By Stefanie Phillips
The rumours are true — students from York University and the University of Toronto (U of T) are hanging out and studying at the Student Learning Centre (SLC).
For York student Farrukh Saleem, the SLC is closer to his home in Scarborough than his own campus is. Whenever he gets invited by his Ryerson friends to hang out at the SLC he takes advantage of the opportunity.
“I don’t come here as often [as my own campus],” he said. “So I don’t think it should be an issue.”
Another York student, Trish Ramos, was studying on Floor Four with her old friend from high school, Eillen Mariano, who goes to Ryerson.
“There’s no place like here that you can meet up with friends,” Ramos said.
With their busy upper year schedules both of them find it hard to hang out but at the SLC they can do their work and see each other at the same time.
“I like that they can come and we can work together because I haven’t seen them in a while,” Mariano said.
Right now the SLC is a public space open to the public for use. It is closely monitored by SLC staff and Ryerson security.
“Any complaints about behaviour use in the SLC or elsewhere on campus is investigated, and appropriate action is taken,” said security and emergency services Manager Tanya Poppleton. “Action includes asking for identification and can also include anything from a warning to … being asked to leave.”
Poppleton did not respond to a question about whether non-Ryerson students have been removed from the SLC.
Second-year Ryerson urban planning and development student Daniel Orellana said he welcomes students from other schools to use the space.
“It’s cool that we have a space that people want to come to,” Orellana said.
But his friend AJ Soto is concerned that foreign students will crowd the space, forcing Ryerson students to compete for desks, chairs and rooms.
“The fact that we put in tuition for a new space and now we have to share it is bad,” he said. Soto added that Ryerson students should have priority.
Foreign students cannot access the study rooms because they don’t have a student card. However they can still work in the rooms if they are with a friend that does.
Ryerson nursing students Aubrey Ilagan, Stephanie Javelosa and Jeremy Alpuerto believe that if the space does get too crowded it should be monitored, but right now they said they’re okay with foreign students using the space.
“It really depends on how crowded it is,” Ilagan said.
All three of them said that they have been to other schools, including U of T and York, to study or hangout with friends.
There have also been rumours the some U of T students damaged one of the whiteboards in the centre.
Michelle Ocfemia goes to the U of T and said she believes the rumours are unfair.
She believes that vandalism can “happen anywhere” and by anyone.
Ryerson University President Sheldon Levy said he hadn’t previously heard about about students from other schools using the SLC but heard multiple reports about it after he started asking around. He said he has to “find out some information on it, to what extent our students are being dislocated, all of that.”
He said deciding whether to kick out non-Ryerson students would be a “hard one,” especially since he’s heard that Ryerson students went to U of T libraries when Ryerson didn’t have available study space.
“… Ultimately, Ryerson students have to have a priority and it’s different if there was extra room as opposed to not enough room. And coming to exams it will even be more of an issue,” Levy said, adding that he would be “checking into it.”