Students frustrated by short supply of study space on campus

Gina Wicentowich/Ryersonian Staff

Gina Wicentowich/Ryersonian Staff


Third-year mechanical engineering student Miki Abbasi was searching for a spot to study Friday. She looked in the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre, the Image Arts Centre and the library.

All were full.

After 30 minutes of searching, she found a spot in the Podium building.

“It’s always hard to find a spot to study,” said Abbasi. “Each and every discipline should have their own study zone, but that’s not the case at Ryerson. In our engineering building, there’s no study space except for some tables on the fourth floor, and they get occupied pretty fast.”

With exam period approaching, the lack of study spaces on campus is a common concern for many Ryerson students.

Nursing student Angad Walia said he often has to study on the floor in the Podium because there isn’t enough space in his program’s lounge.

“The lounge for nursing students is tiny,” he said. “And I don’t bother going to the library because I know it’s packed.”

“(Ryerson) is spending so much money on road paint, when it should be making more study spaces,” Walia said.

According to Ryerson’s Service for Students, there are 36 study spaces on campus available for all students. These spaces include lounges, rooms and open study areas.

The university has taken action to increase study spaces. Michael Forbes, Ryerson’s media relations manager, said the Student Learning Centre will provide additional study spaces for students.

The building will have four floors dedicated to studying, he said. Each floor will have various spaces to accommodate single or group studying. He added that there will also be graduate, quiet and casual study areas.

“The whole idea is to provide a wide variety of space for students to utilize,” Forbes said.

The SLC is scheduled to open in 2015.

Jesse Root, Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) vice-president for education, said the SLC may not be enough.

“A lack of study space is an issue we hear all the time,” Root said. “We see new buildings go up, but there is neglect of the buildings we have.”

There are rooms in older buildings, like the Kerr Hall, that could be used as study spaces if not for poor maintenance, he said.

Root says the RSU is working with Heather Lane Vetere, vice-provost of students, to do an audit of spaces on campus that could be converted into possible study spots.

There isn’t an exact timeline for the project, he said.

In the meantime, he suggested opening more rooms for studying when classes aren’t taking place.

Darrick Heyd, the provost’s senior adviser on academic space planning, said temporary study spaces are a good idea.

Last year, the library provided study spaces in the Victoria Building during exam season.

Classrooms in other buildings are used during the semester and exam period, and it is not feasible to schedule them as a study space, said Heyd in an email.

This article originally appeared in print on Wednesday, October 22, 2014.

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