By Shannon Higgins
As expected, the Students United slate swept the Ryerson Students’ Union election on Feb. 9.
But, like most ‘normal’ students, you probably don’t give a shit about this and you most definitely don’t follow petty RSU politics.
But I do (lucky me) and if you keep reading this editorial I’ll give you a $300, 000 reason to care about what’s going on in the Student Campus Centre. Here’s what you need to know about the election:
• The results were boring and painfully predictable.
• Only one team or ‘slate’ had a chance in hell of winning.
• Almost no one voted (BIG SURPRISE).
• And the status quo of RSU politics remains the same.
Yet again, the outgoing RSU executives handpicked their successors. Well, whoopee. No new faces. I’m not surprised.
Ryerson student politics weren’t always this boring. Back in 2009 RSU infighting drove President Sheldon Levy to pay for thousands of dollars for an audit from Deloitte to look for the source of systemic RSU bullshit.
That wad of cash might as well have been flushed down the drain — the audit’s suggestions were largely ignored by the RSU.
Today, RSU political infighting has reached a cease fire. But that’s because most dissenting and diverse student voices have been squashed by minions of the Canadian Federation of Students. In my opinion.
Now, stop drooling and read my earnest and heartfelt suggestions for a better student union in five easy steps.
1) Give away more free shit
Students are poor. Most love free shit — particularly free food. Stop wasting cash on buttons and posters and just give away free food. A surefire way to a student’s heart.
2) Stop taking stances on non-student issues and get local
The RSU lobbying about student fees, equity issues and Ryerson-specific education issues makes sense. Becoming involved in discussions about divisive international problems is just polarizing. Stay hyper-local, stop pushing an aggressive leftist agenda down our throats and students will connect better with your campaigns.
3) Ban slates during elections
The RSU slate system stops keen Ryerson students from becoming involved in student politics. It’s almost impossible for students to get elected on their own within the current system. Candidates should be forced to run alone and gather votes the old fashioned way. And what happened to the fabled days of campus politics where debates over policy could flourish? There is virtually no difference of opinion within the upcoming RSU executive team. This is a systemic problem and banning slates in the next election would help solve it.
4) Trim the executive fat
Why is the RSU spending approximately $30, 000 in salary for five executive positions? Let’s channel Rob Ford here and cut the exec team down to three positions.
5) Defederate from the CFS
Fuck the approximate $300, 000 in yearly CFS fees. Defederate and spend the cash on step one — more free shit. Flip to page eight to read more on the RSU and the history behind Ryerson student politics.