Photo: Bessie Ng

Prez pretenders and contenders

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By Graeme Smith

Lionel Poizner worked 14 years before coming back to Ryerson.

Poizner was in second year before leaving in 1980 to work as a manager of information systems.

He uses business ideas when talking about Ryerson.

“The university often forgets we’re customers,” said Poizner, a fourth-year industrial engineering student. “The problem is, if you buy a shirt at Eaton’s and don’t like it, you can return it. But you can’t return a course if you’re not satisfied.”

Poizner, who is running with VP administration candidate Vladimir Spivak and VP finance and development candidate Vladimir Vasilko, said he would scrap the student centre.

He also wants to improve the health plan and food services.

Steven Wright is the sort of guy who went to his high school prom in a 50-foot motor home.

That instinct for fun came to Ryerson, where he became a residence assistant and then residence life coordinator.

He organized orientation events where students shave balloons and rode tricycles, and got Eggy the Ram to help students move in.

“First impression is everything,” said Wright. “You know, when a big Ram comes and helps you unload, it sets the tone.”

Wright, a fourth-year business student, plans to improve many of Ryerson’s services, including the Career Centre, cafeterias, housing directory and library.

“I want the library to become an information resource instead of a historical landmark,” Wright said.

He also criticizes the administration’s choice of food services.

If Michael Speers is elected, you’ll see him sitting in the cafeteria once a week with a sign that says “Your president. Questions? Comments? Criticisms?”

It’s part of Speers’ scheme to make RyeSAC more accessible.

“[Students] are Ryerson,” Speers said. “What they want should be done.”

Speers himself said he hasn’t gotten involved in school politics before now because RyeSAC wasn’t accessible enough.

“I wish I’d taken part more,” said the fourth-year journalism student. “I felt a little intimidated going up to RyeSAC and saying, ‘Hey, I’d like to help out.’”

If elected, Speers wants students to know him. “They’ll notice the president somewhere other than down around RyeSAC.”

Speera plans to lobby Mel Lastman for a student Metropass, and add a concert venue to Oakham.

David Steele can’t stay away from student politics.

As a student council president at his high school, Steele could be seen zooming through the halls in a decorated golf cart. “It was our spirit-mobile,” said Steele.

Steele decided he’d had enough of student politics when he came to Ryerson.

But in his second year he “noticed a real lack of solidarity” in his program, theatre production, and his self-imposed exile from politics was over. He revived his course union that year.

Steele has since become RyeSAC’s VP administration.

Steels’ campaign plans include revamping the Oakham House cafe and holding seminars about the appeals process for first-year students.

He would also make professors more accountable by publishing a calendar reviewing them.

Jude Shawera isn’t running for RyeSAC president for the money.

“I’ve already been offered a job with a company car and 50 per cent more pay than I’d make as president,” said the third-year business student. “I’m not doing this to pad my resume.”

But Shawera said he is concerned about the value of his degree. “I think Ryerson is the best, and now I want to make sure others think that too.”

Shawera said students aren’t managing their money when they decide not to vote. “RyeSAC takes over a million dollars from us, so it’s imperative that we vote.”

He hopes to found Rye Studios next year, a production company using the combined equipment and expertise of programs such as radio and television arts and theatre.


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