The RSU is currently suing Ryerson for $2.7 million in damages over the termination of its operating agreement
Two more student groups have been granted permission to make arguments in the Ryerson Students’ Union’s lawsuit against the university.
The Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR) and the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) were granted intervener status by the Superior Court of Justice on March 3.
The two groups will now be able to attend the March 6 hearing in the Ryerson Students’ Union’s (RSU) legal action and make arguments in court, representing the concerns of CFS and CESAR and providing context for the case.
Corey Scott, executive director of CESAR, said that the union is happy with the court’s decision. He said that CESAR will now be able to present its factum on Friday and that the union is glad that the courts are seeing that CESAR and CFS have valid things to say.
Genevieve Charest, communications co-ordinator for the CFS, confirmed by email to the Ryersonian that CFS had been granted leave to intervene alongside CESAR and will therefore be able to present oral arguments at the March 6 injunction hearing.
The two organizations announced that they had filed to intervene in the RSU legal action at a press conference on March 2.
Ryerson cut ties with the RSU and terminated its operating agreement on Jan. 24, citing a loss of confidence in the “RSU’s ability to represent students with good governance.”
In response, the RSU filed a lawsuit against the university, claiming $2.7 million in damages on Jan. 28.
CESAR president Nicole Brayiannis said that the union chose to seek intervener status of its “own volition” and chose to do so for two reasons. First, that CESAR has expert knowledge about student union environments and how student unions work, and second, that they are the sister union at Ryerson.
Brayiannis said that CESAR has a “direct, invested interest” into the outcome of the lawsuit and how it will affect undergraduate and graduate students. “While they are oftentimes outside of our membership, we still care about how students are going to be represented and their ability to advocate for themselves and exist independently on Ryerson’s campus.”
Sofia Descalzi, chairperson of the CFS, called Ryerson’s decision to terminate the RSU’s operating agreement a “draconian move.”
According to Descalzi, the federation is most concerned about protecting students’ democratic rights and student autonomy in the province and across the country, which is why CFS chose to apply to intervene.
According to CESAR’s lawyer, Louis Century, while the RSU agreed to CESAR and CFS intervening in the case, Ryerson did not. Since Ryerson did not consent, a hearing was held March 3 at the Superior Court of Justice, where Justice Markus Koehnen granted CESAR and CFS’s request to intervene.
The Ryersonian reached out to Ryerson for comment about the court’s decision and why the university did not consent to CESAR and CFS intervening, but did not hear back in time for publication.