The referendum will be a final step in the RGSU’s journey to separate from the RSU
Ryerson’s Board of Governors passed a motion Thursday that will allow the group representing graduate students to hold a formal referendum to separate from the Ryerson Students’ Union.
A new fee structure was proposed by representatives of the Ryerson Graduate Students’ Union (RGSU) as part of the motion on Thursday. An annual fee of $123.84 was proposed to support the union’s operations, scaling up to $650 for an optional health plan.
That means graduate students would see a mandatory increase of $24.08 in overall student fees, which could go as high as $334.08 with the health plan.
The RSGU’s proposed budget shows a focus on services that aim to benefit graduate students more meaningfully. The largest line item is academic support – accounting for more than 28 per cent of the budget. This line item includes special project funding, course union support, and academic travel grants.
The budget also covers some services that are run by the RSU, such as the Good Food Centre and the Sexual Assault Survivor Support Line, as well as other equity service centres.
The RGSU also submitted a list of signatures from graduate students and a formal letter from the Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR) to show support for the new union.
The motion at Thursday’s meeting came after the RSGU held its own referendum in April 2020, which asked students if they wanted a separate union to represent graduate students. The results of the referendum showed that the majority of voters were in favour of this proposal. However, RSU president Ali Yousaf said at a board of directors meeting in July that the RSGU must go through the Ryerson board of governors to run an official referendum.
The results of this referendum will determine if the RGSU becomes a separate entity from the RSU and can collect fees accordingly.
The referendum will be conducted by the Ryerson Election Procedures Committee at a time to be determined and will be open to all graduate students at Ryerson.