By Tanya Mok
There are three things guaranteed in life: death, taxes and encountering problems while enrolling for courses online. Whether it may be bad timing or not being able to get into that course you need, registering for classes on RAMSS usually turns out undesirably for most students.
But for Ryerson varsity athletes, getting into the right classes is a little bit easier.
Unlike other full-time students, whose dates of enrollment are decided by what year they’re in, athletes are always able to apply on the first possible day, regardless of what year they’re in. It’s a system that’s been practiced since 2009, and is meant to help athletes schedule their classes around their team practices.
Sebastian Novais, a midfielder on the men’s soccer team, believes that because athletes represent the school they’re entitled to certain perks.
“In order to excel in both our sports and academically, scheduling ahead allows us to manage our time better.”
As far as academic support goes, early enrollment isn’t the only thing athletes get. Full-time academic advisors, senior mentors, workshops and mandatory study halls are all provided by the athletic department to help Ryerson’s student athletes maintain the 2.0 GPA they’re required to meet in order to stay on their respective teams.
Some students believe that their own personal commitments, such as a job to pay for their tuition, make their lives equally as busy as a student athlete’s.
“[It’s] hard enough to get into the courses that you want to,” said Andrew Liu, a second year psychology student said. “So to think that there is also preferential treatment for certain students makes it even more unfair as it already is.”
Ivan Joseph, the director of Ryerson’s athletics, said the system is common practice at other post-secondary schools. Athletes at Ryerson aren’t getting ahead of regular students who have placed their course intentions on RAMSS; they just have the privilege to shuffle their schedules before everyone else.
“I wish it was an unfair advantage, don’t get me wrong,” he said. “It would make being able to field a full practice much better.”
Ryerson only has two gyms and limited time slots at off-campus practice locations, which makes it even harder to manage conflicting schedules. During the season, both the soccer team and the hockey team have to commute an hour to get to their practice facilities. These conflicts often result in practices being conducted with several missing players, Joseph said.
Joseph believes that the accumulation of practices, schoolwork, and part-time jobs add up to double the amount of time Ryerson student athletes commit compared to the average student.