By Adrian Morrow
Associate News Editor
It was a fucking gong show.
Losing candidates heckled the president, executives argued over the agenda and some random guy shut the whole meeting down when they’d passed just one motion.
That was the Ryerson Students’ Union’s Annual General Meeting last week and, for anyone who was watching, it encapsulated the RSU’s entire year.
VP Student Life and Events Ibrahim (Abe) Snobar clashed with President Nora Loreto over everything from the RSU’s involvement in lobby group the Canadian Federation of Students, to the controversial firing of ex-president Rebecca Rose from her job at the Working Students’ Centre.
Also, Loreto wasn’t talking to VP Education Heather Kere. And VP Finance Chris Drew was getting frustrated with the board’s unwillingness to force other executives to keep the budget on track.
The RSU couldn’t get anything done together. All but one of the year’s eight board meeting ended before everything had been discussed, Loreto’s opponents taunted her during meetings and the president stormed out more than once.
But surprisingly, the executives got shit done on their own.
Loreto acted as an advocate for students, helping out with appeals and pushing the school to split tuition fee payments between both semesters and helping to raise the issue of Friday prayer time for the campus’s Muslim students.
Snobar kicked ass as VP student life and events, throwing a great Parade and Picnic, and drawing more students to the Ram in the Rye for his parties. Drew, meanwhile, did his best to balance the books and pay off the union’s PST debt, while Kere took a militant attitude to equity issues that actually got people talking about racism and seriously debating Israel.
If they did anything this year, the executives proved you don’t really need the whole union behind you to get things done.
And that’s something President-elect Muhammad Ali Jabbar and next year’s executive shouldn’t forget. If they were able to get things done with a dysfunctional RSU this year, think what they can do next year.
It was the complacency of the same old centre-left executives who’ve dominated the union for the last 10 years that lead to the craziness of this year.
Let’s not let it happen again.