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Making the Most of Your LIFE Institute Membership: The Ryerson Campus Experience
Brad Fortner By Brad Fortner,
LIFE Institute member

One value of a LIFE Institute membership lays in the access it grants to the campus experience that a university provides. The great thing about the LIFE Institute is its affiliation with Ryerson University. That partnership draws attention to the many events and services (often free) that make up a modern university. As a LIFE Institute member, you have access to much of it, and I would encourage you to take advantage of it.

Ryerson Library

I’d suggest starting by getting a Ryerson Library card. You obtain it by first getting your LIFE Institute card from LIFE Institute office and then visiting the library's circulation counter. Having access to Ryerson’s library opens many possibilities. You can, for example, borrow a fully charged laptop computer (Mac or PC) for a four-hour period.

When you join the library, you also get access to a my.ryerson account. This is important because most of Ryerson’s library books are electronic and can be accessed anywhere online via this account. Your my.ryerson account also allows you to place holds on physical books, extend loans, find out where computers are available on campus, book study rooms and borrow materials from other partnered libraries. https://library.ryerson.ca.

Student Learning Centre

I suggest taking the elevator to the 8th floor of the Student Learning Centre (SLC), which is on the site where the Sam the Record Man store once stood. Take the stairs down and walk through each floor to get an idea of what's available to you as a student. There are quiet floors where you can sit and work, and other floors that provide collaborative environments. There are bookable meeting rooms, and support areas to assist with English, learning, or math skills. Plus, the building features lots of daylight and impressive views of Yonge Street.

On the third floor, drop into the Digital Media Experience Lab (DME) and get the attention of one of the friendly staff. They’ll outline how you can access the knowledge and technology in the lab for any project-based work you may undertake. They offer several free workshops daily in a variety of areas that will help you gain an understanding of emerging technologies. The workshops provide a welcoming collaborative environment in which you can experiment and learn. A workshop schedule is available at https://library.ryerson.ca/info/whats-new/workshops-and-events/.

Ryerson University Activities and Events

The Ryerson website at www.ryerson.ca is the go-to web link to find out about events on campus. A university by its nature is quite chaotic, and no one body collects all the activities occurring on any given day. The Ryerson website lists the most prominent daily events on its home page. By clicking on the Events title (or http://www.ryerson.ca/news-events/events), you’ll get a longer calendar of upcoming events, many of them free, so you can plan to attend in advance. Events are added daily, so check in often.

Other Ryerson University Places of Interest

To expand upon my interest list (below), I would suggest taking a campus tour. Tours can be up to two hours in length. You need to book in advance or you can do your own tour by downloading a self-guiding tour at http://www.ryerson.ca/admissions/visits-tours/campus/

The Ryerson Image Centre exists for the research, teaching and exhibition of photography and related media. Its gallery often contains multiple exhibits with free admission and free exhibition tours daily at 2:30 pm. http://www.ryerson.ca/ric/

Interested in radio? CJRU AM 1280 is a radio station that is licensed as a campus and community broadcaster. It has many volunteer opportunities both on and off air and offers a variety of training workshops. http://www.thescopeatryerson.ca

Ryerson’s School of Performance stages its dance and acting performances out of a new school and Blackbox Theatre on Yonge Street. (http://bit.ly/2fDyjvN). Info on upcoming shows can be found at https://ryersonperformance.ca/shows/upcoming.

Ryerson’s Food Services prides itself on providing fresh and local foods. A list of locations and daily menus can be found at http://food.ryerson.ca/.

And what is a university without a campus pub? Ryerson’s Ram in the Rye pub is open from 11am to 2am, Monday to Friday. It features tasty craft beer and pub style food at affordable prices. It also features a variety of entertainment on its stage and sports on its big screen TVs. It’s located in the Ryerson Student Centre at 55 Gould Street. http://ryersonstudentcentre.ca/ram-in-the-rye

I’ll close this by providing a BuzzFeed link to the 10 Reasons Why You'll LOVE Ryerson http://bzfd.it/2xpy68H. Why not make the most of your LIFE Institute campus experience? After all we’re all members here to learn about new things and experience life and there’s much more to a campus than just classes.