Sunday, 6 March 2011

Bono's 1960s

Mark Bonokoski's Ryerson years are briefly replayed in an online edition of The Eyeopener, the Ryerson student newspaper he contributed to as editor in his youth.

Aleysha Haniff, in a  piece about school spirit, notes how active students were in the 1960s and '70s when it came to freedom of expression.

Aleysha, in a review of Ryerson's  early years, writes: 

"But then came the 1960s, and Ryerson wasn’t immune to the effects of the transformation of the outside world. Mark Bonokoski, a former Eyeopener and Ryersonian editor, graduated from Ryerson’s journalism program in 1972. He helped lead sit-ins at the president’s office and held symposiums on the English department, which he thought was a joke.

“The sit-ins at the president’s office we had maybe 50, 60 students help take it over with us. We negotiated with the president right in his office to get our demands through,” Bonokoski says. “Because it (Ryerson) was so small then, it was a more of a collective rather than just a great big huge stew,” he said.

Even then, school pride came from the fact that graduates in programs such as RTA, fashion and business administration found jobs, Bonokoski says.

TSF notes Bono left Ryerson on fire, was hired by the Windsor Star, joined the Toronto Sun in 1974 and became a columnist in 1977.

Bono made a  difference at Ryerson and has done so dramatically during his three-plus decades in journalism, but this Eyeopener piece got us wondering: When was Toronto's last decent student sit-in?

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