How does it feel to have your voting rights taken away without proper notice and consultation with members through a bylaw change? How does it feel when you, a fee-paying student taking 3 courses are told you cannot vote at your first or second meeting, but a non-student who obtained "political member status" can vote and govern an organization that is RUN by students, FOR the students? How does it feel when the former President who wrote these bylaws, tells you that he consulted the lawyers and tells you this structure is for democracy, and you find out that none was true?
This is a petition to change the current bylaws to allow any student to vote and participate in the governing of CESAR. We petition the new undemocratic structure change and bylaw changes that was done without proper notice and consultation, which was passed with only 24 members present out of approx. 16,000 total members during a meeting on November 15, 2011. We are petitiong to have our voting rights back.We challenge the CESAR board and ask to give the power back where it belongs, back to the part-time and continuing education students.
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION IF YOU SUPPORT Part-time and continuing education, distance education, and any student taking a Chang School class at Ryerson to have their voting rights back without any restirctions(attending certain number of meetings). Please read below for more information.
If you are a Ryerson associate or student of Ryerson, please indicate your student status( FT, PT, CE), or affiliation (eg/ Professor, staff etc) in the "optional section" of this petition. Thank you for those who support this in solidarity.
Please read below for more information:
The Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson(CESAR) is a student union representing approximately 16,000 part-time, continuing education, and distance education students of Ryerson University. CESAR is a membership driven organization working to advocate for students and fight for issues that matter to part-time and continuing education students. CESAR is run by students, for the students.
On November 15, 2011, CESAR has undergone a complete overhaul in its governance structure and changed its bylaws. The problem with this change is that it disenfranchises the amount of students who could participate in governing the organization. Only 2 percent of the 16,000 members were notified of the change through email. Students who used to have voting rights no longer have voting rights. Non-students are extended their membership and given voting rights. On November 15, when this new bylaw was passed, only 24 out of 16,000 members were present at this meeting, 12 of which were CESAR board members.
At the last General Members’ Meeting on March 21, 2012, only 16 out of 40 students present were able to vote because of the restriction and the newly implemented two-tiered membership structure. Students who were members of the Council of Representatives in previous years before the bylaw change, was not notified of the change and surprised to find out they could no longer vote. An organization representing 16,000 members, should have 16,000 members who could vote. There should not be a restriction on who can participate and who cannot participate.CESAR is RUN by students, FOR the students and it needs to work to serve the students by giving back everyone their right to vote!
*Students who used to have voting rights as regular fee-paying member no longer have voting rights until they attend two meetings. (one meeting per months, 3 per semester)
* The membership structure is now a two-tiered structure where Regular members become Political Members after attending two meetings
* The new bylaw also extends the political membership and voting rights to political members who are no longer students of Ryerson University up to 8 month, which means non-students can vote.
* The twelve member board was eliminated and the five executives are now the board.
*This structure is undemocratic because the nature of part-time, continuing education, distance education students prevent them from being present at these meetings due to external commitments like family obligation, child-rearing obligation, work, disability, and a combination of these factors.
* The bylaw changes were not communicated to the members.
*The former CESAR executive who proposed these changes, after passing the new bylaw left the organization.
* The members were informed that the new bylaw would be consulted with a lawyer and coalition partners, and this was not done.