Students jostle for club status

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By Tracy Prysiazniuk

Three wannabe student groups are pitted against each other in a struggle to be recognized as official clubs.

The problem is they want to represent similar ethnic communities.

The South Asian Student Alliance (SASA), the Indo-Canadian Student Association (ICSA), and the Pakistani Student Association (PSA) have all fulfilled the criteria for becoming a Ryerson club: They have 20 or more full-time students willing to join, a constitution, an executive and planned activities.

If approved as clubs, they’d get base funding of $800 and additional grants for special events, as well as advertising and exposure in Ryerson publications.

Unfortunately, not all three make the cut. The SASA plans to serve both ethnic groups claimed by the ICSA and PSA.

“[Clubs] must not duplicate the services of another club,” campus groups administrator Leatrice Spevack said. “Either we accept South Asian Alliance and not the other two, or we accept the Indo-Canadian and Pakistani groups and not the South Asian Alliance.

A decision about which groups will become clubs is expected this week.

The ICSA, which claims to have more than 200 interested students, hopes to come out on top by focusing on the Ryerson community.

“South Asian Alliance is organized with six other universities,” ICSA president Amndeep Pannu said. “They represent a lot of clubbing activities. We’re promoting more spirit at Ryerson.

SASA president Aly-Sherif Nathoo dismissed the ICSA’s accusations.

“Just because we have an affiliation with outside schools doesn’t mean we’re not supporting Ryerson 100 per cent,” Nathoo said.

SASA has 390 interested Ryerson students, and is established at six other universities, including University of Toronto, and York University.

“Ryerson is the only university we are waiting for,” said Nathoo. “I don’t know why SASA is having such a hard time.”

Ryerson is home to over 30 clubs as opposed to York’s 175 clubs. Ryerson has fewer clubs, Spevack said, because the start-up process is more demanding and prevents overlapping mandates.

“Students shouldn’t have to wonder which group to join,” Spevack said.

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