What do you want from your student leaders?

Students weigh in on what they look for in a student leader as the RSU elections approach.

Students weigh in on what they look for in a student leader as the RSU elections approach Feb. 8, 2016. (Jenn McNaughton/Ryersonian Staff)

The RSU election nominations open Feb.22, making way for a change in student government.

By Kiera Spronk and Krista Hessey

It has been a tumultuous year for the RSU. The laying off of Gilary Massa and Dina Skvirsky and the subsequent hiring of general manager Natasha Campagna as part of a restructuring agenda resulted in backlash from students and groups across campus. The RSU also faced a lawsuit from a pro-life group, Students for Life, whose club status was rejected. Another club hopeful, the Ryerson Men’s Issues Awareness Society, was denied club status as well. Although, the RSU brought Drake to campus and recently implemented multi-faith rooms in the Ted Rogers School of Management, the two club denials earned the RSU an ‘F’ in the annual Campus Freedom Index. Keira Spronk asked Ryerson students what they are looking for in new student leaders.

Teodor Dyshniku, first-year politics

Q: Do you think the RSU does a good job representing students at Ryerson?

A: I don’t know too much about the student union. I’ve gotten the emails, but I’m interested to know what they’ve done for the university, and more importantly, for us.

Q: Why do you think you haven’t been informed about the RSU?

A: That’s probably my fault, I’ve gotten all the emails but I never really read them. You’re so involved with your own courses that you don’t pay much attention to anything else. That’s not really their fault though.

Q: What do you look for in a student leader?

A: Someone who can connect with the student base, who has conviction, humour, and just a good personality.

 

 

WEB-RSU Streeter 2

Divyansh Chandel, second-year aerospace engineering

Q: What do you look for in a student leader?

A: I would want to see passion for their work, someone who has a command over everyone, someone who could change the notion of an entire crowd with a single sentence, or with a single quote. Someone who, just by the look of them, you can see yeah, they’re fit for this position, they’re fit to be a leader.

Q: What’s your impression of the RSU? Do you think they have been doing a good job?

A: I think they’re great, most of them are my friends, and I think they’re doing a really great job this year. Obviously they are a new panel, so they have a little bit of improvements they need to make, but I’m pretty sure if they stay for the next year they will surely correct it.

Q: Have you ever voted before?

A: Yes, I have.

Q: Do you plan on voting in the upcoming election?

A: Yes, definitely.

Q: What would you want to change about your Ryerson experience?

A: More study spaces. Even after the SLC being built, there’s still a lot less space during midterms and finals season.

Also, we had culture jam last week, so something like that, you know? More events to bring cultures together. I’m pretty sure everyone enjoyed it. More of those things would definitely bring everyone closer.

 

 

Casandra Fullwood, second-year arts and contemporary studies

Q: What do you look for in a student leader?

A: I look for a student leader that is inclusive, that includes everyone’s perspective on campus. Someone that can help address tuition fees, and maybe talk about how high tuition is and the cost of that on the students’ lives.

Q: What’s your impression of the RSU? Do you think they have been doing a good job?

A: No. I just feel like they aren’t proactive in the issues that a lot of students face. I think it’s just a representation of a small portion of the students on campus. I feel like they don’t properly address equity issues. I’m not happy with certain things that happened this year within the RSU and I hope we can change that. I hope we can elect new people who can be more proactive and help students have more of a manageable experience on campus.

Q: Have you ever voted before?

A: No, I haven’t.

Q: Do you plan on voting in the upcoming election?

A: Of course.

Q: A lot of students have said they don’t know much about the RSU or the election. Why do you think students aren’t more informed?

A: There isn’t a lot of outreach. They don’t know a lot about any of the services that are provided by the union, which can be because of a lack of the union’s efforts to go to events, to talk to students, to interact with students on a face to face level. A lot of people don’t even know how our president looks, so I think that might be a reason. They’re so excluded from the student population.

 

Elysha Haun, third-year journalismWEB-RSU Streeter 3

 

Q: What do you look for in a student leader?

A: I think it would be good for a student leader to try to get more school spirit.

The only time I saw school spirit was at the most recent basketball game, and it was crazy. I’ve never seen the school like that. So it would be really fun as a whole university and student group, if we were a lot more into the school.

Q: A lot of students have said they don’t know much about the RSU or the election. Why do you think students aren’t more informed?

A: I think because people don’t really live around here, it’s really hard for them to feel like they’re a part of the campus and a part of the student life. So if there was a way for our student leaders to engage students more and make them feel more at home on campus that would be good.

This feature was published in the print edition of the Ryersonian on Feb. 10, 2016 and expanded online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one × one =

Read previous post:
(Photo Courtesy Jaxson Jacobs)
Catch them if you can…

For one Ontario team, racing around the continent is a family affair.

Close