By Madi Wong
The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) has officially hired a new executive director (ED) as of last week.
Reanna Maharaj, a former environmental and urban sustainability student, was hired on Sept. 23. Prior to being hired as ED, Maharaj started working at the RSU as a student part-time at the Used Book Room and CopyRite.
The Eye sat down with Maharaj to get her thoughts on the role.
Q: What does the role of the ED entail?
Maharaj: I think what this role would be best used for is hearing what students want, hearing it from the board and then have it executed through our executives. To me, the ED mitigates between the board and the executives—hearing what the board wants to see, what students want to see and making sure that all of those tasks are completed and executed properly. So, being the implementation for projects and events for students and just making sure that staff are working fine, everyone’s doing their job, everyone is getting along.
Q: What are your some of your goals as ED?
Maharaj: With the Student Choice Initiative happening, one of my goals is to try and get some sponsorship and money. A lot of things were taken away from students this year in terms of discounts, bursaries, student groups. [I’m] trying to get sponsorship to bring those things back to students and spreading awareness of opting in.
I know with what happened last year, there’s some questioning about ‘Can we trust this team?,’ ‘Can we trust the RSU?,’ and the executives. So, kind of just making this feel like a safe place where students can come, a place where students can trust their executives and trust their staff.
Q: What does the RSU mean to you?
Maharaj: As a student, it was a place to be heard, it was a safe space where you can go study, to talk to someone. It was a place that offered a lot of services whether it be the Good Food Centre, CopyRite, the legal services, having a campus group—it’s kind of like an anchor for student events and student life.
Maharaj’s responses have been edited for length and clarity.