The Eyeopener • 3Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Pa-m k campag fm u
by brad whitehouse
Kiera Chion wants to make sure what happenedto her last year doesn’t happen to anyone else atershe had to fght or air pay at the Women’s Centre.She and other Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU)community service group members weren’t paidor hours o overtime and didn’t know what to do,she said. And Chion got little assistance rom the CareerCentre and the Ombudsperson.“The bottom line was ‘I you don’t have a union, we can’t help you’,” said Chion.The masters grad, currently employed by theOntario Public Service Employees Union (OP-SEU), is now spearheading a union drive or Ry-erson employees who work ewer than 24 hours a week.She said Ryerson’s part-time workers are theonly group o employees without a union.I 40 per cent o Ryerson’s 800 part-time work-ers sign a blue union card, a vote or a union willbe called by the Ontario Labour Relations Board.Chion hopes to get enough cards signed by theend o this year.OPSEU wouldn’t comment on how many signa-tures they have received.The proposed union, which she said is probably the frst o its kind in Ontario, would also repre-sent students employed in work-study jobs likeTri-Mentoring and Media Services among others.Chion wants to lobby or better job security or part-timers who oten have to reapply or thesame jobs each all, despite having held the posi-tion previously.Ben Weinstock, a second-year child and youthcare student who volunteers or OPSEU, wants tosee more training or workers. Weinstock remembers working as a counselorat RyePRIDE with very little experience. When agirl came in bawling because she was conusedabout her sexuality, he didn’t know what to do. Hehadn’t been trained or that type o situation.“I gave her a paper plate to wipe her eyes with. Ididn’t even have Kleenexes,” Weinstock said.Outside o the movement, however, some work-study students said they didn’t know much aboutthe union, even though they had been asked tosign a union card. Marta Onyschuck, a second- year business management student who workspart time at the Career Centre, said the OEPSUrepresentative who contacted her was pushy when trying to have her sign a union card.“He was very insistent on flling it out,” she said.
dg z yg
by julianna cummins
Ryerson is reaching out to yet an-other private partner in a bid to make Yonge Street between Gould and Ger-rard a corridor the city can be proud o.Ryerson President Sheldon Levy saidthere have been preliminary discus-sions about how the university couldplay a role in the general developmento the east side o Yonge Street wherePrimaris REIT owns several properties.“We have an interest in seeing thatblock... cleaned up,” Levy said.Between Gould and Gerrard Streets,Zanzibar strip club and a number o sex shops call the east side o Yonge Streethome.Primaris REIT declined to comment,but inormation on the company’s web-site says fve properties were acquiredon Yonge Street since 2007 or a total o $36 million, with the overall goal o par-ticipating in the uture redevelopmentand gentrifcation o the area.Levy said Ryerson could possibly play into the development o YongeStreet with Primaris REIT through es-tablishing a residence.“We have no money to put to this.Residences und themselves, so we would be saying to the private sector we need residence rooms,” said Levy.He cautioned, however, that Ryerson’srole would have to be outlined by thecompany and not the university.Chad Nuttall, housing manager, saidhe’d support residence developments.“When you look at the upper yearsand grad students and the frst-yearclass that we can’t take in, there’s def-nitely a demand,” he said.Rosario Sortino, a tattoo artist at Ul-timate Tattoos at 363B Yonge St., said hethinks the perceived seedy character o Yonge Street comes rom the sheer den-sity o the area.“Go to anywhere in Toronto, there’sactually a lot o sex shops everywhere. You just don’t notice it because they aren’t stacked on every block,” said Sor-tino. He said that any redevelopmenton the strip would be good or his busi-ness, although he would be opposed i smaller, amily-owned businesses werepushed out.
h g f
by mariana ionova
In an attempt to resolve a rodentproblem in the Student Campus Centre(SCC), building management has askedHillel, Ryerson’s Jewish Students’ Asso-ciation, to get rid o the rerigerator thatstored the only kosher ood available oncampus.“It was almost like we were being pe-nalized or having spoken up about ahealth hazard,” said Hillel sta memberJess Gilbert.Hillel sta began noticing mousedroppings in late last September andabout a month later, mice were spottedin student group ofces on a daily basis.
It was almost like we were being penalized for havingspoken up about a health hazard.
— Jess GIlbert,Hillel staff member
Sortino said there might be more drunken tattoos if a rez were on Yonge.
photo: laura blenkinsop
Soon, mice were getting into the oodstored in the ridge or events.Lack o ood storage poses a problemor Jewish students at Ryerson. Typi-cally, the SCC does not permit studentgroups to store ood in their ofces butHillel, as a religious group, was exemptrom the rule because kosher ood isnot available on campus.“There is no kosher ood on campusand there are Jewish students on cam-pus who require it,” said Gilbert.Mice have been a problem or the Is-maili Students’ Association as well, whohave repeatedly had to throw out theood and supplies they store or events.On one occasion, the mice destroyed$40 worth o ood and supplies, accord-ing to sta member Husein Kermally.“Forty bucks might not seem like alot but when you look at our budget—out o our social events budget, that’sapproximately 15 per cent,” said Ker-mally.But SCC management maintainedthat it has been dealing with the mouseproblem using an “aggressive ap-proach” since last all.“The Student Centre has and con-tinues to contract with a private exter-mination and pest control frm, onerecommended to the Student Centreby Ryerson University,” said Eric New-stadt, general manager o SCC. “Theproblem seems to have abated consid-erably.”In the meantime, the SCC has pro-vided students with some storage but itcan accommodate only 10 groups.
OPSEU organizers and volunteers launch a vote for a union for part-time workers at Ryerson.
photo: marta iwanek