By Mohamed Omar
I share a name with a certain prophet, but I can’t predict the future.
And yet, thanks to the version of democracy the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) subscribes to and the number of times I’ve been to its general meetings, I think I can give it a decent shot.
At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, probably a bit later, the RSU holds its fall general meeting in the Tecumseh Auditorium in the Student Campus Centre. I am there live-tweeting the meeting enthusiastically alongside some of my Eyeopener colleagues. Say hi, colleagues.
It’s a pretty dull-looking room that can seat a maximum of 170 people, according to Oakham conference services. Its capacity is important because in order to able to to vote, according to RSU by-laws, you must be a member of the union who physically exists at the meeting, i.e. in the room.
At this meeting, motions brought forward by students and union executives are put to a vote. Some of these motions will not be contentious at all, like the one calling on the RSU to lobby Ryerson for a more smoke-free campus. I’m a smoker and agree with this motion. Or the one that kickstarts Freeze the Fees, an RSU campaign calling for, among other things, slapping a freeze on tuition fees and expanding students’ role in the planning of the school’s budget.
Prediction: These motions carry (or pass), and I start yearning for a cigarette like a lost toddler yearns for mother’s milk. And a cigarette.
The meeting gets sort of controversial when it reaches motion B, which calls for students to be allowed to opt out of paying the RSU, since some students “do not wish to contribute to the finances of the RSU,” according to the agenda. Students go up to two different microphones and present arguments for the “yes” and “no” camps.
The people supporting this motion have already told students they know to come to the meeting and vote “yes.” The RSU naturally votes against this, and it’s told way more people to come vote “no” too.
Prediction: The motion does not carry, and I begin caressing my ugly moustache, pleased with my newfound prophetic powers.
The meeting moves along, and (amazing) motions calling for an end to pop quizzes and 8 a.m. classes are put to a vote. These do not actually end surprise tests or early classes, but they call on the RSU to lobby the school to do that.
Prediction: Of course they flippin’ carry. Who would vote no to abolishing 8 a.m. classes? A masochist, that’s who.
We get to motion H, which like its predecessor motion B, calls for opting out of the RSU.
A debate commences. If we’re lucky, someone starts booing.
Prediction: Motion does not carry, for the same reasons stated above. I start dreaming of the campus pub for some reason.
More motions, some of which call for continued anti-racist policies and actions from the RSU, are put to a vote.
Prediction: The motions carry, because, what, are you a racist?
The meeting ends. Everyone gets free food.
*End of prophecy*
*These predictions could be totally wrong, and if they are, then let’s just say we’re going to have a lot more interesting stories on campus. We’ll have the actual results of the meeting on Tuesday evening.