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Meet your next RSU executive

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By Sarah Krichel 

The results are in for the 2016 Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) Board of Directors (BoD) election. The Impact slate, which ran against opposition RU Connected, secured all five executive positions.

Participation rates in voting for the executive positions ranged from 10.9 per cent to 12 per cent. Votes cast ranged from 3,440 to 3,792 for each executive out of 33,905 eligible voters.

Here’s what your upcoming executives’ plans are:

President: Obaid Ullah

Current vice-president operations and upcoming president Ullah advocates for a student-driven union. Ullah wants to tackle student transit discounts, experiential learning and cleaning up the OSAP process.

“I think the way to build a supportive community is through our board,” Ullah said.

On study spaces, Ullah looks to make the Student Learning Centre (SLC) or the library a 24-hour study space, plus adding study spaces to the engineering building.  He wants to make booking study space more organized through a centralized booking process.

VP education: Victoria Morton

Current BoD member Morton said she ran to facilitate advocacy between the provincial government and students.

On OSAP, Morton wants to implement a one-stop-shop for students to learn its application process. She also wants parents’ income to cease being a factor in OSAP applications, but to add the cost of living in a student’s residential area as a factor.

Morton wants an active role in the 2017 tuition framework, the elimination of unpaid internships and she wants grade postings on D2L made mandatory.

Former RU Connected candidate Martin Fox said he wants Morton to have more ambitious goals on tuition. Fox said he’ll stay engaged to make sure action is taken.

“Transform centered their campaign on transparency and openness, and there’s essentially nothing to point to in the last year that’s evidence of that commitment,” Fox said via email.

Fox said students should see increased mental health services and anti-tuition advocacy campaigns.

VP equity: Tamara Jones 

Jones wants to increase transparency in the RSU and make student group discussions inclusive.

She wants to create discourse on classism by addressing problems low-income students face.

“With the new tuition policy, we’re going to be seeing a lot more people coming from that background on campus,” said Jones. “We need to make sure we know when they get here that they have the same opportunities and quality of education.”

The upcoming vp equity said she wants to see if events for the equity centres can get more sponsorships.

“I’m interested in reaching out to other corporations, student groups, seeing if they’d want to work to fund or donate,” said Jones. “I was thinking [about] a zine where anyone can submit anything about equity. That could hopefully pull in ad revenue.”

Jones wants Ryerson to work with existing groups on campus like Divest Now and Microbe Hub.

“We like to act like we’re a very environmentally conscious school but we only do the things that are flashy like the green urban roof,” said Jones. “We’ll hold Ryerson accountable to that and ask that they invest in green energy so we can go into industries that are thriving instead of ones that are suffering because of oil.”

Jones wants to work with these groups to implement more compost bins on campus.

On mental health, Jones said she wants mental health and equity training with faculty, professors and security to make sure they know how to to deal with the people who face these issues.

On men’s issues, Jones said student groups don’t need to be affiliated with the RSU to be involved on Ryerson campus. “Even if people don’t agree with their opinions, they deserve to have a safe place,” Jones said, adding that she hopes to work with the university to create a better system.

VP operations: Neal Muthreja 

The upcoming executive said that he wants to promote mental health initiatives, the RSU’s health and dental plan, and revamp CopyRite printing services.

On mental health, Muthreja said he is going to look into the budget to hire one more mental health counsellor.

“I’ll find ways to cut costs and I’ll keep some costs in the budget for [hiring another],” he said.

On the health and dental plan, Muthreja said he wants to add benefits and increase time between the opt-out due date and winter tuition fees dates.

“Students who opt out from their plan would not be charged for the next year onwards. So if they opt out this year they don’t have to opt out again.”

On CopyRite, Muthreja wants to add more services such as 3D printing, decrease the wait time to make the system more efficient, along with revamping its website.

“For CopyRite I feel like you spend a lot of time not getting stuff done and it’s not fast enough by making some of the processes online,” he said.

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