By Shaye-Love Salcedo
Disclaimer: All sources and quotes in this story are completely fictional
Picture this: the fall term has just begun and you’re already knee-deep in class readings and syllabuses. The go-to place for studying at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) is none other than the vibrant Sheldon and Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre (SLC). You decide to go with your head held high, pushing the guy in front of you to capture a much coveted spot somewhere inside to study.
Damn, you fought crowds in the lobby only to find out that every group study room is packed with students looking to ‘study.’
Let’s be honest. What would really fix this problem is a ninth floor.
Some TMU students say the rising school population in recent years has restricted study spaces in the SLC’s most popular study floors.
“There’s simply a high study demand,” said third-year architectural science student Nyenth Flore. “I haven’t seen a single vacant seat in this building for ages. Do you realize how hard it is to find a place in the SLC with a charging port or without a stain somewhere?”
Flore expresses that all TMU students want is enough space to be the studious people they are.
“Adding another floor would totally motivate students to study alone and with their friends,” Flore adds. “I imagine more spaces, where we can all productively study what Taylor Swift’s next surprise song will be on ‘The Eras Tour.’”
Justin Skye, a second-year creative industries student, frequently studies (sleeps) anywhere in the silent study space on the seventh floor. He hopes that the university will consider expanding the building in the future.
“I get why the SLC is TMU’s favourite study spot. Its striking architecture and attractive colours offer a beckoning perspective for intellectual students like myself,” he said. “It’s such a snore that there isn’t a ninth floor, we need it because it’ll be nine times as fun for all!”
First-year English student and content creator Ammpie Theetra has expressed her support for a ninth floor due to her passion for skipping—or rather studying—diligently during the week.
“As a new student on campus, I find solace in the SLC,” Theetra said, closing the TikTok tab on her phone. “I haven’t explored much of campus yet, but I’d like to know that I can look towards this building and know there will be a place for me.”
Theetra claims she feels like she’s being punished as she watches others sitting at tables and enjoying their company on every floor.
“I see the occupied desks and think, ‘You were supposed to be my table, holding my things and my arms as my mind wanders…about work of course.’”
When asked if she had ever considered coming to campus early to help her score a decent study spot, Theetra waved a hand. “Girl, bye.”
“Will these other ‘social butterflies’ learn that they need to make room for those who actually want to skip—sleep—I mean study effectively?” she added.
Theetra claims that many students feel the same way as her, hoping that they will “stand with us in building a [ninth floor] for the workaholics out there.”
TMU students aren’t the only ones rooting for a ninth floor. Sheldon Vallee, a business management professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management, agrees that all students should have a place to study, even if it means expanding the SLC.
“I assign about 95 weekly readings to my students,” he said. “I expect them to ensure that they are absorbing the content in a place where they will definitely be focused.”
Vallee admits that he occasionally visits the SLC himself to grade work on the seventh floor and side-eyes his students whenever he notices them mulling over anything but his readings.
“What? I know it’s called a student learning centre for a reason,” Vallee said. “But teachers should also have a nice place to focus on school-related responsibilities, like watching The Office. That’s probably related to business…I think.”
Despite the obvious passion that staff and students have for building a ninth floor, whether or not the university will consider taking action is to be determined.
So will the SLC be getting a ninth floor anytime soon? No, but you can keep dreaming about one.