By Matt Kwong
RyeSAC has closed down the hiring process for two staff positions after students complained of “an abuse of power” in the executive.
In September, students Nora Loreto and Ram Sivapalan applied for work-study positions with RyeSAC, but were never called in for interviews – this in spite of being told they topped a short list of eligible candidates.
Both students claim they’re in bad standing with the executive because they campaigned against RyeSAC President Dave MacLean last year. After the university’s ombudsperson intervened, RyeSAC agreed to re-interview everyone on the short list, on the condition that MacLean sit in.
Instead, on Friday, they got an e-mail that read: “RyeSAC’s Executive decided&the current process should be closed, and these two positions should not be filled at this time.”
When Sivapalan confronted MacLean about why he wasn’t interviewed, he was told someone more qualified was hired. “It’s more lies; it’s more crap from our RyeSAC president,” said Sivapalan. “We know for a fact nobody was hired in those positions,” Loreto added.
MacLean maintains he never said more qualified candidates took those jobs. “But I would love for Nora and Ram to meet those poor individuals [who were interviewed] and apologize and say, ‘Sorry we screwed this up for you,'” he said.
Sivapalan and Loreto are looking into whether RyeSAC’s actions violate the Ontario Human Rights Code, which says “employment decisions should be based on the applicant’s ability to do the job and not on factors that are unrelated.”
However, Jeff Poirier, a spokesperson for the OHRC, said they have a weak case.
“Political beliefs is not grounds for discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code.”