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Ryerson has no specific plans to improve timing, though the RSU plans to lobby
When Abbey Humphreys-Morris searches online for “fall exam schedule Ryerson 2020,” a page pops up that says, “next exam period: December 3-14, 2019” and “Undergraduate and graduate exam schedule — coming soon!”
It’s not enough information for her.
Humphreys-Morris, a third-year arts and contemporary studies student at Ryerson, relies on her part-time job to pay for her tuition and living expenses. She works for a cosmetic store in a high-traffic shopping mall, and she should have submitted her December availability to her manager weeks ago — but without the exam schedule, that is impossible.
“I am on the brink of not being put on the schedule for December at all, and there’s a reason I work during the school year: because I need money,” she said.
Humphreys-Morris is one of many students who are frustrated with Ryerson’s late exam schedule.
University of Guelph’s exam schedule, for example, was released on Aug. 20, 2019. Queens University and the University of Ottawa both released theirs on Oct. 11, and the University of Western Ontario has a line written into its policy that states the exam schedule for the fall semester will be posted on or before the “sixth teaching week in the semester.”
Lindsey Craig, a communications representative for the Office of the Registrar at Ryerson, explained in an email why Ryerson takes longer than other universities to release the exam schedule.
“Exam schedules are very complex,” she said. “Some of the factors that are considered include the type of exam, the type of exam room and room capacities and instructor schedules.”
University priorities, workload and resources cause the exam schedules to vary across institutions. “Ryerson works diligently to release the exam schedule as early as possible,” said Craig.
Ryerson does not have a policy that specifies the release date of the exam schedule. In response to the question of if the university has plans to change the policy, Craig said there is no specific policy goal to speed up the process in the future, but, the school continuously looks to improve business processes and services for students.
“I just don’t understand why Ryerson waits as long as they do to release the exam schedule,” said Samantha Jackson, a third-year photography student from Vancouver. Jackson cannot book her flight home until the exam schedule is released.
“Typically, I don’t go home for reading week, so Christmas is the only reliable time I get to go home and the longer I can be there, the better,” she said.
Kwaku Agyemang, the vice-president education for the RSU said that the Student Action Committee, a committee he is overseeing, is creating a campaign for change.
“I think the right action is more transparency,” he said. “I think the university can have some type of plan in place to have a set date for when the exam schedule comes out.
According to Agyemang, diving into the policy and defining it is what needs to be done.
Humphreys-Morris planned on using the time off from school to pick up extra hours at work to make more money for next semester, as well as plan out her study schedule to ebb the stress of exams. “Because the exam schedule is so late, I cannot ask for specific shifts,” she said.