Illustration: Alanna Rizza

RSU and Toronto Argonauts team up to host Ryerson HOCO

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By Isabella Lopes

Despite not having a football team, the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) is hosting a homecoming (HOCO) next month.

The RSU and Toronto Argonauts are teaming up to host a homecoming football game at BMO Field on Oct. 12.

The Argonauts will represent Ryerson University in a regular season match on their home turf against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats—their long-time rivals from Steel City. Students are invited to attend a pre-game party and watch the match from a seating area designated for Ryerson students and alumni.

“This year the RSU wanted to take a big step in student events and collaboration, which we felt was lacking,” said Edmund Sofo, RSU vice-president student life and events.

The RSU is selling discounted student tickets for $10 online. Students can purchase as many tickets as they want.

Syed Abbas, an account coordinator at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) who doubles as a Ryerson business management student, reached out to the RSU to set up the event.

“With football teams at different universities across Ontario, homecoming is a great time for students to bring their student pride and get together and have a good time,” Abbas said.

Queen’s University and Western University have notorious HOCOs. Ryerson’s Toronto neighbours, the University of Toronto and York University, also host HOCO events. That’s something Ryerson students miss out on, Abbas said.

That wasn’t always the case though. The Rams football team formed shortly after Ryerson was founded as the Ryerson Institute of Technology in 1948. They competed in a homecoming game during the team’s short lifespan. For the majority of its existence, former Argonauts player Ted Toogood coached the team.

The team folded in 1965 due to poor tryout turnout and school support. Aside from winning the Intermediate Intercollegiate Ontario-Quebec Conference Championship in 1958, they had a bad track record.

Ryerson continued to host homecomings after the team dissolved. However, these so-called homecomings never compared to those at other schools. While most HOCOs revolve around partying and drunkenly cheering for your school team, Ryerson’s consisted of alumni luncheons, lectures and campus tours.

“Ryerson is known for its boring homecomings,” reads a story published in The Eye in 2007. “We have no football game to rally over and no alcohol-soaked parties to burn cars at.”

In 2007, homecoming was rebranded as “Alumni Weekend.” The word ‘homecoming’ hasn’t been mentioned since.

“It’s about time we finally got something fun,” said Sara Borna, a second-year journalism student.

“Ryerson is really disappointing when you compare it to the different events other universities get,” she said.

Ammar Al-Hulaibi, a third-year media production student, agreed that Ryerson isn’t known for hosting fun events.

“Nobody goes to Ryerson for the fun school spirit experience, it’s a commuter school,” said Al-Hulaibi. “I’m hoping this will give us a bigger sense of school spirit.”

The game is at BMO Field on Oct. 12, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The pre-game events begin at 4 p.m

With files from Maggie Macintosh.

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