By Raneem Alozzi, Sherina Harris and Emma Sandri
Salman Faruqi, Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) vice-president education, resigned Wednesday night, a week after allegations of the union mismanaging funds surfaced.
In his resignation email sent to the BoD, RSU’s HR coordinator and the RSU’s financial controller obtained by The Eye, Faruqi said he had not seen the credit card statements until Jan. 21. The reconciliation date to submit receipts was set for Feb. 1.
At a Jan 24. Board of Directors meeting, board members brought up credit card statements in the RSU president’s name totalling thousands. Later confirmed by The Eye, the purchases 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 Sports Shop. There were also purchases of $190.97 and $117.52 to Long & McQuade in Toronto, $347.34 to Haze Lounge Inc. in Mississauga, $696.90 on an Airbnb and $613.60 to Bar Everleigh Toronto, among others.
At the BoD meeting, financial statements of RSU credit cards were read aloud. Student groups director, Maklane deWever, said he saw the financial statements that allegedly amounted to $250,000.
“As VP Education I was not privy to the transactions due to the limited scope of my position,” said Faruqi. “Personally I have always reconciled my transactions accurately and in a timely manner with proper justification.”
Faruqi said the events following the financial scandal and throughout the year have taken a toll on his health and relationships and have resulted in him resigning as he no longer feels he is able to serve students effectively.
“Due to this I do not believe that I will be properly able to serve the students any longer in my position as VP Education and I am therefore resigning with immediate effect,” he wrote.
He also noted his initiative to provide mental health first aid training to RSU staff, the RU-Pass referendum, efforts to develop open educational resources to decrease textbook costs and create a street team of over 100 students for outreach.
“Throughout the last year, I have sacrificed my health, relationships and time to serve all of you to the best of my abilities and wish you luck in the future.”
Faruqi did not respond to The Eyeopener in time for publication.
With files from Alanna Rizza