Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Written by Julianna Cummins
Three of the four executives of the Ryerson Students’ Union have been threatened with a motion of impeachment by the board of directors.
The motion for impeachment would apply to president Muhammad Ali Jabbar, vice president education Rebecca Rose and vice president finance and services Toby Whitfield, forcing them to resign from their positions.
On Nov. 17, Rose, Whitfield and Jabbar, along with students from Ryerson and the University of Toronto, went to York University to support of CUPE 3909 members on strike.
This could be an impeachable offence, said Chandan Sharma, director for the Faculty of Business, in an email to members of the RSU.
“I am calling on the board members to tell the executives and understand themselves that being at this event will reap negative damage to the reputation of the RSU and our university,” Chandan wrote in the email.
“It should be noted that such an offence against the RSU’s reputation and integrity could be an impeachable offence.”
But Jabbar said he was just fulfilling his campaign promise of being a strong advocate for students across the province.
“Things that happen at York affect our students,” Jabbar said.
Jabbar also said hundreds of Ryerson students in the joint Communication and Culture Graduate Program are at York University completing their degree, some of which are members of the striking union.
In order to impeach executive members, a notice of impeachment would have to be served at a board of directors meeting.
At the following meeting the motion would be tabled, discussed and voted on.
The motion must pass with at least two-thirds voting in favour of the impeachment.
However, the original board meeting set for Nov. 24 was cancelled when not enough directors showed up and the meeting lost quorum.
Jabbar said any meeting held after Nov. 24 would be illegal, as it would not adhere to the RSU bylaws in terms of agenda passing, presentation, and notice of meeting of time and place.
And since there is no official chair for the board of directors meetings, the president must chair, he said.
Abe Snobar, former vice president student life and events 2007-2008, said the president does not need to be present for a board of directors meeting to be called.
The bylaws state that a board of directors meeting can be called to order by a president, any vice president, or any combination of two directors, Snobar said.
“Two directors took precautionary measures and called a meeting for today,” he said on Tuesday.
Whitfield and Rose had scheduled to attend the national meeting of the Canadian Federation of Students, but chose to stay back and attend the board of directors meeting.
Snobar said Jabbar would lose the board’s support on Tuesday.
“He never had numbers on the board, and now he’s not going to have them more,” he said.
Jabbar said he would not be available on Tuesday and said he did not believe a board of directors meeting should be held when two of the four executives could not attend. On Tuesday, Jabbar attended and chaired the meeting. At press time, the board was debating on the authenticity of the meeting.
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