By Jessie Stones
Cory Wright launched his political career with whipped cream pie all over his face.
During his seventh-grade speech, Wright planted his uncle in the audience with a pie and instructions to fire on cue. His uncle started heckling Wright in the middle of his speech, then let the pie fly. Wright won that vice-presidential election and has been climbing the ranks of student politics ever since.
As next year’s RyeSAC president, Wright promises to continue on a similar political track as current president Erin George, supporting the Canadian Federation of Students and promoting social justice—only with a more moderate approach.
Becoming president of RyeSAC was a natural evolution for the fourth-year social work student. “You have to be a special kind of person to even want to take that on,” said Brandon Wright, Cory’s twin brother.
Wright’s desk in RyeSAC’s office, where he’s finishing his term as v.p. education, is covered with plastic toy figures, Pez dispensers, and a magic plastic Yoda eight-ball. He says he keeps them there to project an “approachable” image, but as he shows off his magnetic fishing game, it’s obvious the 22-year-old just likes to play.
“I’m basing all my decisions next year on Yoda,” he said, laughing. Unfortunately, v.p. finance and development Vlad Vasilko told hi Yoda can only be used three times a day or its decisions become inaccurate. Wright concedes e may have to make some of his own choices as president.
And he’s ready for the responsibility. Current president Erin George says Wright has the experience, the track record and the passion to represent Ryerson students effectively. “I’m excited,” George said. “I think he’ll do a great job.”
But students can expect the tone of the RyeSAC office to be a little different next year.
“My thing has always been non-confrontational, not aggressive,” Wright said. “But if I notice that students’ best interests are being compromised, I’ll get a little tougher.”
Board of Governors representative Rob haines says Wright has the ability to be hard-assed, but prefers to use other methods. “His biggest asset is he can talk to anyone on their level,” he said. “He’s pretty frank.”
Wright became interest in social work at high school when he worked at a Big Brothers summer camp. “Some of the kids had issues,” he said. “And I discovered I had a knack for dealing with them.”
Now he works at the Independent Living Residence for the Deafblind, a group home in Aurora, and is almost fluent in sign language.
Wright is just going to get busier. Next year’s agenda book is sure to be full as he follows through on election promises.
He will continue working with CFS to fight tuition deregulation.
Something he planned, but didn’t get around to this year, is streamlining the administration of the Women’s Centre, RyePride, and the Community Food Room. He plans to hire one co-ordinator, a RyeSAC staff position, to oversee all three services.
“I think [the single co-ordinator] is a really, really good idea,” current Women’s Centre assistant co-ordinator Komal Bhandari said. “If we start working collectively, our events will be more focused, and potentially get a bigger turnout.”
Wright may appear to be good at managing his time, but his girlfriend of one year, Jaime Caya, a fourth-year technical theatre student, says he’s totally disorganized at home. “I have to do his laundry for him,” she said, laughing. “He never has any time.”
Wright, along with the rest of the newly elected executive, takes office on May 1. It’s going to be a busy month for Wright, who’s in for another major commitment—he’s moving in ith Caya.
She says Wright is incredibly dedicated to his work, and hopes co-habitation will alleviate the legendary presidential curse of weight gain and loss of nookie.
But Wright may end up sleeping on the RyeSAC couch unless he works on his vomit control. Wright and opponent Atif Asghar threw back a few too many shots at the Ram in the Rye on election night, and Caya paid the price.
“I woke up in a pile of puke,” she said.