By Lori Fazari
Sometimes it’s the environment that makes the experience.
We learned that this weekend when we were forced to transplant our offices, leaving our cheddar-coloured home for the cold refuge of the Rogers Communications Centre as preventative maintenance shut down the power in Jorgenson Hall from Saturday until early Tuesday morning.
Leaving our cozy little refuge was a morale-draining move, and it made us realize how important it is to appreciate the environment you find yourself in, even if it is the armpit of Ryerson’s concrete jungle.
We decorated our satellite office last week, foolishly thinking we’d do fine because it’s the people that make The Eyeopener, not the place.
Two days later, the place was getting on our collective nerves.
We became tired of our sterile new setting, with its massive, over-lit boardroom and windows that only reminded us of the late hour.
We missed the heat of our newsroom, our painted walls, our ratty old couches.
The Thanksgiving weekend harvested nothing but bad karma, and we never felt so glad to return to our skanky little enclave to finish putting this paper out.
It’s all about the environment.
Ryerson itself is a study in such contrasts. Sure it’s not pretty, with its dim, narrow halls, rows of lockers and lack of green space.
But coming here every day, you can’t help but grow fond of its gritty urban nature. There’s the friendly neighbourhood crack dealers and hookers, the constant wail of police and ambulance sirens, the comforting sight of Rye P.D. security officers patrolling the campus.
You get to a point where you shrug these things off on your way to lectures, reveling in the fact it takes five minutes to get to any point on campus, unlike those York University commuters who are forced to park miles from their classes.
You might even feel safe walking the streets at night, because even though you’re right downtown, things aren’t as bad as some might think. For a school with about 22,000 full and part-time students, Ryerson’s crime statistics put us on the safe end of the security scale. Especially in light of York’s crime concerns. Since July, a series of sexual assaults have happened in and around the campus, including the robbery and rape of 22-year-old female at the end of September.
In the end, the moment you step on the terrain of Ryerson’s concrete jungle, you know you’re not in for a standard university experience. But it’s that urban environment that enriches your university experience, at the very least for teaching you how to take care of yourself.
You remember Ryerson for its anti-campus feel, because along with applied learning come the smaller classrooms in the high school-like buildings.
It’s a cozy learning environment, though, exactly what we say about our Eyeopener officers. Just wait until they try to move us to a brand-new student centre. You can take our furniture, but nothing can replace the mystique of a place you’ve grown attached to.