Discovery Committee Pitches Daring Plan to BOG
After having yet another batch of 1st year students disappear into depths of the Kerr Hall building earlier this school year, the university admin called upon its members for a discovery committee to discuss the issue. The Committee for Returning Ryerson’s Registrants (RRR) was formed on October 2nd, 2014, and has spent the year determining the best course of action to contend with the shifting layout of Kerr Hall. After many grueling months of statistics collection, interviews, focus groups, and data processing, the RRR has pitched a promising plan to the Board of Governors.
As is well known, at the beginning of every school year a small percentage of the student body enters Kerr Hall in an attempt to find their class, only to become disoriented and ultimately lost. The numbers have never been large, however, at .02% of the incoming class this year (nearly 130 students), Ryerson faces the highest spike since the 1.0% debacle of ’97.
“It may not seem like a lot,” a president said, “but the numbers add up over the years. All those students, they don’t go away—and there are fire codes to worry about!”
Fearful that the rising number of Kerr Hall dwellers will put an excessive burden on RU Eats vending machine refill budget, the Board of Governors called the RRR Committee to investigate possible solutions.
“Our first thought was to bulldoze the whole building,” one RRR committee member said, “but the blowback from the community for destroying such a precious landmark wouldn’t be worth the results.”
Instead, the committee has pitched a daring new plan—SA Solutions. The idea: Ryerson Student Affairs will open a new department in September whose purpose will be to cater to those necessary, yet unfortunate, burdens of life as a student at Ryerson. It’s mandate: “Strategically solving Ryerson Problems with an innovative, student centered design and focus.”
To start, the new unit will hire a whole team of Kerr Hall Landscape Mentors—in most cases, former safari tour guides—that will be equipped with enough yarn, gumption, and bread crumbs to safely lead anyone in, and out, of Kerr Hall. To compliment the Wayfaring program, a campaign has already been planned to raise awareness: “Feeling Lost (in Kerr Hall)?” posters will be affixed to every door, window, loading dock, vent, and hole that leads into the building. As well, a series of group workshops, 1:1 tours, and directional supports have been planned to compliment the program. “It’s not enough to just lead students in and out,” John Austin, Director of Student Affairs, said, “We want to teach them to lead themselves.”
Along with the Wayfaring program, SA Solutions will also tackle some of Ryerson’s more challenging problems, such as commuting and access to technology. Students often find it difficult to be on time for classes, or even make it to campus at all. To help, SA Solutions will offer the Stressless Commute program, where students will be able to sign up to host lectures in their own homes, having professors and their fellow classmates come to them. “There was also talk to partner with the Engineering and Philosophy programs to invent some sort of ‘teleporter’-tech,” the committee said. “But we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves.”
With EDI at the forefront of thought at Ryerson, SA Solutions will also offer equitable solutions to access to technology. “Not everyone has the same access to technology, so we really want to level the playing field,” an excerpt from the pitch reads. “To do that, we plan to offer ‘A Typewriter At Every Desk.’” This program, as its name suggests, will permanently affix a typewriter to every desk on campus. “Just think how wonderful it will be to have every student in TRS-1-067 tapping away at their notes.” Assistive programs will include typing 101 workshops, and “What Is A Ribbon?” social events.
The ideas don’t stop there. Though it will take several years to roll out all the ideas mentioned in the RRR’s pitch, other notable suggestions include: swapping all lockers on campus for Murphy-style beds; switching from a “tuition” model of invoices to a digital media led “you owe us dollars” strategy; and changing exams to be at the start of the semester, to get all the stress and worry out of the way first.
Though the BOG has yet to make its decision, all parties are very hopeful. “Student Affairs is really excited to welcome this new initiative,” John Austin said, ”and we are excited to open so many avenues to partner with all our colleagues on campus, and make being a student at Ryerson better. The $16,000,000 price tag is well worth the gain.”
Brought to you by the Committee for Returning Ryerson’s Registrants.