More than half of the power outlets in the Centre Hub cafeteria do not work. PHOTO : JESS TSANG

Sockets suck: where is the power?

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By Sierra Bein

Student space at Ryerson is slim and flawed. More than 50 per cent of outlets in the Centre Hub, a prime student space, don’t work, leaving students more limited than before.

After investigating a number of student complaints about the number of working power outlets, the Eyeopener found that 14 out of the 24 outlets in the Centre Hub cafeteria do not work.

The Eyeopener took a phone charger to each visible outlet in the Centre Hub and tested them one by one. The results showed that eight wall outlets, two located on a pillar and on four desks, do not work.

The Hub is a dining hall, and a space on campus that is commonly used by students to work, study and unwind between classes.

All the outlets in the north Hub work. However, the space is regularly used for special events, such as the Involvement Fair hosted by RU Student Life last semester.

None of the outlets located on the desktops work – outlets that are specifically meant to be used by students to charge laptops and phones.

“A lot of people come to do work here with their electronics and they rely on that,” said first-year nursing student, Baljinder Mann. “If your phone or laptop is dying, you need a power source and the library can be so packed sometimes.”

Ryerson has come under fire in the past for the lack of student space provided on campus. They hope to address this problem with the completion of the new Student Learning Centre on Yonge and Gould streets, which is set to open by January 2015.

The Ryerson Students’ Union president, Melissa Palermo, said that she has personally encountered outlets that don’t work around campus, such as in classrooms.

“I think with a lack of student space, it’s important that students can study where they are. Generally we’re living in a time when folks use electronics to do their schoolwork. It’s important to have access to those things,” she said.

Anthony Sistilli and George Badea, both first-year computer engineering students, have sat at the desks where outlets do not work.

Sistilli said that he has experienced the outlet problem in the Hub before. He pointed out another outlet he deemed the “culprit” of the last attempt he made to charge his laptop.

“It’s terrible,” Sistilli said. “People have work to do and videos to watch.”

Badea agreed.

“If we come late, there’s no way we’re getting a charge because they’re all taken,” he said.

Many programs, such as computer engineering, rely heavily on students’ technology.

“I have to charge my laptop and my phone – most of my work is on my laptop, if it dies I won’t be able to finish my work,” Badea said.

Campus facilities have received calls and emails regarding the issue and say it can be caused by too many devices being plugged in at once which may cause the breaker on an electrical panel to trip.

“We have experienced this type of electrical issue in the past, however, the problem is not chronic,” said Daniel Neri, manager of maintenance and operations via email.

Other areas that students have pointed out where outlets have been on the fritz include the engineering building, the ground floor of the Rogers Communication Centre and multiple floors in the library building.

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