Photo: Jake Scott

RSU by-elections rundown

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By Isabelle Kirkwood

The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) by-elections are this week. There are three positions that need to be filled–a deputy chairperson student life and events position for the Graduate Representative Committee, a Faculty of Communications and Design (FCAD) representative position and a first-year representative position for the RSU Board of Directors. 

First-year board representative

First-years will be electing one student to represent their freshman cohorts for the 2017-2018 year. They can vote online at

Business technology management student Niall Hickey and urban and regional planning student Jacob Circo are the two candidates vying for this position. Here’s how they square up:

Niall Hickey

Hickey said his platform is predicated on maintaining equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) at Ryerson. Hickey is new to Toronto, originating from the small town of Port Perry, Ont. He said the lack of diversity in his hometown inspired him to make EDI the focal point of his campaign.

Hickey, who is running a paperless campaign, said he finds social media emerging as a more effective mechanism of attaining an on-campus presence than posters and leaflets. “A paperless campaign is also less damaging to the planet than printing out a thousand flyers,” Hickey said. “I don’t want to see people’s flyers crumpled up in the garbage.”

Jacob Circo

Circo said he wants to use his passion for urban planning as well as his experience in community service to improve the campus through urban renewal projects. One of these projects includes making the Student Learning Centre (SLC) more accessible to people with disabilities.

Circo said increasing communication between students and campus resources such as Ryerson security is another one of his platforms. He hopes to develop a service similar to the SafeTTC app to ensure that victims of harassment or assault can safely report these incidents with anonymity.

FCAD Board of Directors representative

Only one person was nominated for the FCAD board representative position–Emily Eymundson, a creative industries student.

Eymundson will be acclaimed to the FCAD board representative position because there is a requirement of at least two nominations for an election process to take place for any given position, according to RSU president Susanne Nyaga. 

Graduate Representative Committee deputy chairperson student life and events 

Nobody ran for the deputy chairperson student life and events position for the Graduate Representative Committee. Therefore, Nyaga is going to appoint someone to the position.

Claire Davis’ decision on GFC vs RSU

Claire Davis, who studies environment and urban sustainability at Ryerson, unsuccessfully ran to be the sustainability commissioner in June, due to a potential conflict of interest, considering her board position on the RSU.

Former RSU president and current board member Obaid Ullah called Davis’ appointment “illegal” at the time, as Davis is also a staff member at the Good Food Centre (GFC), one of the equity service centres, which is subsidised by the RSU.

The RSU bylaws prohibit board members from engaging in business that has dealings with the RSU, meaning Davis’ appointment would pose a conflict of interest, such as with equitable motions for future board meetings.

The Eye previously reported that Davis is currently prohibited from voting on equitable motions and was expected to decide whether she will continue on as a board member for the RSU, or will continue her role at the GFC. 

According to Davis, there are no bylaws that prevent her from working in both positions. Therefore, she will keep her position on the RSU and at the GFC, with the exception that she continues to not vote on equity service centres related issues that could pose a potential conflict of interest. 

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