Going back to Ryerson campus in a pandemic? Here are some services you should be aware of

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By Anna Wdowczyk

Many student services at Ryerson University are operating virtually due to COVID-19, while some have started reopening in-person with new safety regulations.

In an announcement via Ryerson Today, the university stated earlier this month that they are advising students to avoid coming to campus in the fall 2020 semester unless they need to be on campus for necessary activities. This includes in-person classes and approved reservations at open facilities.

On-campus, students are required to follow Ryerson’s Face Mask Policy, while staying two metres apart from others.

The policy states masks or face coverings need to be worn in enclosed areas that are open to the public with few exceptions. Masks or face coverings must also be worn in all other enclosed areas unless there is a designation or prescription from the university.

Here’s a breakdown of Ryerson resources that are operating with new safety regulations.

Study spots 

The Sheldon & Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre (SLC) has been open since Sept. 8 for students who need a quiet place to study. 

The hours of operation are Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. For cleaning purposes, the SLC will be having mid-day closures from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. with students expected to clear the building during these hours.

Since the SLC is functioning at reduced levels during this time, students are also required to book a desk in advance. This can be done up to five days before a study session. The booking limit is 15 hours per week, with no specific limitations per day. Group study spaces are currently unavailable to maintain social distancing.

The Ryerson Library has been open since Sept. 8 as well. It is accessible Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m, according to the Ryerson Library’s website, but only available by appointment/online booking. General access to the library is currently not available.

Online services can be utilized from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays, and from 12 to 6 p.m. on weekends. This includes chatting with librarians, virtual research appointments, email support, payments, scanning and delivery.

The website states that electronic resources can be accessed at any time. Students are encouraged to read updates on the library services and resources they can access during the pandemic.

Ryerson Campus Store

It’s the time of year when many students are looking to purchase new learning materials for the fall term. Although the university campus store is still physically closed, students can order course materials, clothing, gifts and stationery items online.

The store makes deliveries directly to your door. Students can learn more about the shipping information and policies before making a purchase. There is also a new refund policy in light of the temporary closure, allowing returns and exchanges to be completed by mail within 10 business days of purchase.

On the campus store website, it states all returns and exchanges must be completed by mail within about 10 business days of purchase. Customers are required to let staff members know of their intention to return a purchased item through email.

However, final sale items are nonrefundable. These items include all textbooks, e-books, access codes, manuals, computer accessories, calculators, printers and software.

Athletics

The Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) is open for students who want to work out individually, operating under a reservation-only system.

Since Sept. 8, the MAC has been open from 8 a.m. until 9:45 p.m. on weekdays, according to the university’s recreation website. Students can have first bookings of up to 90 minutes in length. Any other bookings can be no more than 75 minutes long. Each student or member is allowed to make one reservation per day.

According to the website, rules differ on weekends, with the MAC open 9 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Any bookings can be up to 90 minutes long.

Before being able to work out at the MAC, students must sign a waiver acknowledging the risk of participating in university activities. 

The Eyeopener previously spoke to a law expert about this waiver, who deemed it “not enforceable.” 

By signing the waiver, you agree to give up your right to “any and all” future legal claims against Ryerson while also releasing the university from liability for damages to the household members of anyone who signs.

Students interested in playing sports such as basketball may want to learn more about ‘drop-in’ sports. These sports also have reservation requirements and new rules due to the pandemic.

Additionally, students can choose to stay in the know when it comes to Zoom fitness classes, intramural e-sports and neighbourhood-based connections by following Ryerson Recreation on social media

Students who are visiting the MAC for the first time since the hit of COVID-19 are urged to read about the new safety regulations.

Plans for the opening of the Recreation and Athletic Centre (RAC) are currently being considered, according to the university. 

OneCard Office

New Ryerson students must apply for a OneCard online. These cards can be picked up by students who will attend in-person classes and/or access specific campus resources on the first floor of the SLC until Sept. 18 during distribution times.

Individuals who need replacements for their OneCards must follow the OneCard replacement policy.

Campus Residences

Residence buildings that are currently open include Pitman Hall, the Daphne Cockwell Complex and the International Learning Centre. 

These buildings are only open for residents and staff members at reduced capacity for safety reasons, according to Ryerson Today.

Students must wear masks in all areas aside from their own private rooms with rare exceptions. Maintaining a distance from others is also required, and small social circles are encouraged.

Pitman Dining Hall

Those with meal plans are now allowed to dine in or take meals to go with the swipe of a OneCard.

However, drop-in dining is unavailable. Those who are interested in eating at Pitman Dining Hall but don’t live in residence can purchase voluntary meal plans.

Ryerson Image Centre (RIC)

The RIC is set to open on Sept. 16 with three new exhibitions. These exhibitions consist of the Scotiabank Photography Award: Stephen Waddell, Ethan Murphy: Front & Back and Mohamed Bourouissa: Horse Day.

The RIC website states the gallery will be operating with limited guests. All staff members and visitors will need to wear masks while maintaining physical distances.

“In these challenging times, we hope to provide a tranquil and contemplative space where visitors can experience new ways of looking at the world through photography,” said director Paul Roth according to the website.

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