By Madi Wong
Since Ryerson announced the university would be moving online to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many on-campus services and centres have suspended or limited their services.
On March 13, Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi announced in a statement via Ryerson Today that the university would be suspending all in-person classes. It is expected that classes will be moved online or in alternative formats by March 23.
Last week, the university will allowed for faculty and staff to transition and implement alternative forms for their courses. Lachemi’s statement also said that all exams will be conducted by alternative means.
Ryerson suspending their classes has also resulted in international travel being cancelled until Aug. 31 as well as on and off campus events being cancelled or postponed.
In an interview with The Eyeopener on March 16, Lachemi said the university understands this is a challenging time and is making sure they are developing the right approach.
“We are talking about different forms of delivery for [classes] and those forms could be different from program to program…it is a top priority to [ensure] student course credits are not negatively impacted,” he said.
Lachemi also added that the university and office of the provost will be communicating more information as decisions are made. “We know the importance of getting the right information to students and the rest of the community.”
On March 17, Lachemi posted a second official statement to Ryerson Today stating that the university would be shifting to essential services only on campus.
This means that only certain services will continue to operate on campus and all buildings will be inaccessible unless it is “under exceptional circumstances.”
Services deemed essential include: Ryerson’s Medical Centre, financial services, OneCard office and Community Safety and Security.
Here is a list of what else has been limited or closed on campus.
Student Campus Centre (SCC) groups and services
Signs on the front of Ryerson’s SCC state that the building will be closed until May 1.
Due to the building’s closure, many of the groups and services offered in the building are also being suspended including the CJRU, Ram in the Rye and Oakham Café.
In addition, RSU released a statement to Facebook on Friday stating that the union will be closing many of its services due to COVID-19.
Though the RSU’s office will be closed, the union said their full-time staff—including all RSU executives, campus group coordinator, legal services, Centre for Safer Sex and Sexual Violence Support—will be available via email and other digital forms of communication.
“We will be ceasing operations of such services effective [March 13]…until Monday, March 30th, 2020 at which we will reassess the situation and release another update,” the statement reads.
Likewise, the Continuing Education Students’ Association at Ryerson (CESAR) released a Facebook statement on March 13th announcing that “all events and meetings have been cancelled or postponed in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.”
Sheldon & Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre (SLC)
The SLC announced on Tuesday that the building would be closed until further notice.
Up until Tuesday, students were only able to access the SLC through OneCard between: Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
As of Tuesday, Ryerson’s Library announced that the building would be closed until further notice and that academic and student support services would be moving to online formats.
Up until Tuesday, Ryerson Library reduced their hours of operation to 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
According to the library’s latest update on their site, students with “items currently on loan may keep them until further notice” and “fines will be waived.”
In addition, laptops and “selected reserve items” will be available for extended loan periods to “help ensure students can complete courses and carry on their studies.”
In a statement posted on Monday, Ryerson Athletics stated that all athletics and recreation facilities will close until April 6.
Before Monday, Andrew Pettit, director of recreation, equity and active well-being at Ryerson, issued a statement on behalf of the Ryerson Athletics and Recreation department on Friday detailing how Ryerson Athletics is approaching COVID-19.
“Current guidelines indicate that, with the appropriate measures in place, many of our programs and services pose no increased risk, while others will be modified or cancelled, depending on their nature,” Pettit stated.
As of now, all programs and services are closed or cancelled. Ryerson Athletics has also stated that “prorated refunds will be issued for any program or rental cancellations,” and memberships will be extended for three weeks.
Food on campus
Though Lachemi initially said that student residences buildings with dining halls would remain open, it was announced on March 17 that students living in residences were being asked to move out by March 23 after the province declared a state of emergency.
The university previously the buffet style that currently exists for on-campus food and dining but now, students moving out are expecting to receive funds for meal plans.
The Hub Café will continue to operate but as of Tuesday, the Kinetic Café, Library Kiosk, Starbucks in SLC and Ted’s Bagel’s will be closed until further notice.
Ryerson confirmed on Tuesday via Ryerson Today that the campus store is closed and will not be accepting online orders.
Early Learning Centre
Ryerson’s Early Learning Centre and all programs including the EarlyON and emergency care programs will be closed until April 6.
Ryerson Medical Centre
The Medical Centre is physically closed but students can connect with staff through their new virtual system.
The centre is offering mental health assessments and appointments over the phone or via video-conference.
Academic Accommodation Support (AAS)
According to the Student Health and Wellness site, AAS has transitioned to remote support.
Students wishing to inquire about accommodations or support can reach staff via email or phone as the SLC is closed.
Lachemi told The Eye on March 23 that providing academic accommodation for students while the university moves to online classes remains a priority and that the support would depend on a student’s needs and course requirements.
This article will be updated as information becomes available.