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What students need to know this April

By Alexandra Holyk

With exams underway, Ryerson students are hunkering down and hitting the books.

In this state of hibernation, it’s easy to forget what’s going on around campus. Here are three things students should know this exam season.

Nap between examzzz

Ryerson’s Health Promotion unit in Student Health and Wellness has created a napping space for students to use during the exam period, fulfilling the empty promise made by the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) to bring nap pods to students.

From April 15 to 26, the zZz Zone can be found in POD 50B, and ten students per hour have the chance to nap for thirty minutes at a time. Students can book a nap station only once a day and must present their OneCard upon access. The earliest students can use the facilities is 11 a.m. and the last available time slot is 2 p.m.

The quiet, dimly-lit room holds ten recliners and offers lockboxes to secure students’ valuables. According to Ryerson Today, the guidelines to use the zZz Zone include keeping the space technology-free, participating in a guided stretch once you are woken up and wiping down the recliner using the provided wipes and replacement linens before you leave. They also ask students that are sick to refrain from using the nap spaces, and advise them to either rest at home or make an appointment at the Medical Centre.

SASSL stocks student bathrooms with menstrual products

The exam period may not be the only period students have to deal with over these two weeks.

To prevent additional stress of not having a tampon or a pad on hand, the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Support Line (SASSL) has stocked a number of bathrooms across campus with free menstrual products for the duration of the exam period.

Between April 15 and 27, stations that will be refilled on a daily basis include those located near KHE 124B, JOR 245, VIC 110C, EPH 203, LIB 75, LIB257, SHE 637, ENG LG08, ENG LG16, TRSM 1-529, TRSM 3-529 and all exam washrooms in the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC).

CSSSV here to support students

The Centre for Safer Sex and Sexual Violence (CSSSV) has been open since January, and through this program, SASSL and its team continue to assist and educate students from diverse sexual backgrounds in a sex-positive and comfortable environment.

Located in the Student Campus Centre across from the RSU in SCC 313, the CSSSV is the seventh RSU equity centre available to students. In collaboration with the Sexual Violence Support & Education, SASSL and Consent Comes First offices, the centre strives to provide Ryerson students with much-needed comprehensive sexual health education in a sex-positive environment, according to Farrah Khan, manager of the Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education.

Ryerson’s Sexual Assault Survivor Support Line office. Photo: Elana Emer

The CSSSV is a space for students to drop-in and grab necessities before they go, including free menstrual products and safer sex material. Although Ryerson already has many similar services for students, RSU vice-president equity Karolina Surowiec said she believes that what sets the centre apart the others is its peer-based program.

“This is sometimes easier and more comfortable than talking to a staff member or a counsellor,” said Surowiec, adding that this service centre acts as a place where students can find a community for themselves at Ryerson.

Sydney Bothwell, manager of the CSSSV and SASSL, is excited about what the future has in store for the centre, starting with a proposal for a reinvented private and accessible space. The new facility is expected to have a library with books on sexual education, as well as private breastfeeding stations. “We are dedicated to advocating for and supporting survivors on campus,” Bothwell stated.

The CSSSV is currently open Monday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., with drop-in peer support available on Mondays between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. The centre will be open through the summer, and SASSL will be extending their hours too, according to Bothwell.

With files from Ram Seshadri

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