By Sonja Puzic
A packed classroom in the engineering building could be a fire hazard every Wednesday as students lean against walls and sit on each other’s laps to attend a popular professor’s lectures.
Only two sections ofChul Kim’s MTH 240 calculus class are held in room 101, but students from other sections invade this period every week. “Everyone wants to go to Dr. Kim’s lectures because he explains the material so well,” said Sarah Khan, a first-year Chemical Engineering student. Still, Khan admits, “it’s difficult to learn when you have to stand during class.”
There are 87 students registered in Kim’s sections and the classroom capacity is 90, but last Wednesday, 11 were forced into the aisles.
Michael Kedziersky, an Oshawa firefighter, explained the over-capacity is a fire hazard. “Only so many people can get out through the designated fire exits at a time,” he said. Diana Masri, first-year engineering co-ordinator, said they warned Kim about the danger of the crowded room at the beginning of the term.
And Julia Lewis, Assistant Director of Environmental Health and Safety, said it’s up to the instructor to filter out students from other sections. Security may need to remove unregistered students.
“I asked the other sections’ students to return to their home section,” Kim said, adding at least one student raised the seating issue prior to class.
“It’s not so unusual to see this type of problem at the beginning of the term,” Lewis said, “but if it becomes an ongoing problem, it would go to the campus planning and facilities authorities.”
Ryerson could be fined with failure to comply with the Ontario Fire Code, which carries a fine of up to $25,000 for individuals and $50,000 for corporations. Kim maintains the classroom is overcrowded because of its convenient location and accessibility.
“I am sure that I am not that popular,” he said.