Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Trent Central Students' Association: At the whim of partisan politics?

School has only been in session for a few weeks and already Trent Central Student Association (TCSA) President Liam Mooney is under fire from various constituents at that campus. According to reports from the Trent Arthur, Trent's student newspaper, Mooney (a self styled moderate) immediately set upon an aggressive agenda which has raised a number of students' eyebrows on that campus.

According to the Arthur's website these moves include:

1. Culling staff. Resulting from a closed-door vote, staff person Cat Dickenson was fired without cause. There was no record kept of the meeting's proceedings. As a corollary, a wedge was driven through the TCSA executive over the firing.

2. Opposing staff unionization.

3. Reprimanding a fellow executive member (Meaghan Kelly, VP Student Issues) for articulating TCSA policy against a privately owned and operated residence on campus during a CBC Radio interview. In an email, Mooney pointed to a error during her interview and accused her of following her own “own myopic political project.”

4. A failed attempt to see the TCSA withdraw from the CFS. His petition to leave CFS was answered by a counter-petition against defederating signed by over 20 per cent of TCSA's membership in one week.

5. Ignoring the "Solidarity in Meetings" policy of the TCSA when he met with elected provincial representatives alone.

6. Inviting anti-choice groups onto campus during clubs day.

It has been revealed that Mooney--pictured here (third picture down) with Federal Liberal candidate for Peterborough Betsy McGregor--may be the one who is harbouring his own partisan political project. According to the President of the Peterborough Young Liberals Jonathan Pinto, Mooney is a member of the Young Liberals, though he has never held an executive position within the party.

Although this whole situation is considered "petty and stupid" by some observers, others should wonder if it’s main-stream politics, and the appearance of its intrusion into students' union politics, that is the problem. Indeed, it wouldn’t be the first time that political parties attempted to influence the affairs of a students’ union.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Website now live!

Fresh off our September "Double Issue," the Ryerson Free Press has a new website! Now you can check out the print version, online.

Visit us at ryersonfreepress.ca

The blog will still be active at this URL, so keep coming back here until you hear from us again.