Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What would you CHANGE about Ryerson?

First Year Students 

Make Your Mark on Ryerson” Project

Please join us for the annual fair where students in SSH 100 (Introduction to the Social Sciences) present the results of their group research project investigating Ryerson.  

This year they have been asked to make a case (supported by research) for one change at Ryerson that would ease the transition to university for first-year students  There will be roughly 20 presentations set up by students in this class, working in groups of 3-5.  

WHEN: Thursday November 15
TIME: 9:00am-11:00am
WHERE: Credit Union Lounge (POD) 
CONTACT: Alan Sears

Friday, October 19, 2012


Hello students, and a Happy Friday to you! We hope that you are all making it through your midterms and paper deadlines, and that your sleepless nights fueled by caffeine have been kept to a minimum. During this busy and crazy time of year, it can be easy to forget about all of the great things that are coming up on campus for Arts students, but have no fear - a WHAT'S HAPPENING blog post is here.



Students just like you have...

·         Started an organization that worked with youth in the Regent Park community to teach them skills, introduce them to positive role models and the idea of post-secondary education.

·         Attended  the International Youth Leadership Conference (IYLC) in Prague, a weeklong forum on world politics, international relations, law, media, business and global economy.

·         Conducted research in Trinidad and Tobago on Adult Learning Disabilities.

·         Presented their research at academic conferences nationally and internationally.

·         Taken tours through the penitentiary systems in Kingston, ON to see the Justice system in action.

·         Coordinated an Iranian New Year event on campus to help build community and raise awareness.
·         Travelled to Africa to volunteer with Global Volunteer Network's Rwandan Literacy program for a summer.


The Faculty of Arts wants to support you by providing grants of up to $1500 for your project or activity.

Carefully read through the Faculty of Arts Student Project Grant website at for all the details including the eligibility requirements, application and selection process.

If you are unable to download or open the application forms please contact

Contact your Student Life Coordinator, Stephan Tang at or call him at 416-979-5000 ext 2124 to set up an appointment to discuss your application or if you have any questions or concerns about the grant.

Applications are due soon, no later than 4:00pm on Tuesday October 23rd 2012, so submit your application today.



Come to the Involvement Fair to learn about exciting opportunities available for Faculty of Arts students. You will be presented with opportunities from all areas of interest to volunteer, gain valuable experience, develop career and leadership based skills, and orient yourself to Ryerson and the community. This is your chance to get INVOLVED!

Meet representatives from:

Your Program Course Unions
Ryerson Students Union
Toronto Public Libraries
Human Rights Watch at Ryerson
Pathways to Education
VAST (Volunteers Assisting Students and Teachers)
Positive Space
The Faculty of Arts Student Experience Centre
The Philosophy Club
International Services for Students
The Continuist
The Water Environment Federation

Date: Wednesday October 24th 2012
Time: 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Location: 3rd floor of Podium Building
For details, contact Stephan at



Arteries 2013 is Ryerson's Sixth Annual Undergraduate Research Conference, organized by students and sponsored by the Faculty of Arts. This student-organized conference promotes excellence in academic research at the undergraduate level by giving students an opportunity to participate in an academic research conference that takes place at our very own university.
If you wrote an excellent research essay on a topic related to the humanities or social sciences and you are looking for an opportunity to present your work to a captive audience, please read on!
Take advantage of this unique opportunity to develop your public speaking and presentation skills, promote your own research, and enhance your resume or CV for professional advancement!
Submitting an Essay:
-  The essay must be a minimum of 5 pages, double-spaced, in length
-  Authors should be able to present their work in no more than 20 minutes
-  Students may only submit one essay, and should consider their submissions carefully
-  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
-  Essays should be submitted electronically, as an attachment (.doc or .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).
- Additionally, please submit a 150 word biography and a photograph of yourself (no more than 250×250, in .jpg format). Please be advised that if you are selected to present at Arteries, this information will be used on the Ryerson website, the Arteries blog, and will be published on promotional material for the conference.
- A blind panel of three senior students and three professors form the Faculty of Arts will review all submissions and proceed with the selection process.-
- Authors of essays selected for presentation will receive a certificate of merit, in addition to the personal and professional advancement that participation in an academic conference awards.

Important Dates:
-- Final date and time to submit entries: Friday, January 11th, 2013, 11:59pm.
-- The sixth ARTeries conference takes place: Friday, March 22nd, 2013 at the Oakham House
-- For further information, questions, and to find out how to get involved please visit: or contact

Just a heads up from TMP and the Student Life Team that we will be starting ongoing weekly programming for arts students.  These will alternate between social events and academic workshops. We would love to see you all there to learn something new and meet your TMP/Arts family.  All students from all programs welcome!  Come out and tune-in to your faculty of arts!

WHO: TMP and Student Life
WHAT: Social and academic events
WHEN: Thursdays 1PM-2PM
WHERE: Arts Lounge (POD349)
WHY: Get social and learn something new


Oct 25 - Mix and Mingle
Nov 1 - Careers Workshop
Nov 8 - Game Day
Nov 15 - Volunteer Workshop
Nov 22 - Mix and Mingle
Nov 29 - Exam Study Tips!!!!


That's all for now folks! Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 1, 2012


Happy Monday folks, and Happy October (can you believe it's already October???)! We hope that you are all having a great start to your week and that you are settled into your classes.

As all of you are aware, Ryerson has introduced a Fall reading break this year! I know I am looking forward to it (and the turkey dinner that will precede it), and what better way to ring in the reading week than with the Welcome Back Bash?

The 2nd ANNUAL FACULTY OF ARTS WELCOME BACK BASH is taking place this Wednesday, October 3rd at 7:30 PM at the Hard Rock Café! There will free food, prizes, a DJ, and dance floor - what more could you possibly need to have a great time?

This year, we are also going to be having a showcase of the talented musicians in our faculty with ARTS GOT TALENT! Come out and support your fellow students as they take the stage on Wednesday night - it's going to be a great show!

As this is an all ages event, a wristband policy will be in effect, so don't forget your ID! As well, there is no cover and this event is open to all Ryerson students - so if you have a friend in another faculty that wants to come, they are more than welcome!

It's going to be a great time, so don't forget to join us this Wednesday night!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Skipping out on O-Week? Think again.

I'm going to start this post with a confession: I didn't go to Orientation Week when I was in first year. There. I've just outed myself as a hypocrite. You can stop reading now. I went to the faculty's academic orientation, but only because I was a keener (i.e. I was very serious about my studies, but I didn't think general Orientation was worth the one and a half hour commute). Why bother, I thought, when I barely know the people or the campus?

But let's look at Orientation Week for what it is: an opportunity to grow and build relationships that can last you for the rest of your time at Ryerson. Here are a few reasons I think Orientation will be worth the commute from wherever you currently reside.

Disclaimer:  Experiences may differ. Neither myself nor my heirs shall be held responsible if your time at O-Week falls short of your expectations. Do try to have a good time, though.

This is pretty much the reason for organizing Orientation in the first place.You'll find that during the year, having people to chat, study and hang out with between classes can make a significant difference to your university experience, and O-Week is going to be the best time to break the ice. Although there'll be plenty of people in your classes, it'll be hard to really get to know anyone. This is going to be one of the few times when most people are actually open to talking to strangers. Take this chance to bond over your brightly coloured, ill-fitting t-shirts.

I still meet plenty of people in their 4th year at Ryerson who end up saying "I wish I'd known about (insert service/great study spot/office/awesome faculty member) when I was in first year."

Try not to be one of those people - it'll make your life easier down the road. During Orientation Week, services, opportunities and potentially useful connections will be (figuratively) falling over each other to get to you. Make yourself available to them! Embrace them with open arms. 

More specifically, the parts of the city surrounding the campus. You're going to be attending university in the heart of downtown Toronto! You'll be the envy of every student who will be attending university at isolated, suburban campuses. Validate that envy. Find yourself  (and the awesome people you meet at O-Week) some cool hangouts around the city. 
Maybe not always most exciting part of Orientation, but it's worth going to. This is where you'll get chances to meet instructors, professors, and program administrators (i.e. people who will probably help you a lot between now and the time when you leave Ryerson).You'll also be spending a lot more time with students from your faculty and program. Learning about the ins and outs of how your program isn't always enthralling, but if you pay attention, you might just find some of that information useful.
Something I hope you discover is that there are some really simple pleasures in shouting and cheering in unison with people you only met a few minutes before. It's one of those things you can't enjoy unless you let yourself. And why not? Everyone will be there for the same reasons.

Making friends and learning about the university is always a plus, but at the root of it all, don't forget to enjoy yourself!

Seriously, try Orientation Week out, even if you're not sure you want to. Put yourself out there a little. You can always leave if it doesn't float your boat. Make some mistakes, embarrass yourself, and learn something while you're at it. There won't be a better time all year.

Hashtag #LEGACY12 for O-Week Updates
Take a look at Ryerson's Student Life Website for more information about O-Week 2012. 

Are you an incoming student in the Faculty of Arts? Check out our New Students page for tips, curriculum outlines and more information about our upcoming events. Questions? Send us an email at

Friday, July 27, 2012

Common Myths & University 101 (2012 EDITION)

Hello incoming first year students and Class of 2016!

As most of you have probably (and happily I presume) just bid farewell to your high school lives, some of you might already be feeling slightly panicky about this thing called 'University'. Or maybe not. But either way, I'm sure you will be thinking about it at some point and I would like to make this blog post out to all of you!

Back in 2011, Stephanie in ACS (Arts and Contemporary Studies) made a post titled UNIVERSITY 101 for last year's to-be first years (congratulations if you made it through your first year, by the way). Now, I'm not here to make claims against her advice. In fact, I think all of them are very relevant (go read it if you haven't already!!), but I would like to make my own rendition and share my point of view as an almost-5th year student.

So here we go!

Check out the location of your classes before the week starts!
Even though it only technically takes 10 minutes to walk from one end of the campus to another, there's surprisingly a lot of nooks and crannies on this campus - and so many different ways to get to your classes. The Ryerson campus map is great at giving you the location of each building, but don't rely on it! Do a test run to your classes during or before Orientation. You'd be surprised how hidden some of these classrooms are, and you'll be glad you weren't 30 minutes late to your first class before you couldn't figure out which part of Kerr Hall you need to be. Take a look at the O-Team's blog post on decoding your schedules/classrooms!

Here are a couple detailed maps of each building on the Ryerson campus from Campus Facilities & Sustainability for those of you who like reading maps.

You are NOT a number, approach your professor!!
I remember when I was in high school, my teachers always told me - and I quote: "you'll just be another student number in a room of 2000 other kids". What a joke. At Ryerson, at least (I can't speak for other Universities). I'm sure my high school teachers probably got some good kicks out of our fearful faces. But anyway...

You are not "just another student number". You can if this is what makes you comfortable, but because the classes often end up with very small class sizes (especially in upper years), the professors often make somewhat of an effort to know your names. And if your program is small enough, with just a bit of effort, you can easily get to know some of your profs. :)

And really, don't be shy! Go to their office hour! Certain professors do claim they die of boredom in their offices just waiting for students to show up, so think of it as entertaining them by asking for help or well... I don't know, talking about the weather. They will appreciate the company!

Do. Your. Readings.
Now I don't know about you, but during high school, I was able to evade reading 90% of the material given to me in my classes. Not that I've never got in trouble for it, but I mean... as long as you did well in the things that matter, who cares right?

DO NOT come into University with this mindset. Just... don't. As short as your attention span may be, start getting into the habit of reading if you haven't already. The assignments and tests that matter are often based off not only lecture material, but textbook material. Professors expect you to understand the concept in lectures, and then grasp the details through text material. So don't skimp out of those readings and regret it later.

Attend your classes!
In my first year, I made a fatal mistake of skipping my 1 hour-tutorial classes at 8AM in the morning (and mind you, I didn't even have another class that day!) which was 10% of my final grade. While 10% doesn't seem like a lot, sometimes it can make or break you come exam time - and you realized you actually do need that 10%. Especially when that 10% requires nothing of you but just showing up for class.

Some professors also tend to like to reveal important midterm material when you decide to royally skip that one lecture because you didn't feel like attending. It's life, it happens. So bottom line is, don't skip. That, or you can befriend your whole class and pray they tell you the correct information... though it's probably much easier to get the information first hand.

Whether it's written notes, or typed notes - figure out a way that works best for you. Some people review their notes after lecture to add/edit points to their existing lecture notes, while others re-write their typed notes to help them remember the material. Come exam time or an open-book midterm, you'll be glad to have these notes organized in a way that best suits you.

For those that need to be accommodated for disabilities or accessibility, visit the Access Centre and take a look at the note-taking program. It allows you to obtain notes from a student volunteer in the same class within 24-72 hours after the lecture.

If you do happen to miss a class, fear not! Most professors post their lecture powerpoint slides (often not the complete presentation) on Blackboard ( before or after a lecture so you will still know what was covered in class. :)

For those who are laptop-huggers like myself, be prepared to have to take notes by hand. Some professors may decide to not allows students to use laptops in class, possibly because students in the past have abused the privilege by surfing the web. Just saying.

Manage your time wisely.
The sad reality of exams which I don't encourage...
Professors will always release a copy of their course outline sometimes even before the semester starts. It will detail when approximately your assignments are due, when mid-terms will be, what topics will be covered every week and your required readings. Given the fact that they are all available, take the time to organize yourself.

I personally write down all the assignment and mid-term dates on my agenda for all my classes. That way, I know if I (unfortunately) have two mid-terms on the same day, I can plan ahead and not find out the night before that my Sociology mid-term is actually on the same day as my Psychology mid-term.

Don't feel like your current program is the ONLY option you have.
I know, it's not always easy. I have parents too who would rather me be in the maths and sciences, complete education within the set time frame so it doesn't seem like I failed a bunch of things (which subsequently accounts for an extra year, blah blah blah...). Most importantly, it seems like everyone in the real world assumes that you should have an extremely clear mindset of what you want to be when you grow up - during your high school years.

Don't ever succumb to that pressure! It's never too late to change your decision. For my entire high school career, I thought I wanted to be a graphic designer. I went to workshops, day camps - all to improve my skills and making sure I was suitable upon entry into a graphics program in University/College. Of course, to be sitting here writing this post means I am nowhere NEAR a design program - in fact, my decision to enter where I am now (Criminal Justice) was made after conditional acceptances were already going out in February. I can go on forever about my story, but instead of boring you to death, I will end by saying I completely enjoy what I currently study. The best part is, I am able to pursue graphics as a personal hobby (and a part-time job at that!).

Let yourself explore your interests, even in University. Don't close yourself off within your own programs because that's what you initially chose for yourself. You might in fact find your passions elsewhere, or find you may find a certain topic of interest outside of your studies that relates to your program. Even if you think you actually hate something, let yourself explore it before putting down a final verdict. Maybe you really do hate it, but there may be someone or something worthwhile through that experience.

If you ever do find yourself wanting to switch programs within the Faculty of Arts, speak to your program administrators and see what options are available. Don't let yourself spend 4 years in something you cannot decently enjoy.

May the odds be ever in your--- no, I'm just kidding (sorry that was a poor reference, I'll stop).

On that note though, if you ever feel overwhelmed at any time during the year, please visit us at POD344 in the Student Experience Centre. We can always direct you to the right resources and tools to help you, some of which are exclusive to only the Faculty of Arts. If you need advice about your program or your future career plans, come to us as well! We can help you. :)

Thanks for reading this super long boring post, see you next time!

Want to be a guest blogger or be featured on The Art of Life? Email Jenny at for more details!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Five Best Kept Secrets in the Faculty

It may be a "secret", but completely unintentional. I am here to change that.

As an upper year student, I often get into conversations with my fellow classmates in the faculty where someone will go "OMG, why didn't I know about this before?!". It's unfortunate, but I'm willing to bet someone out there went through all four years of their University life here completely clueless of all the awesome things they could have used/known.

We really don't mean to hide it. I know I always try to tell people when it comes up, but just doesn't always come up......

Now I'm sure this University (and Faculty) hides more secrets that even I still don't know about, so I will try my best to shed some light on this issue.

(5) The Student Loan Special
Nothing starts a top 5 list better than FOOD! I know, this isn't Faculty of Arts-specific, but it's become an important part of my Ryerson life (and I've been guilty on many occasions for getting a chain of people addicted to this "habit" of mine) that I feel everyone should know about this.

Enter the Oakham Cafe, our small campus eatery tucked between the the Ryerson Student Centre and the Oakham House. Walk in any time between 8AM-11AM and ask for the Student Loan Special. For the price of $3.99, you can get a choice of bacon or sausage, any choice of toast and egg with a serving of hash. The serving is extremely generous for the price you pay, and I ensure you it'll be a secret you'll be proud to brag about. ;)

Oh, and it comes with tea or coffee. Seriously.

(4) Faculty of Arts Lounge
Ever came in for that one godforsaken morning class only to have to wait until 6PM to have your second & last class of the day? Wanted a place to sleep, tried bumming on a comfy couch at TRSM only feeling uncomfortable stares or eventually disturbed by random laughter down the hall?

WELL. Did you know the Faculty of Arts has a student lounge of our own? It is located at POD349 (the Podium building on the third floor, it's on the side of Jorgensen Hall) for all Arts students.

I can't promise the lounge will always be quiet, but I can promise you comfy couches sans awkward stares - especially with our plans of renovation moving forward!

(3) Arts Computer Lab and Free Printing
The Faculty of Arts Lab is located at POD356, and it's accessible to all Faculty of Arts students. If this is your first time using the computers in the lab, do note that you will not be able to log in with your usual Ryerson ID. Follow the instructions on your login screen and the giant posters in the room to create a separate password for the Arts account, and then you're ready to go!

Sometimes logging in can be quite a wait, but it's not any better down with the computers in the library... Plus, I do find the computers in the Arts Lab run a bit faster. (or maybe I'm just biased)

As for the second part of this goodness... YES - FREE. PRINTING. I mean it. Every Faculty of Arts student gets a quota of 50 pages per month of free printing in our lab. I honestly hope you haven't been wasting those dimes in the library all these years, people.

Jenny's brotip for printing: Make sure to double check the printer to see if it's working or if there's paper. Once you send a page to the printer, it will deduct from your monthly page quotas. For those who know about the free printing and wondering why the Arts lab failed to print your pages, I hope I solved the mystery for you.

(for more information about the Arts lounge & lab, refer to our older post by our past Student Life Team!)

(2) Free Lockers
So there's all these lockers all around the Podium Building & Kerr Hall... but are they free to use?

Yes, everyone - they are also, free. But hold it! Before you get too excited and run off to put that lock on a lovely locker, there are a few restrictions. Please look for an email from your Program Assistants at the beginning of September before you claim a locker. The email will indicate specific locations of the lockers reserved for Arts students and when you can begin to claim a locker.

Please do follow the instructions you get from your programs. I don't want to be responsible for ANY locks being cut & contents dumped during the year... it'll break my heart. :( And another brotip, guys: don't leave valuables in those lockers.

(1) The Student Experience Centre (US!)
The Student Experience Team!! That's us! We're located in POD344 and I sure hope you know about us by now. Our team offers services such as exchange opportunities, career counselling, personal counselling, volunteering opportunities and much more, exclusively for Faculty of Arts students! We are also responsible for the planning of the Arts academic orientation for incoming first year students, so it's always busy around here!

During the year, if you have an amazing idea for an experiential learning project, check out our Student Project Grant for Arts students. You may potentially be eligible for a bit funding so do go and check it out!

And that's all of it folks! Hope you learned something useful for next year, and do me a big favour by spreading the word!! ;)

Want to be a guest blogger or be featured on The Art of Life? Email Jenny at for  more details!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Be an Intern with Human Rights Watch this Fall 2012

HRW offers an unpaid internship program for recent University and College graduates two times a year: winter/spring (Jan. - Apr.) and fall (Sept.- Dec.). Internship opportunities are available for individuals interested in learning about our work and making a contribution to our organization in our Toronto office. 
The Toronto office is primarily development based and does limited advocacy - there are no research based positions or program divisions. Interns are asked to work a minimum of 18 hours per week, 3 days a week for 4 months.
You may be familiar with Human Rights Watch from some of the outreach work and film screenings that have taken place on campus, or from the annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. It's one of the world's leading independent organizations committed to defending and protecting human rights - you can read more at their official website.

For more information about this internship opportunity, check out the page here. They're accepting applications from now up to August 8th - you can send your cover letter and resume to Alison Thornton at

If you aren't a graduate and would still like to be involved with advocacy work for Human Rights Watch, consider joining the HRW Student Outreach Committee at Ryerson. All you need to do to learn more is send an email to Stephan Tang at!

Friday, June 29, 2012

HAPPY PRIDE! (via RyEquity)

PRIDE is one of my favorite celebrations- to me it’s a time to celebrate diversity, celebrate difference, and it’s certainly a time to feel the love! This year will be my third pride and I am PROUD to say that once again I’ll be representing the ALLIES to the queer and Tran’s community! Of course I will have my LGBTQ family with me, but every year I find myself so overwhelmed with emotion by all of the beautiful people I meet and the unity that exists between every one - gay or straight.
But come the day after, the celebrating stops and we go back to fighting for equality, and back to challenging the discrimination that exists within and amongst this community. While I love to see people from all colors of the rainbow and all the many diverse groups interact with one another, and while I love that those who may have their biases about the queer community challenged by increasing their awareness, I believe that we need to be celebrating the histories of LGBTQ people every day of the year and not just for one designated week.
This year there is so much to celebrate! The queer and Tran’s community have broken down so many barriers! Just this month, Ontario became the first Canadian province to recognize gender identity in its Human Rights Code. These amendments will now protect the rights of Transgender people and prohibit discrimination by adding the language of “gender identity” and “gender expression”. This code has not been amended since 1980! While there is still so much work to be done in terms of education and awareness around the Trans community, this is HUGE!!
Recently we saw the debate over allowing GSA’S in catholic secondary schools turn in a more positive direction! Due to the amendments in Bill 13, students can now gather openly and create safe spaces in which they can build community around and take pride in their sexual identities! This is another HUGE step in the fight against the elimination of discrimination and bullying against queer and Trans youth! It starts with creating awareness.
This Pride, I am going to celebrate these milestones in the LGBTQ histories as an ALLY, and I am going to continue to be an ally in the fight against homophobia, transphobia and heterosexism!
PRIDE for me is all about celebrating diversity and celebrating the LOVE! I love the energy, I love the culture that emerges and the art that comes alive.   I love the community that energizes all - whether gay or straight.   I love all the wonderful events both for the party goers, the queer and Tran’s families and the quieter ones alike.   I love the parade and beautiful array of costumes and colors.  I love it when I see 2 parents of a Tran’s youth holding a sign that says “I support my transgender teen”. I love the people! So bring on the love!!

Jasmine Chaykowsky
Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services

(Post originally from RyEquity, which can be found by clicking here)

Jasmine Chaykowsky is a Ryerson Faculty of Arts Alumni, graduating from the Arts and Contemporary Studies program in 2011. She is now a staff member at Ryerson's Discrimination and Harassment PreventionServices (DHPS). Throughout her undergrad, she worked at DHPS as a Peer Trainer and Coordinator for the Positive Space ALLY program, a community program which focuses on creating and maintaining safer spaces for members of Ryerson's LGBTQ community through awareness and education. She continues to be an ALLY to the queer community and is passionate about issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and human rights. 

Want to be a guest blogger or be featured on The Art of Life? Email Jenny at for  more details!