Activist group seeks to influence election

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By Yohannes Edemariam

Faced with the possibility that conservative candidates might seize control of RyeSAC, the Ryerson Activist Coalition is preparing to fight back.

Alex Lisman, a prominent member of the coalition, told The Eyeopener that he plans to campaign like he’s never campaigned before to make sure Dave MacLean is not elected president.

RyeACT has not decided how they will support candidates, but members of the activist coalition criticized MacLean at last week’s RyeSAC debate.

Along with other students, RyeACT members Lisman and Odelia Bay grilled MacLean on his record.

MacLean came under so much fire that he feels that it was a personal attack.

“[RyeACT] are clearly Marciniec supporters – they just wanted me to look bad,” he said. “They weren’t there to debate they were there to attack – that’s all.”

MacLean was questioned on why he added his signature to a list supporting certification of an anti-abortion group, and why he had abstained on a number of RyeSAC Board of Directors votes, including a motion to oppose the way in Iraq and one to increase the number of student bursaries.

Lisman said it’s not a matter of personal attack but of issues – issues a lot of people feel strongly about.

“I totally disagree. I think there were some standard issues that were being questioned at that debate,” he said. “It wasn’t just the activist coalition that was there. There were a lot of people and there were a lot of concerns about Dave MacLean.”

Lisman sent out an e-mail asking for support at this week’s debate.

“Everything is at stake with these elections,” the e-mail stated. “Make sure your voice is heard – the campus media is there as well! Support progressive and active candidates who will lead RyeSAC beyond the infighting and empty rhetoric of last year toward concrete victories and positive change.”

Lisman said he believes Marciniec is the right man for the job, but that RyeACT has not yet talked about whether they will endorse him.

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