11 months on the 11th floor

Most students will be going home in April, but a few lucky ones will stay three more months at Pitman. (Matt Oxman / Ryersonian Staff)

Most students will be going home in April, but a few lucky ones will stay three more months at Pitman Hall. (Matt Oxman / Ryersonian Staff)

On residence move-out day, students will pack up their things and probably shed a few tears as they say their goodbyes to their floor mates of eight months.

But for the residents of one lucky floor in Pitman Hall, Ryerson’s largest residence, the party extends for another three months.

Ryerson’s Student Housing Services piloted an 11-month stay for students starting last September.

Only 33 lucky students were chosen for the pilot project and will get to experience summer in the city.

Instead of the usual eight months, first-years were able to sign up for the chance to enjoy three more months of café food, friends, and being away from parents.

Eric Hanley is a first-year chemical engineering student staying on floor 11 of Pitman.

The Waterloo native said that he “bought the 11 month (option) because we thought it was the only way I’d get in.

“They told us that the people who were farther way got priority. We had a better chance in the 11 month,” Hanley said. “I’m not even sure I’ll stay the whole 11 months. I might just go home and work.”

But he’ll still be paying for that extra time spent in residence.

It comes at an extra cost of nearly $900 (a total cost of $13,353.09 for the year, including meal plan), but brings down the rent by about $150 per month.

Siobhan Bell also lives in Pitman, but didn’t sign up, nor would she if she had the chance.

“I think it’s a good idea just to (give students) some sense of security, somewhere they can stay, (but) I think the pricing is kind of unreasonable,” Bell said.

Charlie Wang, a first-year aerospace engineering student, is staying the extra months and taking a few courses this summer. “It’s part of the university experience in first year,” he said.

Wang described Pitman Hall as the “party res.”

He will be staying with the rest of his floor for the summer but feels ready to leave soon after.

“I’m so done with the food …there’s been a lot of repair issues, they shut down our water all the time to repair stuff,” said Bell. “After a year I think it’s time to get out.”

According to the student housing website, the 11-month option is “ideal” for those who want to stay downtown during the summer.

Acting manager of student housing services, Jen Gonzales, did not respond to numerous requests for comment.

This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on April 9, 2014.

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