Ryerson is making the most of its phone bills

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By Keith Capstick

Ryerson University made more than $125,000 this year from  the phones in your residence rooms that you unplugged and threw in your closet to make space for booze.

The 252 students that reside in the International Living and Learning Centre (ILLC) and 565 students living in Pitman Hall all paid a fee of $156 this year for phone services — a total of $127,452.

“I think it’s completely stupid. I’m already paying an arm and a leg to live in res because I don’t live in Toronto normally. You don’t get messages on it anyways. So it’s kind of useless,” said Abigail Miller, a first-year criminology student.

According to Ian Crookshank, Ryerson’s director of student community life, any excess money would be spent on other forms of communication like in-room internet access, although he said the school needs to change the way it drafts the budget. Residence students pay an additional $160 per room for internet access.

“The way that I would look at it is that the full phone charges and the equivalent charge which is for the internet, those charges haven’t changed in 15 years or something like that,” he said.

“A better and probably more accurate label for both of them would probably be communication charges.”

But Crookshank is aware that students are using their landlines less and less each year.

“The longer-term conversation is that we know that the technology is that students have cell phones and are less likely to use the landlines in the room,” Crookshank said.

Maddie Lamirande, a first-year hospitality and tourism management student, is also adamant that the transition to students using mainly cell phones has made these landlines obsolete.

“I’ve had a message on that phone probably since the first day of school and I haven’t checked it,” Lamirande said.

Crookshank, who’s in charge of developing the housing statistics that are provided in the school’s budget, says that it’s his priority to make this change possible going forward. He also added that student reps are consulted to make any budget decisions or revisions.

“It’s important to look at something far more all-encompassing like a communication charge. Rather than something that’s broken down into these categories which at this point in time are kind of misleading,” Crookshank said.

With this in mind both Miller and Lamirande said that it’s surprising when they have a message.

“Actually I had a message on it the other day, and it was just from Rogers and I was like ‘I don’t even use you,’” Miller said.

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