By Jordan Heath-Rawlings
Ryerson student groups and other community members receiving cash from RyeSAC will be noticing a new signature on their cheque, as RyeSAC introduces their new general manager today.
Brad Lavigne was chosen for his extensive work in student politics and his managerial experience in the non-profit sector, according to a RyeSAC press release. Lavigne replaces John McGowan, who recently departed to accept the same job with the student union at McMaster University.
Lavigne says he looks forward to the main challenge he faces in the next two years — getting Ryerson’s Student Centre built.
Negotiating the political landscape that separates RyeSAC and the administration on this and other issues won’t be uncharted territory for Lavigne, a veteran of the Canadian Federation of Students.
“Over the years I’ve had an opportunity to participate in a lot of lobbying efforts,” Lavigne said. “They can take many forms… my experience mostly involves one-on-one meetings with bureaucrats, and getting things done that way.”
That experience was part of what made Lavigne an ideal candidate to the RyeSAC executive.
“(Lavigne) has a really good background in student government,” says RyeSAC president Odelia Bay. “We were really impressed with his approach to the issues that we face as students.”
Lavigne’s main duties will be handling the day-to-day operations of the massive organization that is RyeSAC, which oversees every thing from Oakham House to student bursaries. Working with next year’s v.p. Finance, Sajjad Wasti, Lavigne will control the money behind RyeSAC. Money that comes from Ryerson students’ fees.
“What (Lavigne) believes in strongly is the importance of the fees we collect from students,” Bay said. “He calls them ‘precious,’ and that’s something we — and everybody in the university — should recognize.”
Lavigne says he certainly recognizes that their money, and what he will spend it on, is important to student.
“Students don’t have a lot of money,” Lavigne said. “We need to ensure that their fees are providing the services they need.”