The RSU’s $11,000 elephant in the room

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By Jacob Dubé

If you weren’t already painfully aware, your Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) executive team are currently being paid $11,000 more than their counterparts were last year.

At a board meeting in May, the RSU’s board of directors voted in favour of raising the executives’ salaries. While those meetings are typically open to the public, this one was held at a retreat, inaccessible to Ryerson students and our reporters.

A month before, at the April Annual General Meeting, incoming RSU president Ram Ganesh very publicly said that he did not want that motion to pass, even going as far as calling it a “terrible idea.” But out of the public eye, his board passed it. And while the executive abstained to vote, it was approved by board members that ran and were elected from the same slate—considering they gave themselves $500 raises as well, it must not have been a hard sell.

The current executives ran on a platform of transparency, promising to keep their books open and their hands clean. But there’s still so much we don’t know.

The RSU still hasn’t disclosed the finances and profits of their Homecoming event. We still don’t know how much they spent on marketing for the RU-Pass referendum. We still don’t know if all of the board members are currently Ryerson students. Hell, nobody even knows the person who introduced the motion to give the execs their raises.

We’ve heard countless times that the voices of students will be heard through surveys we have yet to see.

With an increase in pay should come increase in accountability. In my five years covering campus news, the one thing that has become clear is that the RSU only changes when people are paying attention and demand it from them. The union is funded by your student levy of around $130 per year, and they’re made to represent you. The least you can do in return is make sure you get your full money’s worth.

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