A second students’ movement has joined the Ryerson political scene, offering support for Ryerson’s administration in the midst of the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) Freeze the Fees campaign.
The movement drew a crowd that rallied in support of the university’s administration at Monday night’s board of governors meeting, where university representatives gather each month to discuss, among other things, budgets.
The group, Rise for Ryerson, is composed of students from different faculties and organized by student societies such as the the Ryerson Commerce Society (RCS) and the Ryerson Communication and Design Society (RCDS).
Rise for Ryerson marked its first event yesterday with a rally outside the Ted Rogers School of Management building, before marching to the board of governors’ meeting at Jorgenson Hall. Organizers said that the RSU’s Freeze The Fees movement jeopardizes the reputation of the university and the value of a degree from Ryerson.
The group praises the financial support the school offers students, and is opposed to what it calls the “negative image” the RSU has created with the Freeze the Fees campaign against tuition hikes.
“We think that (only) one side of the story is being told by the students’ union,” said Ashisha Persaud, an RCS member.
“We want to see the RSU and university work in collaboration for a common goal before our reputation gets degraded by negative media attention the RSU is orchestrating.”
The group has been using Facebook and Twitter — with the hashtag #RiseUpRyerson and #WeLoveRU — to show its appreciation for the administration.
A group of around 60 students sporting “We Love RU” T-shirts took elevators up to the 14th floor of Jorgenson Hall.
The group was armed with a giant card signed by students to give to Ryerson president Sheldon Levy.
The group also brought thank-you cards for each member of the board.
“We’re not really there to protest or anything, we’re just going over there to show not all students are against the administration,” said Cormac McGee, vice-president of corporate relations for the RCDS.
While waiting for the closed portion of the board meeting to be over, Joseph Vukovic, student-elected member of the board of governors, was on hand to thank the Rise for Ryerson movement.
He called the “downstairs crew” — the Freeze the Fees campaign — “challenging.”
Jesse Root, the RSU’s vice-president of education, criticized student representatives on the board of governors like Vukovic for supporting the Rise for Ryerson’s “pro-tuition hike” rally.
Both groups gathered simultaneously outside Jorgenson Hall before heading upstairs, cramming the hallways outside the board room.
Ultimately, both groups made it into the meeting to address the board of governors.
Noah Parker is a second-year business major supporting the Rise for Ryerson movement.
He said he hopes the campaign encourages students to voice their opinion on how their education is funded and money is spent.
“I think we’re tired of our students’ union,” he said. “Enough is enough.”