By Scott Nowoselski
A funnel has many uses. It can be used for baking, crafts or even chemistry class. But for Sarah Hansen*, a first-year arts and contemporary studies student, it means the brink of eviction from Pitman Hall.
Two weeks ago, Hansen’s best friend Dena Barrett made the two-hour trip from Port Colborne for a weekend visit. Without Hansen’s knowledge, Barrett brought along a beer funnel. Hansen was holding the funnel in her room when an RA walked by the open door and spotted the empty device. Although it did not belong to Hansen, funnels are banned under the residence contract and the RA confiscated the chugging mechanism.
While Hansen thought the issue was resolved, it was only the beginning.
She was given three points — the most serious punishment for any one action under the code — moving her closer to eviction. She was shocked at the harsh reaction to the funnel.
“Other RAs mostly just give you warnings,” she said. “I didn’t know it was such a huge deal.”
Ryerson manager of student housing Glen Weppler said that although incidents involving alcohol are considered very serious, residence leaders must also be flexible in dealing with students. Repeat offenders such as Hansen, on the other hand, need to be handled with slightly more force.
“If there’s a pattern of behaviour that’s starting to develop…things are going to be taken a little more seriously,” Weppler said. “The hope is that the individual will take a look at this and say ‘Things are not going so well, perhaps my actions weren’t appropriate.’ But if they don’t see anything wrong with that, then things start to escalate.”
Although Hansen has yet to receive a final punishment, it appears unlikely she will be evicted. She said residence rules and punishments should be clarified, a measure she thinks would have helped her avoid the whole incident.
“I just think they should have one clear rule,” she said.
Hansen said she signed the residence contract that explained these rules without reading the entire document.
While rules to ban binge drinking are considered among the most pressing in residence, every case is looked at individually, said Weppler. He couldn’t comment on the specifics of the case.
“Some RAs are so chill, they pretend they don’t see it,” said Hansen. “They almost make you feel like it’s okay.”
*Names were changed.