AUDIT SETS DANGEROUS PRECEDENT

In Editorial /

By Liane McLarty

General Manager

The audit motion that was passed at the Ryerson Students’ Union meeting last week appears at first to be more childish pushy-pushy in the sandbox on the third floor of the SCC. Yet, after having read the actual motion, there is some bad news: the CFS lackeys are right. I know, I know you didn’t want to hear that. We didn’t either. Here in student newspaper-land, we feel a kind of contemptuous disregard for much of the ‘rant du jour’ gang who would rather threaten us with a libel suit than ask for a correction.

There has been an ideological battle going on at Local 24 for about seven years now, and both sides have made some egregious judgments. The Eyeopener tries to cover each side as objectively as is humanly possible, and as the saying goes, “Publish and be damned.” Both sides have been right and both sides have been wrong.

However, this deluded motion filled with specious allegations and ludicrous assertions is impossible to defend or fulfill. It’s careful to use ‘allegedly/accused/allegations’ to ensure that the movers have no culpability but it tars those associated with the executive without a whit of proof. It is truly a travesty that one group can be accused of essentially all the ills known to humankind (except global warming) with no recourse. The sheer impossibility of physically fulfilling this misguided directive is obvious. Will they be shipping in the accountants from Hogwarts? If so do they rent Maple Leaf Gardens for the space? With 14 business days to perform a 20-year audit of staff relations, election procedures, services, finances and overall functioning, do they bring in Ironman? And what the hell is “overall functioning” anyway?

That Sheldon Levy has agreed to be party to this Magical Mystery Audit is confounding. Having sensibly stayed away from previous food fights at the SCC (including CKLN) he seems to have lost his senses. Mr. Levy always seems to be coming from a place of good intentions but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Get out while you can.

The scariest part is that the board of the RSU has given away the union’s sovereignty without realizing the damage that has been done. Giving the university this power emasculates all Ryerson students — they can’t vote for the president of Ryerson. To request that Ryerson hire auditors and manage an audit is akin to Jean Chrétien asking George W. Bush to manage Canada’s war in Afghanistan.

Changes brought through recommendations based on an audit can mutate or even kill an organization. In the real world, the one who controls the paperwork wins. It not only imperils every student union, but also every student paper, student group and student association.

Every kind of student board everywhere could be manipulated and this motion could be passed again and again. Same with every student paper in Canada. Say good bye to student freedom of the press.

Fighting for freedom of the press is part of our mandate. Because without that freedom, how would we be able hold institutions’ feet to the fire? Be it the students’ union, the bullying coach, inept administration or the cult posing as student group — students need a protector, and we try to be that. Following through on this audit puts this all at risk. Rescind the motion and think shit through, damn it.

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