The first week of class should be a time for students to familiarize themselves with campus facilities, workrooms, and program-specific resources.
But for some Ryerson students, that couldn’t be done. New and returning students alike found campus facilities restricted.
The reason? OneCards — the Ryerson designated student ID and access cards.
Unfortunately, for some students, OneCards weren’t fulfilling their “access card” function when the semester started.
Journalism students working for Ryersonian couldn’t even get into the newspaper’s office due to OneCard issues.
The solution? Using a chunk of cement to prop open the door the first week back.
But J-students aren’t the only ones feeling the OneCard burn.
First-year fashion students also dealt with some related woes.
After undergoing the laborious process of getting a student ID, which can have new students standing in line in a basement for upwards of an hour for the holy piece of plastic otherwise known as a OneCard, some fashion students were barred from certain workspaces.
One student, who wishes to remain anonymous, said how she, and others in Ryerson’s fashion programs, couldn’t get into the fashion departments overflow labs.
Overflow labs house important equipment needed to complete assignments.
Students were forced to stand around and wait until someone graciously allowed them entry.
Unless the timing was just right, students pretty much couldn’t do their work.
Getting access to facilities in the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre is proving to be a OneCard-related hassle for students too.
Felix Han and Ryan McAllister are both applied math majors.
Neither are able to readily access the computer science pods available in the engineering building. As mathematics majors, using these facilities is arguably necessary, but their OneCard denies them access since they’re not part of the “correct” faculty.
Han even has a minor in computer science and still can’t access the pods.
Both students also complained of not being able to access the engineering building at night.
Han and McAllister fork over thousands of dollars in tuition every semester, like all other Ryerson students, and yet they are denied access to campus facilities because their OneCard doesn’t deem them worthy.
In truth, a call to the OneCard office could fix most of these problems.
That’s if you get through to anyone. A call to the OneCard office at this time of year will probably send you straight to voicemail or put on hold.
If you do happen to speak to a representative and ask about access issues, the blame may be placed elsewhere.
“It is up to the individual departments to send us that information,” said a OneCard office employee when asked about why some students aren’t able to access certain workspaces.
Sometimes the departments send all of the information early, said the employee, and sometimes they don’t.
If it’s the latter, students may have trouble getting into certain program-specific facilities.
Admittedly, by the time this piece goes to print, most OneCard-issues facing students will probably be resolved. The OneCard office is dealing with their busiest time of year, and card-issues are probably the exception more than the norm.
But OneCards are pieces of technology put forth by Ryerson and vital to the student experience. They should work from the get-go.
And as Ryerson students, we are paying thousands of dollars to receive a first-grade education. That includes being able to readily access all of the facilities our programs offer.
The fact that a piece of plastic bars any students from doing so, on the first week of school, when we’re supposed to be getting back into the swing of things, is not exactly conducive to learning.