By Alison Jones
Lack of consensus within the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) executive committee has caused Ryerson University Television (RUtv) funding to be tabled — again.
Muhammad Ali Jabbar, president of the RSU has held two meetings with the RSU executive committee where the motion to grant funding to RUtv was put up for consideration.
Both times the committee was divided. Jabbar, Rebecca Rose ,VP education, and Toby Whitfield ,VP finance, wanted to pass the motion as soon as possible but they met resistence from Siddhartha Naidu, VP student life and events, and RSU Members Committe representatives Ozmand Hamid and Abdula Snobar.
In the case of a tie, the motion cannot pass.
“It’s a stalling tactic,” said Jabbar. “Now we can not discuss it at the next board meeting [on Sept. 23].”
Matthew Calabretta, the student spearheading RUtv, attended the second meeting to answer questions.
“He [Matthew] was not asking for anything unreasonable, the problem is not that the demands are unreasonable, it is that people are not supporting it,” Jabbar said.
The motion was tabled on both occasions. It will not have a chance to be passed until the next executive committee meeting in October, and then the RSU members committee must approve it.
“I feel terrible, I feel like politics is being played with student money. I do not know any student who does not support RUtv,” said Jabbar.
Calabretta wrote a capital allocation request, which showed a detailed budget of how much the minimum amount of equipment would cost ($17,157). As well as a medium budget, allowing for better cameras at $29,608 and the optimal amount, which would allow for equipment near RTA standards of $43,607.
Jabbar said that the RSU has a capital reserve fund, which is dedicated to purchasing equipment for student initiatives and projects. It contains enough money to at least provide the basic amount of equipment to get RUtv off the ground.
“At this point I am getting concerned about why it keeps on getting tabled,” said Whitfield. “They should have enough information by now to make a decision.”
Whitfield said that some of the executive memebers are hesitant to support the RUtv until the university supports it.
“We should be able to take a stance without the administration taking a stance first,” he said.
Whitfield is concerned that RUtv may receive funding late, as they have a soft launch date in October. “If it does not go through, it will be a huge disappointment.”
“It’s an interesting motion in terms of RUtv itself, we are more worried about the numbers in terms of monetary commitment,” said Naidu.
Naidu said that he is hesitant to pass the motion until the RSU board has passed their budget. “The question is do we have the money?”
“It’s my belief that the questions posed at the last meeting were answered,” said Rebecca Rose, VP education. “I am not entirely sure why people are dragging their feet.”
Rose said that divisions like this have happened before during her three years on the executive committee, but that RUtv fills a void for Ryerson students in all faculties.
“We get paid to support students and make sure amazing ideas like this are set to fruition,” said Rose. “I hope it will go through, it’s legitimate to ask questions, but excessive to stall.”