Continue To Make Student Group Funding Mandatory

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Doug Ford's Conservative government has decided to mandate that most student fees outside of tuition become completely optional. While this will not affect certain fees that “contribute to the health and safety of students” this will 100% affect funding for things such as the RSU, student societies, the campus centre, and likely the Good Food Centre and Sexual Assault Survivor Support Line as well. This will almost certainly mean the death of organizations such as the RSU, CFS, and student societies such as the Ryerson Engineering Student Society (RESS), Ted Rogers Student Society (TRSS), Ryerson Communication and Design Society (RCDS) and many more across campus.

The idea of the CFS and RSU slowly crumbling from funding is certainly an attractive one, especially in light of their behaviour over recent years. However, the destruction of these organizations would not only affect those individuals directly involved on their board of directors, but also the numerous student groups funded by the organizations. The RSU funds well over 50 groups currently, including course unions, affiliate groups, student groups and many more. Each student society on campus also funds dozens of groups as well. RESS alone funds dozens of student groups, design teams, course unions and chapter organizations. Without the levy provided by student funding each year, these groups will surely wither and die.

Doug Ford is clearly intending to suppress opposition to his conservative parties rule over the province of Ontario by cutting off funding to student groups that directly and indirectly oppose him. He clearly does not care that this will also hurt hundreds if not thousands of students who benefit from the result of extra fees paid to Ryerson.

Luckily, there is still a potential for Ryerson students to stop these disastrous changes to the funding of groups on campus. Doug Ford’s government is supposedly allowing each individual school to determine what is and isn’t a mandatory fee. This means that Ryerson is theoretically able to declare that funding for the RSU and student societies is still a requirement in student fees. There is still a chance to save funding for groups that provide necessary services for students on campus, such as the six equity service centres on campus, the course unions that run career focused events on campus, and the student groups that allow for students to gain real world skills before they graduate.

This petition is solely focused on Ryerson University, in the hopes of encouraging them to continue funding student groups, student societies, and the RSU to the fullest. We have seen in the past that student action works, most recently in halting Ryerson’s implementation of a new “Freedom of Speech” policy. It is time for student action to work once again. We strongly encourage all Ryerson students, and alumni, to sign this petition pushing for Ryerson to recognize student society and RSU funding as a mandatory fee for the 2019-2020 school year. Hopefully, Ryerson will recognize the benefit provided by these groups to the student body at large, and ensure funding continues to be available to all groups on campus.