Ryerson Students' Union wins a round in court against university

The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $5 per month!

Kerr Hall clock tower at Ryerson. Image: Hoice/Wikipedia

People who haven't been to university in a very long time might think of a student union as a club on campus.

The reality is that most student unions in Canadian universities are sizeable employers. The student unions at larger universities employ a few hundred people, and not just students. Full-time people rely on their jobs with the students union to pay their mortgates and feed their families. They also administer dental and health plans, have seats on the governing bodies of the university and work to protect students' rights on campus. If that conforms to the definition of a "club," it's a really big one.

Student unions are independent corporations, with complex agreements in place with the university administration to operate on campus and receive student fees. Most of the time, the relationship is straightforward. But not always.

Ryerson University and the Ryerson Students' Union have had a fractured relationship for a couple of years, stemming from allegations of mismanagement of funds by the RSU a couple of years ago. The dispute went to court last week because the university challenged the status of the student union on campus and refused to hand over funds for the union to operate. 

This has been going on for a couple of years now, and the legal deliberations aren't over yet. But there was a favourable decision last week for the Ryerson Students' Union's case.

Nicole Brayiannis is president of the Continuing Education Students' Association at Ryerson, also known as CESAR. CESAR had intervenor status in the case, and Nicole was in the courtroom. She talked to Victoria Fenner. 

Image: Hoice/Wikipedia

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.