By Keith Capstick
I have an unhealthy obsession with student politics. But, it has given me a hand-me-the-popcorn style view of the good and the degeneracy that students can accomplish when they’re motivated.
Over the last year Ryerson has been a hotbed for political jockeying — from Gould Street protests to pre-pubescent-style screaming matches — through all of it I’ve been watching and writing.
Last year I watched what can only be described as a group of student warriors protest the administration’s stance on tuition fees by sleeping outside Jorgenson Hall in tents in the middle of winter. Then I watched those same students be overthrown by a campus-wide uprising from faculty societies looking to make change on campus in what felt like a real-life reenactment of that battle from the movie 300.
After the spears stopped flying around Gould Street, and my head stop spinning around in circles, I remember thinking first about how insane all of these people must be, and second, how impressed I was.
Campus was divided into two groups of hard-working and ferocious people that grabbed all student-based clichés by the horns and threw them around the room like Blue Jays fans did to their television remotes in Game 6 of the ALCS.
Honestly, I didn’t care who came out on top of Mt. SCC.
This year it’s all repeating itself, the sides are flipped and the new Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) government is pushing a student-life focused agenda while distancing themselves from Canadian Federation of Students’ campaigns. All the while there are calls from supporters of last year’s executive for more substantive action regarding tuition fees and for the RSU to take an official stance on freezing fees.
Throughout everything I sit here thinking about how weird it feels to see all of these House of Cards-esque political backroom antics and be asked questions about my opinion from both sides and think to myself, “Fuck it’d be cool if I was actually allowed to like all of these people.”
After all of the protests and interviews I’ve gotten to know people who have a vested interest in making students’ lives on campus better, which is damn astounding considering the number of “professionals” who associate student life with beer and Netflix. There are groups of students who have brought Drake to campus and others whose campus activism has completely reinvented my understanding of marginalized communities.
At this point, given my un-involved but up-close-and-personal vantage point of what is a unique subset of student life that few people who aren’t directly involved truly understand, I can confidently say that whichever group of students inevitably gets a say on this campus, you’re in good hands, Ryerson.
Because you’ll be lead by the type of lunatic that wakes up in the morning and their first thought is, “How can I cause havoc on Gould Street today?”