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By Chris Glover

More than 700 students are beginning to look for a room outside of residence, but the housing office isn’t answering their calls.

Alanna Julian, a first-year technical theatre student, said the hunt has been more of a hassle than anything else. “It takes so much time to find something decent and I don’t feel like I have any support from Ryerson’s Off-Campus Housing Office.”

Julian said the only thing the office’s staff gave her were a password to a list of available rooms. “They were useless,” Julian said. When asked to comment, an off-campus housing official said she was too busy. Julian said that some students are being left with a feeling of helplessness — a feeling that she said only makes the transition to off-campus housing harder. Additionally, nearby apartments are less appealing in the wake of recent crime trends.

Communities such as St. Jamestown and Cabbagetown, once ideally cheap for student living, now come at the cost of personal safety. Jennifer Bradley, a first-year Radio and Television Arts student, isn’t convinced living close to Ryerson will make her feel safe. “With all the recent shootings, I can’t help but be a little apprehensive about living downtown,” she said. Leigh Runk, a first-year Graphic Communications Management student, is also worried about violence.

“My goal is to just find a place where I won’t get shot,” Runk said. Richard Andrand, Project Superintendent for the apartment building at 145 Mutual St., said that RyeHighers make up 20 per cent of his tenants. “It’s a great choice for Ryerson students.”

Publications such as 24hrs’ Find-a-Rental are also able to make looking for an apartment or house easier. Ed Amr, Sales Manager for the publication, said it has a “good spectrum of all kinds of apartments and houses for students all over the GTA.”

Sites such as Viewit.ca and Craigslist.org offer online options for potential renters. Students such as William Stirling, a second-year architecture student, say they are finding these sites to be the most helpful, as the housing office is under-staffed.

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