By Sonja Puzic
The Ryerson Commerce Society is one of many campus groups whose requests for organizing events at the Ram in the Rye have taken a backseat to RSU and CESAR shindigs.
An informal agreement between the Student Campus Centre management and its cohabiters in Ryerson’s newest building outlines that student groups and campus societies cannot hold events at the pub that may compete with those organized by groups and media outlets located in the SCC.
The unwritten policy came into effect during orientation week. The Ryerson Commerce Society (RCS) wanted to book Ram in the Rye for a night of socializing for its members on Aug. 31, but was shot down because RSU had planned a movie night for students living in residence.
“People were upset because (the Ram in the Rye) was the only place where we could have an all-ages event,” said RCS President Mike McKenna.
The Commerce Society approached Ron Stagg, History Department Chair and member of the university’s transition committee, arguing that it could still host a pub night at 10 p.m., once the movie had ended.
Stagg sent an e-mail to other members of the committee, but says he never received a reply. “They were either too busy, or just didn’t care,” he says.
However, SCC General Manager Rob Emerson said RCS approached Ram in the Rye too late to secure a pub night on Aug. 31.
“They approached my management on Aug. 25 and we did send their request to the programming committee, but they decided that was too short of a notice.
“We are going to do whatever we can to make sure events on campus do not conflict, especially in the first couple of weeks (of the year),” said Emerson, adding that giving preference to RSU and CESAR events is simply a “matter of politeness” toward the organizations that share the SCC roof.
McKenna says this informal policy does not represent the interests of the student body as a whole. “We (the RCS) own half the student centre as far as we’re concerned. The commerce society represents 6,000 students. We weren’t necessarily stubborn this time, but if this rule remains in effect for the rest of the semester, we are going to have a bigger problem.”
RSU President Rebecca Rose said the decision to prevent student groups, societies and course unions from booking events at the pub during the first two week of classes was made earlier in the summer by the SCC’s transition commitee.
“We didn’t want it to be just an inclusive pub thing. We wanted every event we put on to be open to all students during the first two weeks, not just specific groups,” Rose said. “We actually turned away several course unions, not just the Commerce Society.”
Rose said Friday and Saturday nights remain open to student groups and organizations, who can book the pub on a first-come, first-serve basis.