Two ‘newspapers’ have a chat

U of Tears™, a boundless education, and self-deprecating humour: The Boundary covers it all

Two ‘newspapers’ have a chat

Founded in 2017, The Boundary is Victoria University’s humour newspaper. The Varsity sat down with the paper’s Editor-in-Chief Ted Fraser and Head Content Editor Kyle Brickman, while Finance Executive Daniel Aykler lounged nearby.

The Varsity: How did The Boundary come into existence?

The Boundary: The Boundary is our head staff writer Jack Mageau’s brainchild. He came up with the concept, and then after mistakenly naming it The Farcity — which we thought was a hilarious name — we changed it to The Boundary. It’s a play on ‘boundless.’ We toe the line; we are that ‘boundary.’

Any school that earns the nickname U of Tears needs a humour outlet, because otherwise it’s just depression and Con Hall and cold winters, and there’s nothing really to express yourself [with] in terms of opinions or just human emotion. I think we share a very similar sense of humour with the meme page and our main goal is to almost formalize that type of humour through The Boundary.

[Mageau’s] concept was just an outlet [to] see if we can reach people. The spirit of the University of Toronto population is almost self-deprecating — and I don’t want to say self-hating, but definitely aware of the reality that [the] University of Toronto is not a fun school in the traditional sense. I think it’s really deeply ingrained into the psyche of University of Toronto students that we don’t have fun, and we’ve worked really hard, and we get screwed on tests, and that no one — no one — likes their life.

It’s great because U of T is sort of the opposite of every other university, right? Because frats are lame, no one goes to football games, studying is king, and it just provides constant fuel for headlines. Like, they don’t have to drop into your lap per se, but they’re going to drop more than they would [at] a prototypical college-based school.

TV: Why should people read The Boundary?

TB: Our mission is to amuse rather than to inform, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We acknowledge our own irrelevance and we thrive off of self-deprecation.

TV: Your content is predominantly published online. How often do you release content? Are you going to release a paper copy?

TB: We aim to release four or five articles a week, but through our brainstorming process, we always have one or two articles that we know are really good that we want to release at a certain time.

Perhaps [we’ll have] a semesterly bound paper publication that we will try our best to put on some newsstands or throw in some study rooms at Robarts.

TV: Where are your current contributors and contributions coming from?

TB: The majority of the contributions are coming out of a very core group of people, three of us in this room, then three or four more. And that’s just a product of us being in our infancy. We had a soft launch, as we were calling it. But really, we were just kind of fooling around with the idea to see if it would even work or [if people] would be interested in [it], including ourselves. I think we were figuring out if the contributors would be interested and I guess it turns out that other people are too, to a certain extent. We’re always looking for new contributors.

TV: Why should people want to write for you?

TB: The articles that are being written are 200 words. It’s half a page really and it’s funnier that way. We don’t want long editorials. Our goal is to provide very short content because, again, students are busy. Like, even as the writers, we’re busy.

TV: You’re both in your third year. What’s the plan? Are you going to pass on the torch to keep The Boundary around after you graduate?

TB: We’d love to pick up some contributors from second or first year and have them continue this because I think, yeah, it’d be a nightmare if this was the end. We’re the architects of our own fate. We can definitely figure this out and see if we can get some more people. We’re trying to increase our Facebook presence, which is crucial, and I think there’s also a thirst for this humour across Ontario. The Beaverton and The Onion hit up certain demographics, but I think we cater to a neglected demographic, which is why we’ve kind of sprung up.

TV: Can you explain a little about the neglected demographic?

TB: The Beaverton caters to young professionals and sort of cerebral university students who get the jokes. The Onion is more like the everyman’s satire and, I think, not specific to university in general. We’re specific, I think, so there’s more people like our current consumers out there. Also, a good thing to note is that we’re not nearly on the level of The Onion, so we couldn’t just do Onion content, satirizing everyday life, because we will not get the traction with our current audiences.

TV: Do you have any sources of funding, for Facebook ads, for example?

TB: Initially our bravest member, Kevin Yin, submitted his credit card, but [he] will be compensated. We just kind of went out on a limb and sort of fundraised bankroll ourselves, and it was minimal costs. We’ve now got funding from the VUSAC [Victoria University Students Administrative Council] and our budget is going to be ratified, hopefully soon.

TV: Are you considered a club or a publication?

TB: Technically, I think we’re considered a club. I’m actually in the process of doing the CCR [Co-Curricular Record] phase right now, but I think we would offer it in the same space as maybe the UC Review or something like that — a local, regional, or… a college-based club — although the content is not really catered to college at all. I’d say we kind of referenced it in passing.

TV: How can people contribute?

TB: We have an email, it’s boundarynews@gmail.com. Some people have submitted pitches, but I’d rather honestly meet a potential candidate in person. It’s not necessarily [a screening], but more so just [to] talk to them and see what they are interested in — does this person share a sense of humour with us? Do they have an understanding of what we’re going for?

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

You can follow The Boundary on Facebook or visit their website.

SMC President Mavid Dulroney forgets to go to church

Crusade against themed club nights, gambling, other sins “taking a toll” on devout Catholic

SMC President Mavid Dulroney forgets to go to church

The President of St. Mike’s College (SMC), Mavid Dulroney, was reported missing from church on April 1. A devout Catholic and bureaucrat, Dulroney’s absence from the first row of the church pew was noted by Father Comas Thollins. “He never misses a service,” said Thollins. “I immediately knew something was wrong.”

Bandy Royagoda, one of Dulroney’s fellow congregants, said he was concerned that Dulroney’s overzealous work ethic may have caused a psychotic break. The college president has mounted a crusade against sins at the increasingly secular SMC, cracking down on the playing of cards and holding of hands. The president even apparently tried to ban student loans, calling the practice “usurous.”

“Since the incident over at Queen’s, he’s really become on edge with even the idea of themed club nights,” said Royagoda. “It’s all really taking a toll on him.”

A number of students reported that the president, whose term expires in July, was seen anxiously pacing in Brennan Hall shortly after noon. Dulroney allegedly confronted a woman working at the Tim Hortons there, putting his hands over her ears and shouting, “You will not hear the sins!”

“It was pretty weird, territorial, and possessive behaviour,” said student Mick Smu, who sat calmly smoking in Brennan Hall, microwaving a set of books. “We haven’t seen him like this since the pool table incident last year.”

St. Mike’s Director of Miscommunications Steven Souvlaki was found by The Farcity sitting on a bench by Kelly Library in the late afternoon of April 1. Souvlaki, getting increasingly colder on campus as the day was winding down, was still waiting for a ride to church from Dulroney, who was supposed to pick him up at 10:30 am. Souvlaki took issue with the allegation that Dulroney had skipped church. “Mr. Dulroney is deeply appalled that someone would attribute such behaviour to him,” he said on behalf of the missing president.

“In addition to a retraction, the university is requesting an apology from The Farcity for printing such baseless and offensive accusations about it and its staff,” added Souvlaki as he continued to crane his neck to check if Dulroney’s car was approaching.

Over 9,000 bedbugs abstain in 2018 UTSU elections

Head of Bugs at Trinity accuses student union of failing to reach “marginalized majority” at college

Over 9,000 bedbugs abstain in 2018 UTSU elections

Nearly one fourth of the total bedbug population at Trinity College selected ‘abstain’ on their ballots in the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) spring elections this year. With abstentions making up 70–80 per cent of the total votes for each UTSU position, the total number of bedbug abstentions recorded this year is 9,657.

In a statement written on behalf of the roughly 40,000 bedbugs that currently populate the college, the Head Bedbugs at Trinity College explained the reasoning behind the abstentions.

“The Trinity administration and students at the college literally want to crush us,” the statement reads. “And despite our best efforts at pro-bug activism, the UTSU has failed to reach the majority at Trinity. Bedbugs collectively abstaining from the UTSU elections should clearly communicate that we will not tolerate such abuse.”

The fight for bedbugs to be recognized as a UTSU constituency has been long-standing, as bedbugs have repeatedly complained that Trinity administrators and student groups have failed to meet their needs. Meanwhile, students at Trinity have publicly expressed their distaste for bedbugs, sometimes encouraging the administration to remove them from the college altogether.

One student with multiple bedbug roommates told the Toronto Star, “I just think it’s really wrong that we have to stay in a room that’s infested with bugs.” Though this statement was condemned as “anti-bug” by members of the Trinity College Bug Equity Committee, no punitive actions were taken against the student.

The Trinity College Domestic God(esse)s Society (TCDGS), a club dedicated to cooking elaborate four-course meals for its members, brought complaints directly to the administration earlier this year regarding the number of bedbugs present in one of the Trinity College kitchens. In an interview with The Farcity, Buzz TF Awf, Head Goddess of the TCDGS, stated that the bedbugs’ presence prevented the group from “operating in a sanitary environment,” and laughed when the reporter mentioned that many bugs consider the TCDGS’s conduct to be “exclusionary.”

Members of Trinity College’s Rural Residency Association, many of whom identify as “anti-U-Pass,” have also expressed support for the UTSU’s decision to exclude bedbugs from this year’s U-Pass referendum. In a statement on Facebook, the organization’s Chief Tractor Operator wrote, “Most of us think the U-Pass is a bad deal, as it does not include students who take tractors to campus — students deserve better. An overwhelming bug majority at Trinity shouldn’t be allowed to sway the vote for those of us who don’t benefit.”

In a prior story, The Farcity conducted a content analysis of minutes of the Trinity College Meeting (TCM), revealing that in the games of ‘fuck, marry, kill’ played with candidates for Heads of College, bedbug candidates are often the ones that are ‘killed.’

The annual Trinity event dedicated to celebrating the bedbug community, Buggly, was also abruptly cancelled this year, much to many bedbugs’ dismay. The Trinity College administration declined The Farcity’s requests for comment.

The populist Bugless slate — stylized ‘🐛ugless’ — in this year’s UTSU elections also sparked outrage for what has been referred to as “anti-infestation rhetoric.” Tensions spiked when it was revealed during the second candidates’ debate that the  🐛ugless candidate for President has ties to a Toronto exterminator.

After continuous lobbying from bedbug activists, UTSU Vice-President Equity Him Chalao put forth a motion before the Board of Directors in January 2018, seeking to include bedbugs as part of the union’s membership. At the following meeting, President Tamhias Lemmem promised that bedbugs would be granted their own Chief Returning Insect, and that “supplementary efforts” would be made to reach out to bedbugs on campus. There is no evidence to suggest that either action was taken, and the UTSU did not respond to The Farcity’s requests for comment.

Among those bedbugs who were willing to speak with The Farcity, the most common complaints about the UTSU elections were that there were no bedbug candidates running in any of the races, and that the majority of human candidates ran uncontested.

“I am deeply disappointed by what has happened to our community this year, and Trinity and the UTSU should be ashamed of themselves,” Trinity Head of Bedbugs told The Farcity. “Especially about the U-Pass thing. That’s all most bugs cared about anyway.”

Abstentions from bedbugs buoyed voter turnout to an astronomical three per cent this year — the highest ever recorded in UTSU history.

And he doesn’t even know it

With a bit of reconstructive surgery, we turned Donald Trump’s tweets into poems

And he doesn’t even know it

Donald J. Trump is many things: entrepreneur, real-estate developer, television personality, and frontrunner for the American Republican Party. But did you know that he’s also a poet? Despite his aversion to all things politically correct, perhaps underneath his tasteless antics and deplorable public persona lies a sensitive, imaginative man. With a little re-arranging, we converted his twitter account into a poet’s journal, searching for deeper meaning while discovering some truly exquisite social commentary.

For starters, it’s pretty obvious that Trump draws a lot of inspiration from fellow Republican nominee Ted Cruz. One could say Cruz is his muse. In the following tweet, he accuses Cruz of lying — something he often does. Beneath the surface, however, a sadder image emerges: one of betrayal, loss, and loneliness. Trump expertly summarizes Shakespearian tragedy by having Cruz resemble Hamlet. Here’s how we interpreted the tweet:

Original tweet: “Wow, just saw an ad — Cruz is lying on so many levels. There is nobody more against ObamaCare than me, will repeal & replace. He lies!”

Found poem: Lying. He lies! Repeal & replace. There is nobody.

Original tweet: “We will stop heroin and other drugs from coming into New Hampshire from our open southern border. We will build a WALL and have security.”

Found poem: Heroin will build security, a WALL, and border. We will open. Stop drugs.

Original tweet: “Ted Cruz is a cheater! He holds the Bible high and then lies and misrepresents the facts!”

Found poem: A cheater lies. He holds the facts high!

Original tweet: “Anybody who watched all of Ted Cruz’s far too long, rambling, overly flamboyant speech last nite [sic] would say that was his Howard Dean moment!”

Found poem: Watched; far too long; rambling; flamboyant. Last nite. His moment.