By Amy Brown-Bowers
Three Ryerson students are facing eviction from their Neill-Wycik town house because they refuse to let the building’s board split them up.
Justin Drew, Matt McCormick and Dale Rioux say they are a family.
“We’re all about family here,” said McCormick. “They’re [messing] with our lives.”
The three graphic communications management students first got in trouble on June 7, when they threw a house party that spiralled out of control and broke two of Neill-Wycik’s bylaws.
The two bylaw infractions involved making too much noise, and blocking a door with a chair.
Because they refused to split up and move to different rooms by last Friday, they face eviction on Nov 18.
As punishment for breaking the bylaws, the three students were required to complete six hours of volunteer work or throw a party for all of Neill-Wycik’s residents by the end of August.
The three students failed to complete their punishment by the deadline.
“We [screwed up], bottom line,” said Drew. “We could have done the hours and we didn’t.”
In September they put in some volunteer hours to help set up a party organized by Neill-Wycik’s activities committee, but it was too late.
A month later Neill-Wycik’s board sent a letter, ordering them to move into separate residences or be evicted.
The three students were not happy with being reassigned to new rooms. Drew visited the new he has been told to move to, and says he doesn’t want to live there.
“It’s filthy,” he said.
They may appeal their eviction by calling a member’s meeting. Ten per cent of the building population would have to attend the meeting and vote to keep them in the co-op.
Brent Ross, president of Neill-Wycik, said the decision to evict the three students isn’t up for appeal.
“As a collective unit, they’ve shown a disrespect for the rules of the building,” said Ross. “They’ve ignored that, bylaws were broken, and the hours were not done.”
Drew has contacted a lawyer through Ryerson’s free legal services and has begun a building-wide petition. Drew said he got most of the people on the first six floors of the building to sign it.
Ross said it’s not hard to get people in Neill-Wycik to sign a petition and that it will likely not affect the board’s decision.
Ross said he thought the board was being unfairly portrayed as “ogres” for evicting the three students after they had a loud party.
“You live in society and you have to play by the rules,” he said. “In a co-op you have to live by the bylaws as enforced by the board.”