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These dorms are like no other

By Annie Arnone and Natalia Balcerzak

Residence life at Ryerson just got a lot cooler.

Extreme Dorm Makeovers is a new web-based series on RU Student Life’s website that made its debut Sept. 22. Inspired by MTV Cribs, the show features students’ abilities to decorate and transform typical dorm rooms into comfortable living spaces.

Cole Deakin, a third-year journalism student, is the host of the series. With videographer and third-year film student José Rosales, the team searches Ryerson’s dorms for creatively designed spaces.

“There is a stereotype that residences are like a jail cell,” Deakin said.

The idea came to Deakin and Rosales — who both work for Student Housing Services and live in residence — when they got the multimedia specialist positions at RU Student Life. They said they wanted to challenge how residence is interpreted and show what it takes to create a home environment.

“Coming into residence, you have a bare room you’re trying to make… [for] yourself,” Deakin said.

When Rosales moved into Pitman Hall in his first year, he said he was unhappy with his room.

“I’m an international student, so I came with only my clothes,” he said. “It was a single room with a brick wall.”

Returning as an academic link, Rosales said he wanted to make his dorm into a home. With movie posters and pictures of his loved ones on shelves, he created a space that he was happy to return to.

As a resident of the International Living & Learning Centre, Claudia Warner said that her dorm had potential to be comfy.

With pink hearts on the wall, pink bedding, pink lampshades and even a pink fuzzy rug — Warner’s love for the colour is obvious in the first episode of the series.

“The room looked bare and the carpets were gross … but now I see a room that reflects my happy, colourful and vibrant personality,” said Warner, who also brought her Xbox and stuffed animals.

“I wanted to have a room completely different looking than my room at home to symbolize a new chapter that I’m starting in my life,” she said.

With filming and editing, the production process takes more than a week. Deakin and Rosales’ goal is to have the show running until the end of the school year.

Rosales said he’s optimistic about the show and that people are already asking for episode two.

“I love learning about other people and what they like, who they are and where they came from,” Warner said. “This web series can show viewers some knowledge about other people and show [their] different sides.” The next episode is in the works.

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