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- Students' Union Incorporated
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The Ryerson Student Association is first mentioned in the 1952-1953 course calendar. The Association was made up of all members of the Ryerson Community, uniting them in a functioning body and to co-ordinate all phases of co-curricular activity other than athletics. The governing body of the association was the Students’ Administrative Council (SAC) – in co-operation with the Faculty Council. It appointed student representatives to serve on joint student-faculty committees to administer funds and control certain activities like the Health Centre and the Loan Fund.
On March 12, 1957, the Students’ Association was incorporated and renamed “The Ryerson Institute of Technology Students’ Union. Its purpose was to:
1) Raise funds, accept contributions and to administer and allocate a fund for the provision and maintenance of building or buildings for the use, entertainment, recreation, refreshment and accommodation of students, faculty, alumni and guests of the Ryerson Institute of Technology; to make and arrange for such purchases, sales and construction as may be necessary for this purpose; and to hold and administer such property for the aforesaid purposes.
2) Provide the means to promote health, welfare and athletic activities of the students, faculty and alumni
3) Promote and preserve the associations and traditions of said Institution
4) Provide scholarships, bursaries, and loans to present and prospective students considered suitable by the Corporation.
The Union was directed by a Board of Stewards (the Board) comprised of the Principal (Chairman and later President); one member of the teaching or administrative staff to be appointed by the principal and act as First Vice- Chairman; three members of the teaching staff appointed by SAC; three students from SAC appointed by SAC; two representatives of the alumni appointed by the Alumni federation; a treasurer appointed by the Board; a secretary appointed by the Board; and a chairman of committees appointed by the Board. The Union’s members included all Ryerson students in good standing, all faculty members, Alumni elected to membership by the Board and honourary members also elected by the Board.
The 1959-1960 is the first course calendar after the incorporation that lays out the organization of the Union and its’ Board of Stewards and how it was to be funded. The membership of the corporation is still open to all students, faculty and administrative staff of the Institute, and alumni. Fees to cover administrative costs are collected annually from student fees. Faculty members and alumni who wished to join paid an annual fee as determined by the Board. The Board was compromised of the principal, four members of staff, three members of the student body, two appointed alumni members, and a treasurer. A secretary was later added to the Board, which changed into a combination position secretary-treasurer.
Over the following years the corporation was responsible for the The Students’ Administrative Council (SAC), The Athletic Directorate, the Alumni Association, Health Services, Student Publications, Student Loans, Students’ Union Supply Store, the Parking Lot Committee, Kerr Hall (Oakham House), and the Music Committee. It purchased two residential properties on Church Street and had renovated Oakham House. The Church Street properties were "sold" to Ryerson in 1965 for $2.
In 1966 the Union’s name changed again to The Ryerson Union. Howard Kerr stepped down as its President and David Crombie was appointed in June of that year. The organization also began to change roles, which took several years to refigure. In the 1967-1968 course calendar the following explanation was printed:
“The Ryerson Union was founded before Ryerson came under its own Board of Governors. The Union was originally designed as a special means of supplying amenities not customarily provided by provincially supported educational institutions. Among these amenities were the Health Service, Residences, and Intercollegiate Athletics. In the early days, the Union was the parent body and controlled the budgets of the SAC, the Athletic Directorate, the Publications Committee, the Health Service, the Bookstore Committee, the Band Committee, and the House (Residences) Committee.
However, the SAC became financially independent of the Union, raising their money through per capita grants. The new SAC constitution makes that body independent of the Union completely.
The new Health Sciences Department of the Institute has undertaken partial responsibility for running the Health Clinic, and the Communication Department will be bearing the brunt of the cost of the new ‘professionalized’ Ryersonian, since working on the paper will now be an integral part of the Journalism course.
The Ryerson Union is being re-organized to meet these new conditions.”
Scope and content
The Ryerson Student Association was formed in the early days of the School. It was open to all members of the Ryerson community and was run by a Board of Stewards comprised of Ryerson staff, students, and alumni. In 1957 it incorporated under the name "Ryerson Institute of Technology Students' Union". In 1966 the Union changed its name again to "Ryerson Union" and was reorganized over the next several years with the majority of its mandate moving to Student Services. See the creator description for more details.
The fonds contains materials relating specifically to the Ryerson Students' Association and the Ryesron Institute of Technology Students' Union period. All records from 1967 onward can be found in the Ryerson Centre fonds.
The fonds includes financial papers, correspondence, meeting minutes, constitutions, and copies of the papers of incorporation.