RSU: How it all adds up

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By Emma Sandri

In the days since The Eyeopener confirmed Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) credit card statements totalling thousands, many students are asking how this all happened.

Here is a short breakdown of what led up to last week:

It all begins

The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) fired their general manager (GM) on their first day in office in May 2018. At the time, the GM had a credit card with $20,000, said president Ram Ganesh.

Split in two

The GM’s $20,000 card was divided between Ganesh and the RSU’s vice-president of operations, Savreen Gosal, according to Ganesh. This means that each executive has a card with $10,000.

Execs raise their salaries

In a private board meeting on May 27, a motion was passed increasing the executives’ salaries by $11,000. Brought forward in April by Tajinder Kaur, the motion raises the executives’ salary from $36,000 to $47,000. The Eyeopener has been unable to find anyone who knows Kaur.

No reciepts since May

The RSU has not submitted receipts for their expenses since they first came into office, their financial controller Dharshini Jay said at a Jan. 24 Board of Directors (BoD) meeting. Some of the credit card statements obtained by The Eye date back to the beginning of June—they include purchases of liquor and hotels

Eye receives tips about financial mismanagement

Since October, Eye editors had been receiving tips to look into the RSU’s finances, specifically  spending on frivolous expenses. The Eyeopener was also informed that the RSU has not been releasing their quarterly financial reports, as mandated by RSU bylaws.

Eye learns access to finances were denied

In January, The Eyeopener learns that RSU student groups director Maklane deWever asked to meet with Jay, the financial controller. In emails obtained by The Eye, deWever was denied a meeting.

Jan. 24 BoD meeting

At the the Board of Directors (BoD) meeting, deWever reads line items off credit card statements with Ganesh’s name on them, including over $3,000 to a credit risk management company. The Eye later confirms the validity of the statements.

RSU execs suspended

Following the publication of the credit card story, The Eyeopener learned that in a meeting with all of the executives, Ganesh and Gosal are suspended from the RSU. Some board members say the suspension is a violation of the union’s bylaws and is illegitimate.

Feb. 1 deadline for receipts

Jay sets a Feb. 1 deadline for the RSU to reconcile their finances and present receipts for expenses. An emergency board meeting has been scheduled for this day.

With files from Sherina Harris.

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