Ani Dergalstanian is one of two independents running for an RSU executive position. PHOTO: MOHAMED OMAR

Few independents in RSU election

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By Alfea Donato

Election season for the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) isn’t just about debates or blaring campaign slogans through megaphones. It’s about getting noticed – and the pressure is heaviest on independent candidates running for the top jobs.

Ani Dergalstanian, a third-year politics student running for vicepresident equity, is one of them.

For now, she’s relying on word-ofmouth to advertise her campaign for increased exposure of human rights, anti-racism and cultural groups on campus. But she’ll need more firepower running against Rajean Hoolett and his Students United, a slate with candidates for all positions and the dominant force in Ryerson politics since 2009.

“I don’t have professionals working behind my campaign to help me make posters and take photographs … I just have my friends, so there’s been some trouble with that,” she said.

Her fellow independent, presidential candidate Roble Mohamed, has more than poster problems – he’s virtually impossible to find on campus or through social media, and she hasn’t been able to contact him.

“I tried googling him, finding him on Facebook … I have no idea how to find this guy,” she said.

Students United has had posters up since Jan. 30, as a well as a website to promote their platform, and Dergalstanian said their relationship with the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) gives them leverage. She opposes both organizations’ practices.

“[Student opposition to the CFS] is something I plan to build on. I think a lot of students will hopefully resonate with my views,” she said.

She added that the election process wasn’t democratic “because you have none or very little opposition.” This absence of opposition encouraged Vladimir Bublik to run with his slate, The Business Initiative, for the four faculty of business director positions.

Bublik, a third-year finance student, said competition is crucial.

“I think if you have competition you’ll try to accomplish as much as you can in your one-year period because you might not get the second chance next year,” he said.

“Students have got to choose, it’s up to them, and next week we’ll see.”


  1. I tried looking for you, Ani but I can’t find any of your contact information either.

    Sorry about not being easy to reach, I read the newspaper. I agree with the views stated in the article. I know that lobbying in in different cities like Ottawa is ineffective and costly which I plan to eliminate. While I do agree with your general opposition for the R.S.U to participate in CFS protests. The CFS have a good cause but I don’t think the R.S.U should get involved. We don’t have this luxury.

    What did you need from me? Do you want to join up, make a slate? Is it maybe too late?

    send me a message at my email

  2. Have you done any research at all on victories CFS has achieved before making these claims?

    Perhaps after the election you should consider looking into the CFS before saying they are ineffective.

    1. Maybe if the CFS wants to be seen as useful, maybe they should change their tune from only “Lower Tuition Fees” even when Ryerson students are saying they don’t want it.

      I see an article on here to improve food services at Ryerson, what does the CFS have to say about that? “LOWER TUITION FEES!”

  3. Conrad,in my opinion, the CFS is totally ineffective and has done nothing to actually help students. They spend huge amounts of STUDENTS money to kiss the asses of NDP politicians but accomplish nothing. they waste thousands of student dollars on useless conferences that are not. even open to the average student, only to the most loyal CFS cronies. In my opinion, The students would be far better off without them.

  4. Even when I first came to Ryerson in 2005, this party dominated the RSU. Each year, their opponents have become less and less due to the dirty politics played by this slate. This has been coinciding with the decline in student turnout. The 10% of the student body that votes in these elections is the rabid fan base of this party.

    I sat on the RSU in 2009 and the moment that it was apparent I didn’t want to blindly support this party (I was elected as an “independent”) they used their influence to make anything I wanted to do for my constituents impossible. I’m not the only one to see this, it’s been going on for years.

    If there was a candidate and a slate that could somehow make the other 90% care, especially a lot of those commuter students and make the RSU relevant again, we would see real change.

  5. 2009 graduate, I agree with 100% . While this years ” elections ” are now over with the usual bunch of CFS cronies in place , tis going to be the same crap for another year, nothing about us students and everything about pushing CFS agendas. I think that we need to start NOW to create a serious awareness campaign to get rid of the CFS and the corrupt student unions that cow tow to them.

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