RSU board of directors say executive’s suspension of President, VP, ‘illegitimate’

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By Raneem Alozzi and Sherina Harris

The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) executives are consulting with their lawyer to determine whether their president and vice-president operations were suspended, according to vice-president equity Karolina Surowiec.

Some Board of Directors (BoD) members called the meeting, in which the two executives were suspended, illegitimate.

In an email thread obtained by The Eyeopener, several BoD members requested to overrule the motion to suspend RSU president Ram Ganesh and vice-president operations Savreen Gosal. The messages were sent on Jan. 26, one day after the emergency executive meeting took place.

The Eye previously reported that the five-member executive team voted to suspend Ganesh and Gosal during an emergency meeting. Ganesh, as well as vice-president education Salman Faruqi and Surowiec, voted in favour of the suspension. Gosal voted against the motion and the vice president student life & events Edmund Sofo abstained.

From left: RSU president Ram Ganesh and RSU vice-president student life & events Edmund Sofo Photo: Alanna Rizza

BoD members said the suspension violated several bylaws including article 2.5 which states the BoD shall administer the affairs of the students’ union.

“The executives can’t make that decision and [the board] rejected it,” said Student groups director Maklane deWever in an interview.

Several other articles in section 8 of the RSU’s bylaws outline the board’s authority and ability to meet quorum for a meeting, and call and approve new business. In the emails, board members said the emergency executive meeting was not open to the BoD and they were not provided with a notice prior to the meeting. In the RSU policies, some of the bylaws only apply for board meetings.

Action was immediately necessary, obviously”

“We are unyielding in our efforts to bring justice to students at Ryerson,” said Cristal Hines, community services director, in a previous interview. “We won’t accept any bylaw violations and we won’t let any executive get away with any misconduct.”

In a response emailed to BoD members, Faruqi said the suspension did not violate bylaws. He cited bylaw 4.5, part of which states the RSU president can “[act] on behalf of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee between meetings, and where action is immediately necessary.”

In a previous interview with The Eye, Surowiec cited the same bylaw.

“Action was immediately necessary, obviously,” she said.

Student groups director Maklane deWever at the Jan. 24 Board of Directors (BoD) meeting. Photo: Alanna Rizza

Faruqi added that because Ganesh and Gosal’s names are on the credit cards, them being in the RSU office could interfere with the audit into the unions’ finances.

“This does not take away from the fact that they still must hand in their cheque reconciliations and be held accountable to the RSU and its membership,” he wrote. “It’s still their duty to come to the board meeting on February 1st.”

Dharshini Jay, the RSU’s financial controller, set a Feb. 1 deadline for executives to submit receipts for their purchases. At a Jan. 24 BoD meeting, Jay said no receipts have been submitted since the current exec team came into office in May.

Purchases on statements showing the president’s name included $2,280.89 to the club EFS Toronto, $2,507.18 at a Cineplex Rec Room in Toronto and $1,375.21 at Nick’s Sport Shop.  

Several directors who The Eye reached out to could not confirm whether Ganesh and Gosal were still suspended at the time of publication. Faruqi was not available for comment in time for publication.


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