By Sierra Bein
The first day of voting began Monday Nov. 4 to decide whether a Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) society will be formed and if students will accept paying an extra $30 per semester.
The Ryerson Communication and Design Society (RCDS) wants to create more collaboration between the nine schools of art, give more funding to student projects and start a huge end-of-year festival similar to TIFF to show off Ryerson’s FCAD programs.
These four days are crucial: if the RCDS campaign wins the majority of the votes, FCAD students will pay the fee every semester for years to come. But if it loses, students will not be able to reapply for a society for the next five years.
Voting closes Nov. 7, and FCAD students can vote using BlackBoard. There is no minimum number of voters required for the referendum to be considered valid.
The outcome will be the result of all those who submitted a vote.
The winner will need at least 51 per cent of the votes to win.
“We’re on the brink of something very exciting,” said Stephen Kassim, chair of the steering committee. “We’re talking about big game-changing efforts.”
If the RCDS gets the votes, the total $60 per year from students will be matched and raised by sponsors, benefiting students with more access to funding, such as in the Student Project Funds, better professional development opportunities, and more exposure to boost the value of their degrees.
“FCAD is at this point, missing out,” said Tyler Webb, president of steering team. “This is a ready to launch thing, if we get this vote, it’ll happen right away. This is the final piece of the puzzle.”
However, not everyone is on board. The FCAD Save Your Money campaign, started about a month ago, is a group of students against the creation of the society.
“I’m okay with the idea to collaborate with people, for our careers it’s important, but it’s in our tuition,” said spokesperson Tarisai Ngangura.”We have groups to cater those needs.”
Posters have been up around campus buildings with Save-Your Money-Vote-No signs between each of the RCDS’s Vote-Yes signs.
FCAD Save Your Money says that students shouldn’t be dishing out an extra $60 for what current tuition pays for, such as union groups who allocate money to students and events throughout the school year.
But according to the RCDS, unions are part of the problem. It says that unions are limited in the amount of money they spend on students. As well, unions allocate the little spending money they give and take back whatever is not spent. If the RCDS goes through, the student body will have a say in where the money goes.
“I feel like right now they say it’ll be an equal division of money, but it’s highly probable the money won’t be distributed equally,” said Ngangura.