This students’ union joke isn’t funny anymore

In Editorial /

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.

Comments

  1. You can count on my vote!(If you guys do some outreach you could actually win)
    There should be a rule that states that returning members of the exec committee cannot run again. For f*cks sake, give other people there godanm chance.
    And also all you no life !@# out there that only show up for class and go home after, go voting.Remember there’s a thing called BLANK VOTE.

    1. Hi MechAnon,

      My team & I are filiming an assignment about the student elections for JRN125. Your comments about the exec. elections are interesting and we would like to interview you further.

      Would you be able/willing to talk with us briefly today, tomorrow, over the weekend or on Monday?

      My email is tess.martin@ryerson.ca and my contact number is 647-383-6447

      We hope to speak to you soon.

      Tess

  2. I absolutely HATE it when people talk about how student unions are like one party states. While I agree that your situation probably looks impossible to you, have you ever heard of a self fulfilling prophecy? By engaging this defeatist attitude you are just furthering your opinion that the RSU is a single party state and reinforcing that image rather than trying to work to change it.

    In 2007(or 2005?) or whatever, wasn’t the RSU divided? Did it not have two sides? were there not huge debates chronicled in the Eyeopener?

    And why call the candidate you are running, the SOLE candidate I might add(why not form a eyeopener slate and run SERIOUSLY?) a joke candidate? why not actually let him stand a chance instead of immediately dismissing his candidacy!

    I understand your guys’ problems with CFS/RSU. but don’t blame them for your own failure to either:
    a) engage students enough to run
    or
    b) not run yourselves.

    and BTW, most of the council seats are being contested. While it is surprising and slightly unnerving to see acclimations, this exists throughout every organization. the new young liberal club we just formed had 3/4 exec positions acclaimed. Is that bad? HELL. YES. Will we make sure to advertise the elections better next year? Hell, YES.

    End Rant.

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