Two first-year, biomedical science students had nearly $2,000 worth of possessions stolen from their Ryerson lockers. The students were forced to use Ryerson’s locks, and now they think the university is responsible for the stolen property.
“We aren’t allowed to use our own locks; they provide the locks,” Ledja Rasul said. “There is one master key for a set of locks and each section gets one set.”
Rasul and his girlfriend and lab partner, Jesseca Bicomong, had their possessions stolen from a locker outside Room 207 of Kerr Hall North while attending a chemistry lab.
Rasul had a bag, jacket, iPod and iClicker stolen, and Bicomong had her jacket, phone, wallet and cash taken. Rasul estimates the value of the stolen goods to be between $1,500 and $2,000.
“They can’t give a reimbursement because we can’t prove necessarily that we locked it,” said Rasul. “That’s just Ryerson, not responsible for anything.”
Chemistry students are required to leave their possessions outside of lab classes for safety reasons. Extra clutter is unsafe, and there is a worry chemicals will spill onto belongings.
“We like the idea that they are providing these locks for us but we want to use our own locks,” said Rasul.
He said that every set of 12 lockers is opened by the same master key. In addition to their own, students have access to 11 other lockers, making it possible to steal from classmates, especially when working with a partner.
“With the master lock idea, theoretically (thefts are) not that hard if I worked with some other criminal,” said Rasul.
After leaving their chemistry lab at 6 p.m. one day earlier this month, Rasul and Bicomong returned to their locker just outside the class. The lock was still intact, but their belongings were gone.
The two students filed a security report when the incident occurred, and have been in talks with the chemistry department. Rasul said their locker theft isn’t an isolated incident.
“I don’t see the point in providing their own locks. Why can’t we use our own locks?” said Rasul.
Ryerson’s policy requiring students to use locks provided by the school is a result of lockers being shared between lab partners, said Marcus dos Santos, a representative of the Faculty of Science.
Dos Santos explained that shared lockers are a reality for students because there are simply not enough lockers for every student in the program to have their own, and there is no room inside laboratories for storage.
Teaching assitants have access to all lockers to ensure they aren’t misused and partners aren’t locking each other out.
Last year, The Ryersonian reported that more security cameras were being installed in Kerr Hall after a string of locker thefts. However, there were no security cameras installed outside of Room 207 in Kerr Hall North where Rasul and Bicomong’s belongings were stolen.
Ryerson’s security department did not provide comment after several requests for response.
This story also appeared in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on Feb 25, 2015.