinator of the English honours program, Jane legitimately seems interested in making a difference in the lives of her students. She seeks the opinions of her students and values their input, using them to brainstorm ways (such as internships or alternative assessment methods) of making an English degree less terrifying and stressful. She’s always around in her office and is completely open to drop-ins. I’ve stopped by her office several times (mostly for academic advice), but our conversations always end up focusing on my experiences, as she is genuinely interested in any way she can ease my transition. She even told me in September that it was her personal goal to convince me to stay!

However, I will be returning to Ryerson in January, ready to rock with Arteries, the Continuist and all of the great initiatives that the Faculty of Arts is planning for the next several months! I miss you all dearly and can’t wait to share my pictures and experiences. =)

Until next time,

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Greetings from Ali

Hello again, lovely Artsies!

I’m reporting from the East Side, though for a few days I was in limbo.

I was in Ontario briefly this past weekend (October 1-3rd) as part of the Think Again Conference. This conference was an initiative spearheaded by the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation as a way to bring together like-minded students who demonstrate leadership and academic excellence. Unfortunately, ten years after the foundation’s mandate was proposed, the Canadian government has decided not to continue its financial support. In effect, this meant that the conference would be the last of its kind for who knows how long.

Originally scheduled to be in Ottawa, the conference had a last minute logistical issue and was moved to Markham. Although totally bummed that I wasn’t close enough to downtown to see my Ryerson friends (during Nuit Blanche, the best weekend to be in Toronto!), I recognized this as a opportunity to interact with new people. And what a great decision! I met people from all over the country, from rural Alberta to cosmopolitan Montreal. I even met someone from the Northwest Territories, which was a first. =)

The conference was broken up into numerous workshops and group activities with a group makeup that was constantly changing. The group’s transformations kept things interesting and allowed for maximum networking opportunities. Speaking to these people about their initiatives, their dreams and their communities was certainly inspiring. From a high school student who single handedly fundraised enough for her and her sister to go to travel to India to build wells to the university students who had organized a bottle drive to raise money for breast cancer, these people were truly seizing any opportunity or idea they had been provided with.

On Saturday morning, we experienced keynote speakers that addressed issues such as negligent treatment of Aboriginal children, the importance of being informed and ways to use the world’s state of “crisis” to our benefit. One of the speakers even performed some slam poetry (go to to learn more about this movement) with several others. These poets (some of whom are still in their teens) are bringing attention to social issues so much larger than themselves in an artistic and beautiful way, and their talent is ridiculously unbelievable.

This conference also proved personally beneficial. I took part in a workshop called ‘No Mistakes Drawing, Painting and Collage.’ An artist by the name of Scott Macleod ( demanded that the 20 participants to essentially let go of our inhibitions. Now, as I am somewhat (ha!) of a control freak, the thought of not having guidelines or a game plan (more than slightly) terrified me. And that is precisely the reason I chose such a workshop. He laid out 21 pieces of paper on the ground and instructed us to use charcoal, paint and various other media to create whatever we felt with no limitations of rationality or caution. We each worked on a piece for several minutes before moving to another square. This was extremely frustrating for me, as you couldn’t control what other people would do to the square you had just gotten attached to. Ultimately though, it proved to be therapeutic. I learned to relax a little and people who described themselves as “artistically challenged” created random, meaningless and rarely profound pieces of art free from judgement.

In a “speed networking” activity, we met with another student every four minutes to discuss our most audacious goal. Much to my surprise, when I was put under such pressure, I was able to come up with a goal. Strange, considering that’s something I’ve been lacking for years. I realized that I want to eradicate illiteracy in Canada...or at least I want to kick-start the movement to do so. I love language and editing, so this goal seems to fit in well with my interests and experience. The amount of people who are semi-illiterate in Canada is something like 42%, so I’ll definitely have my work cut out for me.

I’d like to create a Ryerson chapter for a program called Students for Literacy. I’m currently participating in a program of the same name at UPEI, though it’s designated as an opportunity to improve the English of ESL students from Japan and Saudi Arabia. I also volunteered for this program in my first year of school at the University of Victoria, though it was essentially directed to children. I am interested in pursuing this model not just to benefit ESL students or children, but extending it to adults as well. The stigma surrounding this issue could be remedied by something as simple as people volunteering their time to be a tutor. If this project gets off the ground, I will need some lovely volunteers who would be willing to offer 2 or 3 hours a week.

I met a student from McGill who is interested in bringing internet access to developing countries. He told me that supplying children with a laptop and the internet is actually cheaper than having them in a traditional classroom. I figure with the digitizing of books, this is a worthwhile idea to pursue for both of us. Of course, I now have some contact information for people who I can bounce my ideas off of or involve in my projects.

At the risk of sounding totally cheesy or cliche, the personal and professional growth I experienced in such a short time truly gave me some perspective. To be surrounded by 350 other like-minded people gave me hope that the generation that everyone seems to be touting as the “generation of change” will do something great. Or many great somethings.

I was able to participate in this conference as I am a recipient of one of the foundation’s In-Course Awards ( this specific fund is being discontinued, there are always plenty of opportunities through websites (such as and even through Ryerson to receive scholarship money. And you never know when you’ll be given the opportunity to participate in something like this, which is more beneficial than money could ever be.

I encourage you all (regardless of the status you may attach to yourself) to get involved in your program or even in the wider community. Not only does it strengthen your chances to receive financial assistance (yay money!), but you will become a better person for it. Such involvement helps you to understand your place in the world, which I feel is a large aspect of any Arts-based program, especially one like Arts & Contemporary Studies. University is all about growth, and the importance of taking the opportunities afforded to you can’t be stressed enough.

Plus, there can be lots of good food. And you could learn Kung Fu. =)

Two of the teen poets from the "Slam High" group. Check out "slam poetry" on youtube for a treat.

The results of "anything goes".

My roommates in Room 437. Left to right is Emma (Toronto School of Dance Theatre), Emily (McGill), me and Janet (University of New Brunswick).
Open mic night at the 10th floor lounge. People sang, recited poetry (both slam and otherwise) and danced. This girl played the Hungarian fiddle and sang along (IN HUNGARIAN)! Unbelievable.
M-Space: What's Next?" keynote.
Dancing (Bollywood and otherwise) on the last night together. Bittersweet.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jerome Morgan and T.O. 2 Rio

My name is Jerome Morgan and I am a fourth year psychology student. Over the summer I traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a four-week experiential learning project. This project was called “T.O. 2 RIO” and was also an initiative I developed for the Faculty of Arts Experiential Learning Grant. I have always wanted to connect social justice work in the community to academic learning. The Faculty of Arts Grant gave me that opportunity to get support for something I was passionate about.

When I was in Brazil I was able to learn and grow with the community through participation in community festivals, initiatives and volunteering in youth programs. I was given the opportunity to build stronger bonds with my host family, learn more about the social environment of the low income and racialized communities of Rio de Janeiro. I also shared who I was as a university student, Canadian and eldest of 6 children, with Jamaican/African ancestry with the community. The overall experience challenged me in a way to live my life today, better than yesterday. I also recognized that this initiative opened up a huge window of knowledge and awareness around my future goals.

I am currently working with Dr. Wade Pickren, (a cultural psychologist) on a cross-cultural research practicum project and I will be earning a credit at the end of the semester. This research project looks at Liberation psychology in Brazil and other countries in South America. When completed I will be transcribing it into Brazilian Portuguese and sending back copies to community members. I will also be using this research practicum in my graduate school application, in my goal to study cultural anthropology.

I hope this initiative inspires the Ryerson community to think outside of the box of how learning can be transformed in and out of the classroom.

To learn more about the Faculty of Arts' Student Experiential Learning Project Grants and how you could be a recipient of up to $1500 visit the Faculty of Arts Involvement Fair on September 30th from 10:30am-2pm on the upper floor of the Hub Cafeteria.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ACSer Ali begins her adventures in PEI

Fellow Artsies:

So I'm an East Coaster now! I know what most of you are thinking...“Wow, Ali just can't make up her mind about what she wants to do / where she wants to go.” Now while this is partially true, (indecision is one of my famous traits), I would also like to point out that an exchange was always part of my university game plan, even when I was going to school in B.C. to begin with.

(The Confederation Bridge stretches from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island. It's about 13 kms long and cost over a $1 billion dollars! You don't have to pay to get to PEI, but you have to pay $42.50 to leave it.)

Now, the Arts & Contemporary studies program is a little unconventional. While they do have exchange agreements in place, the relative age of the faculty itself means the pre-arranged exchange choices are somewhat limited. I didn’t have time to go and research a variety of schools and do all of that paperwork last year, so basically it was Prince Edward Island or Australia. Now, most people would jump on the latter, because of its warm weather, surfing, good looking people and all of that jazz that you see in the movies. But! The East Coast is definitely not without it's merit (of course it has merit, there would have to be some reason why I chose it)! The people are friendly, attractive and they definitely know how to make some delicious mussels! The province itself is gorgeous...there are tons of rolling hills, oceanside cliffs and an insane amount of red sand.

(Green Gables. You could tour the inside too, which was neat)

Andddddd they love Anne of Green Gables. Lucy Maud Montgomery has her own museum and everything, and it’s all part of the Prince Edward Island National Park. Apparently tons of Japanese tourists fly to Green Gables to get married (for an exorbitant amount of money) before flying home and having a traditional wedding. Craziness! Anne even has her own potato chips and soda pop, and her books are piled high in every Wal-mart and grocery store around!

(This is Blanchard Hall. I live in the third floor to the right of that entranceway. )
I live in Blanchard Hall, which is a residence that is designated for upper-year, mature and transfer students. I really lucked out and got placed with an extremely sweet girl named Samantha. We are pretty much the same person (except she is way quieter!), because this is her first time at UPEI and her third post-secondary institution. Plus she’s in the Nutrition program, so she can cook me really yummy meals! =) My only problem is that my room is too big! I’m so used to living in my shoebox in Toronto, so I don’t have enough stuff to even put in here.
(This is the Main Building (pretty east name to remember huh?) where 3 out of my 4 classes are.)
The campus is beautiful (and so small)! There are only about 3,500 students, so it is a huge change from Ryerson...but definitely a welcome one. There is definitely a very good community feel here, just like in the ACS program...the administration very frequently address people by name and greet them when they pay their tuition. Every professor also recognizes their previous students. You really get the feeling that these professors invest a lot of time and effort into building a relationship with these students. And it definitely shows. All of my professors are wonderful and you can tell that they are extremely knowledgeable about their area. I know that I am up for a challenging semester, but I am definitely excited to start learning again. I’m taking Children’s Literature, 18th Century Literature, Social Psychology and Collective Behaviour & Social Movements.

The courses here are markedly different in structure than at Ryerson. Two of my three classes don’t have finals, and none of them have mid-terms. Which is good...until you realize that you have about 30 writing assignments to due in a little over three months! One of my courses actually has 40% designated to participation. This means they expect a lot (ie. journal responses, attendance, online discussions and in-class discussions), but I feel like perhaps I learn more efficiently that way. This forces me to stay on top of my reading all semester, not just at the beginning!

I am also embarking on a little experiment...working while at school. I’ve never done this before, but as part of the EDGE exchange program, the EDGE co-ordinator (Dr. Bill Whelan) sets you up with a paid work opportunity, either on campus or as a research assistant. This could prove extremely valuable to me down the road, so of course I had to take the opportunity.

(Cavendish Beach. You can see the cliffs in the distance with all of their red sand. When my mom left after visiting for two days, the inside of the van was caked with red dirt! When it rains, the puddles are also red, which is a super cool sight to see.)

I’ll have to keep you guys posted on what happens with that, along with any other exciting developments here on the island. I’ve never visited the Maritimes before, so this is a whole new adventure for me!


(This is a pottery place in North Rustico. I took a picture of it because it has cedar shingles on the side of the house, which almost EVERY house here has. Sometimes they're painted and sometimes they're not, but many are extremely weathered from the Martime climate. Brick is extremely rare to find, especially an entire building made out of it.)

(Lobster traps. These people take their seafood very seriously.)

(This is a clock in the middle of the campus quad.)

(Room 314B!)

(All of the books written on Anne of Green Gables or Lucy Maud Montgomery at the Lucy Maud Museum.)

(So much marketing!)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Where did the summer go?

First of all, a big thank you to everyone who came out on September 1st to take part in the 2009 Faculty of Arts Orientation, Charting Your Course. The event was a big success and we hope you all had as much fun as we did. A special thank you to our upper year Arts students who volunteered to be Orientation Leaders; without you none of it would have been possible.

Next, the moment you've all been waiting for: it's time to announce the winning cheer. The polls are closed, the votes are in and in a landslide result: we've got your winner. Congratulations to the winning group! So without further ado, here's the Faculty of Arts ULTIMATE Cheer (learn it, live it, love it!):

Leader: Arts…Arts…We’re all about the smarts
Everyone: Arts…Arts…We’re all about the smarts

Leader: We’re really really witty (pause) –sharp like darts
Everyone: We’re really really witty (pause) – sharp like darts

Everyone: Arts…Arts…We’re all about the smarts X2

Leader: Sooo many books we carry them in carts Everyone: Sooo many books we carry them in carts

Everyone: Arts…Arts…We’re all about the smarts X3

I hope some of you were able to make it out on Wednesday for Ryerson's Annual Guinness World Record Attempt, where nearly 800 Ryerson students banded together in an effort to beat the record for largest air guitar session. We all got a sweet pair of complimentary sunglasses courtesy of the O-Team to wear while rocking out with our air guitars. If you missed it, check out this segment from Global TV, featuring my Student Life Team co-worker and our fellow Faculty of Arts student, Andrew Bisnauth: (who also appears on this awesome sign, shown on the left...Faculty of Arts students are so cool!)

I can't believe O-Week is already drawing to a close. As I type this the O-Team, Ryerson Orientation Crew and our first year students are having fun in the sun at Beach Day to conclude the 2009 Orientation with a bang. We've still got the long weekend ahead of us before it's back to the lecture halls and endless piles of readings, so grab some friends and make the most of this warm weather.

I'll be returning as your friendly Faculty of Arts student life blogger for the 2009-2010 school year, so as always if you'd like to contribute to the blog or think there's something I should be covering leave a comment or send an e-mail to

See you when classes start!

- Sarah

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Faculty of Arts Cheer Off!

The Faculty of Arts 2009 Orientation is fast approaching... my countdown is on: 5 more sleeps! And here on the Student Life Team we hope you're all excited as you are to get the school year off to a really fun start.

In case you haven't yet heard about this exciting event, here are the details you need:

Date: Tuesday, September 1, 2009.
Time: 10:30am – 4:00pm
Location: Meet in the Upper Gym
Located on the second floor of Kerr Hall West (379 Victoria Street), see campus map. Directional signs to the Upper Gym will be posted inside the building.

This event is MANDATORY for incoming Faculty of Arts students and will include your academic orientation. If you are entering Arts & Contemporary Studies, Criminal Justice, Geographic Analysis, International Economics & Finance, Politics & Governance, Psychology, Sociology or Undeclared Arts in September, please be sure to attend.

We’ll be starting off the day by meeting in the Upper Gym where you’ll sign in and have a chance to mix and mingle with upper year students, staff, faculty, and most importantly: other first year students. We have a full day’s worth of events planned for you that not only promise to be a lot of fun but will also help you orient yourself on campus and settle into university life.
Be sure to print a copy of your timetable off of RAMSS and bring it with you to orientation! For more details, please see our Facebook event or e-mail

The Faculty of Arts at Ryerson is a close-knit community that we're all proud to be a part of. To express our pride and spirit and to get ready for Orientation we've decided to hold a cheer off! We asked all of our orientation volunteers to work in groups to come up with the ULTIMATE Faculty of Arts cheer. The entries are in and now it's up to you to decide which is the best. They're all listed below so your mission, should you choose to complete it, is to read through the list, select your favourite and vote for it in the poll on the left-hand sidebar. So come on Faculty of Arts, let's show the rest of the Ryerson community what we've got!

1. - to the tune of the Looney Tunes song
Art students it’s alright
This is it, your semester of arts
So let’s all have some fun
Now it’s on with the show
This is it!

A-R-T-S, we do it best
we keep it fresh
S-T-R-A, forwards, backwards, anyway
S-T-A-R, we’re the best
It’s who we are!

One: we are the Arts!
OR One: we are from the Arts!
Two: A little louder…
Three: I still can’t hear you…
Four – more, more, more
(Repeat….from quiet to LOUD)!

4. to the tune of the U-G-L-Y song
We’re from the arts,
We’re the best

ACS, Soc, Psyc,
And all the rest

Its all Arts
We are the best!

Leaders: Who at Ryerson has the most heart?
Everyone: We do… The Faculty of Arts X2

Everyone: FOA, FOA X2


Arts Faculty is all we need…
And school spirit we have indeed!
Yay, Arts! X2
Go Ryerson! X2

Leader: Arts…Arts…We’re all about the smarts
Everyone: Arts…Arts…We’re all about the smarts

Leader: We’re really really witty (pause) –
sharp like darts
Everyone: We’re really really witty (pause) – sharp like darts

Everyone: Arts…Arts…We’re all about the smarts X2

Leader: Sooo many books we carry them in carts
Everyone: Sooo many books we carry them in carts

Everyone: Arts…Arts…We’re all about the smarts X3

The Faculty of the Arts…
Is the Best!

We have the smarts
You can’t spell smarts
Without spelling ARTS!

The Faculty of the Arts…
Is the Best! X2

We are the ARTS!
With such big hearts!
Come join our team,
To find YOUR Dream!

There they are, so hurry, hurry and cast your vote... you only have until 4:00pm on August 31st before the poll closes.

Cheers (hehe pun intended),

Friday, August 7, 2009

Money, money, money!

Hello Faculty of Arts students!

This exciting update is specifically for our incoming first year students. Want free money?! Of course you do, so read on.

University can be expensive and so it's important to seek out resources from wherever you can get them. This year there are a new set of bursaries available for first year undergraduate students, the Birchall Bursaries. For the 2009-2010 academic year 5 bursaries of $5,000.00 and 10 bursaries of $2,500.00, will be given out for each of the five undergraduate faculties. Bursaries are renewable. This is a fantastic opportunity and means that a bunch of these bursaries are only available to YOU, first year Faculty of Arts students.

It is shocking how often these types of bursaries don't get applied for and then the money doesn't go to anyone. So, apply apply apply! And hurry! The deadline of August 14 (at noon) is fast appraoching. The application can be found here:, the potential pay-off for filling it out is huge!

That's all folks, I hope you enjoy the beautiful weekend ahead of us.

Until next time,

Friday, July 24, 2009

Positive Space Vlog

Check out the new vlog episode in which Jeff and Jasmine from Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services talk about Ryerson's Positive Space program.
For more information be sure to check out the Ryerson Positive Space web site:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Welcome Thomas!

So I’m going to be honest with you. This is my first BLOG…EVER
I wanted it to be good, and wanted people to like it, so I got a little help from my good friends at WikiHow: “How to start a blog”
So here it goes.
Wish me luck.

I guess I’ll start with a name. My name. My name is Thomas, I tell people I’m from Newmarket, Ontario. When really, I am not. I’m actually from Holland Landing, it’s a small little community in the Town of East Gwillumbury in between Bradford and Newmarket, and no one knows where Holland Landing is so I say Newmarket… even though when I say I’m from Newmarket, people still question where it is? (PS- 45 minutes North of Toronto via GoTrain)

So now you know a little bit more about me, and where I am from…but what am I all about?

Well, commencing Fall 2009, I will be attending RYERSON UNIVERSITY (WOO!) for Politics and Governance! I am ridiculously excited for school to start.
(I haven’t been this excited for school to actually begin in probably…. Ever!)
I cannot seriously wait!
Excited to meet many new friends
Excited to meet many highly educated people
Excited to be in TORONTO for school
Excited to join a new network on Facebook…LMAO (I’m so lame!)
Excited Excited Exxxxxxcited!

So far there are two things that are sucking BIG TIME about Ryerson:
1. The lack of a Ryerson E-mail
a) I need it to join the new network on Facebook. I may not be able to wait until August…the anticipation is killing ME
2. The fact that apparently anyone who attends Ryerson goes into GCM or Business
a) Obviously, I know there are more programs than just business and GCM, but you look at those Ryerson Facebook groups and seriously…everyone goes into GCM or business!
i. What is GCM anyway?
So, now you now know I am going to Ryerson, but what made me choose this place?
Well I picked it for the following reasons:
1) Small class sizes
a) Everyone else is in GCM right?
2) Small tight- knit community
a) Can meet more people
b) Join more clubs
3) Sticking it to other school ;]
a) Getting accepted to great schools like: Western, UToronto, UOttawa, YorkU…
and I picked RYERSON… the obvious better choice
4) Heard great things from:
a) Sister- Social Work (Graduated June 2009!)
b) Uncle- Pre- ‘Ryerson University’ days. When he went it was a polytechnic institute, or something like that
c) Aunt- also went when Ryerson was just a polytechnic school
i. (BTW: I thought it was a Polytechnical…but MicrosoftWord isn’t recognizing ‘polytechnical’ as a word, so I’ll go with the correction ‘polytechnic.’

And lastly…

a) Steps to the Eaton’s Centre
b) Entertainment district a bus stop a way
c) A couple subway stops to City Hall (Boo strike!) and Provincial Buildings (Haha I got to be close to those…I am going into politics!)
d) DOWNTOWN- What could be better than DOWNTOWN TORONTO, the besssst city in the UNIVERSE

So in closing, this is the end of my first BLOG
I sincerely hope you liked it; I did have fun writing it and I hope you learned some stuff about me: name, where I live, where I am going, why I picked Ryerson etc etc, if I write more, maybe you’ll learn more what my favorite color is, or favorite holiday or favorite food or… I’ll just leave it to the next one.


Figure 1 Up Close and Personal

- Thomas

PS- Blue (and Gold), Thanksgiving and Candy :]

Attention: If you, like Thomas, are a new student starting at Ryerson in September take his lead and introduce yourself to the Ryerson community! Just leave a comment on this entry or send your own blog entry to, we'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ryerson Alternative Spring Break

Hey Faculty of Arts!

Check out the new episode in our summer video blog series, in which I interview Dani from Ryerson Alternative Spring Break and learn about how you too can travel with a purpose.


For more information on ASB, check out their web site:


Thursday, June 25, 2009

I March Because I Can

Our very own Faculty of Arts Student Life Coordinator Stephan Tang delivered a beautiful speech at yesterday's RyePride barbecue. If you missed it, never fear: I caught it all on video! However, I apologize in advance for the shaky camera work ...I blame the pesky bugs that kept attacking my face. Nonetheless the moving sentiment of the speech definitely makes it worth watching.
Cheers and Happy Pride!
- Sarah

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cleanse your way into a trendier lifestyle

If you're in an arts programme, social sciences, or have ever uttered the phrase, "I'm going to a show on Queen Street," you have flirted with one of the following lifestyles:

1) Buddhism / Hinduism
2) Bisexuality
3) Vegetarian / Vegan
4) Bohemia
5) Being a writer and penning an autobiography / Writing a fictionalized version of your life so that no one gets pissed off at you for spilling all their secrets .

And the list goes on-

Maybe it's our need as artsy people to try and be at the 'forefront' of all movements, or just a desire to be wacky. I myself have tried my hand at a few of these, most of which did not stick. But there is one trend related to #3 that I did feel an urge to try recently. I did a week-long cleanse diet consisting of raw fruits & vegetables, water, yoga and relaxation.

Everyone has been doing this 'cleanse' thing recently. Well, it's not actually a new thing. The idea of the cleanse has been around for centuries, if not millennia. And it makes sense. Our body consumes a lot of junk that takes longer to expel out of our system than natural foods. Giving your stomach a week of easy eating is a perfectly logical way to put your system back into a healthy groove.

I quickly realized it's true what they say about a Western Diet. We are all addicted to sugar, salt and fat. Only two days in, I was hit with monumental cravings. I felt like I had quit smoking, gone abstinent, and given up my laptop all at once to give you an idea of the emotions that were surging through me.

But each day got easier, and by the end I actually felt overall healthier and more energetic. I also relished going out with people and saying things like, "Oh, I can't have French Fries. I'm on a cleanse." It is definitely something I will revisit again in the future.

So, I learned my lesson. A carrot stick is worth a chocolate bar any day. All you natural food people were right. Cleansing is more than a fad. It's a legitimately cleansing experience.

See you all at Fresh.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Welcome to PRIDE 2009

Despite today’s Pride flag raising at City Hall being cancelled because of the strike, a crew of us from Ryerson headed out to revel in the excitement that is the opening of Toronto’s Pride Week 2009. Luckily for us The 519 was having a flag unfurling of its own, so we headed up Church Street to watch.
Video of the Pride flag unfurling at the 519.
In case you've never heard of this amazing place the 519 Church Street Community Centre is a welcoming place for the LGBTT2IQQ community and their allies. Offering a wide range of programs and services, including counselling and advice, the 519 is an excellent resource and is located just up the street from campus. For more information on the centre and the services they provide, check out their web site:

If you've missed out on the opening festivities of Pride, never fear: a fun and exciting week awaits us! As it stands right now, Pride Toronto says that the city's labour disruption will not interrupt any of the other events scheduled for the week. For a complete listing of the Toronto Pride 2009 events visit: But be sure to check out the following events organized by the university's very own RyePride:

Tuesday, June 23rd - GTA Placard and Banner Making
6-8pm at the University of Toronto Students’ Union (12 Hart House Circle)
We’ve got the materials, so bring your creative side and make your own placard or banner for PRIDE.

Wednesday, June 24th – Pride BBQ (Students, faculty and staff invited!)
12-1:30pm at the Ram in the Rye patio
PRIDE is a time reclaim, unite the community and be free!
FREE BBQ LUNCH for first 125 Ryerson members with I.D. Non-Ryerson will receive a discount with student I.D.
RSVP by June 23rd –

Saturday, June 27th – Dyke March
1pm, meet at Church and Hayden Sts. (SE corner)
All self-identified women lesbians/bisexuals/trans women are encouraged to join.

Sunday, June 28th – Pride Parade
12pm, meet at Church and Bloor Sts. (NE corner)
Everyone is welcome! Celebrate with Ryerson in the parade!

Sunday, June 28th – Post-Pride Parade Party
4-9pm at the Ram in the Rye Patio.
This is a joint CUPE and GTA Students’ Union party.

I hope to see you all at

Our Ryerson crew outside of the 519, waiting for the Pride flag unfurling.

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's Cultural Recycling, Not Cultural Garbage

I saw the new Star Trek film last week. It was apparently an attempt to revive the series by way of big budgets, action sequences, and good looking new actors.

And it worked. The movie was very accessible to a layperson who knows nothing about Klingons or Cardassians (note: I was shocked to see that spell check did not pick up 'Klingon' as a spelling mistake. Star Trek has permeated spell check!). I have heard some complaints though. There are fans who find it appalling that the movie creates a new continuity that is not necessarily in canon with the original films. Phrases like 'unfaithful' or 'betrayal' have been thrown around.

This is an unfair judgement. All the best stories are meant to be told again and again in new forms. The fact that Star Trek is starting over shows how strong the themes and characters are that they continue to reappear in our culture. The movie is not an insult, but the greatest compliment to a series that had started to become irrelevant.

This happened has happened before. A few years ago, when the film 'Troy' was released people were devastated that Homer's Iliad had not been followed word-for-word. In reality, there were many different versions of what happened at Troy, and the film was just putting its own spin on it. Maybe it was too commercial and Hollywood- but that's the world we live in.

So, I implore you all to give every remake, revision, and reinvention a chance. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go catch 90210.


For more on the Star Trek argument, check out this video at The Onion

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A look into our futures...

I can’t believe how quickly the last two years have flown by, which means that I am already half way through my undergraduate career. However, I know that when I’m struggling to keep on top of readings, assignments and exams for five courses it often seems as if I’ll never get through it. But lately I’ve gotten a couple of glimpses at the light at the end of the tunnel that I’d like to share with you.

Congratulations graduates!
This spring that Faculty of Arts is proud to have 227 graduating students; many of whom took the stage at Tuesday’s convocation ceremony to receive their degrees, thus making the transition from Ryerson students to Ryerson alumni. The spring 2009 convocation is a special milestone for the Faculty of Arts as it marks the first time that all of our full-time undergraduate programs have had graduating students. It was exciting to watch as the students who have worked so hard for the last four years were rewarded for their perseverance and dedication. Congratulations to all of you and good luck as you take these first steps into your new lives as university graduates.

Top 30 Under 30
Ryerson’s Alumni magazine has compiled their first annual list of the University’s Top 30 Under 30 Graduates. I’m proud to say that two Faculty of Arts graduates made the cut! Of course there are many other successful Faculty of Arts graduates pursuing exciting careers, however, it’s always great to see the achievements of our alumni recognized in print. To check out the article go to:

I hope these examples highlighted for you, as they did for me, how much the hard work we’re all putting in now will pay off in the end. And as always, if you know of anything relevant to Ryerson’s Faculty of Arts students that should be featured on this blog, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me:


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Welcome Elina!

Hey Faculty of Arts!
Please welcome Elina, an incoming Politics & Governance student and a member of our blogging team. Check out her fantastic introductory vlog entry below. Some technical difficulties stopped me from being able to get this file to you guys earlier but never fear, you can look forward to hearing from her throughout the summer as she begins her transition from high school to university.
If you want to become a member of our student blogging team (don't worry no video editing skills required - written entries are a-okay) please e-mail me at Incoming and current students welcome!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Career Seedlings: Student Advocate

This is a little segment I like to call Career Seedlings. Ryerson has multiple opportunities where students can get involved in their community or field of interest, and I want to highlight that. Some of these individuals have taken one stop closer to their dream job by taking initiative. Here are some of their stories.

Kaitlyn Lubniewski: Student Advocate

Kaitlyn is a third year student in the Faculty of Arts, working as a Student Advocate through CESAR (Continuing Educations Student Associate at Ryerson).

What exactly does a student advocate do?

I guide students through academic policies and procedures to make sure they're not taken advantage of. Mainly I provide services relating to academic appeals, and grades standing. If students are accused of academic misconduct (cheating, plagiarism) they come to me for advice.

Why is what you do important?

School policies can be confusing. Students might end up calling several different people to get the answers they need. A student advocate is someone that is on your side, and will work with you. We help defend those who might not be sure what their rights are in the realm of university.

Where would you like your career to go, and how will this current position help?

I'm currently exploring art therapy or marriage counseling as possibly future jobs. Being a student advocate is a huge push in the right direction for me. Like therapy and counseling, it's all about listening to people, and finding the best way to help them.

How do you juggle working this job, and taking school simultaneously?
I get to help people everyday before I'm even done my undergrad degree. It's something I'm passionate about. And it still leaves me plenty of time to do well in school.

Any advice you'd give to students who might need the assistance of a student advocate one day?
Don't mess around. Look over your policies carefully. Your academic life and your career are closely connected. You don't want to take any risks in that sense.

Kaitlyn is a third year ASC student, pursuing the general ACS option. She is involved in multiple school events, including 'Drop Fees' through CESAR.

- gint

Friday, June 12, 2009

RedBall at Ryerson

Faculty of Arts Student Life video bloggers, Sarah and Idil, with the RedBall.
Being situated right in the middle of downtown Toronto means that, whether it’s a musical event, a cultural festival or a political protest, there’s always something exciting going down on or around the Ryerson campus. But what did I find when I made my way towards Jorgenson Hall en route to work this morning? A big (and I mean huge) red ball. While I did do a bit of a double-take, I had already heard about this nomadic art piece, which is showing up in different parts of the city as part of the LuminaTO festival. Otherwise, I might have feared aliens had showed up to play tricks on us during the night.

The RedBall Project is the brain child of Kurt Perschke and it has already travelled around other major cities across the globe, from Chicago to Barcelona but this is the RedBall’s premiere visit to Canada. Through his travelling installation Perschke hopes to help us re-imagine our urban spaces, to reveal the infinite possibilities that lay beneath our seemingly everyday cityscapes. The LuminaTO web site explains, “RedBall represents an immediate creative impulse embedded in all of us - the simple act of seeing afresh.”

So if you’re around campus today be sure to come check out this perspective-changing, world travelling piece of urban art because not only is the RedBall at Ryerson today but it’s right in front of the Podium building, our very own Faculty of Arts turf! If you have an encounter with the RedBall send photos to and we’ll post them on the blog!

There’s never a dull moment here at Ryerson University and that’s what I love about it.


For more information on the RedBall Project:

Friday, June 5, 2009

Doors Open Toronto

I recently went out and explored "Doors Open Toronto." It's an annual events wherein a lot of unique or noteworthy buildings are opened to the public to view. I decided to check out New City Hall, Old City Hall specifically. These are building I pass by frequently, and yet have never been inside. I certainly didn't find anything earth-shattering while touring either structure, but it did give me a visual of the city's inner workings.

The Doors Open Toronto project shed some light on culture in the city for me. There was an expansive list of places to visit, and while I was only able to see a few, it got me more motivated to get to know my city better. There are plenty of awesome sites that many people have never visited. Three stand out in my mind that are entertainging to go to, no matter how many times you've been there.

The Toronto Islands

We have an island. Need I say more? You can go to the hedge maze, nude beach, or just have a wholesome time biking through this oft-missed gem.

The Reference Library

This is definitely not just a place for nerds (though if you have a soft spot for nerds, it is a good hunting ground). This library has many events dedicated to different specialties like music, film and acting. It also has books. Check out the $1 used book store on the first floor.

St. Lawrence Market

If you're meat inclined, you can get the best veal sandwich in the city, while enjoying the old-timey feeling of a real market complete with butchers and fishmongers. If a bit more of a hippy, then you can get the best grilled veggie sandwich in the city, and stare in horror at hundreds of animals being butchered and mongered.
- gint

Monday, June 1, 2009

Faculty of Arts. The Ever-Expanding Winning Team

Here's another great entry from our student blogging team member, Gint. Check it out, he is quite the blogging sensation! And look under the Student Blogging Team section on the left-hand side for a link to his personal blog.

It's no secret that the Faculty of Arts has been expanding rapidly since its inception a some years back. Carla Cassidy, dean of our faculty, comments on this on the Ryerson website: "The Faculty of Arts is undergoing dramatic growth as we introduce programs, new undergraduate and graduate degrees, and a fresh approach to education."

It's no surprise then, that we have students transferring over from all walks of life. Michelle Melski was in her third year in Journalism, and decided to make the switch to the Faculty of Arts. This budding writer is confidant that a move to Arts and Contemporary Studies will help her achieve her goals.

Why the switch from journalism at Ryerson?

Journalism is a great programme, but it's geared towards applied knowledge. I want to work more on my conceptual thinking. I'm also not a competitive person, so I found it too stressful. Journalism will always be a part of my life though. I've made many good contacts through it. I'm going to be interviewing the Jonas Brothers when they come to Toronto host the MMVAs. I'm doing that as a freelance journalist for the magazine, Tiger Beat. Currently I'm interning at Remote Stylist. A one stop destination for deals, trends and advice in the home decor world.

What will the Faculty Arts provide for you?

I'm looking to broaden my view of the world. I also want to fulfill my novel fix. There's lots of reading in ACS. I also love writing essays. I have a lot of friends in ACS, and they speak highly of it. I know I'll be in good company.

How will the switch help your career?

I would ideally like to be a writer of some sort. My ultimate goal is to write a novel. A good novel. To be skilled at anything, you need to know the backstory. ACS will certainly cover that with its broad study of history, literature and philosophy. A programme like that can only improve my writing skills.

Michelle Melski is currently interning for Remote Stylist, an online home decor destination. She will be joining us at the Faculty of Arts this upcoming September.

- gint

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Welcome Gint!

So I'm here to post something I'm very excited about: the first entry from one of our student blogging team members! This is Gint's introductory entry but let me tell you, this guy has lots of exciting stuff in store for you guys. Enjoy!


I'm Gint Paul Sileika (the 'g' in Gint is a hard 'g' like guppy, not like gin and tonic)

I'll be taking the reigns of the Faculty of Arts Blog for the summer. It's a project that I'm happy to be a part of, because it lets me share the good times I've had at Ryerson's Faculty of Arts, as well as my time being involved in the culture of downtown Toronto. If I can get people more involved in their school and creative communities, I will be able to sleep all the better at night.

A little about me: I'm going into by third or fourth year of ACS, depending how you look at it. I took some time off in third year to work at the bank for a semester. But the workforce gave me a craving to come back to school, and I'm glad I did. I'm a bit of a keener as school activities go. By second year I was involved in the ACS course union (ACSSU) where I did a semester stint as treasurer. I also volunteered at the VAST programme wherein you spend time at the local Regent Park elementary, and give some assistance to classroom teachers. 2007 was also the year myself and some fellow ACSers put together The Continuist, an student arts and literature zine that we run through the faculty. Email if you want more info or to submit on all that.

I have some dreams too, like the rest of us. I would love to do my masters in English Language at UBC one day, or maybe in Rhetoric at Waterloo. Maybe be a prof. Or perhaps a novelist on the side. Teach English in Japan and France. I would love to do everything at once. But for now, I'm happy with what I've got, and where I'm at. I hope you all check out the blog, and share some of your own moments and experiences.

- gint

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Art of Life Re-Launch

Hello current and future Arts students!

Sarah here! I've been re-hired by the Faculty of Arts Student Life team so I will remain your faithful blogger all summer long. One thing I promise you can look forward to is much more frequent updates; I'll be blogging like it's my full-time job (because it is!) But to learn what else I have in store for you, check out episode one in our summer video blog (or vlog) series.

I hope you enjoyed that! And if you are interested in becoming part of the blogging team, have ideas for what type of information we should feature here or have feedback on our new layout, please get in touch! You can send an e-mail to, give me a shout (416.979.5000 ext. 2718) or stop by my office in POD 344-C. Also, if you want to get in touch with my lovely vlog co-host, Idil, her e-mail is We look forward to hearing from you! Also, make sure that you're always in the know; become a fan of the Faculty of Arts on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sari Soldiers screening

In anticipation of the upcoming International Humans Rights Film Festival being held in Toronto the Ryerson Human Rights Film Festival Students Committee, in conjunction with Human Rights Watch Canada, presented a free screening of the film Sari Soldiers at Ryerson on Thursday, February 5, 2009. The film, which is being presented at this year’s festival, told the powerful story of six women and their heroic efforts to shape the future of Nepal in the context of an oppressive monarchy and an escalating civil war against Maoist insurgents. The film was successful in transporting viewers into a world completely different than the one we know in Canada and had a profound impact on many audience members.

In addition to having the privilege of viewing this important film, attendants of the screening were treated to a short talk from founder of the Toronto International Film Festival and former Executive Director and current Chair of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Helga Stephenson. Helga informed the audience about the essential work performed by Human Rights Watch and filled us in on her own personal journey that led her to become involved with the organization.

The film festival, which is being from February 24 – March, 5, 2009, offers students the exciting opportunity to learn about important human rights issues going on worldwide. Furthermore, because Ryerson is home to a Human Rights Film Festival Student Committee our students are able to purchase tickets for the festival at the discounted price of $5 each.

For festival details, please visit the web site:

To order tickets (at the special Ryerson student of $5 per screening), please e-mail and let them know which shows you are interested in and the number of tickets you are looking for.

To learn more about Human Rights Watch, please visit their web site:
I hope to see you all at the festival.

Until next time,

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Red Carpet Affair

January 17th marked the Annual Faculty of Arts Course Union Dinner and Dance, the Red Carpet Affair. The venue for the event was transformed with Hollywood-themed decorations in order to give students a taste of the red carpet lifestyle. Held at the downtown Courtyard Mariott the evening was a roaring success, with approximately 150 students coming out to enjoy the fun. Delicious food, including chicken and a mushroom ravioli dish, along with lots of deserts, were available in a dinner buffet. There was also a cash bar for those who were old enough to drink. After dinner a DJ played a great blend of current hits and favourites from the past and got everybody dancing. This fun-filled evening offered a who’s who in the Faculty of Arts, so if you missed out on the excitement this year, make sure you keep your ears open and don’t make the same mistake next year!