By Raf Brusilow and Amy Sharaf
It appears wooden models aren’t the only things getting nailed at the School of Architectural Science.
Custodian Vicente Perada, 74, said he’s found used condoms on the floor of the architecture building, empty beer bottles in its garbage cans, and has even caught couples making out on couches and in bathrooms. “Two weeks ago, I saw many students getting drunk on the fourth floor. I saw many beer bottles in the garbage,” said Perada.
But despite working at Ryerson for the past 10 years, Perada is no killjoy–he’s become used to turning a blind eye to let students have their fun. “I say ‘no problem, you play,'” Perada said laughing.
Architecture students frequently stay overnight in the building, sketching and making models in the wide-open studio spaces, but homework isn’t the only thing getting done.
“People bring their girl friends here; they go on the couch and mess around,” said second-year student Scott Cairns. There are small couches located in studio spaces, but most are partially hidden by wooden dividers.
Perada said he walks in on frisky couples “sometimes every day, sometimes no.” A group of first-year students, who declined to be quoted, laughed and nodded in unison when asked if they sometimes drink alcohol while working late.
But Sana Samanian, another student, denied people are drinking to get hammered. “If we drink, it’s for us to get relaxed,” she said. Security patrols the building at least once a night and though empty beer bottles have been found in the past, Lawrence Robinson, manager of security and safety, said there have been no major incidents.
“You don’t typically put together reports on empty bottles lying around. We report if someone was found drinking,” he said.
Brett Fine, a first-year student, insisted coffee, not alcohol, is the drink of choice.
“A lot of people do caffeine. Last project, I pulled two all-night-ers in a week.” While all-night-ers are common for most university students, some in architecture pack suitcases and sleeping bags for extended stays.
“I’m actually staying here till Monday; I have my luggage,” said first-year student Parul Bahuguna last Friday night, pointing to a red carry-on bag tucked away under a drafting table.
Another student, David, refused to have his surname printed but admitted he actually constructed primitive sleeping quarters using two cardboard pads and a sleeping bag he brought from home.
Though sleeping in academic buildings is prohibited, David said he just hides his makeshift cot in a corner of the room, under some desks, to avoid being spotted by security. Architecture professor Jonas Spence-Sales has taught at Ryerson for 34 years and said it’s not uncommon for students to stay late.
“When the crunch comes, everyone does it,” he said. “Yes we have [students] working late at night, sometimes they sleep over, they take naps.”
He had no comment on whether his current students drink in the building, but said too much work and too little sleep aren’t the best combination.
“Having the presence of students in some cases is a positive thing, but to have students sleep here all the time is not a good thing.”