By Charlize Alcaraz
Students groups at Ryerson have been forced out of their offices due to mould in the Student Campus Centre (SCC) basement since December 2018, despite being promised to return in January of this year.
A printed email was posted in early December in the shared office space for the East African Students’ Association and the African Students’ Association, which gave notice to the student groups’ that they all must immediately vacate their office.
“We have just been informed today that the mould we thought was just located in one Student Group office is actually all along the west wall in basement affecting FIVE other offices,” said Dawn Murray, the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) campus groups coordinator, in the email from Dec. 6, 2018.
The Eye previously reported that the mould was discovered due to a “small leak in a steam pipe which runs behind the wall of the student group office,” according to Jennifer Stacey, the SCC general manager.
Back in January, a Ryerson Facilities, Maintenance and Development (FMD) media representative told The Eye that the underlying source of the mould in the offices had been removed.
“The mould has also been tested to ensure that it poses no health threat…and they’re in the process of removing it,” they said in an emailed statement.
When The Eye reached out for comment about the ongoing mould treatment, Stacey and FMD did not respond in time for publication.
“They’ve kept giving us a bunch of deadlines that aren’t being met”
Although the original deadline for the mould treatment was January, multiple student group presidents said that they were given different dates for when the abatement would be finished.
William Woolford, president of Ryerson Model United Nations, said in an emailed statement that his group was given “three or four” different deadlines.
“[The email] said that it might take until the [second] week of January…that obviously didn’t happen,” said Woolford.
“And then we got a [second] timeline in February that said the work is gonna take until April. By the end of the school year, I think at our last general meeting, they said that it wouldn’t be done until Sept. 19. ”
Printed postings can still be seen all around the west walls of the SCC basement that say “Do not access these offices. Still under mold abatement by Ryerson Facilities.”
The postings also have handwritten comments on them that say “Hurry up!” and “We’ve been waiting since December”
Woolford said that multiple student groups were instructed to store their supplies in shared storage space on the eighth level of the Sheldon and Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre (SLC) and that it poses as a security issue as the public space is accessible for everyone.
Student group executives were not notified of the reasons for the multiple delays.
“There’s no accountability for it, so it’s just been…really disapointing.”
Isaac Quiroz, president of the Organization of Latin American Students, said that one time they asked where Stacey was and they were told she was out of the building.
“Since then they’ve kept giving us a bunch of deadlines that aren’t being met so…We can’t do anything about it,” said Quiroz.
Five student groups were told to evacuate their offices for mould treatment in early Decmber 2018. This means that some student groups have not had an office to use for about nine months.
“It’s just been a little bit frustrating and disappointing considering that our office was taken away halfway through last semester,” said Goldie Acai, president of the Ryerson Sri Lankan Association.
Acai also said that a package of cookies were stolen from the shared storage space in the SLC.
“Things are just been constantly taken away and there’s no accountability for it so it’s just been a really disappointing interaction between the student groups and the school,” said Acai.
The Eye reached out to the RSU to ask how they were accommodating the student groups who do not have office space, and was redirected to Stacey.