By Noushin Ziafati
The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) discussed bringing digital mental health counselling services to students, a byelection to fill in vacant RSU positions and making changes to the Equity Service Centres’ policy at the Sept. 21 board meeting.
myWellness digital counselling services motion — passes
A motion was put forward by RSU vice-president operations Ali Yousaf to bring digital mental health counselling services to Ryerson as part of the myWellness program that is already in place at the university. The motion was voted on in a roll call vote and passed.
Currently, the myWellness program provides students with access to support resources, an anonymous mental health assessment and a toolbox full of helpful solutions, which is provided as part of the RSU Members’ Health and Dental Plan. 5,326 Ryerson students accessed the existing myWellness platform at Ryerson last year.
The addition of digital counselling services would allow students who are enrolled in the health and dental plan to access video sessions with certified counsellors.
The health and dental plan covers the services of psychologists and social workers at a rate of $500 per year. Each digital counselling session would cost a student $37.50 from that amount, and the first session is free. This would allow a student, who is enrolled in the health and dental plan, to annually have access to 14 digital counselling sessions through the myWellness program.
Byelection to fill in vacant RSU positions and ratification of graduate position — passes
RSU president Susanne Nyaga put forward a motion for the RSU to host a byelection to fill any vacant positions on the Board of Directors and Graduate Representative Committee, which passed.
The RSU will host the byelection from Nov. 6-8 and the nomination period would take place from Oct.16-24.
Hussain Bokhari was appointed the deputy chairperson student life for the RSU’s Graduate Representative Committee. Bokhari will remain in the position until the byelection takes place.
Equity Service Centres’ policy update motion — tabled to next meeting
RSU vice-president equity Camryn Harlick put forward a motion to make amendments to the current policy that is designated to the Equity Service Centres. Some changes include adding in call-in practices, using language that is more “equitable” in the policy and membership prioritisation.
Moving on to amend Equity Service Centres policy, vp equity Camryn Harlick says policy hasn’t changed in 10 years and needs to be updated
— Jacob Dubé (@Ewiththeaccent) September 22, 2017
The call-in practices would aim to “help individuals to change the behaviour that violate community guidelines,” as stated in a document presented by Harlick and Corey Scott, the RSU equity and campaigns organizer. These call-ins would entail Equity Service Centre staff speaking to students who violate community guidelines and allow them to reflect and educate themselves to ultimately change their oppressive and/or insensitive behaviour.
The amendment to the language of the policy entails adding Indigenous students, agender, non-binary and otherwise non-cis students to the list of marginalised constituents at Ryerson.
“It’s only fair that the Equity Service Centres use equitable language,” Harlick said.
Harlick and Scott also introduced another amendment that would allow the Equity Service Centres to host closed events, meetings and trainings solely for marginalised communities if deemed necessary, such as in the case with Racialised Students’ Collective events and meetings.
Another amendment was introduced for the RSU to manage dispute resolutions, in case any issues arise at the Equity Service Centres.
The motion was ultimately tabled to the next RSU board meeting, as the meeting was adjourned because quorum–the minimum number of members that must be present at a meeting to make the proceedings of that meeting valid–was lost.
Sundown update — added to agenda but tabled to next meeting
A motion was put forward to receive an update on the Sundown festival that RSU vice-president student life and events Lauren Emberson has organized.
The Sundown update motion was also tabled until the next meeting.