Sonja Puzic and Alison Northcott
Ryerson’s new president, Sheldon Levy, has a vision for the university.
“I want to get rid of all those stupid lockers in Kerr Hall,” he says. And once they’re dumped, he wants to put up a big banner that says, “Goodbye to Rye High.”
That’s just one of the changes Levy hopes to see on campus over the next few years. Other changes and initiatives, he says, depend on what students want.
“I’ll be doing a lot of going and asking questions and trying to engage people,” he says, adding that he wants to hear from students about their visions for Ryerson. “What would the students like? Which programs would they like to see expanded, which services would they like to see improved?”
Levy wants students to know that he is accessible to them, even though he does spend a lot of time on the 13th floor of Jorgenson Hall. “It’s hard for me to have a random walk around the campus,” he says. “But students will always be highest in my calendar. All they have to do is call.”
Levy appears particularly interested in working on Ryerson’s physical attributes. He wants more space, more buildings and “more colour” for the campus; for students and faculty to “feel good” walking from one building to another. “We shouldn’t be defined as the campus behind Sam’s,” he says.
Levy says he wants commuters to spend more time on campus, to hang out for a while after class rather than rushing to the subway station. He is also encouraging all students to learn more about disciplines outside of their own, to get “engaged beyond their studies and to enjoy Ryerson much more than just going to class.”
Levy says he welcomes the challenge of being Ryerson’s commander-in-chief, “the best job in the world.”
And to start, he has a peculiar challenge for the froshes. “Try to figure out what all the acronyms we use on campus stand for,” he says. “I know it took me a while.”