By Emily Bellavy
Fair representation on the Ryerson Students’ Union’s board of directors is being questioned after a new bylaw was shadily amended on Nov. 9.
At RSU’s semi-annual general meeting, those in attendance amended a bylaw that enables the Graduate Student Caucus to appoint two representatives. The new bylaw is similar to the only amendment successfully overruled at the meeting.
That amendment proposed capping the number of directors per faculty at five and to give smaller faculties, such as Graduate Studies, a minimum of two directors. The similar proposed bylaw to increase the number of student representatives for Graduate Studies was passed in an omnibus package.
As per RSU bylaws, only one representative is to be assigned to each faculty per 1,100 students. Currently, only 750 students are enrolled in The School of Graduate Studies. Jason Jagpal, Business Faculty director for RSU, says he is outraged. “It came as a shock to me. I’m in favour of fair representation for the board,” Jagpal said.
Jagpal said students were opposed to this motion. He did not question the bylaw amendment at the meeting. “I figured that once the two bylaws (original and amended) were in conflict they would not be able to bring in a new graduate director,” Jagpal said. Once students voted on the omnibus, the amended bylaw still passed.
However, Ben Lewis, who was appointed as the second Graduate Studies director, says he hasn’t heard any complaints from students about his appointment. “If people had an issue with it, the SAGM was the time to take it up,” he said. To serve the needs of graduate students, Lewis thinks it is crucial to have an extra representative on the board.
He intends to address issues that plague graduate students such as research funding and the commercialization of research.
Nora Loreto, RSU vice-president of education, supports Lewis’s appointment. “Let’s give them (graduate students) an extra seat.
It’s not fair to give graduate students one voice on a 24-person board,” Loreto said.