By Ruisi Liu
Ryerson community members are struggling to get over their latest ex.
After kicking Egerton Ryerson to the curb and dumping paint on his face, many students are glad to finally be free from the colonial energy he shed into the university space all these years. However, seeing his name on expensive Ryerson University Campus Store merch purchased in previous years—including hoodies, bedding sets (that cotton pillowcase of Egerton’s face has always been the most effective birth control) and perfume—has left some students seriously regretful.
Although fourth-year psychology student Scarlett Dümper said she’s glad to have “booted that nasty, shapeshifting, team-switching, good-for-nothing” university namesake, she still feels unhappy over spending $200 on several Ryerson-branded hoodies.
“Everything reminds me of him,” said Dümper. “I own over four hoodies with his name on it. I bought one for each year of my studies. I had to throw them out. I wish I spent $200 on something more useful, like Muji pens.”
She had no difficulty removing Ryerson’s name from her life. She also poured out her once-favourite scent, a special edition Ryerson Eau de Parfum, down the toilet.
“I’m pretty sure it was just Febreze anyway,” she admits.
“I wish I spent $200 on something more useful, like Muji pens”
However, not everybody is ready to get rid of their Ryerson apparel yet. Second-year business major Mikey JusDoit and his friends have started a small business converting old Ryerson sweaters into “fresh hype wear.”
They utilize transfer papers, screen printing appliances and embroidery machines to cover up the Ryerson name with Nike and OVO logos.
JusDoit said he is not concerned about the legal implications of his new business.
“Think of it like reworking a tattoo. When you get a bad tattoo of, say, Justin Bieber’s face on your bicep, you can either cut off your arm, or you can cover it up with something nice. Like a rose or a skull. We do the same thing but on Ryerson sweaters,” he said.
JusDoit’s business has been fairly successful. He said students have been lining up outside his dorm in Pitman Hall holding laundry baskets full of sweaters, hoping to get them fixed up. Mikey’s dorm room is now decked out with new ex-Ryerson-themed things too; by his closet is a blue skateboard with the “RU” logo, which he creatively transformed to appear like the chemical element “Ru: 44 — Ruthenium.”
“There’s something in the works right now, but we haven’t released it yet,” he said before going to his bathroom, returning with a pair of plastic dentures bejewelled with Dollarama rhinestones on each tooth. “I know it’s only a concept, but this is our minimum viable product of RU-Grills. We want to create something unique.”
“If anybody asks, I tell them the ram tattoo represents my zodiac sign, since I’m an Aries”
The renaming announcement sparks even more regret for Rylie Undo, an interior design alumnus. He’s already thrown out his blue and yellow beach towel with the Ryerson logo, but some of his purchases are more permanent.
Undo solemnly rolled up his sleeve to reveal a Ryerson-themed tattoo on his pale forearm. The inkwork displayed a majestic ram bracing the wind on the edge of a cliff reminiscent of The Lion King. The cursive words underneath, originally “Ryerson Forever,” have been etched out into “
“This is the best I can do. Even though we realize Egerton Ryerson is a pretty lame guy, I guess I’m still technically a ‘son,’ and that’s the only way my tattoo can still make sense,” said Undo.
“For the top half, if anybody asks, I tell them the ram tattoo represents my zodiac sign, since I’m an Aries,” he said.
The Campus Store is already preparing its printing machines in anticipation of the new name. Student painters have been hired and are standing by on-call, ready to give RU a makeover.
Campus Store representative Varie Unlukki said the name change provides the store with an opportunity to increase its product lines until a new name is announced.
“We’ve been expanding our merch to include Toronto-themed phone cases, laptop stickers and even BTS Meal wrappers,” she said. “One student emailed me about RU-Grills, something about teeth jewellery—but I’m 56.”