By Stephen Huebl
The co-chair of the University of Toronto’s Metropass Task Force labelled RyeSAC as “shameless glory seekers”: for taking undue credit for their role in achieving a discounted student Metropass.
Mike Foderick sent an e-mail to a number of Ryerson and University of Toronto community members, including The Eyeopener, in which he said RyeSAC did little to influence the fare discount.
“RyeSAC sure takes a lot of credit for someone who had nothing to do with this at all, and in fact opposed it up until the last day,” the e-mail read.
Foderick was referring to a RyeSAC Web site that details how the student priced Metropass was achieved.
“Another RyeSAC Victory!” shouts the title. The Web site goes on to say that the fight for discounted passes for post-secondary students has been going on for 20 years but that “the latest effort really got going with a kick-start meeting that RyeSAC hosted on October 2001.”
Andrew Noble, student issues and advocacy co-ordinator for RyeSAC, dismisses Foderick’s claims and said the final deal has more in common with Ryerson’s proposal than what U of T had pitched.
“Mike’s wrong,” he said. “It’s inaccurate to suggest the U of T proposal was a model for what the TTC developed.”
Noble also said the U of T proposal mostly focused on getting discounted prices for U of T students rather than for all post-secondary students.
Foderick, however, said that his task force was fighting on behalf of all post-secondary students in the GTA.
The U of T proposal sought a one-third investment from U of T administration, one-third from U of T students and one-third from the TTC.
Ryerson put forward two proposals, one of which would have seen students pay for six monthly Metropasses and receive right to cover the months they’re in school.
In the end the TTC settled on a deal that will allow post-secondary students to purchase a Metropass for $87 if their school sells more than 500 passes.
RyeSAC President Darren Cooney said it was disappointing that one student leader would attack another student leader over who should get credit for the TTC discount plan.
Cooney defended the Web site by saying it was a temporary way of telling Ryerson students what RyeSAC is doing on their behalf.
“Ryerson students want to hear what their student council is doing for them,” he said.
In an interview this week Foderick said he doesn’t regret his comments, but admits he shouldn’t have made them so publicly.
Cooney said he has since talked with Foderick and while Foderick made no apologies for his comments, he did agree that any further disagreements would be dealt with privately.