By Andrew Davidson
Ryerson athletics director David Dubois insists there is no threat to varsity teams in spite of a possible budget shortfall.
The administration’s vow to protect varsity teams comes as it shelved the RAC referendum at least until the beginning of the new school year.
“We want things to grow, not to be eliminated,” said Dubois.
“We are looking for other ways.”
When asked to elaborate, Dubois was elusive and said he could not reveal anything until he made a presentation to the board.
Ryerson’s marketing and communications manager Jane Brown also backed up Dubois’ comments and said that the referendum would not take place this year.
Outgoing RyeSAC president Ken Marciniec feared the university was only interested in a cash grab from students.
“We’re glad we got students to call them on their bluff,” he said.
Ryerson athletics had proposed the referendum asking students to support increasing athletic fees between $100 and $110 a year to improve RAC facilities and support varsity teams. The current fee of $55.30 a year is included in students’ tuitions.
Administrators argue the athletic fee is one of the lowest compared to other universities across the country.
The University of Toronto charges full-time students $92 and has proposed increasing the fee if the new Varsity Stadium project, a partnership with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, is approved.
The athletics administration has been getting a lot of attention since before the reading week, when RyeSAC presidential candidate Carlos Flores accused Ryerson athletics staff of instructing various athletes to vote for rival candidate and winner Dave MacLean.
Dubois vehemently denied the charges and MacLean dismissed them as a desperate and manipulative tactic.
While Marciniec wouldn’t comment on specific members of the administration influencing student elections, he wasn’t surprised to hear the allegations.
“I wouldn’t put it past the university administration. It’s happened before and it will happen again.”
Despite a lack of funds, Dubois confirmed interest in starting a cricket club with the hopes of developing the club into a team in a few years.