By Carys Mills
The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) may be recommended to hire a general manager and introduce computers at general polling stations when findings of an audit are revealed, the Eyeopener has learned.
Deloitte and Touche LLP conducted the audit, which reviewed the RSU’s election procedures and the records of the past two years of the members’ health and dental plan. The audit committee, made up of Osman Hamid, Toby Whitfield, Dana Houssein, Abdullah Snobar and Chandan Sharma, met on Monday and discussed how the RSU will make the results of the audit available to Ryerson students.
“The audit has possible solutions for everything,” said Hamid, the student groups director.
An RSU general manager would be a member of staff, hired to oversee the students’ union while still allowing for elected executives and directors to make autonomous decisions.
Having computers at polling stations would lessen the need for ballot recounts and allow for quicker counting on election night.
However, elections and computers have been a controversial mix in the past. In the most recent senate election, there were allegations that student candidates were taking advantage of online voting by giving laptops to students and convincing them to cast a vote in their favour. An investigation into the issue by the election committee was completed and no one was reprimanded.
Recommendations made by the committee will need to be presented at the next board of directors meeting after the results were released, which was held on the evening of March 10.
Whitfield, vice-president finance and services, mentioned the option of keeping the board of directors meeting in camera, which would keep the audit’s recommendations private.
“The presentation should be made in camera because this is a document that’s confidential until the board decides otherwise,” said Whitfield. “It’s not public until the board decides it’s public.”
The motion to conduct an audit of the RSU was passed at a board of directors meeting on Jan. 15. The motion, served by community services director Dana Houssein and later amended, called for a 20-year audit of the RSU examining staff relations, election procedures, the health and dental plan and “overall functioning.”
The criteria of the audit was later changed to a two-year review of only election processes and the RSU members’ health and dental plan. The original motion passed by the board of directors also called for the audit to be completed before the RSU executive elections, which ran from Feb. 9-11.
The initial price tag of the audit, which will be picked up by Ryerson University, was said to come in at over $85,000.