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RSU calls to reevaluate relationship with CESAR and CFS at BoD meeting

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By Alanna Rizza

A motion has passed for the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) to ask the university to halt Continuing Education Students’ Association at Ryerson’s (CESAR) collection of fees from full-time students.

This was motion was discussed at the Board of Directors (BoD) meeting on Tuesday, along with other motions from the Annual General Meeting (AGM) after quorum was not reached.

“I know I was frustrated as a student, who is a full time undergraduate student currently. But taking a Chang School course and a distance education course then being charged double was very frustrating because I did not appreciate the fact that I couldn’t vote in any referendum. I couldn’t participate in any elections if I wanted to,” said RSU president Andrea Bartlett.

According to CESAR bylaws, RSU members that pay CESAR fees have the rights and privileges of membership aside from: making decisions through referenda or general membership meetings on questions of membership in CESAR; running for CESAR’s BoD; and voting in CESAR referenda regarding its membership status and fees.

Also according to CESAR bylaws, RSU members that pay CESAR fees have rights and privileges including: having their interests represented through CESAR representatives; attending, speaking and voting at committee general members’ meetings and council of representatives’ meetings; and voting in union elections and byelections.

The motion was also passed for the RSU to review its relationship with the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) and to report on the effectiveness of its services for students. The motion says the report will be completed before September 2016.

An amendment to this motion was proposed by BoD member Zahra Islam to do the study during the Fall 2016 semester, since there is little student life on campus during the summer. The amendment also included having non-partisan students from each faculty be part of the review. Islam said that the board isn’t a CFS slate and that they are “swayed one way.” This amendment was not passed.

Bartlett said the report should be done in the summer and that it is the RSU’s responsibility to review their relationship with the CFS given that the union pays an annual levy of $475,000 to the CFS, according to the BoD agenda.

“I think the review is really important … to ensure that we’re getting the best value out of the money being spent,” Bartlett said.

She also said that doing the review over the summer doesn’t mean there won’t be an effort to consult with students. Bartlett said that she thinks there needs to be financial analysis and increased communication with the CFS over the summer.

“Once students do have questions, [the conductors of the review] already have the knowledge, the analysis, the information and the communication … to answer questions and get feedback from students,” Bartlett said.

The motion was passed for the RSU to create a transportation committee that addresses transportation issues. The motion was also passed for the RSU to begin working with campus facilities to find adequate space for student groups.

Another motion passed at the meeting was for the RSU to support any program, discipline or major that tries to separate from its course union and start its own. Since there currently are course unions that represent multiple programs, disciplines or majors, an amendment was proposed to have RSU fund these course unions as if there were multiple unions. This amendment failed, as it was deemed a policy amendment.

The motion was passed for the RSU to hire an audit firm for this 2015-2016 school year. The motion was also passed for the RSU to be required to advertise all regularly scheduled BoD meetings by email at least two days before the meeting.

The motion for the RSU to move towards paperless systems failed. This motion included reducing the number of posters and agendas the RSU prints as well as limiting the number of campaign posters a candidate can use in elections.

All proposed motions for ratification of students groups were passed. The groups include Book Club Ryerson, a group called Student Recovery Support Services, Gulf Students Unions — a group that helps students form student groups — and a Beverage Enthusiast Society that teaches students how to make mocktails.

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