By Michael Chen
A committee of student leaders within the Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) want to form a new student society at Ryerson University.
The 10 FCAD students behind the proposed “Ryerson Communication & Design Society (RCDS)” will present their proposal to the Ryerson board of governors Sept. 30.
“If the proposal is passed, a referendum could happen around November,” said Cormac Mc Gee, a third-year journalism student and a member of the steering committee.
Student leaders met over the summer with university administration including Ryerson President Sheldon Levy, FCAD Dean Gerd Hauck and Vice Provost of students Mark Atia, to discuss the possibility of creating a student society for FCAD.
“The proposed society would’simulate a level of career development and relationship building for undergraduate students that is possible only after graduation,” said Janakan Srimirugan, a project manager for the proposed society.
McGee added that there is not enough connecting between students in FCAD programs and that that’s detrimental to learning.
“The proposed society would change that. Film students with fourth-year projects can be connected to theatre students and photography students with little experience in set design can be connected to theatre production students,” said McGee.
Melissa Palermo, president of the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) said that she heard FCAD students wanted to create their own society and stated “it’s not something new.”
Palermo also said that if students want to take the initiative and approach the RSU there could be more faculty-focused projects. “It would be best for FCAD students to discuss any new structure in collaboration with the students’ union,” said Palermo.
“We do support students organising themselves and taking their own initiatives.”
She adds that in the past,the RSU has reached out to students through their course unions to run events such as a barbeque last August and the showcase of FCAD student artwork in Oakham House.
Levy stated that he is supportive of students forming their own societies.
“I’ve seen the benefit it has had with the Ted Rogers School of Management and if this is as successful as Ted Rogers then they will be able to put on a lot of great events,” said Levy.
A proposal will be sent to the Board of Governors in the fall for approval. Once approved, the students will get to vote on the change. In the past, referendums were passed successfully to create business management and engineering societies.
McGee believes that this is a huge opportunity. “There is no link right now. It’s missing and we can create that connection.” experience in set design can be connected to theatre production students,” said McGee.