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Getting the word out

Rye student “doing RyeSAC’s job” making sure today’s Student Services vote is an informed one.

By Gianni Colavecchia

A fourth-year business student has done a job some people feel RyeSAC should have done — informing people about how they should vote in today’s Student Services Referendum.

Despite a recent car accident and help from only a few volunteers, Lara Guner ran a campaign from October 17 to 24 to tell students about the referendum. Its result will determine whether or not students will pay an extra $50 each in tuition. A yes vote would assure counselling, Financial Aid and Awards, Athletics and Housing information offices and Access, health and Career Centre can be maintained.

Gunter felt the Career Centre alone is too big an issue to do nothing about. “We’re in the heart of the business community. Not to have a job centre would be a real embarrassment,” she says. “We would be the only university in Canada without one.”

That possibility made her organize a temporary student group, the Student Association to Save Our Services. Last week, it set up tables in the Business Building, Rogers Communications Centre and Jorgenson Hall. Volunteers promoted a Yes vote by giving out bags of popcorn. As of last Friday, they got 400 signatures in support of the Yes side. 

“I’m more or less doing the job RyeSAC should be doing. I question why I’m paying a fee to it this year.” She did not like that all but one of RyeSAC’s board members voted to be towards the referendum. 

Patrick Hynes, RyeSAC’s v.p. finance and development, defended the neutral stance. “We don’t want to be biased. If we campaigned hard, it would look like we support jacking tuition fees. If we did nothing, it would look like we don’t give a shit,” he says. Hynes feels RyeSAC’s stance is fair to students.

“Let them decide. Some use one service out of 10. Some use 10 out of 10. How can we speak for them when there are so many different opinions?”

RyeSAC members distributed “thousands of posters” that described the current state of student services.

The board member who voted against the neutral position, RyeSAC’s Women’s Issues Commissioner, Kelli Campbell, said she was only doing her job.

“We’ve been voted in to find more information to give it back to students. We’re not supposed to be neutral. Traditionally, we’re supposed to be advocating.”

A fourth-year business student, Aldo Russcio, didn’t like RyeSAC’s position in the referendum. He said, “Honestly, I think they’ve got no balls. I can understand their point of view. But why would they take a position on the CFS issue last year?” Like Campbell, Ruscio felt RyeSAC should’ve taken a stand because it’s elected by students. 

In any case, Hynes said a five per cent voter turnout would probably make a Yes or No result valid. You can vote today from nine a.m. to five p.m. in places such as the Business Building and Jorgenson Hall. 

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