By Raf Brusilow
Despite several recent break-ins and thefts, there are still two ways to get into Ryerson’s school of interior design these days: pay $15 dollars for a magnetic passcard you’ll need to swipe through a card reader, or just hang around near the doors until someone lets you in.
Entry to the interior design building, packed with expensive equipment and computers, is supposed to be protected by a 24-hour passcard entry system designed to keep out unauthorized entrants, but students taking classes in the building say passcard card use isn’t being enforced.
“There’s always someone going in, so you can get in that way,” said Natalie Crompton, a second-year interior design student who revealed she has no trouble slipping past the locked doors. “When people open the door for me, they never ask for ID,” said Compton.
An Eyeopener reporter was let into the building by a security guard without being asked for identification. Ryerson issues passcards to students after collecting a $15 deposit fee for each card, refundable upon graduation.
Security at the interior design building has been in the spotlight since a series of break-ins in early January. Offices were damaged and a computer was stolen from interior design instructor Julia Scalzo’s office.
The break-ins appear to have happened between 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, during a changeover period when the building was left unlocked in order to accomodate entry for Continuing Education students who at the time had yet to receive their passcards.
Security manager Lawrence Robinson said he can’t confirm the break-ins happened during those times, but admits Ryerson security is looking at better options for managing the transition of Continuing Ed. students into the building in the future.
Interior design Chair Lennie Scott-Webber said Ryerson Security frequently advises students not to let strangers into the building, and says she hopes students will use common sense in recognizing who to let in, and who to keep out.
“We’re a very close-knit community. We know our neighbours,” she said.