Transform RU’s first task when they take over the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) is to increase student involvement in the union, newly elected members say.
Cormac McGee, who was elected vice president education on Wednesday, says that to get students motivated about Ryerson affairs, Transform will open up the channels of communication to allow direct contact between execs and students.
“We want the execs to be in front of students constantly. Through town halls, google complaint forms, we want us to be accessible through social media, and even email,” McGee says.
Transform’s campaign was based on open communication, and McGee says his team will continue to listen to students’ input in the future.
“We want them to criticize us, tell us we’re doing a good job. We want them to be honest with us, so we can be honest with them,” McGee says. “There’s no more hiding behind bylaws and board rooms. We’re going to be upfront and held accountable. That’s how we’re going to keep students engaged.”
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Thousands of students voted in this year’s RSU election. Lineups contained more than ten students at a time at many polling stations. This is the first time in recent history this level of involvement in the election process has been seen at Ryerson. Newly-elected president, Andrea Bartlett, says that voter turnout is largely due to the candidates’ ability to meet student concerns head-on.
“One of the things that is going to … maintain that high level of student involvement and student engagement on campus is ensuring that we’re communicating with our students, we’re telling them what’s going on,” Bartlett says.
Ryerson politics professor, Neil Thomlinson, a long-time follower of RSU politics, wrote in an email that Transform, as the newly elected leaders, should take it upon themselves to be open with students about how the RSU is spending its money in order to instill trust in their leadership.
“(Transform should) abide by basic conventions of democratic governance and civility,” Thomlinson says. “If the Transform team is able to just do that much, student politics at Ryerson will be different one year from now.”
The election’s results were announced Wednesday night at The Ram in the Rye.
While waiting for results, students, reporters and community members tweeted using “#RSUElections” to follow the event. By 10:30 p.m., the hashtag was trending in Toronto and within an hour, it was trending in Canada.
This is the first time in recent history this level of involvement in the election process has been seen at Ryerson.
Transform RU’s elected executives confirmed they would continue to work with the students, not against them.