By Shane Dingman
This Thursday, Mass Exodus organizers hope to get some answers as to why they must pay a fee to use the Ryerson Theatre when the fashion show has used the space free of charge for years.
Linda Grayson, Ryerson’s v.p. Administration and student affairs, has agreed to meet with third-year fashion marketing student Becky Tomlinson and RyeSAC president Cory Wright to discuss why the show’s organizers were asked to pay $2,500 to use what the fashion school regards as classroom space, just five weeks before the show is set to start.
“She was very clear that it was just to meet with students,” said Tomlinson.
Tomlinson said Grayson didn’t want her to bring along Mass Exodus’ faculty advisor Peter Duck, so she enlisted the support of Wright, who will attend the sit-down on Thursday in Grayson’s office.
“My sense of it is that, for the university to let them know two months before the event is a little too soon,” Wright said. “$2,500 isn’t a lot for Ryerson. It’s a crushing weight for the students.”
Tomlinson spoke out on behalf of her classmates and colleagues at Ryerson’s March 6 academic council meeting, protesting the decision which has left show organizers scrambling to cut costs and raise more money. At that meeting Grayson said students were not being billed—the school of fashion would pay the rental fee.
Tomlinson said that’s seeing the truth in a round about way. The fashion school has no budget to pay fees such as this, she said, so the money will come from box office revenue as well as any money organizers can fundraise.
In effect, Tomlinson said, students are raising the $2,500 that Ryerson will collect in rental fees.