By Jill Langlois
The students’ union failed to re-negotiate policy when it expired in 2004; now, new faces and reluctance from administration to give power to students is putting negotiations on ice.
The university doesn’t want to renew an agreement it had with the RSU that allowed it to hold referenda to increase student fees, RSU vice-president Nora Loreto said.
“The university is reluctant to renew (the referenda policy agreement),” said Loreto.
“They seem to have a reluctance to delegate this task to students.”
The agreement between the university and RSU, which was put together in 2001, let the RSU hold a referendum that would increase student fees without going through the university’s Board of Governors.
When it expired in 2004, the RSU, then called RyeSAC, decided not to negotiate a new agreement.
Discussions between the university and the RSU have happened since that time, but have stopped as of this July.
“When it first expired, they made it sound like it would be no big deal to renew,” said Loreto. “Then new people were brought in and they had a different attitude.”
Linda Grayson, Ryerson’s Vice President administration and student affairs, said she didn’t know this had caused any problems between the university and the RSU.
“There’s no conflict that I know of,” said Grayson. “They just never used it before, so they didn’t renew it. You can’t renew something now that lapsed in 2004.”
Grayson also said that the Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson, recently held a referendum with the participation of the Board of Governors that went very well.
“CESAR had the fees looked at by the Board, and their referendum question was approved by the President,” said Grayson.
“The referendum went well, and now they’re working on a report. If the Board is satisfied, the results will be implemented.”
The CESAR referendum was held to see if students wanted to make their one-year trial membership with the Canadian Federation of Students a permanent one.
A mere 5.46 per cent of CESAR students who voted yes was all that was needed to join CFS.
“The old agreement was what it was,” said Grayson.
“The new one still gives lots of autonomy to students. The Board just needs the responsibility of taking care of fees because they have to be comparable to other universities’ fees.”