Bloody welcome home to Ryerson

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By Alyssa Luckhurst

When Danielle Geva opened the door to her room in Pitman Hall for the first time, she found what would have made most people turn around and head back home.

“There was blood on the carpet, there were cigarette butts everywhere. It was so messy. My mom was like, ‘Oh my God,’” Geva said.

The first-year business management student moved into residence on Aug. 27. After finding the room in disarray, she alerted a staff member.

Members of the maintenance team immediately began cleaning the room and scrubbing the carpet.

But there were more surprises in store for Geva. While the room was being cleaned, she opened one of the large drawers in the base of her bed and found a “huge circle” of blood staining about a third of the drawer.

“I opened my drawer and I was just like, oh my God, I am not dealing with this,” she recalled.

The blood had dried and Student Housing Services manager Glen Weppler suggested it wasn’t blood.

Still, the maintenance staff removed Geva’s bed and replaced it with the bed from a vacant room across the hall.

Weppler said crews responded as best they could.

”There are 840 rooms in three residence buildings we have to turn over and prepare for student arrival in one week or less. One room didn’t get the attention it obviously needed,” he said. “Once we were aware of it we responded immediately. The student and the parents were satisfied with our response.”

After students vacate the residences for the summer, Pitman Hall and the ILLC serve as hotels to the general public. Weppler said the strategy maximizes the use of Ryerson’s housing facilities while generating revenue to help keep costs down.

Delegates attending the Toronto AIDS Conference were the last large group of tenants in the building, bringing in revenue but compressing the timeframe to have the rooms ready for students, Weppler said.

Tristan Tidswell, a second-year theatre technical production student, is the academic link advisor on Geva’s floor. Along with the floor’s residence advisor, Tidswell was in charge of checking every room on the floor before the students moved in.

“After the cleaners had been around we did an inspection to make sure it was fit for someone to move into,” said Tidswell said, adding that if three or more rooms had been found in that condition, each of the floors 41 rooms would have been re-cleaned.

Geva’s room wasn’t cleaned initially because crews couldn’t open the door, Tidswell said.

Weppler said that “a malfunction in the lock” was the reason the master keys did not work.

Despite her move-in day experience, Geva said she does not find the incident to be reflective of Ryerson, and that she likes her room.

“This closet’s bigger than my closet at home,” she said.

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