A recent survey of 20 students from the Whitby campus revealed 17 of them felt disconnected from the main campus. Two of the three students who said they felt no disconnect weren’t aware there was an Oshawa campus.
Until this year the Whitby campus was primarily a trades school and heavily male dominated.
Some programs such as Office Administration were moved to Whitby after students attended Oshawa for their first year.
“I feel very out of place because it’s all guys and trades. I’m not sure why they decided to move this program when it’s so different from other programs here,” said Melissa McDowell, an Office Administration student.
Other students feel the school wasn’t ready for the program to be moved.
“When we were transferred for third semester we didn’t have proper chairs and software. We felt like they weren’t prepared and wasted a semester,” said Amy Zikic.
“I do feel some connection when I need help. I can go in to speak to someone. I think they started to fix it now and everything is running smoothly,” said Zikic.
“We have to pay for the different services at the Oshawa campus like the gym and daycare but they are too hard to get to,” said Sylvia Ratchford, an Electrical Technician student.
It’s a complaint shared by several students.
“I think the utilities at the north campus are so different. The gym here is small and seating is too,” said Joshua LeBlanc, a Welding Techniques student.
The Whitby campus is starting to work on bridging the gap between campuses.
“It’s critical to get the SA in here. People are paying their fees and deserve to get their dollars worth,” said Darrin Caron, dean of the Whitby campus.
One of the bigger changes coming is the expansion of the gym. Caron says he spoke with students about what they wanted and has been making plans with the director of athletics.
The students have a common area filled with tables that can be used for events and the school also has the ability to license it.
“I’d like to create a steady schedule of events, something like every third Thursday of the month we could have a musician or comedian come in,” said Caron.
The school is looking at plans for a dorm on the last piece of open land available. Caron also said a representative from Metrolinx told him it is possible a larger hub could be placed right behind the school.
“I don’t know if disconnect is the right term but I want to enhance student life here,” said Caron.