We decided to run our fun editor Suraj Singh for RSU president this year as a joke.
We planned to satirize the homogeneous, uninspired and downright dullness that has plagued the elections for years.
Problem is, it’s not really funny anymore.
At The Eyeopener we have traditionally, and rightfully so, been critical of the seeming one-party system our student politics has turned into. Year after year we see the same group of candidates rise through the ranks. They’ve all been Canadian Federation of Students proponents, left-wing, and, perhaps most tellingly, from the same group of chums.
This year the pattern has come to a head. When the candidates were released, the winners were already chosen. Every executive position, save president, has only one candidate, and they’re all from the same slate who have dominated Ryerson student politics for most of the last decade. Opposing opinions and candidate diversity has not just been squashed, but silenced.
On page 7, News Editor Sean Tepper will give some more insight on this election’s astoundingly limited options.
You may find yourself asking, if these are the only people running, does that not make them the most qualified for the job? But that is not how democracy works, friends.
I do not doubt the slate owning this election is made up of dedicated individuals who genuinely care about Ryerson students. And I don’t doubt that their experience will aid them on the job. I’m even a leftist myself and, at least theoretically, I believe student unions are a necessary and powerful advocate for us all.
But I also think it’s ludicrous that the current and previous executives have exerted so much control over the student union that the principals of democracy, dear to any pro-union leftist, have disappeared.
The Eyeopener is officially endorsing Suraj Singh for president. Not just because we want to be hell raisers or have a laugh, but because someone needs to send a message that the current state of the RSU is a joke and more than ever it’s time for change.
So whether you do it for a laugh and to make a statement, vote for Suraj. Or vote for him because he’s a dedicated Ryerson student who has involved himself deeply in this school (and brought Ryerson headlines as the most interviewed Canadian Quidditch player ever).
Or just don’t vote. I wouldn’t blame you. This year’s poor showing sends a clear message that your opinions, your political agency and your power within the student union just doesn’t mean much.