Together for Change
Many former student leaders attended the event including, several past Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the Ryerson’s Students’ government.
COMMUNITY IS ORGANIC by definition, fluid by nature. Metrics struggle to quantify it and even “a sense of community” is aspirational in our vernacular. Beyond the enrollment figures and donor stewardship, beyond grades and performance reports there are faces, stories and experiences. There is love, friendship, despair, frustration and passion. While academics mold the brain, community molds the character.
Ryerson has led an awkward existence, never quite fitting in, being an underdog. Not quite a college but without the privilege of a university, its very existence rushed into place by pragmatic requirements to retrain veterans. Even the campus itself, cast in the shadow of concrete and steel towers seems reminiscent of a decision made by a hurried bureaucrat, short on options. Yet from this modest beginning there was always a light, an optimism stimulated by youth, fed by possibility and led by change—a unity in adversity.
For over 50 years Ryerson Centre has been a vanguard of this community. A resource to affect change, one project at a time—a farm, a ski lodge, Oakham House accessibility, McClung’s Magazine, CLKN, the Student Centre and many, many others. A quiet catalyst to help the Ryerson community define itself.
As Ryerson wades deeper into the ocean of academic institutes, it does so stronger, more confident. An institute built on the shoulders of its contributors, its students, staff, faculty and alumni. An institute that now builds shadows of concrete and steel.
It’s from this perspective we provide this book. Part demarcation, part challenge to those who carry the torch next. But nonetheless, this is a tightly shot portrait of what has been—so far. A portrait where the clothes may not be wrinkle-free, the hair unkempt, gait awkward, the personality timid at times, but the unbridled enthusiasm and twinkle in the eye make it hard not to feel endearment.
Voilà a selfie.
RyeSAC President (1998)
The book “Together for Change – a retrospective of student initiates at Ryerson” by Ronald Stagg, is a legacy project of Ryerson Centre. A pdf copy of the book is available from the following link: RyersonTogetherForChange.pdf
nb: Our books was nominated for the 2016 Heritige Toronto Book Awards