By Don McHoull
RyeSAC are baffled by presidential candidate Dave MacLean’s allegation that a mistake by one of their managers cost them $100,000.
At last week’s RyeSAC debate, MacLean delivered the accusation in a surprise attack on rival presidential candidate Ken Marciniec.
“In December the general manager hired by Ken missed a meeting and cost RyeSAC $100,000 in Oakham House profits,” said MacLean.
According to MacLean, because RyeSAC General Manager Brad Lavigne failed to attend a meeting of the committee that controls Oakham House, the committee was able to write off a loan of about $100,000 from RyeSAC.
Not so, says Ron Stagg, chair of Pallin Foundation which oversees Oakham House.
“That’s so far off that it’s hilarious,” said Stagg, a history professor at Ryerson.
Oakham House, home to meeting rooms and a pub, was originally managed by the Pallin Foundation, but after it hit some rough economic times in the 90s, it signed an agreement with RyeSAC in 1996.
RyeSAC loaned money to Oakham house and helped manage it. In exchange, Oakham House turned over half of its profits to RyeSAC.
In 1998, a new agreement was reached that gave all profits to RyeSAC.
Each year, Stagg explained, the Pallin Foundation would write off a certain amount of money to cover costs incurred in the upkeep of Oakham House, before passing on the rest of the profit to RyeSAC.
Last year the foundation wrote off $130,000, an unusually large amount of money. Stagg says this was done to clear all expenses incurred by Oakham House, because when the new student center opens next year a new version of the Pallin Foundation will be created.
“[The cost] had to be written off, or there would be a debt handed to the new foundation,” he said.
In December the committee managing Oakham House approved an audit statement including the $130,000 write-off.
RyeSAC President Darren Cooney said that he, not Lavigne, had missed the meeting, but that it didn’t matter because he would have voted to approve the audit anyway.
“It’s kind of a complex issue,” said Cooney. “Dave is distorting it because he doesn’t understand it, but he’s doing it to his own advantage.”