Opinion: FCAD needs the RCDS


The Ryerson Communication and Design Society (RCDS) isn’t just a good idea. It’s a flat out no-brainer.

The proposed RCDS will be a collaborative student government body that will unite and support the nine schools within the Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD). Its structure will be similar to the highly successful Ryerson Commerce Society, which represents about 8,000 students and 27 student groups.

While FCAD only has about 4,000 students, there is no doubt the students in its nine programs will benefit from a collective society.

To start, the mere existence of such an organization would guarantee a slew of resume-boosting positions, including a director from each program and five vice-presidency positions, plus other lower-level positions. For those who aren’t interested in joining a student government, the enhanced opportunities for corporate connections through sponsorship and other streams are almost endless and could help FCAD graduates find jobs in their fields of study.

And all that is without even getting into financials. The much maligned $60 annual fee will generate about $240,000 for the RCDS to give right back to FCAD students, and the tentative plan is impressive.  About $100,000 of that money will go to the existing nine course unions from each program.

The days of scraping up funding through bake sales and selling t-shirts would be gone. Instead, we could focus all our efforts on where they should always be: planning successful events based around education, as well as community based social events for the students in the program.

Another $60,000 would go toward organizing an annual end-of-year Ryerson Creative Festival, where students from each program would showcase their best work over a two-week period. This would be a chance to attract even more industry professionals to the school, and ultimately, show the community what FCAD students are capable of.

The remaining money will go toward project funding, professional events, student competitions, awards and bursaries. But with a fully transparent budget that allows students, and not the school’s admin, to call the shots, there isn’t any worry that the money will be spent outside of FCAD.

As the current vice-president of the Journalism Course Union, I can’t tell you enough about how much good this would do.

During a time period of soaring tuition prices, it’s understandable why students are skeptical of every new additional cost. On the other hand, the proposed $60 dollar fee is less than one percent of the average FCAD student’s annual tuition expenses. It’s a cost that will become inconsequential when the value of creative degrees from Ryerson increases as a result of this society.

If you’re looking to lower tuition prices, pick something else to gripe about. The RCDS will make FCAD better in the near future, and should already exist. Let’s make it happen.

Students can vote under the hot links tab on Blackboard from Nov. 4 to 7.

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October 23, 2013 Issue