By Jessica Robinson, Staff Reporter
You’ve probably seen him in the Great Hall at lunch, or on the starting lineup of the Voyageurs Men’s Basketball team; or you’ve passed someone wearing a sweater that spells out “North 705” in sparkly gold letters and thought, ‘Whoa, where did they get that?’
One way or another, there’s a good chance that Tychon Carter-Newman has impacted your experience here at Laurentian.
Now completing his fifth and final year at LU, Carter-Newman is happy to take a moment to sit back and reflect on his experiences here. Having been on the men’s varsity basketball team for the duration of his undergrad allows him to compare the difference between being on the team in the first year to being on the team now.
“It was very different when I came in,” he remembers. “It was a bunch of older guys and I was the young one; now I’m the old guy. It’s kind of strange, in a way. I’ve learned a lot though, through the process. The older guys taught me so, so much; and then the young guys taught me a lot too, about how to be a leader, and how to motivate people.”
Basketball didn’t just serve as a pastime and scholarship source for Carter-Newman; it was also where an influential part of his clothing line, North 705, stemmed from.
“We used to joke and call Laurentian, ‘Laurentian State’,” he remembers, “because a state means community, right? And we came up with it to say that Laurentian’s tight-knit… It’s almost like a small, division one school; that was our joke.”
Carter-Newman then came up with the idea for shirts that said Laurentian State on them, which their team coach wasn’t a fan of, reminding the team that “we’re not in the States”. So he expanded on the concept.
“I liked the idea of making clothing that represents Laurentian, but that’s different from what they already offer,” Carter-Newman says.
The origin of the title ‘North 705’ is not quite as easily recalled.
“I thought it would be cool to have something that shows where we are, where we’re from, and what we represent,” Carter-Newman remembers. “That’s pretty much how I came up with it.”
Of course now the worry is that, as Carter-Newman moves on from Laurentian, so too will the beloved clothing line. But he’s been talking with marketing for months, trying to work out a partnership so that the school can take over and continue the line.
“Hopefully that works out,” he smiles. “We’ll wait and see.”
And on top of his entrepreneurship and involvement with varsity athletics, Carter-Newman is of course finishing his degree.
“I’m majoring in Economics, minoring in Geography. I had a good experience studying economics—and I don’t want to go any further with it,” he laughs. “It taught me a lot about human behaviour, why people make the decisions they make, and I loved that aspect (of) it, but going forward, I don’t want to continue with economics.”
However, he said he doesn’t plan on letting his degree go to waste.
“[Now] I want to do urban planning, like community development,” Carter-Newman explains, referring to the Masters programs he’s applied to nationally, from Calgary to Montreal. “I’ve always had a passion for cities and communities. So it’ll be like a mix of both [economics and geography].”
It’s easy to get swept up in looking ahead and planning the future, but Carter-Newman is just as quick to look back at the decisions he’s made that have brought him to this point. When asked if he would change anything in regards to his decision to come to Laurentian, he assures that he “wouldn’t do one thing differently.”
“I think this was the perfect place for me to grow,” Carter-Newman contemplates. “This school is just different from all the other schools, you’re part of a family here, where everywhere else you’re just a number. So I don’t think I would have done anything different. It was a wonderful experience. Yeah, there’s been some ups and downs, but I still had a great time. I wouldn’t change anything.”