By Alanna Rizza
A centre for Ryerson University students to access resources to improve their wellbeing is no longer operating.
After receiving a tip that the Wellness Centre wasn’t in service, The Eyeopener discovered that the room, located in the basement of the Student Campus Centre (SCC), was locked and the window was covered.
The centre, which officially opened in February 2018 after numerous construction delays, is now being used for storage and as a workspace for the RSU.
After knocking on the door on Nov. 19, an Eye editor was allowed into the room by two Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) staff members, who were both working on laptops. The Eye editor also observed video game consoles by the television in the room.
RSU president Ram Ganesh said the space hasn’t been used as a Wellness Centre since the end of last school year because of a low number of students attending the Centre’s programming. Since then, he said the space has since been used as an RSU workspace, such as for campaign trainings and meetings.
“The Wellness Centre has had a gaming console in it along with a 70” TV for over a year now. The previous year executives had put that in place,” Ganesh wrote in an email.
He said another reason why the centre’s operations have ceased is because of “the absence of dedicated staff.”
“We are currently in works with our health and dental program broker to help us find people to manage the space and the programming,” said Ganesh.
However, an RSU employee told The Eye on the condition of anonymity that the centre is currently being used as a space for student union employees to “hang out.”
The Wellness Centre was announced in 2016 under then-RSU president Obaid Ullah in an effort to improve mental health and wellbeing on campus. When the centre opened last school year—after more than a year of three delays due to construction and building code violations—it was described as a “centralized” place for students to access on and off campus resources.
Jennifer Stacey, general manager of the SCC, said in an email that the RSU has complete control over how the space gets used.
Stacey said the Palin Foundation, a board made up of members of the RSU and university administration who make decisions on the SCC, would only step in if any illegal activity was taking place in the room.
“The Wellness Centre space is run entirely by the RSU,” she said.
More to come.