The election campaign for Ryerson’s Board of Governors is underway, with voting scheduled to begin Monday, March 4. Some of this year’s student nominees are running in the hopes of implementing policy changes in light of financial misconduct allegations against the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU).
Sadat Ahmed is a third-year student in the financial mathematics program and candidate in the upcoming elections. He says although he believes Ryerson is great school, its reputation has been affected by the controversy surrounding the students’ union. Through his election to the board, he hopes he can work towards implementing changes to help keep those in power accountable.
“I want to work towards bringing forward a committee that supervises team leaders including the RSU, to keep them accountable so policies are followed and funds are not misused,” Ahmed said.
The Board of Governors, together with the senate, is part of a bicameral governance system.
According to the Ryerson Board of Governors’ website, the 24-member group is “responsible for the governance of the university; control of its property and revenues [and] the conduct of its business and affairs,” including institutional strategic planning, risk management and financial management.
This year, seven candidates are vying for the three student representative positions.
This year’s Board of Governors’ election is especially important, Tay Rubman – a second-year student in the history program and candidate in the election – said via email. Given what he calls the recent “RSU scandal” and provincial government budget cuts, the board’s responsibilities in developing the budget will undoubtedly impact the student experience in a tangible way, Rubman said
Olivia Karp is a first-year student in the politics and governance program. She said she hopes to help educate Ryerson students on matters that pertain to them most through a position on the Board of Governors This includes the scope and influence the board, senate and RSU have on students’ educational experience.
“My platform is based on student involvement, Karp said. “I hope to help implement better policies to control the finances, stronger supervision of the school and also to educate students of what the Board of Governance does, how they can get involved and how I can make their voices be heard.”
Karol Bahnan is a fourth-year student in the electrical engineering program and a representative of the engineering faculty on the RSU board of directors.
He said that the campaign he is running together with RSU executive Iyvan Chandran and Kruti Davis, who represents the Ted Rogers School of Management on the RSU board, will focus on moving past the current controversies. Instead, they will concentrate efforts on increasing funding for student-led initiatives, increasing student awareness of funding opportunities and educating the student body on the function of the board.
“As directors, we took the right approach. Recently Ram [Ganesh] has been impeached which we thought would be a great approach for this as we needed to restore trust within the students,” Bahnan said. “Now, we are just focusing on the Board of Governors and serving students based on what the Board of Governors does, not what the RSU is.”
Candidate Reza Khonsari wasn’t available to answer questions before before this story was published.
Voting begins online on Monday, March 4, at 8 a.m. and closes on Thursday, March 7, at 4:30 p.m.
Full list of candidates:
Ahmadreza (Reza) Khonsari