By Carolyn Turgeon
The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) was adjourned early after failing to meet the 100 minimum students needed for quorum. After delaying the meeting on April 6 for nearly an hour, most motions were pushed back to the next fall meeting.
The agenda was barely touched before the adjournment, with just two by-law changes being considered.
The first amendment, moved by Liana Salvador, RSU Vice-President of Education, proposed to remove the Board of Governors seat from the RSU’s Board of Directors.
Salvador explained that the student representatives elected to the Board of Governors are looking out for the interests of the board, and not the students they are meant to speak for.
Her example given was of the most recent tuition hike, when the RSU sent countless emails and pledges to the representative and received no acknowledgment of their pleas to vote against raising fees.
Though Salvador has been elected to the Board of Governors for next year, she still stood behind this amendment.
She was opposed by Osman Hamid, who has also been elected to the board for the coming year.
“We’re decreasing voices for the RSU by removing this position,” he said, arguing that a student representative who fails to listen is better than no representative at all.
Hamid believed that cutting the seat would only be a disadvantage to the students, when they should keep trying to get their representatives to help.
After a couple more speakers, the issue was called to question, which brought it to an immediate vote. The amendment was carried.
The next by-law change was an addition of a new sub-clause, moved by Rodney Diverlus, returning Vice-President of Equity. Diverlus described it as a housekeeping issue centering around the description of the responsibility of the RSU Board of Directors. Diverlus said the by-laws concerning directors are vague in the explanation of a director’s responsibilities. This caused some newly elected students to be surprised when the RSU expected them to train for the job, represent the student body and perform outreach duties.
The proposed changes specified all of this, including a required one-hour of volunteering with the RSU per week and the obligation to uphold and support the aims of the board.
Osman Hamid returned to the opposing side, arguing that not all students can afford an hour every week, and shouldn’t have to do a volunteer position.
The decision was then called to quorum, but there weren’t enough voters present.
After a recess failed to produce enough students, there was a motion to adjourn, which was carried.
The remaining issues will now be transferred to the agenda of the next semi-annual general meeting.
Photo: Chris Dale