By Natalia D’Amico
The Student Campus Centre is home to five equity-based groups that offer everything from free food and condoms to information and workshops for Ryerson students in need. Read up on them and see what they have to offer below.
Community Food Room
The Community Food Room has been providing the Ryerson community with free, nonperishable food items for over 10 years. It was opened to ensure that no student would ever have sacrifice food for education. Aside from providing food for members of the community, the Community Food Room also offers nutritional information and cost-saving recipes, and allows students to purchase baskets of fresh fruit and vegetables at a reduced price. Though the service is open to all students in need (an honour system is in place), only 185 students use it. Be one of the few to take advantage of this service.
RyeACCESS seeks to break down barriers facing students with disabilities, from inaccessible washrooms to negative stereotypes. RyeACCESS advocates a completely barrier-free campus. The group, whose members are of all abilities and skill-sets, hosts an annual barrier-labeling event to draw the public’s attention to accessibility issues. Last year, it hosted a series of educational events including the Week of Disability and a screening of “Shameless: the Art of Disability”, a documentary that explores disability in relation to the arts, entertainment, and society.
Students Against Racism
Students Against Racism’s mission is simple: to create and maintain an anti-racist climate on campus for all. It provides a safe space for students who have faced racial discrimination, and seeks to share their struggles with the community through campus-wide services, campaigns and events. It hosts a variety of panel discussions and an annual multicultural variety show. It is the newest equity service group on campus.
The Women’s Centre is the RSU’s oldest community service. Through workshops, movie screenings and other events, the group works to improve campus life for all women at Ryerson. Past campaigns include Real Women of Ryerson, which promoted realistic beauty standards, and a campaign to keep pad and tampon dispensers on campus full. Though the Women’s Centre’s doors are open to all, men must knock before entering.
Since 1977, RyePride has worked with members of the LGBT community and their allies to make Ryerson an inclusive campus through its various campaigns and events. Last year, RyePRIDE hosted queer-rights activist Judy Sheppard’s first Canadian speaking event, and a party in honour of National Coming Out Day. RyePRIDE’s office also has a library and provides safe-sex information and condoms for all couples.