By Brennan Doherty
An additional Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) faculty director position was announced Friday for the upcoming Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) election — a week after candidate nominations closed.
“They’re just adding a position, carte blanche,” said Noah Parker, a second-year business management student and a Transform Ryerson candidate for the TRSM director position. “I’m all for diversity on the board, but I just think it’s negligent for the CRO (Chief Returning Officer) to add a position, carte blanche, this late.”
In an email from the CRO — an official paid by the RSU to police the campaigns of all candidates — dispatched on Thursday around 3 p.m., she mentioned that “…there was an error in our original calculations of available positions.”
Four faculty positions were officially open by the time nominations closed on January 23rd.
Parker added that this puts his slate at a disadvantage — it can’t nominate another candidate to run for the new space, and cannot get any more than four of the five positions.
Unite Ryerson presidential candidate Pascale Diverlus did not give a response to the question. “I think maybe that’s a separate interview, and we can talk about that separately,” she said. “I think that’s a completely separate story.”
The number of director positions available to a faculty depends on their population. According to the RSU’s campaign guidelines on their website, the ratio is one director position for every 1,100 students within that faculty.
A subsection within that list mentions that no single faculty is allowed to have more director positions than there are director positions in the two smallest faculties—in this case, arts (with three positions) and science (with two). Ryerson’s University Planning website lists TRSM’s student population as 9,006 as of the 2013-14 academic year. Given their population, TRSM should have had the maximum number of director positions opened to the start — five.
Alexander Waddling, a fifth-year psychology student and Transform Ryerson arts director candidate, mentioned this discrepancy in an interview Friday morning, several hours before the CRO’s email.
“TRSM has an under-representation, against the RSU’s own bylaws,” Waddling said. While TRSM’s student population has expanded rapidly in the last few years, he said that the bylaws are updated each and every year. “They have to be upgraded every year, or it’s an undemocratic process,” Waddling said.
Both Waddling and Parker mentioned that the Transform Ryerson slate has had difficulty getting a straight answer from the CRO regarding the number of positions open to them. Originally, their slate was told that there would be three positions available for the faculty of arts. At an all-candidates meetings held on Monday, the CRO said that four were open. Their campaign emailed the CRO on Tuesday to re-confirm. The CRO said she’d get back to them.
“Actually, it’s four,” said Parker, in reference to her email confirmation.