By Shannan Peck
Hello students and welcome back to our completely necessary return to campus. To help you in these times of great stress (which our legal department wants to point out we did not cause), we at Ryerson are providing a guide for students to feel reassured about the new semester. We are basing our guide off the familiar model of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which was co-opted from the Blackfeet Nation. But we’ve already hit our four-year goal of reconciliation with the upcoming university name change, so we’ll continue using the theory name used by generations of white scholars.
I’m sure some of you are scrambling to find housing now that you’re required to attend in-person classes during the worst wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. We advise students to simply throw their security cheques in the faces of landlords without even taking a tour to ensure you get your very own bedroom. Even if it’s in the $7,000 per month range, remember: being able to fit a bed in your room is a luxury.
If you’re unable to find housing, this is not the responsibility of Ryerson University. However, we will gladly send you a map of off-campus dumpsters, so that you can rest your head somewhere that isn’t an inconvenience to us.
Safety and security
We understand how important a steady income is and how painful it can be to lose a job. When it looked like we could potentially lose several dollars for the board of directors’ collective salaries, we took measures to balance our budget by forcing all students to return to campus mid-semester. We offer jobs that pay $140 to $150 a week (before tax) for two months. Or if you want to support the local job market, we have a Career and Co-op Centre that will desperately try to help you get past fickle managers. Remind yourself that there is a labour shortage in Canada, even if your inability to get a job makes you question that fact.
We also have bursaries that you can find in the bowels of the Ryerson website. Please meet with a counsellor to budget your finances first, however, because how could your financial incompetence be anyone’s fault but your own?
When one of your classmates cannot afford a PCR test for their asymptomatic COVID-19 case and it impacts your family, don’t worry: we can replace them. If you’re feeling down about the loss of a loved one, Ryerson University hosts many gatherings for different causes, hobbies and identities to keep you distracted. We even have cooking and baking clubs, so you won’t even miss your grandmother’s food when you pass the virus on to her.
Sometimes, when you’re in a situation for which we are not legally responsible and cannot be sued, your mental health can be rough. At Ryerson University, we have our team of only slightly-overworked medical staff at our medical centre and a few counsellors. If you are too impatient to wait six months to see one of our exhausted counsellors, seek out CAMH or any hospital where people on AskTO said that they weren’t traumatized by their stays.
If you truly wish to feel self-actualized, look no further than our number one service: providing $28,000-value pieces of paper. We promise that you’ll reap the value of that paper twofold within the next 50 years—at least emotionally, if not materially. Your mental health, finances and families’ lives are just tiny bumps in the road to the potential of finding a career with the thousands of desperate people who did better than you at school. Don’t worry about the people with actual connections—you don’t have to compete with them, because they were already hired!
In these difficult times, think of this guide as a reward for your mandatory support and non-refundable tuition. And remember, we care about your wellbeing—even when all evidence says otherwise.