by Sonja Puzic
Ryerson President Sheldon Levy met last week with key players in the battle over managerial control of the Student Campus Centre to offer his recommendations for a quicker resolution.
Levy said he thought the meeting “went well” and would like the Ryerson Students’ Union, the Continuing Education Students’ Association and the Palin Foundation to “come back to the table” to work things out and seek a third-party mediator.
The feuding groups have been fighting over who controls the SCC and the student services it provides since May. They decided to cease negotiations and seek legal counsel on Sept. 21, when the majority of Palin Foundation board members moved to dissolve the Oakham House Management Committee.
“I haven’t got the legal authority to do anything but request (mediation),” said Levy, adding that he will have someone pull together all the facts about the issue for him so he will have a better understanding of the dispute.
“My hope is that (the mediator) will reach a set of good conclusions for all parties,” said Levy. “I haven’t got any person in mind, but obviously it would have to be a person who has the confidence of all the parties…to assemble the facts.”
Levy has requested that each party recommend a suitable mediator by Thursday. Stagg said the Palin Foundation is complying with the request.
“I think it’s a very positive step in (Levy) getting involved,” said Stagg. “I feel just fine (having a mediator involved).”
RSU President Rebecca Rose said she is happy Levy is encouraging the parties to continue talks.
“I do appreciate (Levy’s) involvement,” she said. “He sees (the SCC) as a priority, as do the students. It’s good to have him at the table.”
Levy says he is aware of the possibility that RSU, CESAR and the Palin Foundation may not resume negotiations.
“At a certain point in time I will have to have a hand in this and (seek legal advice) as to what my options are,” he said.
“But I’ve really been looking at the parties to work through their differences. That’s what I’m still hoping for.”