The 11th issue of Function Magazine. PHOTO: CHELSEA POTTAGE

The word on the street

In Arts & Culture1 Comment

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On campus, students are turning to niche publishing to share their voices and views with the Ryerson community. Brian Boudreau reports

Between campus newspapers and school newsletters, it would seem as though Ryerson has the campus beat covered.

But across Ryerson’s faculties, students have taken up the pen — and the keyboard — to draw attention to the issues and priorities they feel are being ignored.

Taking talent from the classes to the masses

Function Magazine, which showcases some of the strongest pieces Ryerson’s Image Arts students have to offer along with interviews with industry professionals, launched its eleventh volume last week. The magazine is independently run by students.

Tal-Or Ben-Choreen, a fourth-year photography student and one of the students in charge of putting the magazine together, says the magazine provides a good platform for Image Arts students to get their work out there for Ryerson and the rest of the world to see.

“I think the magazine portrays the kind of people that come to Ryerson and what they can do,” Ben-Choreen said.

“Hopefully, the more interest the outside community has in it, the more interest the Ryerson community will as well.”

The team received about 70 submissions for the new volume, each of which included three or four images to choose from.

However, only a few of those pictures made it to the final edit, said Erika Neilly, a fourth-year photography student and one of Function’s core members.

“We selected the images by whether or not we thought they were strong and contributed to the visual theme,”Neilly said.

Tackling tough issues

Probably one of the biggest and most well-known student-run publications on campus is McClung’s Magazine.

A recipient of a Canadian Association of Journalists award, McClung’s is published twice a year and focuses on feminist issues and successful women in Canada.

Co-editor-in-chief and fourth-year journalism student Sam Anderson says the publication stands out because writers get to spend much more time with their pieces, writing up to three drafts before publishing.

And without McClung’s, she says, there wouldn’t be a strong feminist voice on campus.

“We get to talk about issues that other publications sometimes don’t get to, or people shy away from,” Anderson said.

Spotlight on students

Trung Ho, a fourth-year marketing student, had a similar goal in mind when he started contributing to the campus publishing scene.

Last summer, Ho founded Ryerson Folio, an online magazine, to encourage a more tightly-knit campus. He believes that because Ryerson is a commuter school, there is little to no interaction between faculties.

“We feel that there are a lot of great events and really interesting students and alumni that nobody knows about,” he says.

“I didn’t know anything about other faculties before, but now we want people to know what’s going on.”

While Ho is hoping that Ryerson Folio will someday be considered Ryerson’s arts and culture hub, the site recently started expanding to other areas. It now has a news photo section, which tells stories about events on campus through high-resolution photos.

Ho says the site will continue evolving as more writers, photographers and contributors join the team.

Ryerson Folio stemmed from @RyersonTweets, a Twitter account Ho created to share news about the Ryerson community. The account reached 1,000 followers before Ho decided to create Ryerson Folio.

Setting up the site took most of the summer, not including the time required to schedule interviews and promote the site, two tasks that Ho found challenging.

“We’re not as established, so sometimes it’s hard to get a hold of people,” he said.

That hasn’t discouraged Ho and his team. They still have high hopes for the project, and are confident that it will thrive.

While all three publications have different intents and purposes, they do have one thing in common: they’re part of a blooming culture of student-run publications at Ryerson. It just takes a bit of looking around to find them.


  1. Just to set the record straight, the recent Function Launch was for our first zine. The actual magazine is in it’s thirteenth year of production, not eleventh, and will be released at the end of this school year (April 2012). We will be releasing three more zines over the course of the year to help promote the final publication. The above photo is our zine, not the magazine.

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