RSU president Ram Ganesh will not attend emergency board meeting, according to lawyer

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By Raneem Alozzi, Sherina Harris and Emma Sandri

The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) president will not attend the union’s emergency board meeting on Feb. 1 out of concern for his safety, according to his legal counsel.

In an email obtained by The Eyeopener, president Ram Ganesh’s counsel, Jill D. Makepeace of Greenspan Humphrey Weinstein, wrote that in addition to “devastating reputational damage,” Ganesh also received death threats.

“This situation has now escalated to a point where Mr. Ragupathy’s safety and security is compromised,” the letter read, using Ganesh’s legal name Ramganesh Ragupathy.

The letter was addressed to the Board of Directors (BoD). It was also sent to the RSU’s human resources coordinator, the RSU’s financial controller and the president of Ryerson University.

Ganesh’s legal counsel asked that the unaudited credit card statements not be released to the public and recommended the BoD retain legal counsel to ensure Ganesh’s constitutional rights are upheld.

Ganesh will not be attending any meetings until they are satisfied Ganesh’s safety will not be compromised and he will be “afforded due process,” the counsel said.

The Eye published information from several of the credit card statements last week. The statements show thousands of dollars spent on food, alcohol and clubs, among other things.

“The meeting is open to all Ryerson students, and student attendance has been vigorously promoted,” wrote Ganesh’s counsel. “Members of the executive have been compelled to attend and account for themselves in this setting, which lacks structure and regard for procedural fairness.”

During the Jan 24. BoD meeting, the RSU’s financial controller Dharshini Jay set a deadline of Feb. 1 for the executive team to reconcile their financial statements.

At the meeting, Jay said that the credit card statements had not been reconciled since the executives came into office in May 2018.

The Eye previously reported that Ganesh, along with vice-president operations Savreen Gosal, were suspended in an emergency executive meeting. BoD members have since disputed the suspensions, calling them illegitimate as the board did not attend the meeting.

Salman Faruqi, vice-president education, resigned Wednesday night.

“Personally I have always reconciled my transactions accurately and in a timely manner with proper justification,” he wrote in an email obtained by The Eye.

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