Last night, RFP reporters donated 7 hours of their lives to witness the September board meeting of the Ryerson Students' Union. While there will be extensive coverage of the meeting in the October issue, out next week, this letter made its way to us today. We thought it fit to publish. It was sent to all members of the Canadian Peace Alliance.
OPEN LETTER to the members of the Canadian Peace Alliance:
Dear members of the Canadian Peace Alliance,
It is with great regret that I must inform you that the Board of Directors of the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) resolved last night to not continue its membership in the Canadian Peace Alliance. While I affirm that a significant minority of our Board and I are very supportive of the Canadian Peace Alliance and are staunchly opposed to war, I can no longer say that this is the position of the RSU.
The RSU has had a long and proud tradition of supporting anti-war initiatives. From the position taken at our 2002 Annual General Meeting against the American-led occupation of Iraq to strong student contingents at rallies calling for Canadian troops out of Afghanistan, the RSU has, in the past, been a proud and vocal supporter of peace.
Unfortunately, our Board of Directors has shifted dramatically to the political right and, at last night’s meeting several motions were served that illustrated this shift. This includes the narrow defeat of a motion to continue our membership in the CPA and proposed budget amendments that would see our funding of campaigns for peace, accessible education and student rights all reduced to zero. Further budget cuts to our progressive campaigns work are still outstanding and will be considered at our next meeting.
I would, however, like to assure you and your members that there are still a dozen directors and thousands of Ryerson students who are committed to the peace and anti-war movement at Ryerson. The Students Against War coalition will continue to be anchored by the Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR). I also commit to you all that, as President, I will work hard to ensure that the first-ever national anti-war conference scheduled for February will be a success, and not derailed by these circumstances.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.
In peace and solidarity,
Muhammad Ali Jabbar
Ryerson Students' Union
Local 24, Canadian Federation of Students