Ryerson students part of anti-CFS campaign

RSU president Mellisa Palermo seen here at a CFS-organized rally in Feb. 2012.

RSU president Melissa Palermo seen here at a CFS-organized national rally in Feb. 2012. The RSU pays more than $350,000 per year to the lobby group.   (Ryersonian file photo)

Ryerson University students are among a group from 15 universities looking to leave the Canadian Federation of Students.

According to the group organizing the defederation drive, students from schools including Ryerson, York University, the University of Toronto and Laurentian University are banding together to ditch the CFS because it has “lost traction in a number of provinces.”

The group, which calls itself Time to Mobilize, is looking for provincial and national alternatives that would give students more control.

Said Ashleigh Ingle, Ontario spokesperson for Time to Mobilize:

“We are still interested in student organizing, but the CFS is not an effective use of our time.

She says student organizers at specific universities have asked not to be named so they can get going on their campaigns.

RSU president Melissa Palermo would say only, “I am surprised that students are looking to initiate this because we’ve had a good response to our campaigns and working with students across the province.”

CFS Ontario spokesperson Alastair Woods says this news comes as a surprise.

“It definitely came out of left field,” he says. “I’ve never heard any kind of mumblings about them leaving.”

He says the CFS and the RSU have had a good relationship.

“Anytime I worked with the RSU, it has been a productive and positive experience,” he says. “I haven’t heard anything negative from the RSU or (Ryerson) students.”

If the RSU decides to leave, a referendum would need to take place allowing students to decide the RSU’s future with the CFS.

More to come.

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