Illustration: Annie Arnone

RSU still doesn’t know if all their board members are Ryerson students

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By Kosalan Kathiramalanathan

One month after the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) passed a motion to investigate the student status of board members, the governance team hasn’t begun their inquiry.

A motion to launch an investigation into the Board of Directors (BoD) to ensure each member complies with RSU bylaws was put forward during the September meeting. The motion was put forward after it was revealed a member of the board was not a current student, violating the student union’s bylaws.

To qualify for a position on the board, a member must be enrolled as a student at Ryerson University. The Eye previously reported that Ali Mulji, a Ryerson grad, was serving on the BoD despite attending school in B.C. He has since resigned.

The governance committee was expected to provide recommendations at the October meeting to ensure that this error would not happen again. At the meeting on Oct. 25, no executives or BoD members brought up the inquiry.

Ram Ganesh, president of the RSU, said the executive team has not begun the investigation due to other plans that have taken priority.

Ganesh said the development of a new executive portfolio—that of the proposed vice-president communications—has taken up most of the committee’s time.

“I don’t think the governance committee had time to look into that, I’m sure they’ll start looking at that,” he said.

Each board member is paid a $1,500 honorarium per semester they serve.

Besides an investigation of all current members, the motion passed one month ago also requested the removal of any invalid board members.

Amber Grant, an environmental science and management PhD student at Ryerson and the Deputy Chairperson of Education for graduate students on the BoD, said all folks who are on the board should be confirmed to be Ryerson students as soon as possible.

“The RSU is more focused on making sure their social events go over well rather than the integrity of the board,” Grant said.

She said it’s important the RSU verifies all members are actually enrolled at Ryerson at the next board meeting, the Semi-Annual General Meeting on Nov. 26.

“In order to best represent the student body, you need to be a student at Ryerson. It’s pretty hard to know what students need without actually attending school here,” Grant added.

Maklane DeWever, the RSU’s student groups director, put forward the motion last month.

DeWever said it’s been a busy time for the student union, with numerous other projects in the works.

“With the RU-Pass [referendum] and other initiatives, it’s understandable that this may have slipped the executives’ mind,” he said.

Considering the BoD represents students, and is paid to do so, second-year dance student Barbara Simms said she thinks the inquiry should be prioritized.

“It’s not surprising, but not acceptable either,” Simms said, after she heard the RSU hasn’t started checking to make sure every BoD member is enrolled at Ryerson.
Working on the BoD might not be a lifelong career, but it’s still an important job, Simms added.

With files from The News Team.

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