Ryerson students have chosen their representatives to the board of governors.
Cormac McGee and Hannah Van Dyk and Jessica Machado will take seats with board, the university’s most important governing body for non-academic decisions including financial matters like capital spending and planning.
McGee won with 858 votes, Van Dyk won with 797 votes and Machado won with 775 votes.
McGee and Van Dyk will also hold positions in the Ryerson Students’ Union next year. McGee will be vice-president of education and Van Dyk will be a faculty of arts director.
The participation rate for this year’s board of governors election was 5.2 per cent, up from about 4 per cent in 2014.
This election marks the first time in at least three years that not one of the three elected student representatives on the board of governors is from the Ted Rogers School of Management, the largest faculty at Ryerson. McGee is a fourth-year journalism student, Van Dyk is a fourth-year arts and contemporary studies student and Machado is a fourth-year biology student.
It’s also the first time in a few years that two female students have been elected to the board of governors.
McGee and Van Dyk ran their campaign with Michael Zelma, who was not elected, under the “UR Vision” banner. Machado was part of the opposition slate “UR Choice.” Her running mates David Kwok and Sriganeshan Thavarajah, were not elected.
Machado says she’s looking forward to working with McGee and Van Dyk.
“We all know each other and we’ve all worked together before in other leadership capacities before,” she says. “Even though [Kwok and Thavarajah] didn’t get elected, there are no hard feelings.”
All three students say they plan to engage students more in the upcoming year.
“The number one thing [we will work on] is increased student engagement,” says McGee. “We want students caring about the decisions made on the board.”
McGee says they will plan a coffee date once a month in the Student Learning Centre where students can drop-in to discuss concerns.
Last semester, the RSU held a campaign to drop tuition fees and asked for access to the board of governors meeting because they felt the student representative on the board, Tyler Webb, wasn’t addressing their concerns.
Van Dyk says determining “things such as tuition fees is a tricky thing” and as a board member she will assess all the information before making a decision to push for lower tuition fees.