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RSU gets a facelift: Union renamed, but changes don’t address problems

By Rob Granatstein

The look and feel of the student government is changing but the substance isn’t in Paul Cheevers first month as president.

The RSU (Ryerson Students’ Union) is gone, replaced by RyeSAC – the Ryerson Students’ Administrative Council.

“Students were confused with what we (RSU) did, and why we were called a union,” Cheevers said. He hopes the new name will clear up the misunderstanding.

The student government’s legal name is still SURPI (Students’ Union of Ryerson Polytechnical Institute), although the organization was unofficially renamed RSU in 1989. Cheevers said the name will officially be changed to RyeSAC. The change will cost a “couple hundred dollars,” he said.

The new RyeSAC logo is more Ryerson-oriented, featuring a ram’s head. The ram is Ryerson’s mascot.

“The ram is a symbol of Ryerson, and it only made sense for us to have it as our logo,” MacNeil said.

Cheevers is making changes, but they are purely superficial. The RSU executive have yet to do anything that will have a direct impact on students.

However, Cheevers seems to have the board of directors working together thus far, a stark contrast to last year’s president. Ex-RSU chief Mike D’Angelo’s board was largely ineffective and disorganized.

RyeSAC is attempting to refine its image by making board members wear business attire at the monthly board meetings.

“We are a business…and we should have a corporate look,” Cheevers said.

“It is a good change,” said Craig Wong, an Academic Council Representative. “Maybe people will start to take (the board) more seriously.”

The executives’ offices will be moved from the back of RyeSAC’s space to the front. Cheevers hopes this will make him and the other executives who work for – and are paid by – Ryerson students more approachable and accessible.

To accommodate Cheevers’ plan, a wall will be knocked out and the office will be rewired and repainted at a cost of $500, he says.

Full-time students pay $51.25 a year to RyeSAC.

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