By Shirley Lin
The Ryerson Students’ Union wants to add a fifth member to its executive team next year.
The RSU will propose a motion to create a vicepresident equity position at the upcoming semiannual general meeting (SAGM) on Nov. 11.
The new post will come with a salary of about $27,000 — the paycheque for current RSU executives.
The news has some board members riled up. Since the RSU already has an Equity Committee, many are calling the job unnecessary.
“I don’t think it should pass at the SAGM,” said Naeem Hassen, RSU board director for the faculty of business. “I don’t think it’s going to help students the way it should. They’re going to take money and put [it] into ineffective campaigns… and spend money inappropriately.”
Others, like Hassen, say they’re concerned the new vice-president will be created to handle campaigns like Drop Fees, which are not Ryerson-focused. They also allege that because of $50,000 in cuts to student life and groups, the RSU shouldn’t fund a new vice-president.
Liana Salvador, RSU vice-president education, currently handles equity related works. The new position will split this task. The vice-president equity will manage campaigns against racism and homophobia and supervise the Equity and Sustainability Committee.
Toby Whitfield, vice-president finance and services, said there is money in the budget if students support this move.
“We have a large amount of money that we can flex around, but it’s about figuring out where the priorities are,” said Whitfield. “If students want this position, then it’s our job to make sure there’s funding for it.”
Whitfield didn’t say from where in the budget money will be taken, but said spending less money on materials for events and cutting food costs for board meetings will help. Despite the $84,000 deficit this year, Whitfield said reserve money will be used to pay it down.