By Vanessa Greco
According to some Ryerson Students’ Union members, Rebecca Rose may not be properly representing the RSU in the upcoming athletic referendum.
Dana Houssein, RSU community services faculty director, alleges Rose is betraying her VP education role by supporting the referendum’s “No” vote. The board of directors voted to endorse the “Yes” side at their meeting on March 10.
Rose, a former RSU president, opposes the idea of more student fees.
“She’s undermining the authority of the board,” said Houssein. “When you are on the executive you are representing the RSU wherever you are.”
Rose disagreed and argued she is within her rights to exercise her freedom of speech, able to state opinions as an individual separate from the RSU.
“I’ve been pretty clear on my mandate since the beginning,” she said.
However, Houssein is concerned that when students see an RSU executive campaigning for the “No” side, they may think the organization has taken that stance.
Last week, a “Vote No” advertisement ran in an RSU-funded spot in The Eyeopener. The ad, calling the referendum “undemocratic”, belongs to the Continuing Education Students’ Union (CESAR), said Rose.
Since the RSU could not fill the space, they sold CESAR their prepaid ad spot, she explained.
“If something falls through, we pick up the tab for each other,” said Rose , who didn’t know CESAR would run a “No” advertisement.
This wouldn’t be the first time Rose has endorsed an opposing view as an RSU executive.
In 2004, she campaigned against a vote to raise athletic fees to $137, urging students to lobby the government for more funding. The vote failed.
– With files from Julianna Cummins