By Laura Woodward
Student societies are growing one referendum at a time. Students in the Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) voted in favour of the creation of their own society, while engineering students approved a fee hike for theirs.
Eighty per cent of FCAD students supported the referendum and the formation of the Ryerson Communication and Design Society (RCDS).
According to official results from Ryerson’s Board of Governors, the four-day referendum, which ended on Nov. 7, had a partition rate of 39.9 per cent with 1,400 votes in favour of the referendum.
“It’s about time FCAD gets a society,” said first year creative industries student, Joelle Farrow.
By voting in favour of RCDS, a $30 fee per semester from all FCAD students will be secured beginning September 2014. The money will be used to fund the creation and operation of the society.
Although it’s currently not receiving funding, the RCDS will start running this January, partially funded by the university.
“Our main goal for next semester is to get the society’s structure up and running so when we do get the student levy we can immediately start pushing back into students hands, projects and events,” society executive, Cormac McGee, said.
The society’s plan is to benefit FCAD students with more opportunities and exposure.
“We plan to start building things like the FCAD-only orientation week, working on the year-end festival showcase, and begin working with the Ryerson Commerce Society to determine a structure and procedure for providing these funds to students, student groups, and course unions,” said RCDS executive, Megan Matsuda.
RCDS is led by third-year photography student, Tyler Webb, along with six executives, but will hold elections for its board of directors in Winter 2014. The nine schools will each elect an FCAD student as director to represent their program on the board.
Another referendum from the Ryerson Engineering Student Society (RESS) also passed Thursday.
Compared to the FCAD referendum, the RESS vote had a much lower turnout of 15.3 per cent. Of the 4,246 eligible voters, just 651 ballots were submitted.
“More people should have voted,” said first-year engineering student, Igor Tchoudinov. “They won the majority of votes, but if only 15 per cent of students voted, that’s not really the majority.”
The agreement to the referendum entails engineering students’ annual levy to be almost doubled, $33.70 to $65. Despite having the third largest engineering faculty in the province, students previously paid the lowest levy in Ontario.
RESS, led by president Rose Ghamari, plans to keep up with the rest of the engineering schools across Ontario by providing Ryerson student services such as support for student groups, academic and career events, publications, leadership training, social events and community service activities.