Mould treatment forces student groups out of offices

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By Madi Wong

Student groups at Ryerson were moved out of their offices due to ongoing mould treatment in a Student Campus Centre (SCC) hallway. 

The Sri Lankan Student Alliance was the first group to notify the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) of the issue in early December.

Jennifer Stacey, SCC general manager, said in an email that Ryerson Facilities, Maintenance and Development (FMD) discovered the mould due to a “small leak in a steam pipe which runs behind the wall of the student group office.”

After further inspection, additional student groups including Ryerson Model United Nations (RyeMUN) and Socialist Fightback Club were alerted that their offices would also be shut down due to mould. 

“I thought we got robbed initially,” said Hermes Azam, president of Socialist Fightback. “They took all our stuff and moved it all…everybody’s stuff [is] in the same room, jumbled up.” 

Printouts of an email from Dawn Murray, RSU campus group coordinator, are posted on the affected offices’ doors. In the email, Murray told members to move their belongings from their offices into a storage room on the third floor of the SCC. 

Murray also stated in the email that due to the holiday break, the mould treatment process would go into the second week of January. 

Student group offices in a SCC hallway were closed for ongoing mould treatment. Notices were placed asking students not to use them
Student group offices in a SCC hallway were closed for ongoing mould treatment. Notices were placed asking students not to use them. Photo: Elana Emer

Aidan Messom, co-president of RyeMUN, said the ongoing treatment has been an inconvenience. 

“We don’t have a place to conduct the meetings we usually do in the office,” said Messom. “We can only access the stuff we had stored in there if we get someone from the RSU to open up the temporary storage room.” 

“It was supposed to be done already, but there were delays and at this point I don’t know when the offices will be reopened,” he added. 

Azam said that Socialist Fightback is struggling without an office as it was their primary storage space. 

“[We have] all kinds of materials that our comrades have to get in their backpacks and take it back and forth everyday. We don’t even bring our big standing banners because they’re way too heavy to bring to campus on a weekly basis,” he said. 

Azam said there is no clear date for when the groups will be able to return to their offices. Regarding the relocation, there has been a “mismanagement, lack of communication and general inadequacy on the part of the RSU,” he said.

“It was supposed to be done already”

The underlying source of the mould has been removed, according to FMD’s media representative.

“The mould has also been tested to ensure that it poses no health threat…and they’re in the process of removing it,” the representative said in an email.

RSU president Ram Ganesh said his team is working closely with the SCC to figure out what they can do. 

Ganesh said the offices are the only space student groups have and that the RSU has tried to help the affected student groups by prioritizing their room bookings and offering their own conference room. 

“This is an old building, can’t really blame anyone for it,” said Ganesh. 

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