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By Shannon Higgins

When Lauren Marshall moved into Pitman Hall in September, the last thing she expected to see was purple mould in her drawers and crusty vomit on her bed.

Yet there the stains were.

“It looks like somebody put a mouldy spoon in there,” Marshall said. “The thing that bothers me is that you pay all these maintenance fees when you move in and they don’t even clean your room.”

She’s tolerated the mould so far, but the vomit was too much.

Shortly after frosh week, Marshall filed a work request for the vomit she found down the side of her bed and on her floor. But when building maintenance came to remove the stain, they just vacuumed and left the dried vomit. “There’s still barf under my bed. It was on my mattress and I had to clean it up,” she said.

Marshall’s work request is one of 900 the housing office has received since students moved into residences in August, said student housing manager Glen Weppler. But the housing office can only address problems they are made aware of and the actual number of maintenance issues is unclear, he said.

Housing also recently switched to a new contractor, so Weppler would not say whether the number of complaints filed so far is unusual. “We don’t have a point of comparison yet,” he said.

Marshall, a first-year fashion student, is even more angry about the lack of communication from housing about what students can have fixed. “All they do is drill into your head that you have to pay for stuff you break,” she said.

“My room’s a piece of shit,” said Emma Bristo-O’Connor, a first-year politics and governance student. The toilet in her room only flushes half the time and she has a dripping bathroom ceiling, but she hasn’t filed any work requests because she’s “really afraid they’re going to charge me for it and I have no money for repairs.”

But Weppler emphasized each case is dealt with on an individual basis.

“It would be nice to say that it is common sense, but it’s a learning process. We try to educate them by putting information on the website, having floor meetings with their RAs, and having the residence contracts. Students should be aware of what they are signing,” he said.

“But it’s a shared responsibility. They have to ask questions if they don’t understand.”

According to Ryerson’s residence contract, students are obligated to maintain the room and furniture.

Students also must fill out a room inventory at the beginning of the year, and housing will charge the student for any item missing from the list when they move out, be it a lamp or a bed.

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