Pakistani group struggles to unite

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By Emily Bowers

Last month, the Pakitani Students’ Association became Ryerson’s first cultural group to get funding from CESAR, which represents part-time students. With a growling membership of dozens of full and part-time students, the club would normally be gearing up to hold events.

Instead, it is facing internal disputes over complaints ranging from who does more work to whether women can be elected to the executive.

The main fight is an ideological one—organizers Muhammed Arshad and Sabahat-Bin-Sabih think males and females should have equal opportunity to run for executive positions, but they say some full-time members don’t agree.

“In Pakistan, the values are changing. So why can’t we change in Canada?” said Sabih.

The group had planned to host a movie night earlier this week to show films about Pakistan’s history. But Sabih said the event was cancelled because some members didn’t pull their weight with putting up posters.

Arshad is disappointed the infighting has divided the group. He worries about the effect on its reputation and its future as a pilot project for cultural groups sponsored by the part-time students.

“We are creating a new path,” he said. “It’s really a big step for us.”

To satisfy rules for student groups, the group circulated a petition and got recognition from both CESAR and RyeSAC as two separate associations with the intention of merging.

But now Arshad says the merger won’t happen without a compromise between the group’s factions.

 

 

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