Board members gave updates on their work, and only one motion was passed
The February Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) board meeting saw poor attendance by board members, had no printed agenda and saw only one motion passed.
When the meeting was called to order, there were about 11 directors and four executives present: president Vanessa Henry, who also chaired the meeting, vice-president operations James Fotak, vice-president equity Melania Tryhub and vice-president student life and events, Joshua Wiggins.
The RSU has over 30 Board of Directors (BoD) members and six executive members.
According to the RSU’s bylaws, a majority, or 50 per cent, of voting directors is needed to form quorum. It’s unclear how vacant positions would affect this, since it’s not known how many BoD members have resigned since Ryerson terminated its operating agreement with the RSU.
The RSU has been holding its regular board meetings and general meetings, despite not being recognized by Ryerson University as an official student government representing students.
The university terminated its agreement with the RSU on Jan. 24, saying it had “lost confidence in the RSU’s ability to represent students with good governance and to supply the services that students pay for.”
The board meeting came roughly a week after the RSU’s elections for the 2020-21 year. The union went ahead with picking a new executive team, despite Ryerson also moving forward with a process for students to select a new student government structure.
RSU has not received CRO report yet
In its only motion of the night, the RSU agreed to wait to ratify the results of the 2020-21 election until its annual general meeting, on March 24. The union has not received the chief returning officer’s (CRO) report, according to Henry.
The CRO report includes information about demerit points against candidates during the campaigning period, as well as disqualifications and security incidents.
Board member updates: clothing drive, Relay For Life
At the beginning of the meeting, board members gave updates on their work.
Chris Randall, Faculty of Arts director and RSU sustainability commissioner, said the union is holding an event called Freeze Fast Fashion. The clothing drive will be held in the Student Campus Centre (SCC) Feb. 28, and the RSU is accepting donations in SCC 208 this week.
Leftover items will be donated to a women’s shelter.
“Women’s abuse shelters are always needing more clothes, and we’re hoping for a lot of the pieces to be business casual or professional-style clothing….clothes for things like job interviews or meetings,” Randall said.
Henry said the RSU is also holding an event for International Women’s Day on March 9. It is hosting a networking session, as well as a space for students to have headshots taken and get donated business casual clothing.
James Fotak, vice-president operations, said the RSU’s tax clinic is running in the last week of March. He also said the RSU has created a student strike committee, with a form on its Facebook page for students to join the committee.
At its semi-annual general meeting at the beginning of February, the RSU passed a motion to approve a three-day student strike in March to “escalate the struggle against the OSAP cuts and for free education.”
Ryerson had a one-day student strike in November with around 100 demonstrators gathering at Queen’s Park.
Randall, the Faculty of Arts director, also said he is working to bring Relay For Life to Ryerson as an RSU affiliate group. The overnight event is April 3, in support of the Canadian Cancer Society.
Henry also said the RSU’s next court date in its legal action against Ryerson is March 6. She encouraged board members to show up.
“Anybody’s allowed. Show up, because it looks good, if you’re available,” she said. “The more support we have, the better.”