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