RSU hires CRO days before student campaigning to begin

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By Emma Sandri

The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) just secured the staff required for elections despite campaigning for the election beginning on March 6.

According to RSU bylaws, the Chief Returning Officer (CRO) needs to determine the number of student faculty directors 30 days before the election. As The Eyeopener previously reported in February, the union didn’t have a CRO a month before elections were scheduled to begin.

RSU president Maklane deWever said these bylaws could be superseded by a two-thirds vote by the union’s Board of Directors (BoD).

“We got two legal opinions on it and they said that basically our bylaws do have provisions that allow for extraordinary measures,” said deWever. “I think that most people will agree that what’s gone on at the RSU is extraordinary.”

The newly elected Ryerson Students’ Union president, Maklane deWever, at the Jan. 24 Board of Directors (BoD) meeting. Photo: Alanna Rizza

DeWever said the BoD will be meeting on March 11 to vote to ratify the CRO, one day before voting will take place. “Quite frankly that specific bylaw…won’t impact the integrity of the election.”

The CRO, or their delegate, is supposed to count ballots and announce election results. In addition, they are also supposed to determine candidate disqualifications or issue demerit points.

“Everybody we have [on the team] has a lot of experience in the RSU elections, knows what to expect, how to do things,” said deWever.

“We have a really balanced team in terms of experience and people on the outside too,” he added.

“What’s gone on at the RSU is extraordinary”

The CRO for the upcoming elections is Martin Rochon, and the Deputy Returning Officer (DRO) is Renique Shaw.

As per union bylaws, Shaw will “assist in the elections process,” including initialling the back of each ballot used.  

DeWever said he is confident the elections will continue as scheduled, meaning, students will vote for a new union March 12 through 14.

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