The campus newspaper at a Canadian college has ignited a bizarre class war after revealing that top administrators at the college received superior toilet paper for their bathrooms.
Almost every bathroom at Ryerson University in Toronto uses cheap, low-quality single-ply toilet paper.
But an investigation by third-year journalism student Laura Woodward (which took nearly two years to complete) reveals that top administrators at the school have carved out a special exception for themselves.
“Student washrooms are stocked exclusively with that translucent, gotta-fold-it-thirteen-times one-ply,” Woodward wrote in the campus paper, The Eyeopener. “The top two floors of Jorgenson Hall — 13 and 14 — carry the thick, absorbent two-ply.”
“The thirteenth floor includes offices of the president, provost, vice-president administration finance, vice-president research and innovation and vice-president university advancement,” she continued. “The fourteenth floor is occupied by meeting rooms. Ryerson President Sheldon Levy’s office is steps away from the two-ply supplied bathroom.”
Notably, this largesse for the bottoms of top administrators is primarily coming out of taxpayer pockets, as Ryerson is a public university. Another 40 percent of its budget comes from student tuition.
Ryerson officials have justified the disparity by saying it would cost too much (about $80,000) to put two-ply paper in every single restroom, although this doesn’t explain why they’re spending about $2,500 extra on two-ply for administrators in the first place.
As it happens, nobody can remember how the practice started.
In response to the backlash, the school says it’s considering making two-play the norm across campus but it warns the paper may be too thick for some of the campus’s older pipes.
The Canadian Press contacted officials at other Canadian universities and found that Ryerson’s arrangement is an unusual one. At other colleges, administrators and students are expected to endure the same kinds of toilet paper.
“Here at [the University of Guelph], we have one-ply tissue campus wide, from the president’s washroom to the student residences,” one campus spokesperson said.
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