by Mariana Ionova
In an attempt to resolve a rodent problem in the Student Campus Centre (SCC), building management has asked Hillel, Ryerson’s Jewish Students’ Association, to get rid of the refrigerator that stored the only kosher food available on campus.
“It was almost like we were being penalized for having spoken up about a health hazard,” said Hillel staff member Jess Gilbert.
Hillel staff began noticing mouse droppings in late last September and about a month later, mice were spotted in student group offices on a daily basis.
Soon, mice were getting into the food stored in the fridge for events.
Lack of food storage poses a problem for Jewish students at Ryerson. Typically, the SCC does not permit student groups to store food in their offices but Hillel, as a religious group, was exempt from the rule because kosher food is not available on campus.
“There is no kosher food on campus and there are Jewish students on campus who require it,” said Gilbert.
Mice have been a problem for the Ismaili Students’ Association as well, who have repeatedly had to throw out the food and supplies they store for events.
On one occasion, the mice destroyed $40 worth of food and supplies, according to staff member Husein Kermally.
“Forty bucks might not seem like a lot but when you look at our budget—out of our social events budget, that’s approximately 15 per cent,” said Kermally.
But SCC management maintained that it has been dealing with the mouse problem using an “aggressive approach” since last fall.
“The Student Centre has and continues to contract with a private extermination and pest control firm, one recommended to the Student Centre by Ryerson University,” said Eric Newstadt, general manager of SCC. “The problem seems to have abated considerably.”
In the meantime, the SCC has provided students with some storage but it can accommodate only 10 groups