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Board of directors meeting recap: graduate student union and 6 Fest discussed

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By Annie Arnone

Appian Way Group, 6 Fest and a referendum for a graduate students’ union were discussed at the Ryerson Students’ Union’s (RSU) final board of directors meeting of the academic year on April 24.

Board member Carolyn Quin put forward a motion to begin creating a graduate student’s organization that would be separate from the RSU. Graduate student Peter Haastrup said that Ryerson is one of the only universities in Ontario that does not have a graduate student union.

The board meeting’s discussion was dominated by this motion, and resulted in a committee being formed by current RSU board members to oversee the graduate union. 

Also in regards to referendums, board member Anna Stevenson put forward a motion to create a designated fee of $1 to go towards the Good Food Centre and $1 for the Sexual Assault Survivor Support Line (SASSL). The motion also requested that SASSL become its own RSU equity service centre.

The board passed the motion to support the referendum, but it must be ratified by the board of governors (BoG) before a fee can be collected.

A motion was put forward that addressed why vice-president student life and events Harman Singh did not complete a 6 Fest report. A motion was passed at a board meeting in March that requested Singh release a report within 24 hours. However Singh said the report is still not completed.

Lauren Emberson, board member and incoming vice-president student life and events, said the RSU has currently refunded students about $80,000*. 

“There are about $5,000 of false refunds that went to people who were refunded [through] emails [that were] not used to purchase their tickets with,” said Emberson.

A motion put forward by board member Angelo Robb, requested RSU president Obaid Ullah discuss the RSU executive’s decision in choosing Appian Way Group as an auditor last school year. Last school year when Ullah was vice-president operations, the firm was hired to conduct the RSU’S efficiency audit which led to the controversial layoff of Gilary Massa. The auditing firm has since been questioned on its legitimacy.

The motion passed and was amended so that Ullah is required to explain to the board why Appian Way Group was used as an auditor, despite the report, which was described as unprofessional by some board members.

Several student groups were granted official RSU status as well, including the Ryerson Tech Society, the Public Health Outreach Group and Hobby Electronics.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the RSU refunded students $8,000. In fact, the RSU refunded students about $80,000. The Eyeopener regrets this error. 

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