Ryerson University has been in the news lately, especially in Brampton when hopes of a satellite university campus arriving in the city were dashed by the Ford government’s decision to cancel funding for it.
Speaking of the Ford government, they recently announced a change in tuition funding that will end mandatory student fees when they attend university or college. “Student fees in Ontario can range as high as $2000 per year and, too often, force students to pay for services they do not use and organizations they do not support,” said Colleges and Universities Minister Merrilee Fullerton.
Critics have cited this as an attack on student unions on campuses, historically organizations that do not have much love for conservative leaning governments. However, in the case of the Ryerson Students Union, the ability to not have to automatically pay student fees to support them may have some merit.
According to this report from Ryerson’s student newspaper, the student union’s credit card was used to expense a variety of items totalling up to $250,000.
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Photo courtesy of Eye Opener
Some of the purchases included:
$2,280.89 to the club EFS Toronto
$2,507.18 at a Cineplex Rec Room in Toronto
$1,375.21 at Nick’s Sport Shop.
$190.97 and $117.52 to Long & McQuade in Toronto
$347.34 to Haze Lounge Inc. in Mississauga
$696.90 on an Airbnb
$613.60 to Bar Everleigh Toronto
$786.75 purchase made at a LCBO in Toronto
$168.40 spent at LCBO Orillia on June 2.
$136.64 at the Cedar Rama restaurant in Casino Rama
The RSU is a separate entity from the university so Ryerson cannot conduct a formal investigation into the matter.
Ram Ganesh, the President of RSU along with Savreen Gosal, Vice President of Operations were given one week to explain how this spending occurred under their watch, since they had control over the union’s credit card. They were subsequently removed from their positions.
Premier Doug Ford jumped on this story, highlighting how this was an example of what students needed to have a choice when it came to what campus organizations they chose to support:
This is not to say that every student union across Ontario has indulged in such egregious spending habits, but this definitely puts a black mark on student unions and gives more fuel to Ford’s call for more choice for student fees to go where students want them to go.