Errant email sent to students in CESAR’s name

The registrar’s office apologized to continuing education and part-time students last Friday for sending a mass email which falsely claimed to have been written and authorized by Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR) president Shinae Kim.

The email reminded CESAR students they would no longer have access to discounted metro passes through the member services office at the Student Campus Centre (SCC), according to copies of the email obtained by The Ryersonian.

Melissa Palermo, president of the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU), originally said the content of the email and the request to the Registrar’s office “didn’t come from us.”

She later clarified the RSU notified SCC general manager Michael Verticchio that CESAR’s students be reminded of the upcoming withdrawal of discounted metro pass sales.

“As CESAR members are among those that frequent the Student Centre regularly (we) found it appropriate that these members were informed by the Student Centre of this affected service.

“The Student Centre provided this information to the registrar to distribute to part-time and continuing education students,” Palermo wrote in an email to The Ryersonian.

Ryerson’s registrar Charmaine Hack is the person responsible for overseeing such communications. She confirmed in an email that Verticchio submitted a formal request to issue affected students an email about the upcoming disruption in metro pass distribution.

“The request sounded reasonable. I was led to believe the communication was solely intended to assist students by providing information,” Hack wrote.

“The email, however, was issued under the Cesar President’s (sic) signature in error and without her endorsement. Michael Verticchio provided the content for the email and included her name for students to contact if they had any questions.”

“While in hindsight I should have contacted Shinae Kim directly, I honestly never imaged that Michael would have added her contact information without consultation,” said Hack, who became the school’s registrar last May.

She added the email should have been a useful reminder for students, and was sent by the registrar (which has a database of students’ contact information) “in the spirit of helping students.” Verticchio declined to comment and referred all questions about the email to the RSU.

The RSU declared the discounted metro pass service for continuing education students had to be revoked due to the ongoing labour dispute between chapter 1281 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), and CESAR, the employer of the trade union’s two full-time staffers.

The employees have been locked out from their jobs since Sept. 30, after negotiations for a new collective agreement between the two parties failed.

Kim, CESAR’s president, also reiterated via email that the RSU is taking sides in the labour dispute and is breaching a working agreement with CESAR by cutting its students off from the cheaper TCC passes.

“If the decision is not reversed prior to November 20, 2013CESAR (sic) is looking to the RSU for damages equal to the additional cost to CESAR members of obtaining the pass,” she wrote.

This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on November 20, 2013.

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