Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Appealing a grade

Did you get a grade that you think is legitimately unfair for any reason? If so, visit this RSU website to learn what grounds Ryerson Policy deems as legitimate for appealing a grade and learn about the process you will need to go through to do so. The RSU will help you learn the skills you need and support you through this process.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Arteries 2011

The fourth annual ARTeries Research Essay Conference is just around the corner!

ARTeries aims to provide a forum for registered Ryerson undergraduate students to present their best essays to their peers. Hosted by the Faculty of Arts, ARTeries 2011 will promote undergraduate research through the sharing of ideas within and across disciplines.

We welcome essays that are related to the humanities and social sciences. More specifically, we are looking for papers on Caribbean Studies; Criminal Justice and Criminology; Economics; English; French; Spanish; Geography; History; Music; Philosophy; Politics and Governance/Public Administration; Psychology; and Sociology.

Important Dates:
Final date to submit entries January 24th, 2011
Selected participants will be contacted by February 7th, 2011
The fourth ARTeries conference takes place on March 4th, 2011

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 (.doc, .docx), to the following address:

The body of 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 200 words).

In addition, please submit a 150 word biography and a photograph of yourself (no more than 250×250, in .jpg format). Please be advised that if selected to present at Arteries, this information will be used on the Ryerson website and the Arteries blog.

Submission deadline:
All submissions must be received via email by January 24th, 2010, 11:59pm.

Selection Process:
A panel of three professors and three senior students from the Faculty of Arts will review all submissions. Students whose essays have been selected will present their work in short sessions on March 4th, 2011.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Buy Nothing Christmas

Have you heard of "Buy Nothing Christmas"? The idea is that being inundated with advertising enticing us to buy things throughout the holiday season distracts us from what this time should really be about: togetherness. It also forces us to consider the social and environmental impact of buying all of this stuff that we don't need and wrapping it in coloured paper that is harmful for the environment Whether or not you believe with the religious organization that spurred this moment, their site offers this really great list of alternatives to storebought presents, including homemade and recycled gifts that will lessen the strain on your wallet, have a lighter impact on the environment and ultimately be more meaningful.

Do you plan on participating in "Buy Nothing Christmas" in anyway? Do you ever make homemade gifts during the holidays?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday cards for a good cause

Sometimes I feel silly forking out all the money it costs to buy a greeting card but with the United Way Ryerson Holiday Cards you don't have to. These cards are available at the book store and all of the designs were created by Ryerson students. For $5 you will get a pack of six and all of the proceeds go to support the United Way.

Monday, December 6, 2010

How to survive holiday party season without gaining a pound

We all know that the holidays are a time when sweet treats and fatty foods are everywhere we turn. It can be difficult to retain any dedication to our health goals or even a sense of moderation when this temptation is constantly around us. Holistic nutritionist Meghan Telpner offers these tips for "Tempering Temptation" during the holiday season.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Important Dates in December

Friday December 3: Classes end for full- and part-time undergraduate programs.
Final date to pick up OSAP loan documents with a December year end.

Monday, December 6 to Saturday, December 18: Fall term undergraduate examination period, including Saturday, December 11.

Friday, December 10: Deadline for clearing any Fall 2010 and prior outstanding debt, library book/fine, or other borrowed property in excess of $10 to ensure that Fall 2010 grades are not withheld.

Week of December 13: The Chang School classes end.

Saturday, December 18: Official end of term for undergraduate programs.

Thursday, December 23 to Sunday, January 2: Mid-Year Break, the University will close at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 22. The University will re-open at 8 a.m. on Monday January 3, 2011.

Saturday, December 25: Fall 2010 grades are posted on RAMSS.

Wednesday, December 29, 5:30 am : Enrollment Appointments for 4th year students commence via RAMSS
8:00 pm: Enrollment Appointments for 3rd year students commence via RAMSS

Thursday, December 30, 12:00 pm: Enrollment Appointments for 2nd year students commence via RAMSS

Friday, December 31, 12:00 pm: Enrollment Appointments for 1st year students commence via RAMSS

Exam Preparation Tips from the Learning Success Centre

After slogging through a long, busy semester it's often hard to muster the energy to effectively study for exams. The last day of classes comes around and all I want to do is revel in my newfound freedom far away from all of my books. Of course the results of proper studying is welll worth the effort but sometime's it's hard to know where to begin.

The Learning Success Centre has got your back! Their Exam Preparation site includes tips for studying for different types of exams (ie. multiple choice vs. essay exams), strategies for studying (ie. creating questions about your material and then seeing if you can answer them), as well as information about managing exam anxiety.

Take a few minutes to check out this web site because having the tools to study effectively will go a long ways to ensuring that you are able to adequately prepare for your exams.

Good luck!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What's the Deal?: Get a Comb, Because Everything Is TANGLED!

[Image Source]

This Wednesday, Disney’s Tangled was released, and I went to watch it with some friends as a little stress reliever from exams and assignments. This movie was AMAZING! Even though it’s Disney, no matter what age you are, you will enjoy this movie. It was very funny, and it even made me cry! Not only was the animation amazing, but the soundtrack tied everything together!
So if you want a good stress reliever or just an all around fun-filled movie, make sure you check out Tangled. Go down to the Student Centre and buy some discount movie tickets to either the AMC Theatre or Cineplex Theatres and go watch TANGLED!

Written by Krystle Yeung, 1st year Undeclared Arts student

Friday, November 26, 2010

Free Fun: Go Outside!!

Looking for something fun to do when you're not immersed in books and essay writing but don't have a lot cash to do it? I know the feeling! That's why I'm on the look out for fun things to do in Toronto that don't cost a penny. If you know of something, e-mail me at!

(Humber River, source)

Alright, alright, I get it... the cold weather is coming and the dreaded S-word is on the back of everyone's minds. That's right, it's going to snow soon, so what kind of crazy person is going to tell you to have fun by going outside?! Well, I am.

Living in the city, it often feels like I'm surrounded by concrete 24/7 and it's easy to forget how many natural wonders are all around us and how much history our streets are holding. Spending more time outside is good for your health and your sanity, and I'm sure some would say... your soul. So these chances for free fun are all centered around having fun outside, whether its getting back to nature or gaining a greater appreciation for our cityscapes.

Visit the Evergreen Brickworks and walk around the 40-acre green space, visit the year-round farmers' market, check out the diverse wildlife in the gardens, skate along the winter ice trail and the many other exciting attractions at this innovative environmental centre. Accessible by bike, transit and foot, click here to plan your route.

Hike around the Humber Arboretum and enjoy the gardens, forests, meadows and wetlands that this wonderful park has to offer. In addition to tours, they also offer a self-guided Discovery Walk designed to help you make the most of your visit. Accessible by transit and car, click here to choose your route.

Visit the critters at Riverdale Farm. How can you not love a city that has an actual farm just minutes from the downtown core? Complete with fuzzy animals (the farm breeds "pioneer breeds" that are no longer common on commercial farms), a weekly farmers' market, a pond and lush gardens. What better way is there to escape the hussle and bustle of city life without ever leaving the city? Click here to plan your route (hint: it's walking distance from campus!)

Stop and smell the flowers at Allan Gardens Conservatory. Alright, you're going to be going inside for this one but it's nature-y and SO close to campus, I couldn't resist putting it in. Located in Allan Gardans on the South side of Carlton between Sherbourne and Jarvis, enter this amazing greenhouse that houses plants from all over the world, from cacti to palm trees. Visit in December to see their seasonal holiday display.

Download one of the City of Toronto's free Discovery Walk, grab some friends or perhaps turn it into a fun, low-budget date ;), and hit the streets to start discovering the wonders of this city we live in.

It might be a little tourist-y but walking around the pedestrian-only areas of the historic Distillery District is a great way to spend an afternoon. Check out galleries and the wares of local artistans and then, if you've got a few dollars to spend, warm up over drinks or a steaming hot cup of cocoa in one of the neighbourhood's adorable pubs.

Take the 501 street car to the east end of down and having a calming walk along the lake through Woodbine Beach and the neighbouring Ashbridges Bay. It's incredible how much stress falls away just from spending some time by the water.

Head out to the west end of the city and take a hike along the Humber River and if you wait till the warmer months, consider bringing some friends, packing and picnic and making a day of it.

So there you have it, a few ways to get outside, explore the city, get back to nature and if you ride your bike to your destination, you won't even have to spend a penny. Do you have a favourite place or activity that allows you to spend more time outside? E-mail it to or leave a comment so I can share it with everyone.

With that, I'll leave you with this song which is not only bang-on with today's theme but has also been stuck in my head all week. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

International Tea House - Europe and South America

The Faculty of Arts Student Life Team is collaborating with International Services for Students to bring you an International Tea House. Take a break from all that studying and essay-writing to celebrate the holiday season while experiencing the culture of Europe and South America. The event will include brief informational talks, a video, games and food from some of the cultures in these regions.

The Details:
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
3:30-5:00pm in POD 152
Please RSVP to
In addition to the day’s activities we’ll also have information on research the Faculty of Arts is doing in Europe and South America and opportunities available for you to travel to these regions. This is an event you don’t want to miss!

If you have any information you want to contribute to the “Faculty of Arts in Europe and South America” booth please e-mail

Looking forward to seeing you at the Tea House!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Get Involved with the Philosophy Club

Are you interested in looking at the philosophical dimensions of, well, everything? Then check out the Ryerson Philosophy Club! You can go to their web site and sign up for their newsletter in order to be informed about about philosophical things happening at Ryerson, in Toronto, and on-line.

In the past, the club has:
- hosted "Films and Beers with Profs and Peers" nights
- hosted philosophy lectures intended for the greater public
- hosted reading groups
- talked with high school students interested in philosophy

Currently, the club is looking for a leader. Might that be you? Interested students should e-mail:

Getting involved with a student group is the perfect way to enrich your academic experience by demonstrating how all that stuff we study in the classroom can apply to real life. Plus, it can be really fun and exciting to connect with other students who have similar interests as you.

What groups are you involved with and how has your involvement with them shaped your university experience?

Friday, November 19, 2010

WUSC Referendum Results Challenged

We spent a week talking about WUSC and the Student Refugee Program Referendum at Ryerson. It was a tight race but the referendum was passed with 1,302 voting yes and 1,092 voting no. However, now the results of the referendum are being challenged. You can read the details here. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Free Fun: Consume Some Culture

Looking for something fun to do when you're not immersed in books and essay writing but don't have a lot cash to do it? I know the feeling! That's why I'm on the look out for fun things to do in Toronto that don't cost a penny. If you know of something, e-mail me at!

I'm back with more free, fun things to do in Toronto. This time I've rounded up a list of cultural insititutions that you can visit absolutely free. So get out there and immerse yourself in culture!

Toronto Free Gallery
1277 Bloor Street West, Wednesday-Friday 12-5pm, Saturday 12-6pm
Web Site.

Toronto Sculpture Garden
115 King Street East
Web Site.

Canadian Opera Company's Free Concert Series
145 Queen St. W., Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon, some Wednesdays at noon and 5:30pm
Web Site.

The Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas Street W., Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30pm
Web Site.

The Bata Shoe Museum
327 Bloor Street W., Thursday from 5:00-8:00pm is Pay What You Can
Web Site.

The Redpath Sugar Museum
95 Queens Quay E., Monday - Friday, 10.00a.m. - 12.00 noon, 1.00 p.m. - 3.30. p.m.
Call (416) 933-8341 or e-mail in advance to confirm your visit
Web Site.

Toronto Police Museum and Discovery Centre
40 College Street, 8:00am-4:00pm Monday-Friday
Web Site.

The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA)
952 Queen Street W., 11pm-6pm Tuesday-Sunday
Web Site.

Gardiner Museum
111 Queens Park, 30 years of age and under (with ID) every Friday after 4pm, now until January 28, 2011, FREE for Post-Secondary Students every Tuesday (with valid ID)
Web Site.

Textile Museum of Canada
55 Centre Ave., Pay What You Can from 4:00-8:00pm on Wednesday evenings
Web Site.

Have I missed something? E-mail so I can add it to the list!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Finding a Balance Between School and Your Social Life

At this time of year it can seem like life is just school, school, school 24/7 and dedicating time to anything else can induce guilt and panic attacks. Check out these great tips from Student Ambassador, Corinne, on finding a balance between school and your social life.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Free Fun: Films on Friday

Looking for something fun to do when you're not immersed in books and essay writing but don't have a lot cash to do it? I know the feeling! That's why I'm on the look out for fun things to do in Toronto that don't cost a penny. If you know of something, e-mail me at!

The Cinema Studies Student Union at U of T hosts weekly film screenings that are open to the public and best of all, absolutely free! Plus, films start at 7pm so you can squeeze them in post-dinner and before you go out on the town.

Today the group is hosting a screening of Mansfield Park, the 1999 romantic comedy loosely based on the Jane Austen novel. So pop some popcorn, grab a friend and head on over to Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Avenue) at 7pm to immerse yourself in the world of Fanny Price. And if you're a film buff you'll be excited to hear that writer/director of the film, Patricia Rozema, will be in attendance!

Visit for a list of all their upcoming screenings.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Join the Team!

Want to help make The Art of Life a more valuable resource for students, get more involved with the faculty, meeting exciting people and gain valuable blogging experience?

Why not join the Faculty of Arts Student Life Blogging team?

We're a group of students who write about everything from upcoming events in the Faculty of Arts to great places to eat around campus, and anything in between! If it affects your life as a student, it's fair game for blogging material.

The great thing is, your time commitment to the team can be as large or as little as you'd like. Whether you're interested in writing a one-time piece on an issue you think is really important for Faculty of Arts students to know about or want to start a weekly series of short entries, we're totally flexible.

E-mail if you have any questions or just to let me know that you're interested.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Work it Wednesdays: Get In Your 10,000 Steps

As a student it can be hard to find time to work exercise into our busy schedules. Whatever good intentions we may have on Sunday night, most of us are worn down by the time Wednesday comes along and are just counting down the minutes until the weekend hits. This series will focus on easy, manageable ways to work exercise into your daily life without ever having to 'hit the gym' so that we can work it all week long.

Get In Your 10,000 Steps

Current research shows that to be healthy, a person should be walking 10,000 steps a day. Considering the average person's step length, that's more than 8km! While this might seem like a daunting task, being more mindul of our daily walking distance and taking measures to incorporate more steps into our schedules can make getting your 10,000 daily steps more feasiable.

Try these tips to help you take more steps each day:
  • Download a pedometer app for your smartphone or buy a cheap pedometer (you can find them for $10-20 at most running stores) to measure how many steps you currently take in an average day.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you live in the top floor of the building, getting off even a few floors early and walking up can go a long way to increasing your step count. Increase the number of floors you walk up as you go along.
  • Get off the subway, streetcar or bus a stop or two early to get in some extra steps on your way to and from campus.
  • Walk to the store or if you must drive, park farther away than you normally would.
  • Plan more outings in your neighbourhood so that you can walk to your destination.
  • Go for a walk on your study break. You'll be more focused when you go back to the books and you can get some exercise in at the same time.
  • Next time you go for a coffee date with a friend, get your drinks to-go and catch up with your pal as you wander the streets of this wonderful city.
  • Don't try to do it all at once. The experts seem to advocate adding no more than 500/day steps per week, so that you don't get discouraged. So if you're currently walking 3000 steps a day, make it your goal that next week it will be 3500 and start using some of these tips to help you get there.
How do you incorporate more walking into your life? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear!

Have a tip for incorporating more exercise into our daily lives? E-mail it to and I'll post it on the blog!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What's the Deal?: Want a Money Saver?

Do you like to shop? Do you like to eat out or take out rather then eat in and cook? Are all those costs just piling up on you? Really want a money saver? Then get the SPC card. SPC cards are made for students, all you need is your Student ID. You can get hundreds of discounts for stores, restaurants and more! Here are just SOME of the discounts you can get if you have this card!

Aldo – 10% off regular and sale priced merchandise.
American Eagle Outfitters – 10% off regular and sale priced merchandise.
Armani Exchange – 10% off regular and sale items.
Bluenotes – 10% off regular and sale prices.
Danier – 25% off regular price items.
Spring – 10% off regular and sale prices.
Urban Behaviour – 10% of regular and sale prices.

Bubble Tease – Free Super Size.
Burger King – 10% off any BK Value Meal
Harvey’s – 10% off any combo.
Jack Astor’s – 15% off food only.
Orange Julius – 10% off regular price.
Swiss Chalet – Free Starter.
Teriyaki Experience – 10% off regular priced merchandise.

Health and Body
First Choice Haircutters – 15% all services and products.
Rexall/Pharma Plus – 10% off all regular priced merchandise.
Yves Rocher – 40% off any beauty products at regular price.

Bentley – 10% off lowest ticketed price.
FedEx Office – 25% off retail print products and services.
PJ’s Pet Centre – 10% off regular and sale prices.
These are only a few of the many discounts you can get when you have an SPC card! They’re only $9.00 each, and totally worth it my opinion! If you love to shop and eat, this is must have saving card!

Written by Krystle Yeung, 1st year Undeclared Arts student

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Bored Commuter: All About You

Member of the Student Life Blogger Team, Seema, offers her perspective on being a commuter student at Ryerson in her "The Bored Commuter" column.

[Image Source]

Being a commuter can get lonely sometimes, and even when you have someone to talk to it’s usually about school, and usually the middle-age folks, if you take GO transit, don’t want to hear it. So when the effects of your morning coffee have not worn off, why not try to curb your boredom with the book All About Me by Philipp Keel? This book has questions that are, well, all about you! The questions are unique and unexpected. The book contains questions that are about different parts of your life, from your favourites to fears and everything in between. So give it a go! You never know what you might discover about yourself. All About Me can be found at Urban Outfitters, and it would cost you about twenty dollars! Also, as time passes you can always go back to the book and see how your life has changed, or how it has not changed, from the time you answered the questions.

Written by: Seema Jawahir, 1st year Sociology student

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What's the Deal?: Let's Give a Hoot Hoot for Woo!

Over the weekend I headed over to the AMC building, where I had one of the best food experiences of my life. I went to the very top floor and entered Woo: Buffet, Restaurant and Lounge. They had an amazing view of Dundas Square as well as amazing service. The food is a Asian Fusion genre, and it was delicious. There was a whole variety from sushi to dim sum to a whole spread of delectable desserts. Overall, this experience was an AMAZING one. Of course it is a bit pricey, so I would recommend visiting Woo for special occasions, or a night out on the town, but you must visit this buffet at least once in your life. I guarantee you will love it!

Written by Krystle Yeung, 1st year, Undeclared Arts

Monday, November 1, 2010

What can you do with $4 a year?

From November 1 – 4,2010 Ryerson students will be voting on a referendum that asks, “Do you agree to the creation of an annual fee of $4 to support the WUSC Student Refugee Program at Ryerson starting in September 2011 and indexed thereafter for inflation annually to the CPI for Toronto?” …But what exactly does that mean? This week on the Art of Life we’ll be providing you will all the information you need about WUSC and the Student Refugee Program so that you can make an informed decision when you vote next week. If you have any questions about the referendum, please e-mail so we can find the answers and blog about them. On Monday we talked about what WUSC and the Student Refugee Program are and what they’re trying to accomplish, you can view that post here. On Friday we met Gerard, a student refugee in the Faculty of Arts, and heard about his experience with the SRP, you can view that post here.

Hey there fellow Faculty of Arts students!

Now that we’ve been introduced to WUSC, the Student Refugee Program and a student refugee from the Faculty of Arts, it’s time to get the lowdown on the referendum and how you can vote.

To vote you must be registered in one of Ryerson's full-time undergraduate programs.

The referendum asks whether students support the adoption of an annual fee of $4 to support the WUSC Student Refugee Program.

Full-time undergraduate students can vote online on Blackboard (

Edit: Having as much trouble figuring out where to vote as I was? This should help:

November 1st-4th, 2010. Voting will close at 4:30pm on November 4th.

Here are answers to a couple of popular questions about the upcoming referendum on the WUSC Student Refugee Program.

Where does the money go?
The money is kept in an account and monitored through the Office of the Vice Provost, Students, and the WUSC Ryerson members responsible for the SRP also assist in managing the funding. As financial sponsorship is required for a minimum of 12 months, WUSC members make purchases of essential items before the student’s arrival, take the student shopping, and during the year they are provided with a monthly allowance.

What will the impact be?
It costs approximately $20,000 a year to sponsor a student refugee, which covers all living and education costs. If the referendum is passed, Ryerson students will be raising $100,000 a year to support the Student Refugee Program. This means that WUSC Ryerson could sponsor multiple students per year or extend support to sponsored students in some capacity over a longer period of time, ie. cover tuition fees for their entire undergraduate career.

Don’t worry, it’s not too late… if you still have questions you want answered before voting in the referendum, e-mail them to and we’ll answer them there.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Meet Gerard

From November 1 – 4,2010 Ryerson students will be voting on a referendum that asks, “Do you agree to the creation of an annual fee of $4 to support the WUSC Student Refugee Program at Ryerson starting in September 2011 and indexed thereafter for inflation annually to the CPI for Toronto?” …But what exactly does that mean? This week on the Art of Life we’ll be providing you will all the information you need about WUSC and the Student Refugee Program so that you can make an informed decision when you vote next week. If you have any questions about the referendum, please e-mail so we can find the answers and blog about them. On Monday we talked about what WUSC and the Student Refugee Program are and what they’re trying to accomplish, if you missed this post click here.
Hey fellow Faculty of Arts students!

I hope you found Monday’s post helpful as you start educating yourself and making a decision on how to vote in next week’s WUSC Student Refugee Program Referendum at Ryerson. However, if you’re still unsure we have more information coming your way to make the process easier and it’s not too late to e-mail any questions you have about WUSC, the SRP or the referendum itself so we can answer them on the blog. To get a better idea of how the SRP affects student refugees I talked to Gerard, a second year Faculty of Arts student and one of the first two students sponsored through WUSC Ryerson’s participation in the Student Refugee Program.

Gerard was born in Rawanda but as a result of the political situation had to leave and became a refugee in Kenya. He describes the situation of bright, young refugees in camps as “desperate” because despite their intelligence and desire to succeed they lack access to post-secondary education opportunities. However, Gerard says that the WUSC Student Refugee Program is well-known in refugee camps and “it is inspiring for those smart students who want to better their circumstances through education but can’t afford to otherwise.” Gerard explained to me that it is especially the chance to study and become a permanent resident in Canada that makes it such a valuable opportunity because “Canada’s diversity sets it apart and this makes it a good place for racialized immigrants. Also, it is known for being nice. It is the not only the chance to study but also the chance to be treated equally because in Kenya we were always second or third class citizens.”

When talking about his own experience, Gerard says that because of the WUSC Student Refugee Program “my hope is back.” His expectations of Canada as a welcoming environment were validated; he explained that “People have been nice, I have never been angry here because of discrimination or meanness.” Furthermore, Gerard has been able to pursue his passion for social justice both through his studies and the many opportunities afforded to him on campus. Gerard is an active member of the Ryerson community, which is evidenced by his role as Vice President CSA Social Justice, his active participation with WUSC Ryerson and his time spent as a volunteer tutor with Pathways to Education. Upon graduation Gerard hopes to continue his studies in Teacher’s College. It is Gerard’s hope that by hearing his story you will understand that “For only $4 a year you will bring one student from a refugee camp to Ryerson Campus; I want students to understand what that contribution will mean.”

If you are interested in reading the stories of other student refugees who have been supported by SRP, click here.


Please note that the above story does not represent the views of the Faculty of Arts or Ryerson University.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Referendu-what? Introduction to WUSC and the Student Refugee Program

From November 1 – 4, 2010 Ryerson students will be voting on a referendum that asks, “Do you agree to the creation of an annual fee of $4 to support the WUSC Student Refugee Program at Ryerson starting in September 2011 and indexed thereafter for inflation annually to the CPI for Toronto?” …But what exactly does that mean? This week on the Art of Life we’ll be providing you with all the information you need about WUSC and the Student Refugee Program so that you can make an informed decision when you vote next week. If you have any questions about the referendum, please e-mail so we can find the answers and blog about them.

Today we’re voting on who is going to run this city for the next four years but next at Ryerson week we’ll be voting on whether Ryerson students will adopt a $4 annual fee in support of the WUSC Student Refugee Program. But first, there are a few questions that all of us students need answered. What is WUSC? What is the Student Refugee Program? And, there’s a WUSC committee at Ryerson? What do they do?

WUSC: “Education Changes the World”
WUSC stands for the World University Service of Canada and is a registered charity aimed at fostering human development and understanding. Their numerous programs address issues related to gender, labour, health, access to education and access to media, among others. You can read about many of WUSC’s campaigns here. They currently have active projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. Through collaboration with community-based organizations, governments and public as well as private sector partners WUSC seeks to promote education and health, foster sustainable livelihoods and improve governance through the power of education and training. However, their programs don’t just help those in need overseas, WUSC’s presence on Canadian campuses helps benefit students by promoting volunteerism, giving students access to secure volunteer placements overseas, empowering students to become involved in social change and fostering a sense of global citizenship.

Student Refugee Program
The word refugee refers to any individual who has been forced to leave his or her home country to avoid persecution and seek protection from harm. The day-to-day realities of life in a refugee camp can be harsh and include many of the following obstacles :

“• In most camps, refugees are confined to the camp
• Many have been living in the camps for 5+ years
• Limited food, water, shelter, healthcare
• Dependence on aid
• Limited or no opportunities for work
• 1/4 as many girls as boys attend secondary school
• Diseases like malaria, typhoid and cholera are common
• Sense of hopelessness and helplessness
• Often crowded and isolated
• Hardships include dust storms, high temperatures,
poisonous spiders, snakes, and scorpions, outbreaks of
malaria, cholera, floods, drought, etc.”
(From the WUSC Student Refugee Program Info Sheet)

As a result of inadequate resources there are very few, if any, opportunities to pursue post-secondary education in refugee camps. As a result, student refugees are often forced to give up or postpone their education, which contributes to their feelings of helplessness. The Student Refugee Program is WUSC’s most prominent campaign and was designed to give student refugees the opportunity to pursue their education in an environment that is free of violence and oppression. For approximately $20,000 a year local committees at Canadian universities sponsor student refugees to live and study in Canada. Student refugees are sponsored for a minimum of twelve months and their sponsorship covers the student’s living and education-related costs for that period. WUSC local committees on campuses across Canada sponsor 60 new student refugees each year and the program has enabled more than 1000 student refugees to settle and become permanent residents in Canada since the program’s creation in 1978.

WUSC Ryerson
WUSC has local committees at more than 70 campuses across Canada. In 2008 a group of Ryerson students founded a WUSC local committee on campus, with a specific focus on the Student Refugee Program. In their 2 years of existence WUSC Ryerson has already sponsored two student refugees who are now huge supporters of the program because they see the positive impact it is having in refugee camps, where people are now more encouraged to continue their post-secondary education.

We will be talking more about the experiences of student refugees on Wednesday when we will be talking to Gerard, an Undeclared Arts student who is sponsored by WUSC Ryerson. Don’t forget to e-mail any questions you have about WUSC, the Student Refugee Program or the Ryerson referendum to

Sarah (once again your Faculty of Arts Student Life blogger)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

So you have a degree, now what?

(click image to view on YouTube)

Check out this great video from Ryerson’s Career Centre, featuring our very own Sonny Wong! Students, faculty and industry experts offer advice and career tips for pursuing your career path after graduation. Although it is specifically tailored for Politics and Governance students, it has a lot of information that all Faculty of Arts students and alumni will find helpful.

If you are unsure what path you want to follow upon graduation, consider visiting the Faculty of Arts career counsellor, Sonny Wong, who offers online resources, individual career counselling and customized workshops to assist students in their career and educational decision-making process.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Party Time! *fist pumps all around!

Hey there Faculty of Arts students!
Your course unions were thinking...yeah, Orientation and Week of Welcome were great and all...but we felt like something was missing... our very own Faculty of Arts School Year Kick-Off party!

Prepare yourselves for the details...
When: Saturday September 18th 2010
8:30 pm-2:00 am
Where: Ram in the Rye Pub

*No cover!
*All ages (bring your valid government ID)
*FREE appetizers
*Featuring DJ Playea
*ANYONE from Ryerson can come, not just Faculty of Arts students

For more information contact Stephan at

See you all there!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

And We're Off!

Where did the summer go!?

The student life team had such a good time last week at the Faculty of Arts Orientation and the rest of O-Week and we can't believe it's all over. And now a re-cap and thank-yous are in order!

We would like to say a big THANK YOU to all of you first year students who were able to make it out to the Faculty of Arts Orientation on August 31st, your enthusiasm made it one awesome day! Also, the student life team would like give a special thank-you to all the upper year volunteers who made the day a huge success.

We hope you first years found the day beneficial and that you had fun and made some new friends. The ice was broke, the banners were made and hopefully some connections were made throughout the jam-packed day. But the fun did not end there, many of you also came out to Boris the hypnotist as did the volunteers and it was hilarious (it's chip!!).

I hope some of you were able to make it out last Wednesday where over 900 Ryerson students went down in music history when we broke the unofficial Guinness World Record for largest beat boxing ensemble. In fact, we SMASHED the world record with a whopping 961 people beat boxing the tune Billy Jean by MJ for three straight minutes! It was really fun and was all over the news!

And just as you were getting all oriented and settled in, BAM mother nature threw fall weather right at us to let us know what we're here for...classes! Sharpen your pencils and shine your shoes because the fall semester is certainly here...I know it's hard to believe. However, there are still fun times coming your way, the first week of classes marks the RSU's week of welcome, which is another full week of events for incoming and returning students. If nothing else, make sure to come out to the annual parade and picnic on Friday, September 10th. Find your course union in the Quad and join the parade down Yonge street where we all pile onto ferries to Centre Island for a FREE barbecue and concert!

Check out the RSU's calendar of events for more info:

Later Days,


Friday, August 20, 2010

Words of Wisdom- From an Incoming Student!

Check out this intro post from Kate MacKay, an incoming student to the International Economics and Finance program. Kate has taken the time to share her story, as well as give some inspirational tips on topics from study habits to how to reach your dreams!

Hey there fellow faculty of arts students!
I'm writing to you in hopes of sharing some of my well earned points of wisdom and to share with you some of my points of view and experiences.

First of all, introductions are in order. My name is Katherine MacKay; aka Kate. I'll be entering my first year of the small but ever so interesting program International Economics and Finance. Unlike many other first year students, I have already been to university and experienced many of its ups and downs. After high school I attended Queen's University for engineering. That only lasted about a year and half before I realized it was most definitely not the right program for me. The next six months I spent working and saving money for the next round of school that would hopefully be a better fit. Two years later, I graduated from the Sault College business program with a solid 4.0 GPA and a passion for the study of economics. From this bit of history comes my first tip: don't be afraid to realize it if you're in the wrong place; and if you are in the wrong place, then take control and chase what you are interested in. It's never too late chase your dreams.

Speaking of dreams, here's mine. I have aspirations of someday working in international economics with organizations such as the United Nations or the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. This dream was a direct result of one of my favorite quotes: "reach for the stars, land in the trees; reach for the trees, land in the mud." Second tip: DREAM BIG! The more you tell yourself you can, the more you will!

As a student at Sault College, I learned one of the most important skills any student should have; how to study effectively. Now, we've all heard that everyone has a different study style and that we just need to figure out what works for us as individuals. Well, here's a really good tip for anyone willing to try something new. Don't go to the library. I know it sounds crazy, but just think about it for a minute…where do most people go to study…the library! That means that often times if you're worried about running into people that will distract you or too many people talking, then in all likelihood, they will be at the library too! Which leads me to the best study tip that I know and can share. Find someplace semi-quiet (unless your someone who can't stand ANY noise) such as an empty classroom, the lounge during a class period (when it's not likely to have as many people), or even the cafeteria between meal times. I also find that bringing an iPod with some chill/easy listening tunes helps too.

It is my expectation that the next four years at Ryerson are going to be pretty much the best ever. As is clear after rooting through the many different web pages for student services, campus clubs and groups, as well as the RSU and program student unions; Ryerson has many things to offer it's students. However, it is up to the student to make the best of them. If you're a first year and you're confused and frustrated with trying to figure out how everything works, just remember to STAY CALM. Everything is never as bad as it seems and it'll all work out. I've been reading the dozens and dozens of comments posted on the Facebook groups and there's one thing that is already quite obvious: we're all in this together! So when you start feeling like you're going to pull your hair out, just remember that you have a huge network of other students ready and willing to help you out; not to mention the university staff that are hired to help us. Personally, I think that camaraderie and networking that occurs, especially within each program, is one of the best parts of the university experience.

Although it seems like the summer hardly started, September just cannot get here fast enough for my liking. I look forward to meeting all of you and if you see me around on campus, don't be shy!

Best wishes to all,
Kate MacKay
Thank-you for your wise words Kate! If you would like to share your story and join the blogging team, throw me an email!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Getting to Campus

Guess what? School is starting in just over a month! Crazy right? Like many of you, I feel like summer just started and I can't beleive we are almost in August. So, I thought it was about time to start talking about the basics of campus life- how are you getting here?!

Ryerson is unique in that a large majority of our students commute from across the entire GTA- from neighborhoods in Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke, Richmond Hill, Missisauga and many more. There are over 5000 students living off campus in first year alone! If you're a first year and living off campus, scroll down to find out about the ROLL program.

As someone whose used many different methods of getting to campus over the years due to a few moves (first year- walking, second year-TTC, third year- biking), I have a good feeling of some of the advantages and disadvantages to each- so let me grace you with my wise words as I list some +'s and -'s for each mode of transportation to campus.

+environmentally friendly
+good for your body
-exposed to the weather, rain or shine
-slowest method of transportation

+Free (other than cost of bike)
+environmentally friendly
+ good for your body
+bike room storage on campus (for 10$ a month call 416-979-5008 if interested)
+many bike racks on campus
-can be unsafe/dangerous on the busy streets of Toronto
-exposed to all weather conditions


+Fast (depending on traffic!)
+Sheltered from weather conditions
-expensive (gas and parking!)
-harmful to the environment
-limited parking on campus

Public Transportation
+available for everyone in the GTA
+shelter from weather conditions
-you have to wait, and wait...and wait
-crowds at rush hour
-expensive on a student budget

Take the poll to let us know how you get to campus, and we'll which method of transportation takes the #1 spot!
How do you get to campus?
Public Transportation
Other free polls
If you are an incoming first year, and are living off campus, check out this link for the ROLLS (Ryerson Off Campus Living Links) to get connected to the student leaders in your area as well as off-campus commuters in your area!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

BS vs ASB and ACS....The True Story of a Life Lesson

Hey guys and gals!

Check out this truly inspiring guest blog post from our friend Dani Dye, a fourth year ACS student in the global studies stream and a leader of the ASB programme. Dani was part of a small group of students with ASB who spent a month volunteering their time in Kenya this summer. She has taken the time to share her experience with us, and also does ACS students proud by taking what we learn in the classroom to the real world to critically assess her impact and "international development" in general.

My name is Dani. I am an ACS student and one of two leaders for the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) programme here at Ryerson which has not only helped shape my university career but has become a driving force in who I am as a person, an ACS student, a daughter, a leader, a citizen of this get the point. In proper ACS fashion I have been trained to be critical and careful about all things in life including assessing the type of impact a student group such as this can have on community development abroad. ACS also thought me to be open to the life lessons that unfold in front of me and to reflect on all things in...well...“life”. This past May ASB traveled to Kenya for a month long project. While there these two aspects of my ACS schooling came crashing together as I was forced to re-evaluate my philosophy on development, volunteerism and the affect students from Canada can have on people’s lives abroad, at here at home and on each other.

I have been part of ASB for almost two years now. This was my third time volunteering in a group, my second leading experience and my second (but certainly not my last) time in Kenya. Kenya is a country of contrast and continues to teach me things about the world that cannot be verbalized within a classroom or in a textbook, which waaaas the whole point behind ASB. Our goal: learn. Our expectations: have none. How could a student group from Canada possibly change lives or have an impact on a community that faces challenges that are almost impossible for us to comprehend? I had up until now truly believed that international development was...well...”bull shit” one of my previous ASB blog entries was entitled. Part of me still does believe that MOST of the “international development” out there is bullshit, if it weren’t, people in the business would be...out it if! Bullshit here by the way is being defined as Harry Frankfurt did in his essay On Bullshit as an indifference to the truth where the speaker or doer attempts to impress or persuade their audience based on nothing but...bullshit or a complete lack of care for what is in reality....truth. I relate this to “international development” (...please note the inverted quotations...) via the fact that so many good-doers travel abroad truly believing they are “changing the world” or people’s lives or communities without any care for what they are actually doing or what the realities on the ground are; often emplacing western systems of “development” and expecting them to work in a place where historical and cultural realities are not taken into consideration...[end rant].

Every time an ASB team goes abroad we make it very clear that this is NOT what we are doing, our work is symbolic at best as we are traveling with a purpose and we are there to learn...and learn we did. What I learned was...the truth is...a student group from Canada CAN change lives and foster community development in ways I NEVER thought possible. Right here is where many would place a laundry list of the physical work we did and tangible structures we left. I will not. Instead I will tell you that the exchange that took place during that month cannot be quantified because it is neither finite nor measurable...nor was it ever expected...the not expected part being a critical contribution to its success. Deep roots of cross cultural relationships that continue to benefit this community based organization were planted and continue to have a positive impact. Young girls were empowered and motivated by learning that we had women on our team that were journalists, a career in Kenya that is dominated by men. Young children were inspired to learn when taught by young, enthusiastic rapping Ryerson students....some finding a new passion and expression through art. Women in the village realized that they too can climb up on a ladder and paint...if we “mzungu” women can...why NOT them? One young woman that showed endless potential will now move onto high school thanks to the connection she shared with two of our ASB members. A women's group that does more for their community in a week than most North Americans will do in a life time got new equipment to help them raise money for their group that in turn will help develop their own community initiatives. One ASB member came home with an invigorated need to get involved in his own community; he is now seeking employment in community outreach programmes within Toronto taking his lessons from Kenyan community unity and applying them here at home...this list could continue for pages…but I digress...

Our team also taught each other. Living with 13 other people for a month is a challenge at best. Adversity is plenty, personalities clash, work ethics differ, expectations of living standards vary...but through all this we learned to LISTEN, to be open, to learn from each other and to find that common thread that would hold it all together and THAT was a belief in what we were there to do....which turned out not only be to learn, but to teach, to inspire, to educate, to change: to change ourselves, each other, and others. It IS possible to change the world, to change lives, to help others and to facilitate community just can’t expect to...because THAT would be bullshit.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Lounges, and Labs, and Offices, Oh My!

That's right folks, in this post I'm going to show you all the places I wish I was savy to in first year. This post is not only for incoming students, because some of you upper year students still may not know about these hot spots on campus for faculty of arts students!

The Arts Lounge: POD 349
This is a multi-use space that is specifically for Faculty of Arts students. There are couches, desks, tables and chairs, chalk boards, and bulletin boards for each course union to use however they please. Faculty of Arts students use this space in many ways- for group study and group projects, to eat lunch, to hang out between class, to hold meetings, or to catch up on readings!

p.s. Something to keep in mind is that student leaders are working on a proposal to secure funding to remodel to Arts Lounge with some much needed new furniture!

The Arts Lab: POD 356

The arts lab is also located on the third floor of Podium and is a computer lab just for arts students. Since the computers on the first floor of the library can fill up fast, the Arts Lab is a great resource for arts students to work on essays, do research or check email between classes. The best part about the Arts Lab- FREE PRINTING. you heard me.

note: the arts lab is closed for the summer, so I can't show you the inside!
p.s. If you're an incomming student and don't know how to sign in to the computers in the Arts Lab, it's simple- your user name is the first part of your Ryerson email (ex. jsmith, or john.smith) and your password is your student number, once you sign in with this informaiton you will be prompted to set up a new password.

The Student Experience Centre: POD 344

This is located on the third floor of Podium and it is the centre for all support staff for faculty of Arts students. The awesome folk in the student experience centre work to ensure you have a great experience in university, both inside and outside the classroom. Here you will find our very own student life coordinator who works with student leaders to help foster community within the faculty of arts, our community liason who facilitates the experiential learning program and assists students going on exhanges, as well as two counsellors: a career counsellor and a personal counselor. Don't be shy to take advantage of all these great resources!

Black, Comfy Chairs
Most Ryerson students know exactly what you mean when you say "Meet me at the black comfy chairs" They are located on both the first and second floors of the Library building (by the starbucks, and by the cafeteria). Upon your first visit to Ryerson you probably noticed the black comfy chairs or maybe you even tested them out! This is my personal favorite hangout, whether I'm meeting up with friends, having lunch or doing readings! What's great about them is that they're just big enough to fit two people to snuggle up to your gf, bf, or bff!

Warning: while great to share with a close friend or loved one, do not attempt to share with someone you hardly know- this will make for an awkward experience!

The quad is the grassy area located in the middle of Kerr Hall, and is also a personal favorite hangout spot! Students use this spot to play sports, read, eat, hangout and catch some sun! When you're in the Quad, it doesn't even feel like you're downtown Toronto, it's a nice mini-getaway from the hustle and bustle of the busy streets.

Take advantage of the quad while the weather is still nice, mark my words,you'll be missing it by november!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What Sets the Arts Apart?

Here are a few of the many responses I've gotten when I say I'm in the arts:

"Oh, cool! what kind of things do you paint?"

"So...what are you going to do after school with that...?"

"So you're going to be a teacher! What grade do you want to teach?"

Even though there are really creative people in the arts who CAN paint, and there are those who will make excellent teachers, I for one am not one of them. Just as I know there are many of you arty folk who enjoy the arts for the arts.

So what does it mean to be in the Arts?

It has taken me a while to figure this question out myself because at first it mostly meant that I didn't have to do any math. But I've learned over the last couple years that being in the arts means getting a well rounded education. We are all getting smarter each minute we sit in the classroom- can you feel it? And not smarter by learning formulas or memorizing all the different types of cells in a plant, but by developing our rational thought and critical thinking skills. But what does that mean? Just think of the old saying "thinking outside the box". That's our strong point, and that's an invaluable skill- we can solve real-world problems and become the leaders of tomorrow. Think I'm sounding a bit cheesy? Well, it's true!

In a way, in every faculty we are all learning how the world works- just in different ways. In the arts, the world becomes more understandable, and through our acquired knowledge of historical events, philosophies, procedures and possibilities, the phenomenon of life becomes coherent.

And with that, I'll stay true to my arts education and leave you with a quote:

"More is experienced in one day in the life of a learned man than in the whole lifetime of an ignorant man." --Seneca

Now I want to hear from YOU!
If you would like to write a blog post about what it means to you to be a student in the arts email me at



Friday, June 11, 2010

Pride 2010

As most of you know, Pride is just around the corner and it is a cause for much excitement.

Not only are there amazing events happening in Toronto, but some of your very own Ryerson peers are organizing Pride events right here on campus. Check out this vlog interview with Victoria and Jasmine who are just two of the many students on campus working together to organize for Pride 2010!

Thank-you Victoria and Jasmine for all your hard work!

Take Back the Dyke: Saturday July 3rd
March with the Ryerson Contingent
Meet at the Student Centre @ 1pm
March starts @ 2 pm
Ends at Queens Park with a special performance by Cyndi Lauper

Pride Parade: Sunday July 4th
March with the Ryerson Contingent!
Meet at the Student Centre @ 1pm
March arts @ 2 pm

Post Parade BBQ: July 4th
Ram in the Rye Pub @ 4pm
For more information on Toronto-wide Pride events check out the official Pride Toronto website:

Remember, the mission of Pride Toronto is to celebrate the history, courage, diversity and and future of Toronto's Queer community. All are welcome at events, so whether you are celebrating your pride or showing your support as an ally- let's come together and show off our strong Ryerson community, and have fun while doing it!

Bye for now,


The Ryerson contigent in the Pride Parade 2009

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Meet the new bloggers!

Hello, my name is Laura.

Check out my very first vblog post in which I stumble over my words trying to introduce myself and win you over as your new faithful Art of Life blogger!


Now that we are acquainted, we can get down to business!

Interested in volunteering for Faculty of Arts Orientation 2010? Yes? Maybe? Not sure? Well let me work my magic to convince you that it will be well worth your while. How will I do this? Obviously I'll use my mind-reading skills to predict the questions you might have...prepare to be amazed:

"Well...What will I be doing?"

You can do a number of things! The first event we need volunteers for is our Enrollment Workshop where you will be working one-on-one with first years from your program to help them pick their classes as well as helping to lead ice-breaker activities. Next is Orientation where you can do one of two things: logistics, or leadership. Those in the logistics group will be assisting with the set-up and take down of the days activities, and is geared towards those who want to be involved with Orientation, but don't feel comfortable being a team leader. Those in the leadership group will be leading a group of first year students (about 20) throughout the day. In this group you will lead small campus tours and facilitate ice breakers and games. Everyone will also be attending the Academic Orientation and facilitating group discussion within their program's orientation.

"What do I get out of it?"
First things first, you will have fun! Orientation is a day that's full of energy and you get to be a part of creating a sense of community and belonging within the Faculty of Arts. You will develop your leadership skills by putting them into practise, and motivate first years to develop lasting friendships with others in their groups. You also get to meet lots of new people from within the Faculty of Arts that are involved with many other projects. It's a great way to network! And finally, you get first years excited about being a part of the Faculty of Arts!

"Do I get paid?"

No! But you do get a free lunch and free new friendships!

"How much of a time commitment will this be?"
There will be a two hour training at the beginning of August. You will also be encouraged to go to the ROC (Ryerson Orientation Crew) training which takes place during the second weekend in August, however if you are unable to attend the ROC training, there will be an afternoon of training during the fourth week of August.

"Laura and Julea seem really cool, do I get to hangout with them if I volunteer?"

Heck yes! If you volunteer, Julea and I will be forever indebted to you and will be your life-long buddies! Over the summer we will be having some fun, low-key pre-orientation events that all volunteers are encouraged to attend, so we can all get to know each other! Now that's reason enough to volunteer, isn't it?
Contact Julea to sign up!
Julea Campbell,
If you're an incoming student, and have any questions at all, contact me!
Laura Hache, and add me on facebook! Search "Laura at Ryerson"
Later Days,