By Aleysha Haniff
Associate News Editor
Mark Single knows he won’t find many allies at Ryerson.
If elected as Ryerson Students’ Union president on Feb. 11, Single would hold a referendum that could scrap mandatory membership to the students’ union. In fact, he admits that he doesn’t even like unions.
“I’m running for president to raise awareness and to make people think as to why are they part of the RSU, why are they forced to be part of the RSU and why they do not have the choice to opt out,” he said.
A first-year engineering student, Single said he decided to run for president after realizing he had to pay mandatory union fees with his tuition. But since he uses few of the services offered, he felt it was unfair to be stuck with his membership.
Neither the RSU nor Ryerson administration could get Single out of what he felt was a bum deal, but they did tell him what he could do.
“If you want to change things you have to get involved politically, so here I am, getting involved politically,” he said.
As a mature student, Single knows that he won’t have the same perspective as much of the university’s student body. He spent a decade working in information technology and he said that he isn’t as idealistic as other students.
“I have real world experience… and I can see how the real world affects a work environment and an academic environment,” Single said.
He doesn’t support many of the RSU’s political and social agendas, such as the Drop Fees campaign or the anti-war movement. Instead, Single prefers small-scale events that bring the campus together, such as the annual Week of Welcome.
He also said some groups, such as The Eyeopener, should fund themselves independently instead of relying on financial support from the students.
“Everyone seems to have their own student group that is splitting the community rather than bringing students together,” he said.
Though he resigned to the fact that he’ll probably never see the inside of the president’s office, Single is content to spread his message with flyers and media attention.
“I’m not interested in cleaning it up, I don’t have time to. I’m a first year engineering student, my plate is full. All I want is out. And if that means I have to be president to get out, I’ll be president.”