By Adam Segal
Sounding like a tormentor at some moments and a teammate at others, RyeSAC presidential candidate Rob Haines carved out a semi-convincing victory for himself against fellow opponents Odelia Bay and Scoop W. Gerbil at the second election debate at the Ram in the Rye last week.
None of the would-be prez’s came out swinging, but when questions were launched from the crowd, Haines’ responses ignited the loudest applause.
After boring most spectators with early-round comments about “the need for collectivity” at Ryerson and other touchy-feely remarks, Haines struck first blood with a pulverizing uppercut, referring to Bay heckling the Minister of Science and Technology when he came to Ryerson to give $1.2 million last February.
“When someone comes to give you money, you don’t kick them in the ass,” Haines charged, sparking a chorus of cheers from the crowd. “Take [the money] with a little respect so you can cultivate [a relationship] for the next time.”
Bay’s counterpunch — “It’s our right to question and to speak out” — didn’t land her any points, but she improved her defence by juxtaposing the grant with cutbacks. “I’m not going to bend down and kiss someone’s feet for [slashing $400 million from education.]”
Perched on a nearby speaker, Scoop W. Gerbil held his ground, staring down Bay and Haines and occasionally showing some teeth.
Haines claimed some of Bay’s policies were in tune with his own. “I’ve never been against standing up and fighting for the issues, so on that, Odelia and I are right there,” he said in the fifth round. But with each tipping of the hat to his opponent, Haines delivered key shots to the body, chastising Bay for stalling on passing motions at student government meetings.
Bay, however, landed a few jabs trying to paint Haines as someone seeking “power” while describing herself as someone wanting a “position of responsibility.” But she never clubbed Haines dead on and failed to state specific changes she’d make.
There were no knock downs, although the gerbil’s coach threw in the towel early.
Sources who wished to remain anonymous said the loser will have to spend an entire weekend with Scoop W. Gerbil — in its cage. The winner can look forward to a night on the town with Ryerson president Claude Lajeunesse.