The EyeopenerWednesday, March 9, 2011
TTC slashesdiscountpasses forpart-timestudents
BY SAMANTHA SIM
Ryerson’s mutating programs
BY STEVE GOETZ
As Ryerson continues to expand insize it also drastically changes its aca-demic programs every few years. Forstudents in the midst of their degrees,these changes could mean anythingfrom additional work hours to a com-plete re-design of programs and fac-ulties.Since 2006, a total of 13 differentprograms experienced changes.The majority of the changes oc-curred in the engineering depart-ment as mechanical, electrical, com-puter, civil, aerospace and chemicalengineering all underwent changesin 2007.Based on Ryerson’s governingstructure, in order to change a pro-gram it must be approved by thedean of the individual department.If the proposed change is drastic itmust be approved by Senate beforethe department can start to phase inthe program.Some students greatest concernis the disruption of their academic
Image Arts students left out of decisions on new building
BY SARAH JONES
In the past few weeks, Gould Streethas been lit up by a rainbow of co-loured LED lights that shine from thenearly complete Image Arts building.But with 75 per cent of the buildingnished, Ryerson’s Image Arts stu-dents are wondering why they arejust being consulted now.Members of the Image Arts com-munity, including students, profes-sors and administrators, met onMarch 3 to conduct a town meetingto discuss the highly buzzed aboutImage Arts building.Most students were largely unaf-fected by the construction when itbegan in 2008, but the Image Artsfaculty, which includes lm, photog-The Toronto Transit Commis-sion (TTC) announced March 1 thatit’s eliminating the $99 discountedmonthly Metropass for part-time uni-versity and college students.Part-time students will now have topurchase the full-price adult pass for$121 as of Sept. 2011.Nicole Barrafato, a part-time stu-dent, doesn’t see the reason for theTTC’s move.“I denitely don’t understand thedecision,” she said. “Often part-timestudents are also working part-time,so they can afford school, and aremore strapped for cash than full-timestudents.”The move is expected to save theTTC $1.4 million annually.TTC spokesperson Jessica Martinsaid it was a cost-saving measure.“Of course it’s not the ideal decisionto cut it, but it was a nancial hit wecould not afford,” she said.Ryerson Students’ Union PresidentToby Whiteld said the TTC’s decisionwas expected.“In December I was at city hall.At the meeting, councillors alludedthey’d be revoking the discountedpass for part-time students,” he said.Whiteld said the RSU understandsthat students, full-time and part-time,have to worry about many costs.“[We know] students don’t onlyhave to juggle things like rent andfood costs, they also have to deal withmoney for textbooks and school fees,”he said.Second-year nursing studentShamhad Abdi said there should beno difference made between part-time and full-time students.“I don’t think it’s fair. There shouldn’tbe a differentiation,” she said. “Youcould be taking fewer classes butcoming in the same number of daysas full-time [students].”Whiteld said the RSU will con-tinue to ensure the $99 Metropass isoffered to full-time students. He saidpart-time students can still purchasethe $107 transferable pass throughthe RSU.Annie Hyder, VP Student Rights forContinuing Education Students at Ry-erson (CESAR), is a part-time publicadministration student.“Our students are constituents,with different needs,” she said. “Wewant recognition by institutions [likethe TTC] that we are students.”raphy and new media, was dispersedhaphazardly throughout the campus.New media students relocated tothe Rogers Communications Centre.Film and Photography students wereshunted to workshops with inade-quate lighting and too little space.“We’re really pushing the envelopeto get you in by September,” said JuliaHanigsberg, Ryerson’s newest vice-president, administration and nance.The Image Arts building is an ini-tiative of the university’s Master Plan,an ambitious framework for revitaliz-ing the campus and the surroundingdowntown neighbourhood.Now that the department is prepar-ing to move into their new home, stu-dents want to know what their placewill be in the new building. Many areconcerned that their needs will stillnot be met.“Beyond gentrication of our cam-pus via Lite-Brite, who are we? It’s abuilding, it’s walls, but I can nd thatanywhere, for less than what I’m pay-ing to be here,” said photography stu-dent Kyle Brohman.Despite the murmurs of discon-tent from some Image Arts students,school administration said the build-ing will create a space for students of all disciplines to mingle.“We think a sense of space is impor-tant, to have people want to spendtime on the campus,” Hanigsberg said.The building includes an $8 millionproject, the Ryerson PhotographyGallery and Research Centre, whichwill house the Black Star HistoricalBlack and White Photography Collec-tion. The ground oor will also playhost to an outsider café or coffeeshop franchise that has yet to be de-termined.Some image arts students don’tthink the new building will be per-fect, nor are they happy about thatfact that they won’t receive any com-pensation for the lost resources anddecreased educational value they’vehad to tolerate for the past two years.“There is a complete lack of com-pensation for lost production spacenow,” said Michael Thompson, a sec-ond-year photography student.Since the school has made it clearthat compensation in the form of tu-ition refunds would be impossible,other suggestions were offered bystudents, such as accommodatingalumni in the new space after they’vegraduated, giving them a place to cre-ate.The building administration hascommitted themselves to anoth-er meeting with the students in amonth’s time.“I guess all we can really say is thatwe’re here now. We can’t really marchback in time to improve communica-tion,” Hanigsberg said.plans, which has the potential toweaken the quality of their education.“In our year, some kids got reallyscrewed over,” said Paul James, a fth-year architecture student. “It was justreally sloppy.”James, said the architecture pro-gram was more challenging before itreceived a major change in curricu-lum after 2006.According to the chair of Archi-tecture, Kendra Schank Smith, majorchanges were implemented in 2007.“We make these changes to updatethe curriculum and make it more rel-evant for students,” Smith said.The new curriculum requires stu-dents to complete assignments onthe computer instead of drafting byhand, a process that requires focusand attention to detail, James said.Christopher Evans, Vice Provost Ac-ademic, said the university puts pro-cesses in place to protect the school’sreputation as it continues to modifydegrees and faculties.“No student is placed at academicrisk by program change,” Evans said.According to Evans, signicantprogram changes are phased in overa number of years to ensure that allstudents who started in the older cur-riculum can nish before it is phasedout.Evans said occasionally there arestudents who take an extended leavefrom school and come back to seethe curriculum is no longer offered. Inthose cases, the school will make ac-commodations for students.According to the university’s cur-rent academic plan, Ryerson may un-dergo another round of expansion,increasing enrolment by 30 to 50 percent in the next decade, to meet thedemand for post-secondary educa-tion in a growing GTA.Last year, the Provost’s AcademicStructure Commission, a committeetasked with recommending changesto the university’s faculty structure,delivered its nal report recommend-ing changes to accommodate the an-ticipated growth. If put forward andapproved by the Senate, the faculty of engineering, architecture and sciencewould separate into distinct faculties,and a faculty of law would be formed.Ryerson President Sheldon Levysaid it’s crucial that Ryerson main-tain its tradition of partnering theorywith practice when restructuringprograms. “That’s our distinctive char-acter. If we didn’t do that, we wouldslowly become someone who we’renot.”
Paul James is an architecture student who went through the nal year of the old curriculum.
PHOTO: CHELSEA POTTAGE
As Ryerson continues to evolve, growing in both geographical size and student population,programs are being revamped to accommodate the change. But administrators may notunderstand the effect on students
They think they’re helpingus out but they’re making itharder.
Paul James,fth-year architecturestudent
WITH FILES FROM REBECCA BURTON,SARAH DEL GIALLO AND EMMA PRESTWICH