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What places do you miss visiting on campus?

by Madeline Fiore

Students are missing the experience of being on campus after a year of online learning

March 12, 2020 marked the last time students were able to visit campus for classes. The following day was the start of a year-long switch to remote learning, keeping students away from campus indefinitely.

“Just being downtown and having everything around was really nice,” said Shoshana Mamann, a third-year professional communication student. “(It) definitely gave Ryerson its appeal.”

Mamann said that one of the places that she missed visiting the most on campus is Oakham Café.

The Oakham House sign outside of the Oakham Café on March 22, 2021. (Madeline Fiore/Ryersonian)

Just down the street from the café is the Quad, where groups of students could often be found scattered on the grass, spread out to soak up the sun.

“I didn’t do this, but sitting in the grassy area in the centre of Kerr Hall, I always saw lots of people there. If I could be on campus this semester, I definitely would’ve had some picnics there,” said Victoria Valeriani, a fourth-year law and business co-op student.

Two people are setting up a blanket in the Quad, while others are already sitting and enjoying the sunny day on March 22, 2021. (Madeline Fiore/Ryersonian)

As the winter semester comes to an end and the weather starts to get warmer, more people can be seen gathering outside, while socially distancing, with friends. 

Since recent COVID-19 pandemic restrictions changed to allow patios to reopen in the city of Toronto, the Balzac’s patio on campus followed suit, much to the enjoyment of many students and regulars. 

For Nicole Breadman, a fourth-year graphic communications management student, the campus spots she misses most  are the Student Learning Centre (SLC) and Balzac’s patio.

“The Balzac’s patio reminds me of those nice warm days spent on campus when the weather started to get better, and everyone wanted to be outside between classes,” said Breadman.

A man sitting outside of Balzac’s with his coffee and mask on the table on March 22, 2021. (Madeline Fiore/Ryersonian)

Although the campus features many places to sit outdoors, numerous common indoor areas, like the SLC, allowed students to sit down and get work done.

Breadman enjoyed unwinding and chatting with friends at the learning centre in-between classes.

“The SLC is such a great place to collaborate with friends, and it reminds me of working on group projects which is something I miss doing in-person, especially with all of the group projects I have this year,” said Breadman. 

Community members sit spread out on the stairs outside of the Student Learning Centre on March 22, 2021. (Madeline Fiore/Ryersonian)

Students also had the opportunity to study in student lounges that are located in specific buildings. 

Patricia Koutrouliotis, a third-year social work student, misses the collaborative nature of faculty-specific buildings that often offered refuge from the hustle and bustle of the downtown campus.

“I miss the social work student lounge because it was quiet, and I could actually do my work without being interrupted,” she said.

It was beneficial, she said, because people from her program were there to help her if she needed it.

The entrance of the Sally Horsfall building, which is home to the social work student lounge on March 22, 2021. (Madeline Fiore/Ryersonian)

While remote learning continues, the campus experience is one that students continue to miss. Some corners of campus are used by others roaming downtown, but the majority of campus is desolate without students to fill it. 

The outdoor food vendors on Gould Street are open but there are no customers lined up on March 22, 2021. (Madeline Fiore/Ryersonian)

The Campus Store is closed due to COVID-19 restrictions on March 22, 2021. (Madeline Fiore/Ryersonian)
Only a few cars are seen driving along Church street on March 22, 2021. (Madeline Fiore/Ryersonian)
The Rogers Communications Centre remains empty on March 22, 2021. (Madeline Fiore/Ryersonian)
A pedestrian crossing the street where the Starbucks used to be on Church Street and Gerrard Street East on March 22, 2021. (Madeline Fiore/Ryersonian)

All photos taken by Madeline Fiore.

This article may have been created with the use of AI software such as Google Docs, Grammarly, and/or Otter.ai for transcription.

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