An illustration of the RSU logo.
Illustration by Izabella Balcerzak

Familiar faces in the upcoming RSU elections

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By Annie Arnone

Campus walls lined with the faces of your peers and multi-coloured t-shirts quoting slate names only mean one thing—the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) elections are upon us.

For those of you who aren’t perpetually enthralled in the logistics of RSU elections like us at The Eyeopener, you may not have noticed there are some familiar faces running for executive positions—including current RSU president Susanne Nyaga, current vice-resident equity Camryn Harlick and previous vice-president operations of the Ryerson Engineering Student Society (RESS) Ram Ganesh.

The three slates you should know about this year are Unify, led by Ganesh, Elevate, led by Nyaga and the Rhino Party, led by Matthew Smith. What do we know?

This year, the RSU saw its first split slate since the 2007-2008 term, resulting in a whole lot of disagreements among executives with differing opinions. Most notably, Harlick ran the Colonialism 150 campaign that resulted in a list of demands from Indigenous people on campus. This campaign, however, was not supported by some RSU members, some of whom will be running on an opposing slate, including board member Salman Faruqi who is running for vice-president education with Unify.

Elevate is running for its second year in a row. Their platform points parallel last year’s, focusing on accessibility, broadening student space on campus and increasing access to mental health resources.

Unify will be running on the basis of increasing corporate partner- ships on campus, making a fund for student groups, and—similar to Elevate—including 24-hour study spaces on campus.

Finally, we have the everlasting Rhino Party. Historically the slate, backed by engineers, has lobbied for things such as transparency— something they believe former RSU members have not taken seriously.

According to their platform, they believe students deserve to know what, and how their student union is operating—and spending money.

Who do we know?

Nyaga—hoping to snag her second presidential term—will be running on a similar platform to last year’s, and hopes to provide support for students practicing their faith on campus, as well as to expand the 24- hour study space on campus, among other things.

Ganesh is no stranger to student politics. He was involved with the transferring of funds to personal bank accounts during the 6 Fest scandal of 2017 and that put him in a sticky spot. According to his executive report, he has worked with over 25 student groups and course unions on campus.

Smith is well-known in campus politics circles for criticizing RSU decisions and its lack of transparency. Gradually, his slate, which still spends its campaign finances on Rhino onesies, has become larger. What should we do?

Run for the hills. Just kidding. Voting will take place on February 13, 14 and 15, and polls are available at my.ryerson.ca, or on campus in the following locations: ENG, RCC, SLC, TRS, MAC, SHE, POD, KHE, SCC.

On-campus voting will be avail- able from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday. Go! Go! Go!

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