By Farnia Fekri
The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) is in the process of hiring a full-time, permanent general manager, according to a job posting on the union’s website.
Some of the roles outlined for the new position include “manage all financial operations,” “ensure long-term financial stability,” “conduct labour relations” and “organize an annual transition for incoming executive officers.”
Submissions opened on Oct. 20 and closed on Oct. 30.
“We’ll be reviewing the applications and scheduling interviews [in the coming week],” said RSU president Andrea Bartlett. The position was created after an RSU board of directors meeting during the summer reviewed the gaps in the business operations of the RSU.
“One of the recommendations from the report is a consistent management presence, which is why we posted the general manager job,” she said.
“I’m looking at the organization [in the] long-term, addressing some of the issues that past executives have faced as well as this year’s executives faced in terms of transferring of information,” Bartlett said.
Former RSU president Rodney Diverlus, who held office during 2012-2013, doesn’t agree.
“I think this position is redundant, as the RSU already has not one, but two senior managerial staff: the executive directors,” Diverlus said in an email. “The RSU is already one of the most well-resourced students’ unions in the entire country, with 13 full-time staff.
“Additional management will only add a layer of unnecessary bureaucracy, and quite frankly is a waste of student funds,” he said.
Diverlus added that he doesn’t think new executives transitioning into their roles every year is a problem, with full-time staff, documents and other “pre-existing resources that executives can choose to utilize, but only if the exec is willing to put the work in.”
Sania Khan, the vice-president equity of the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU), said the position “sounds a lot like our [UTSU] executive director” Tka Pinnock.
“They’re pretty much the individuals who don’t change according to the executives changing,” Khan said. “They’re the people who have the historical memory and they can transition the executive team to ensure a smooth adjustment.”
Pinnock, who isn’t unionized, “[ensures] that everyone’s doing what we’re supposed to be doing according to our portfolios,” Khan said, adding that the executives go to her for guidance or advice if need be.
The new RSU position is a good idea, according to Khan.
“There’s so much that we, as student representatives and student leaders, have to do under our own portfolios that it really does help when we have someone who we can look to for guidance or we can look to for support,” she said.
RSU vice-president education Cormac McGee said the position is meant to support the growing union, and keep track of the transactions that come with it.
“To a certain extent it makes sense because there are more students coming to Ryerson,” he said, adding that part-way through the application process he had seen five entries.