RSU president Melissa Palermo speaks at the student union's semi-annual meeting.

RSU caps frosh funding

In News /

By Yara Kashlan

The Course Union of the RTA School of Media (CURTAS) is expressing its frustration at what they see to be inadequate funding from the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU).

This comes on the heels of a referendum for the creation of the Ryerson Communication and Design Society, a tool to provide more funding for Faculty of Communication and Design programs.

“I am a full-time student that volunteers my time to be able to execute events that engage RTA at the best of its abilities,” said Sachil Patel, president of CURTAS. “It shouldn’t be my job to acquire money.”

All course unions receive a set amount of money from the RSU each year, an approximate $500 at the beginning of each semester.

The breakdown of the spending includes: advertising, social events, miscellaneous, orientation for first years ($2.50 per incoming first year student), career and education.

Politics and governance, along with computer science programs, also recieve the $2.50 per-head rate from the RSU.

“From the viewpoint of a course union president, it is difficult to put together any event. Everything requires money and we try our hardest to make most activities and events free. But at the end of the day, it is impossible without any [financial] support,” said Patel.

An issue expressed by CURTAS is that there should be a more equitable approach to the distribution of money as opposed to an equal distribution for each course union.

“Equity would be giving money based on student numbers. It may seem to the RSU that course unions are all the same, but actually our mandates are different. To me, we advocate and make sure that students’ voices are heard, we are not just another course union,” said Patel.

The lack of aid for CURTAS events has caused them to fundraise within the department-which results in frustration.

The total amount of funding that CURTAS needs to raise to hold its yearly events is $18,562.50, according to Patel.

“I think it is unfair, it is a university experience for everybody, we should all get the same funding and opportunity,” said Ethan Krebs, fourth-year radio and television arts (RTA) student. “We treat everyone fairly in giving equal access and funding, if they are actively seeking all their options they can get more funding and we are willing to give them the information required,” said Danielle Brogan, vice-president of student life and events at the RSU.

“There are a lot of other ways to get more money. For example; apply for sponsorship, the outside community, and going to the president’s office,” said Brogan.

The RSU has indicated that there are chances to get assistance from them, through collaboration with the two parties. “My frosh experience was decent, but more money is good because it can provide a lot more to the experience,” said Karen Cheung, a fourth-year RTA student.

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