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Toilet paper controversy at Ryerson has critics denouncing two-tier system

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November 01, 2015 - 6:00 AM

TORONTO - A controversy over who gets better toilet paper at a Toronto university has critics denouncing what they call a two-tier system, while other Ontario institutions say their bathroom tissue is "equitably distributed."

An investigation published this week by a student newspaper at Ryerson University showed the floors housing the president's office and other administrative departments got two-ply toilet paper, while students received one-ply.

A university spokesman, Michael Forbes, told the Eyeopener that the practice has been in place for more than a decade but the newspaper says the reason for it is unclear.

The revelation has been met with light-hearted outrage as well as backlash from those who argue there are more pressing concerns within the education system.

Meanwhile, at least three other Ontario universities say everyone at their facilities gets the same treatment, toilet paper-wise.

The University of Toronto, the University of Guelph and the University of Ottawa all say they make no distinction between students, faculty and administrators.

"I don't know what it is (in terms of ply) but it's equitably distributed," a spokeswoman for the University of Toronto said.

"Here at Guelph, we have one-ply tissue campus wide, from the president's washroom to the student residences," Lori Bona Hunt said in an email.

University of Ottawa "does not have a two-tier toilet paper system, every washroom on campus has the same toilet paper," said Neomie Duval. "I highly doubt this is a common thing."

In an email to The Canadian Press, Forbes said Friday that more than 15 departments across the Ryerson campus have two-ply.

"We are examining a switch to two-ply but we need to be mindful of costs and the fact that buildings with older plumbing systems can only accommodate one-ply," he said.

Almost all buildings are open to the public, meaning anyone can use the bathrooms, he said.

Some took to Twitter to vent about the discrepancy.

"You mean we've been stuck with tissue paper while they hoard the plushy good stuff? (...) it's PLY-GATE," one person wrote.

"As a Ryerson student I can say with all honesty that I have often thought of bringing my own toilet paper to school #TissueIssue," said another.

Others downplayed the controversy.

"Ryerson's two-tier toilet paper system..... LOL. I guess when midterms got you stressing, you'll complain about anything," one wrote.

News from © Canadian Press , 2015
Canadian Press

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