Students rally to keep their lounge

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By Natalie Alcoba

Business students are angry about losing a large portion of their lounge space in the basement of the business building.

In May, renovations will begin on the basement—currently a student lounge—to provide a temporary home for the Ryerson Access Centre while the new student centre is being built.

On Tuesday, the president of the Ryerson Marketing Association delivered a petition signed by more than 900 angry business students to Ryerson administration.

“I told them I don’t agree with [the changes],” said Shahzad Goraya, a fourth-year marketing student.
A coalition of six business-related student groups including the Business Students’ Association and the Ryerson Marketing Association, began circulating a petition on Monday, Goraya said. By Tuesday afternoon, 900 students and faculty had signed it.

“That’s almost one-third of the population of business students in two days,” he said. “Students have said ‘enough is enough.’”

Tom Knowlton, dean of the faculty of business, said he met with Manuel Ravinsky, a facility planner with campus planning, on Tuesday, to discuss the details of the renovations to the 743-square-metre space.

The changes will include building offices for Access Centre staff and a waiting room for students who use the centre. Offices will also be built for use by continuing education. Some of the space—167-square-metres—will remain a student lounge.

Tom Knowlton only found out there would still be lounge space at the meeting.

“We are going to see what we can do to make the lounge as large as possible,” Knowlton said. “It’s not quite as bleak as yesterday.”

The business students’ coalition is developing a proposal outlining what students want the smaller lounge space to be used for. They hope to have it finished by Friday and want to present the proposal, along with the petition, to Ryerson’s board of governors at its meeting later this month.

“[Administration has] made up their minds,” Goraya said. “But I think if we put enough pressure on them, they’ll budge.”

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