Current on-campus work spaces not working for some students

By: Paolo Gonzales

With classes in full swing, some students hoping to return to normal aren’t sure the RRC campuses are ready for them. 

Tucked in a corner of the Learning Commons in the Exchange District Campus, Yujin Lee, a Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic student, said more can be done to provide a more welcoming environment for students hoping to study on campus.

“Maybe it’s because of Covid, and everything’s closed down, but there’s so much dust,” said Lee. “It’s not maintained.”

RRC student Yujin Lee studying in the Learning Commons in the Exchange District Campus./PAOLO GONZALES

Electrical Engineering student Ethan De Lima doesn’t study at the Learning Commons and chooses to study in a hallway on the fourth floor of the campus instead.

“[This] place is more quiet and more distant from the other people in this college,” he said.

According to the college’s website, study spaces are on a first-come, first-serve basis, and if a room is full, RRC asks students to study elsewhere.

The college lists one room for the Exchange District Campus – the Learning Commons – and the room can hold a maximum of 35 students due to physical distancing requirements.

The Portage campus lists their Student Study Centre as available to students, but with a maximum occupancy of four people. The Notre Dame campus can hold 83 students spread across three rooms.

This is more than double the capacity for its Exchange District counterpart, and 20 times more than the Portage campus.

Conor Lloyd, director of public relations for RRC, said the spaces available in each campus are dictated by the sign up sheet located by each entrance to a study space. 

Students in the Learning Commons collaborating on assignments./PAOLO GONZALES

“Doing so requires coordination to ensure we follow all our COVID-19 protocols on campus, including proper cleaning, identifying occupancy requirements to maintain physical distancing, and ensuring that we can properly conduct contact tracing for those spaces,” said Lloyd.

He did not indicate how many students go to campus to study or attend their online class. 

Lloyd said the campus will continue to monitor the use of the spaces closely to ensure students can access learning spaces as needed on campus.