Classes canned for Congress 2017

(Samraweet Yohannes)

The dean of the Faculty of Arts, Pamela Sugiman, hosted two town halls this fall about Congress 2017. (Samraweet Yohannes)

Congress 2017

Ryerson won the bid to host Congress,  but the week-long event could cost students their classes.

In 2017, Ryerson University will host the 86th annual Congress of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. The dean of the Faculty of Arts, Pamela Sugiman, hosted two town halls this fall to inform the Ryerson community about Congress 2017.

The town halls also addressed any concerns from students, faculty, and staff, one of which was the cancellation of classes.

“Congress will take place from May 27 to June 2 which could result in all classes being cancelled to accommodate all the academic conference,” the said Sugiman in the first town hall in Oct. “But other arrangements will be made for students if their classes are cancelled.”

Ryerson’s plan 

However, in an interview with university president Mohamed Lachemi, he further explained how the is working on finding other solutions that would not have any negative effects for students and their classes.  

“In terms of scheduling of classes, the dean of registrar and I are meeting together to discuss  Congress and its impact,” said Lachemi. “The discussion is still ongoing, we cannot just cancel classes, that’s not an option we have to find some creative solutions … and maybe this would be the first time that we would have a reading week during the summer.”

Will the Chang School be affected?

Since Congress will be held during the spring/summer semester, Ryerson’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education will be affected the most.

But president Lachemi assured that there’s also a plan for  Chang school students.

“We have also classes that are provided through Chang school and I know that they have some intensive courses that we need to run during that week … but I know that Chang School is figuring out their options,” said Lachemi.

One option includes renting off-campus space, Lachemi said.

The numbers

Congress typically attracts an average of 8,000 attendees,but organizers of Congress are confident that Ryerson will be able to host a large number of attendees.

“This was the number one question, but the Congress 2017 requires approximately 244 rooms and Ryerson has 270 rooms Sharmaine McKenzie, Manager, Administration and Process Improvements, Faculty of Arts.

Academics, researchers, policy-makers and practitioners will gather together at the Mattamy Athletic Centre which will serve as the hub for Congress 2017. The event will feature presentations, workshops, panels, public lectures, cultural events, and receptions and promises to be an inclusive event and a reputation-builder for Ryerson University.

An opportunity for students

“It’s fantastic opportunity for Ryerson University’s undergrad or grad students to showcase the work they are doing or have been working on,” said Marco Fiola, academic convenor for Congress 2017.

“But it is also a chance for the students to meet up with some professionals in their field of study.”

However, president Lachemi assures students that although preparing for a large number of delegates is going to be challenging, this event will not disrupt student’s classes.

“We have  some innovative solutions and I know the team is working towards finding the proper solutions (and will) make sure that we don’t impact negatively the classes that are open in the school.”

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Congress 2017 requires approximately 2o44 rooms and Ryerson has 2o70 rooms. The corrected version says 244 rooms, and 270 rooms. We regret this error. 

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