Saturday, November 1, 2008

RSU: Three Ring Circus

The on-going divisiveness of a slim majority of RSU directors is leading to some of the most outrageous times ever experienced by the RSU. Once a proud and strong student advocate and service provider, recent antics of directors is enough to lose faith of the average student and the RSU is dangerously close to alienating the students it represents.

Some examples:

First, the annual budget process was stalled by four months. Eventually, a budget was rammed through, but it failed to reflect the RSU’s actual financial location. For example, the new budget cut the Anti-War campaign line item to zero. However, at that point, the RSU had already used financial resources on anti-war campaigns as per its back-up budget, (last year’s budget).

The list of problems with the budget continues, despite being moved by a business faculty director (Chandan Sharma) and supported by other business faculty directors. It should certainly be the hope that this isn’t the kind of fiscal prudence being taught at the Ryerson business school. Indeed, the problem is likely acute, resting with the bull-headed Ryevolutionaires at the board.

A second example is the debacle at the Senate meeting, which has already been written about. You can find it here.

Third, Abdul Snobar served a motion this week to sign a year-long contract with Gallivan and Associates (G&A), the broker for the RSU’s health and dental plan. G&A is most notable for having sued the RSU a few years back, and hiking its rates by almost $100 in only four years. G&A has steered RSU’s plan to be the most expensive in Toronto. Rather taking the financially prudent approach tendering the plan, Snobar’s motion sought to skip right to re-signing with G&A before taking other bids. Stopping the tendering process for an insurance plan makes about as much sense as buying the first used car that you’re offered at the first lot you find.

The most recent evidence of the RSU's decent into the absurd happened on Wednesday night. Ryvolutionary board members moved to install a new chair—Snobar’s brother, former business student and failed RSU presidential candidate Abe. Somehow, the Snobars thought they could side-step Abe Snobar’s defeat during last year’s elections and sneak him in the back door as board chair.

Moreover, any attempt to appear impartial—as a chair must be during a decision-making meeting—was thrown out the window when Abe was caught overtly organizing with his brother and other Ryevolution directors to get himself installed. The motion to install the senior Snobar as Chair failed, so as per the bylaws, the job fell to his election adversary, current RSU President Muhammad Ali Jabbar.

After all this excitement, what's next for the RSU board of directors? Surely exams and less frustrating activities must be taking over aspects of board members' lives.

The Ryerson Free Press’ November edition will be on the stands next week. You'll be able to read about all of the above in more detail among the pages of the paper. Until then, if you're a concerned student, you should email the board of directors ( and tell them to stop this fraternal block from confusing and stalling the business of the RSU any further.

No comments: