By Alex Nassiri
With the Ryerson Students’ Union elections over, newly acclaimed RSU president-elect Nora Loreto is reflecting on her experience. One of her observations: She has never dealt with such negativity directed at her in any of her past four elections.
Loreto said that forwarded e-mails urging students to vote “no” in this election specifically singled her out, with one e-mail exclaiming: “Nora (Loreto) wants a one party system at Ryerson, Vote NO for team RSUnited and take a stand for democracy!”
In the end, 28 per cent of students who voted said no to Nora.
“I don’t think a “no” vote was necessarily against me, but was instead against the type of election we ended up having,” Loreto said, referring to the fact that this election was the first in at least 45 years in which the executive positions were uncontested.
Calls to vote “No” came in a variety of forms. Some even expressed their views by tearing down posters and scrawling anti-Loreto graffiti in the bathrooms.
Adam Bakos, defeated engineering board of directors candidate and outspoken critic of the election, said he found Loreto and her slate to be “militant and rude…more concerned with their own interests than the best interest of Ryerson.”
Bakos claimed that while he was interested in “frank and open discussion.” He felt targeted for disagreeing with some of their policies.”
At the same time, he said that “I don’t approve of unproven slander or vandalism in the interest of politics. We want to make sure people know the truth.”
Loreto is one of the most recognizable faces on campus, and student opinions about aren’t just negative. “I think she is very motivated, positive and an excellent speaker,” Nadia Hassan, a third-year ITM student, said. “Whether you agree with her or not, you have to give her credit for her energy and enthusiasm.”
Naomi Wilson, a first-year social work student at Ryerson, said the RSU is important and does good work. However, she also said she voted “no” in the elections, not because of a personal problem with Loreto, but because the election seemed undemocratic.
Loreto had her own thoughts on the lack of competition. To her it seemed to “speak to the fact that we haven’t upset anyone in the past.” She cited the heavy workload and long hours as potential reasons for no one running against RS United.