BUDGET STALLED, AGAIN

In News /

By Andrea Maclean

Associate News Editor

At the recent Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) board of directors meeting, the RSU budget was tabled… again.

The budget, which should have been passed in July, has been repeatedly stalled by members of the finance committee and the board of directors.

There are two slates — Renew and Ryevolution — that cannot agree on how to spend students’ money.

In last year’s elections, individuals running for positions on the board of directors and the RSU executive ran with one of the two slates.

The majority of the executives elected are from Renew, while a majority of board members are from Ryevolution.

Each slate supports a different budget and each has made efforts to keep the opposing budget from passing, continually drawing out the process.

At the most recent board of directors meeting, two budgets were presented: one by VP finance, Toby Whitfield (from Renew) and the alternate budget — in the form of a significant number of amendments — by Chandan Sharma (from Ryevolution.)

The members of the Ryevolution slate outnumber Renew members on the board and the Sharma’s amendments would have passed if Ryevolution voted as a single body.

Before Sharma’s budget made it to a vote, the Renew slate walked out of the meeting breaking quorum and further delaying the passing of the budget.

Throughout the summer months, the board of directors was unable to meet because members — many of whom were given three weeks notice of the meetings — could not attend, said RSU president Muhammad Ali Jabbar.

Whitfield said the finance committee had the same problem. “I found that it was difficult to schedule meetings because folks were often unavailable.”

But Sharma, who sits on the finance committee, said they were able to meet several times throughout the summer.

“We met three or four times over the summer,” said Sharma. “We were always there. There was only one [meeting] that was cancelled.”

Within those months, Whitfield and Sharma created their own conflicting budgets.

The finance committee has been unable to agree on the two budgets and, according to Sharma, the meetings were a waste of time.

On Sept. 9, Sharma sent an email to the board of directors and the finance committee requesting there be no further meetings regarding the budget until the board meeting two weeks later.

The finance committee did not meet to discuss the budget after that.

The delays continued at the recent board meeting. At around 6:30 — nearly an hour after the meeting began — there were not enough members in attendance to meet quorum.

A short recess was called and 15 more members from the Ryevolution slate showed up. There was quorum. But, when 11 Renew members walked out, the budget had to be tabled again.

The RSU is currently operating off of last year’s budget and will continue to do so until a new one is passed. The next board meeting is set for Oct. 8.

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