By Jess Milton
Before landing in jail on bank robbery charges, the former president of the Ryerson Engineering Student Society was able to put the group on the map.
Mark St. Pierre, 26, a third-year chemical engineering student, encouraged the engineering society to participate in issues within the community.
St. Pierre has been charged with three counts of robbery and one count of using an imitation firearm during a crime.
Frank Cappadocia, student-program facilitator, worked with St. Pierre extensively on last year’s orientation activities.
“He is definitely the principal reason [RESS and student services] worked together as well as we did.” Cappadocia said. “And why we continue to do so.”
Cappadocia said St. Pierre made the effort to open up the communication lines between the two groups when he took over as RESS president in the fall of 1998.
RESS has a history of pulling pranks that have strained its relationship with RyeSAC and Ryerson administration.
St. Pierre resigned from RESS last spring.
“The relationship between student government and administration is a two-way street,” Cappadocia said. “And [St. Pierre] was definitely aware of this.”
Police arrested St. Pierre, after a man walked into a CIBC branch on College Street and Spadina Avenue, pointed a replica semi-automatic handgun at tellers and demanded cash. Police say the same man help up another CIBC at King and Sherbourne Streets twice.
St. Pierre will appear in court Friday.
RESS declined to comment on St. Pierre’s role in the society.
David Steele, former RyeSAC president, was stunned to hear about the arrest.
He said relations between RyeSAC and RESS improved under St. Pierre’s leadership.
“He’s everything you are looking for in a leader,” Steele said. “He’s a well respected leader … people like working with him.”