‘JEWEL’ LACKS LOUNGE

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By Josh Swan

Students aren’t impressed with Alumni Magazine’s “Jewel of Church Street”.

While the Centre for Computing and Engineering is state-of-the-art in many ways, students are frustrated that the building’s design neglected one major component–a student lounge.

Until such a space opens up, fourth-year Computer Science student Gangham Singh will take his breaks on the third floor of the Rogers Communication Centre.

“I come here or go to the library, (which is) usually packed,” Singh said. The Kerr Hall East basement commonly referred to as “the Dungeon” is where third-year Aerospace Engineering student Arif Khan ventures to between classes.

Like Singh, Khan would love to have a lounge space to call his own.

Although a large atrium on the building’s third floor was originally intended for partial student use, Ryerson President Claude Lajeunesse said “we needed on this campus a space to have particular ceremonies…and that became that space.”

According to Lajeunesse, the school weighed how best to use that prime location and decided to reserve it mostly for special events.

He did say the new student centre will provide students with a place to relax in.

But Chris McGrath, an expert on university issues and the director of residence at the University of Toronto, said students are missing out by missing a lounge.

“It’s vitally important for students to have this space,” he said. “Any campus should be looking for students to gather and commiserate.”

Ryerson psychology professor David Day agreed. “Defining a space that’s exclusive to your group facilitates a belonging,” he said. “That builds a sense of commitement to being an engineer.”

Dean of Engineering and Applied Sciences Stalin Boctor said that some tables and chairs would be set up in the new building to serve as a makeshift lounge, but he doesn’t know when these arrangements will be made.

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