By Ramisha Farooq
Over 100 students gathered at the Student Campus Centre (SCC) last Thursday and passed several key motions laid out by the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) at their semiannual general meeting.
Some of the most debated motions of the night included creating a commission on student group funding, supporting Ryerson athletics by creating an athletics commissioner, working towards trans-inclusive spaces and fighting for transit discounts on GO transit and Presto cards. All of the motions were approved by the students present.
When a motion is approved via consent of the union at the semiannual or annual general meeting, it provides the RSU with a mandate to pursue that motion. But working them into campus policy can take months of research.
“There is still a lot of work to be done,” said Rodney Diverlus, president of the RSU. “But, we as members must work together to keep our initiatives at the forefront.”
One motion which the meeting did not have time to address was one regarding public-private partnerships, which the RSU wished to oppose and research further, through Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) requests.
The inclusion of trans students, was one motion that caused quite a stir amongst meeting participants.
The motion called for the creation of a trans focus group to evaluate needs of trans students, and consider gender-neutral accommodations for spaces such as washrooms.
It was the longest debate of the meeting with the motion ultimately being passed by a vote of 47-31, the closest of the night.
The RSU holds two of these meetings each year at the SCC, enabling all eligible members to vote on student issues, and provide the RSU with their mandate.
In the past six months, through initiatives introduced in previous meetings, the students’ union has organized the largest pride week parade thus far, the new parade and picnic, the largest welcome week in Ryerson history and CultureJam Week among other initiatives.
“This room of students wants to have a say in the things that happen on campus,” Diverlus said. “We have an impact on our community.”
Meetings in the past have also organized students who have gone on to fight and win discounted TTC passes, the new fall reading week, the sexual assault survivor support line along with other cost-saving services.
The annual general meeting will be held April 10, 2013.