By Kosalan Kathiramalanathan
A current director on the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) submitted an oral resignation after The Eye discovered he isn’t enrolled at Ryerson—a violation of RSU bylaws.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Ali Mulji, a 2018 commerce grad, is currently studying law at Thompson Rivers University in B.C. His LinkedIn profile has him listed as a senior advisor to the president of the RSU, the commissioner of the Student Groups Committee and the Course Union Committee and a member on the RSU Board of Directors (BoD).
The RSU bylaws state directors on the BoD must be, “A member of the students’ union as set forth in the letters patent or bylaws of the students’ union at the time of the April Annual General Meeting and throughout their term of office.”
The bylaws also emphasize that a member of the student union’s board is someone who is enrolled full time at Ryerson.
Mulji did not respond to a request for comment.
Edmund Sofo, the RSU executive member who oversees the Student Groups and Course Union Committee, initially told The Eye that Mulji’s position on the BoD and the committee didn’t violate any bylaws because he was elected into the position when he was a student.
“He is within his right to be currently sitting as a board member as well as a committee member and commissioner of both Student Group and Course Union Committee,” Sofo said.
He said there is nothing in the bylaws that explicitly bars any individual from running for the position of director or to be elected to a committee, adding that board members do not need to reside in Toronto.
“At the time of election, you need to be an undergraduate student and pay full tuition of Ryerson at the time of election. In the bylaws, if I’m not mistaken, there’s no stipulation that says you cannot be a member of the board or a commissioner of any single committee.”
However, approximately one week later, when The Eye asked Sofo to discuss the bylaw violation, Sofo said Mulji decided to resign after the issue was brought to light.
Sofo said the RSU’s initial interpretations deemed that Mulji’s election was valid, but after The Eye approached the RSU, concerns were also raised by members of the Student Group Committee and Course Union Committee.
“We looked at [bylaw] 1.1, which refers to what a general member of the RSU is. And when we looked at that, at the time of elections [that] was our interpretation,” he said.
Sofo said the RSU executive team spoke to Mulji about the matter and he orally resigned from his position on the BoD.
Mulji has yet to hand in an official resignation and his LinkedIn shows he is still an employee with the RSU at the time of publication. Sofo said the RSU will hold a by-election at the soonest possible time to replace him.