By Zeinab Saidoun and Farnia Fekri
As of Sept. 15, Ryerson is launching a hostel space in the International Living Learning Centre (ILLC) for commuter students.
On the second floor of the building, the university will use nine of the 11 available rooms to house students who can prove a need for it—like an 8a.m. exam or late hockey game. It will cost one student $35 per night, or two friends $22.50 each to share.
“It’s a way for us to maybe provide a bit more of an innovative solution to the common commuter challenge,” said Ian Crookshank, director of housing and residence life. The cost of the rooms were determined based on the cost of managing the program.
The space was previously used to house students during emergencies, like burst pipes in residence. Sometimes the rooms were filled by visiting lecturers — but due to a lack of space for a residence advisor on the floor, they remained relatively unused.
Commuters requesting to stay the night will find the rooms set up like hostels, with fresh linens and towels.
“That’s unreal,” said Syed Abbas, a third-year business management student living in Pickering. “It looks really good on Ryerson giving back to its high percentage of commuter students.”
Crookshank said that the main concern of commuters is that they want to be engaged on campus but can’t bear the long commute — particularly due to early morning classes, assignments and around mid-term time.
During the academic year, the rooms will be available Sunday through Wednesday nights. Rooms will not be rented out on Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays due to high traffic in residence — until exam time, when space will be available seven days a week.
David Zand, a second-year criminology student and Markham commuter, said he loves the idea of the commuter space. “I would definitely use it,” he said.
Zand said that commuting makes it difficult to be engaged with clubs on campus. He explained how it drains all his energy, which puts a toll on his grades.
Students will be able to book their rooms using an online form, requiring 48-hours notice and acting more as a request than a reservation.
According to Crookshank, the university is dedicated to this program.
“It’s not a space for you to stay in Toronto and party with your friends,” he said. “It’s a space where if you need to be here to be engaged in something that’s happening on campus or academics, then we’ve got a few spaces that can help.”