NEWSFLASH: WE’RE STILL OVERCROWDED

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By Carmen Chai

One hundred and twenty-six Ryerson students are still waiting to get into residence.

“It is a longer wait list than we’ve had in recent memory,” said Glen Weppler, manager of student housing services.

He’s surprised at the high volume of students applying for residence. The list peaked at 350 students in June.

Last year, the wait list peaked at 250 students.

Katelyn Bishop, 19, a fashion communication student, applied for residence before she started at Ryerson last year. Residence staff assured her that she would get a spot because lots of students drop their names off the list. But by August, she still didn’t have a space. She started to panic.

“I was thinking of not even coming to Toronto anymore because I didn’t have a place to live,” she said. She moved into the Best Western Primrose Hotel.

Then, three weeks into September, Ryerson contacted her with a room. She didn’t take the offer. “It’s too late. I had to find a place on my own and it would be stupid for me to switch.”

Weppler believes there is a high demand for residence because more people are applying to Ryerson.

As well, a significant number of students are from out of town.

In May, 1,200 students applied for residence for the 2007-2008 year.

But, there are only 840 beds at Ryerson to go around.

There are 555 beds in Pitman Hall, 252 beds in the International Living /Learning Centre (ILC) and 30 beds in the O’Keefe house.

Of those, 80 beds are reserved for students in upper years who serve as residence council staff or student leaders.

The remaining 760 beds are for first-year students.

At the corner of Gerrard and Church Street, a 12-storey apartment complex was supposed to be finished construction for Sept. 1, just in time for the fall term. However, Monette Isidro-Roach of DMS Property Management said construction of the apartment has caused the delay. She said the date has been pushed to Nov. 1, 2007.

Because of its university-centered location, it’s advertised as a perfect location for Ryerson students. Students who have bought into the building won’t be moving in for months.

Weppler said increasing residence is a concept for Ryerson’s Master Plan.

“More residences could be a reality in the future.”

Now in her second year, Bishop currently lives in an apartment on Shuter Street.

“I wouldn’t apply to residence again. I don’t want to wait and not know what’s happening.”

She thinks Ryerson needs to build another residence.

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