We had a gay ol’ time

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By Michael Traikos

As Editor-In-Chief of a student newspaper, I continually find myself tracing the career paths of those before me in an attempt to convince myself that I made the right career move when I accepted the position.

Everyone does it.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re taking film at Ryerson or working at an entry-level position in a marketing firm — you want to know if the others in your shoes went on to direct the next Hollywood blockbuster or ended up being the guy who is asked to remove paper jams from the office photocopier.

It’s the reason why our university praises the successes of those who passed through this institution and ignores the ones who dropped out, but still managed to avoid a life of panhandling.

Call it legal precedent, but if the person who flipped hamburgers long before you is now the prime minister of Canada, the expectation is that somewhere down the line, you’ll be the one who’s getting grilled by members of the house.

And then there’s the others. The guys who coworkers warn you about.

I first met the editor who ran The Eyeopener for an unprecedented two years straight while knocking back pints of beer in the paper’s other office, upstairs at The Library Pub, on Dundas Street.

Dressed in black sweatpants — dotted with evidence that they had endured more than a few days spent painting the house — and wearing a stretched grey sweatshirt, he was the living example of how too many nights spent in front of glassfuls of beer, instead of a keypad, will rob you both of ambition and a lean physique.

The once master of the universe at The Eyeopener was now unemployed — having given up the dream as the next Hunter S. Thompson — and told us how he had held onto the editor position the same way that his now remaining hairs clinged to the almost bare real estate on top of his head.

I bring up this story as a warning to Darren Cooney, president of RyeSAC, who told The Eyeopener this week that he is considering running a second year in a row.

“I honestly want what’s best for RyeSAC and an overly conservative candidate wouldn’t be what’s best for RyeSAC or Ryerson students,” he said.

C’mon, Darren, move on already. I know that around these halls you’re known as the token gay guy; someone who’s not afraid to make front page of the weekly papers sans shirt while at the same time willing to tackle issues important to students. But it’s time to grow up, move on and let someone else run things.

I don’t think I’m the first person to admit that student politics are a joke — especially at Ryerson, where RyeSAC couldn’t even convince 10 per cent of the student body to cast their ballots last year. The students — most of whom commute from the suburbs, sit in class for a few hours, then immediately leave — aren’t around long enough to use the bathroom, never mind care about their student leaders’ political beliefs.

But the delusional Cooney would have us believe that it’s his responsibility to make sure the left is represented in the upcoming February elections. Be honest, Cooney. The only reason you ran for student politics in the first place was because it looks good on a resume. Running a second time only beefs up that resume so when you eventually grow some balls and enter the next stage of yoru life, you may be rewarded with an entry-level position in public relations or city politics.

Please don’t tell us that your decision to run is based on the fact that your arch-nemesis, the controversial former vice-president of finance and services Sajjad Wasti, is backing one of the candidates.

If Cooney fears that Wasti, who resigned after causing an internal stir when he accused the student government of being “corrupt” and “nepotistic,” will play the part of marionette, and influence Dave MacLean’s actions, he is beyond acting like a crazed ex-lover who lacks the ability to let go.

Cooney, your time is up. You’ve had your time to implement whatever changes you initially promised voters a year ago. This isn’t a real political position: no one’s well-being is dependent on you holing yourself up in your office every day. Much to your amazement, you won’t be missed. The next person to take over as president will have as little effect on a student’s daily life as you did, so accept the next challenge.

If not, The Eyeopener may want to catch up with you later in life, when you’re standing topless at The Barn, recalling the days when you and your RyeSAC goons pretended you ran things around campus.

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