October 12, 2011The Eyeopener
O’Keefe showing signs of age
Twier was abuzz over the pastweek as students used the socialmedia site to complain about hous-ing problems on campus.For the 32 residents inside theaging O’Keefe House residence,the problems ranged from garbagepickup to heating.The twier handle ‘@okeefe- brewer,’ run by second-year jour-nalism student Vibhu Gariola, whois now in his second year of livingin O’Keefe, started complainingabout garbage piling up as far backas Sept. 26. Gariola says he thinksmaintenance has missed their regu-lar garbage pick-up at least one totwo times per month.Chad Nuall, manager of stu-dent housing services, says hethinks a problem like this is due tostudents dumping their garbage inthe main common areas on a Fri-day night, as maintenance doesn’tpick up on weekends. But Gariolaadded the whole building was lack-ing garbage cans, which forces stu-dents to dump everything into onecommunal bin. Even recycling hasfailed throughout the house thisyear, he said.The last major renovations to the building were done in 2004. Firstyear O’Keefe resident Dillon Li saidthis year they had talked about x-ing the balcony. Since he startedliving there a month ago, the urinalhas broken in the rst oor wash-room they barely use, causing astink in the house, plus one roomhad a minor case of bed bugs.Li also complained that mainte-nance sta were “rude” and he wasonce walked in on three times dur-ing the same shower,Gariola said they have also expe-rienced pest problems but he hasnoticed a bug zapper in the down-stairs kitchen. A few oods havealso occurred during his time there.With fees ranging from $4,416.34for a double room or $4,254.34 fora triple room, the O’Keefe Houseoers the lowest residence fees oncampus and, for some students,was their only reasonable option.“It was the only choice I had tolive here. It was the cheapest,” saidLi.Nuall said one of the majorproblems is that students don’tspeak up.“I ask students ‘did you put in awork order?’ Nine out of 10 timesthe answer is no,” he said. “We’reonly going to x things we’re madeaware of.”Gariola, who has since led workorders for some of the complaintshe made, agrees. “You can chooseto be chill about it or you say some-thing about it,” hesaid.The buildingitself was builtaround1875makingit one ofthe oldest buildings oncampus. Presi-dent Sheldon Levysaid he would imagine it has somesort of heritage designation, sothere has not yet been a question ofchanging the building’s usage.“Whether or not we should[change it] might be a legitimatequestion,” he said.President Sheldon Levy an-nounced at the Ryerson Senatemeeting on Oct. 4 that a make uptest centre for students is set toopen in January 2012.Make up tests have previously been wrien through the AccessCentre or through the individualfaculties themselves.“I would imagine some of theindividual faculty members foundit dicult to be able to accommo-date the students on an individuallevel and thought it beer to havethe option to do it centrally,” saidLevy.The Access Centre, responsiblefor providing disability accommo-dation services as well as supportfor academic success, also tookon the responsibility of invigilat-ing non-Access Centre tests in the basement of the Victoria building.The new location will provide adistinction between the services,open up more booking time andreduce the work for the employ-ees of the Access Centre.“It will make it clearer to stu-dents and faculty that they’renot an Access Centre stu-dent,” said Heather LaneVeter, vice provoststudents.Veter and Chris Ev-ans, vice provost aca-demic, wrote a report tothe Senate detailing whythe relocation of the centrewas a necessary move.“The main reason we wrotethis report was concern expressedto us by faculty who couldn’t getthe Access Centre to invigilate ex-ams during a busy time of year because they were busy with Ac-cess Centre students,” said Veter.There are blackout periods inwhich the centre is too busy withthe Access students to run exams,during midterms (Oct. 7 - 28) andduring nals (Nov. 28 - Dec. 17).Non-access students are alsorestricted to writing only onWednesday from 3 to 7 p.m. andFriday from 12 to 4 p.m.The report also detailed a twen-ty per cent increase in tests writ-ten by non-Access students fromthe 2009-10 to the 2010-11 aca-demic year.No budget has been set, butthey are looking to hire a coordi-nating position that would workat both centres.Neither coordinating positionswould be a full-time job, so thehiree will go back and forth asneeded.The new test centre will likely be moved to a classroom-sizedspace, seating up to thirty stu-dents writing at one time.The location has not yet beenconrmed, though a room in theVictoria building has been consid-ered a possibilty for the new testcentre.
SLC to break ground in February
REBECCA BURTONNEWS EDITOR
The construction of the new Stu-dent Learning Centre (SLC) is set to break ground in February 2012.The $112 million project, to be built on the corner of Gould andYonge streets, has managed to stayon point for scheduling and cost asoriginally planned.“We’ve hit all our schedul-ing milestones so far,” said JuliaHanigsberg, vice president admin-istration and nance.The original design planschanged to accommodate theDowntown Yonge Business Im-provement Association’s (BIA) rec-ommendations that the buildingdidn’t blend well with the rest ofYonge Street.A second entrance to the build-ing was implemented on the YongeStreet side and the retail facade wasaltered to make it more dynamic forpedestrians.The changes did not aect cost orscheduling.Ryerson has sent out a requestfor proposal (RFP) to hire a con-tract manager and constructioncompany to oversee the project.The search is ongoing but details ofwho has applied cannot yet be re-leased. The construction budget asidentied in the RFP is $63 million,said Hanigsberg. The planning ap-provals phase will continue overthe course of the fall.President Sheldon Levy said theuniversity has been working non-stop on the Sam the Record Mansite and currently have about fourpeople in full-time negotiationswith the city on the site.“What people see is when thehole is dug and things start hap-pening. But a huge amount hap-pens in advance,” he said.
The walls start to show signs of age in the O’Keefe House basement.
PHOTO: LINDSAY BOECKLPHOTO: LINDSAY BOECKL
Newlocationfor makeup tests
CAROLYN TURGEONASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR
Renderings of the upcoming SLC.
COURTESY RYERSON UNIVERSITY
After numerous tweets about issues in O’Keefe House, students speak out about ongoing problemsin Ryerson’s oldest residence building.
News Editor Rebecca Burton