Un-Tied: Student Federation of uOttawa (SFUO) Impeachment Campaign
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Referendum Questions In Accordance with SFUO's Constitution:
- Should (Rizki Rachiq), cease to occupy the position of (President) of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa?
- Should (Axel Gaga), cease to occupy the position of Vice-President, Operations of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa?
- We, the undersigned, call for the resignation of the Executive Director (Vanessa Dorimain) of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa. Alternatively, we call on the Executive Committee of the Federation to dismiss the Executive Director.
Introduction: Due to the recent fraud allegations against two officers and an employee of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO), a group of students have formed a campaign, named Un-Tied. This campaign calls for the impeachment of the officers and the removal of the employee through a constitutional petition. This campaign will pressure the Board of Administration to seek measures against those members, whether through another emergency motion or through a referendum. In order to achieve this, we need a minimum of 1,800-2,000 signatures. Let us achieve this by the end of September in order to rebuild the student movement and implement a truly progressive vision for this campus, for all students, by the students.
The Un-Tied campaign understands the lack of ability for the Administration of the University of Ottawa to suspend any of those representatives. However, we wholeheartedly appreciate their halt of transfer payments, as this was the only action they could realistically take. As a result, we want to bring students together to address this problem head-on. It is our responsibility and our duty to seek remedies.
We urge you to reach out to your Board of Administration representatives (names found below) and pressure them to pass a motion against those members facing fraud allegations, along with voicing your concerns to your representatives at the Board of Governors of the University of Ottawa. You will find all the news articles regarding these allegations and past controversies below. We ask that you make a conscious decision based on what you read, it will shed the true reality of our representatives and Student Federation.
Who We Are? We are a group of students dedicated to seeing corruption removed from the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) and student-run institutions at the University. We believe in students having the power and responsibility to hold our leaders and representatives accountable, especially amidst the recent allegations. The Board of Administration (BoA) recently failed to pass motions to suspend two out of the three people facing these allegations until they are cleared from the investigation, which sheds light into the incapability of our representatives to take protective measures to secure the interests of students. We are facing an uncertain time with a major loss of trust in current student representatives. Hence, the petition which calls for the impeachment of the two executives and the removal of the employee facing these allegations.
Mandate: Our mandate is to bring all students of the University of Ottawa together in the face of fraud allegations brought against the two executives and the employee at the SFUO. For too long, controversies have surrounded the SFUO, as a result, the Un-Tied campaign aims to support students with resources that aid them in making the right decision about the current state of the SFUO. Therefore, the Un-Tied campaign is seeking a minimum of 1,800-2,000 signatures on a Change.org petition (Submitted to the University of Ottawa) and through a physical petition campaign with a team of canvassers to pressure the SFUO’s Board of Administrators into either pursuing another emergency motion to suspend the members facing these allegations, or trigger a referendum where we get to decide.
Values: We aim to seek respect, integrity, transparency, fairness and authenticity within the student movement. But we also seek to create one community, with students from all cultures and all different sides for the purpose of achieving initiatives that will be beneficial for all students.
- 220.127.116.11 Wilful mismanagement of a substantial amount of Federation funds. There shall be wilful mismanagement when the mismanagement occurs without a minimum of precautions having been taken;
The ongoing police investigation against the alleged perpetrators of the fraud shows that this mismanagement of funds has been ongoing for a long period of time. Even if the police ultimately conclude that no crime was committed, the allegations point to a deeper, systemic pattern of financial mismanagement. In 2016, the SFUO has almost gone bankrupt. In 2017, those members fought to raise their own salaries, which demonstrates this pattern.
- 18.104.22.168 Placing the Federation at risk
The University of Ottawa’s recent statement stated that transfer payments will be halted to the SFUO until the forensic audit is complete. The SFUO is now under possible risk of failing to perform day-to-day operations as a result of the allegations.
- 22.214.171.124 Wilful misrepresentation of the Federation; and
This police investigation does not only hurt the federation. It hurts students and the University of Ottawa as a whole. These allegations present to us serious questions as to the ability of members facing allegations to represent the federation in any capacity.
- 126.96.36.199 Abuse of power.
Should these allegations be proven, the executives facing allegations will have clearly demonstrated an abuse of power. This is not the first time, however. In the past, some of these executives facing allegations have used their power to allegedly obtain U-Passes improperly, stormed into La Rotonde’s (our Francophone student newspaper) board of administration meeting to elect themselves, in a way to control student media on campus, and even tried to increase their own pay. This is further followed by having one of the executives facing allegations attend the recent BoA meeting as a voting member and the employee being elected as temporary chair. It is a clear conflict of interest to attend and participate in, let alone chair, a meeting at which your suspension and fate are being decided.
Impeachment Process according to SFUO’s Constitution:
- Referenda of the federation are votes on ballot questions in which a direct vote of the entire electorate of the federation is asked to accept or reject a proposal. The results of referenda, the option selected by a simple majority of members casting ballots, are binding upon the Federation and must be acted upon in a timely fashion.
- A petition duly signed by five (5) percent of the members of the Federation. The petition must list the student number of every signatory and must be delivered to the Chairperson of the Board of Administration, no later than 7 days prior to a meeting of the Board of Administration. The petition must clearly indicate the question to be posed.
- In this case, at the Board of Administration meeting immediately following delivery of the petition, the Chairperson must require the Board to select a timeline to hold the referendum.
Your Board of Administration Contacts:
Unfortunately, we have not been able to garner all emails as the SFUO has not released the list of the board or their emails. We managed to acquire the exact names, and have gathered a few of their emails (with consent). The list will be updated as the emails are collected. Nevertheless, you can find them on Facebook as well.
Weays Ahmed: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brooklyn Patrick: email@example.com
Junior Akat Akat
Rudolph Damas: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michel Antoun: You may reach out to him on Facebook
Priyanka Goel: You may reach out to her on Facebook
Alex Dam: email@example.com
Julia Kemzang: firstname.lastname@example.org
Salma Naser: email@example.com
Khalid Touijar: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Harrison: email@example.com
Hussein Hegazy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben King: email@example.com
Kevin Boyer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement by the University of Ottawa: https://goo.gl/9NXrxN
Major News Articles:
- CBC - U of O student union members under investigation for fraud: https://goo.gl/DCd4aZ
- CBC - U of O student union approves external review of finances: https://goo.gl/EHcHxb
- Radio Canada - La Fédération étudiante de l'Université d'Ottawa vote pour une enquête externe: https://goo.gl/8UH9NE
- Ottawa Citizen - uOttawa student union calls in forensic auditors to investigate allegations: https://goo.gl/EZEWQE
Articles by The Fulcrum:
- SFUO president, executive coordinator, face allegations of fraud: Upwards of $20,000 in student funding transferred to president’s “faulty” club (Detailed Report) - http://thefulcrum.ca/breaking-2/incoming-sfuo-president-executive-director-face-allegations-fraud/
- SFUO BOA meets following allegations of embezzlement: Aug. 12 meeting goes in-camera to discuss allegations, forensic audit - http://thefulcrum.ca/news/sfuo-boa-meets-following-allegations-embezzlement/
- SFUO exec salary raise reversed at historic GA: March 14 assembly sees quorum met for the first time since inception - http://thefulcrum.ca/news/sfuo-exec-salary-raise-reversed-historic-ga/
- SFUO executive salaries raised by $2,000 at April 26 BOA meeting: Pay hike comes after debate with student federation workers’ union - http://thefulcrum.ca/news/sfuo-executive-salaries-raised-2000-april-26-boa-meeting/
- SFUO to reduce staff, services to stave off bankruptcy: http://thefulcrum.ca/news/sfuo-reduce-staff-services-stave-off-bankruptcy/
- SFUO execs allegedly attempt to obtain board seats at student newspaper: “The SFUO does not respect student press,” says la Rotonde editor-in-chief - http://thefulcrum.ca/news/sfuo-execs-allegedly-attempt-obtain-board-seats-student-newspaper/
- Students allege toxic work environment, budget concerns within SFUO: Allegations come before 2018 SFUO general election - http://thefulcrum.ca/news/students-allege-toxic-work-environment-budget-concerns-within-sfuo/
- SFUO takes away students’ voter cards at GA: Protection services called after student refuses to leave - http://thefulcrum.ca/news/sfuo-takes-away-students-voter-cards-ga/
- OC Transpo investigates SFUO U-Pass use: 2016-17 exec accused of improperly taking bus passes - http://thefulcrum.ca/news/oc-transpo-investigates-sfuo-u-pass-use/
- The SFUO needs policy on executive spending: After past financial troubles, recent auditor’s report, issue can’t be ignored - http://thefulcrum.ca/uncategorized/sfuo-needs-policy-executive-spending/
Articles by La Rotonde (French & English Descriptions):
- Article du jeudi 9 août dernier qui dévoile une déposition faite par Hadi Wess, ancien président de la FÉUO, concernant des allégations de fraude visant Rizki Rachiq et Vanessa Dorimain. Le service de police d’Ottawa a ensuite confirmée l’existence d’une enquête. Thursday the 9th of August’s article exposing the police report by Hadi Wess that revealed allegations of fraud. - http://www.larotonde.ca/exclusivite-dossier-de-police-dottawa-activites-frauduleuses-a-feuo/
- Une enquête de La Rotonde révèle qu’Hadi Wess et Vanessa Dorimain ont obtenu et utilisé de manière illégitime des U-Pass qu’ils n’avaient pas payé et auxquelles ils n’avaient pas droit compte tenu de leur statut de membres du comité exécutif de la FÉUO. La Rotonde reveals that Hadi Wess and Vanessa Dorimain obtained and used in an illegal manner U-Passes, which they didn’t pay for and weren’t entitled to because of their statue as members of the SFUO executives. - http://www.larotonde.ca/bien-quinadmissibles-programme-deux-membres-de-lexecutif-soctroient-u-pass-gratuites/ & http://www.larotonde.ca/suivi-bien-quinadmissibles-programme-membres-de-lexecutif-soctroient-u-pass-gratuites/
- Suite au scandale U-Pass et après avoir accusé La Rotonde de Fake News, des membres du comité exécutif et leurs amis débarquent au milieu de l’assemblée générale de La Rotonde. Rizki Rachiq et Axel Gaga tentent tout les deux de se nommer, eux-mêmes et mutuellement, pour des postes d’administrateurs au conseil d'administration du journal indépendant. Following the U-Pass scandal and accusing La Rotonde of being Fake news, members of the SFUO executive and their friends barged in La Rotonde’s General Assembly. Rizki Rachiq and Axel Gaga both tried to nominate themselves as members of their board of administration. - http://www.larotonde.ca/chronique-virtuoses-putsch/
- Hadi Wess et Vanessa Dorimain répliquent à la controverse U-Pass en accusant La Rotonde de diffuser des Fake news. Wess va même jusqu’à filmer et publier en ligne un discours qu’il aura lu durant un conseil d’administration de la FÉUO où il surnome entre autre La Rotonde d’être le « média de Trump ». Hadi Wess and Vanessa Dorimain replied to the U-Pass controversy by accusing La Rotonde of Fake news. Wess even filmed and made public a speech he made during a BOA meeting calling the paper « Trump’s media ». - http://www.larotonde.ca/editorial-faut-etre-deux-danser-tango/
- La Rotonde publie une enquête sur la vague de démissions chez les membres du conseil d’administration suite à la motion sur l’augmentation des salaires du comité exécutif. Article concerning the wave of resignations at the BOA following the salary raise motion. - http://www.larotonde.ca/augmentation-salariale-de-lexecutif-conseil-dadministration-demissions-guise-de-protestation/
- Couverture d’une réunion du conseil d’administration où une motion est présentée pour que l’on retire à Vanessa Dorimain de son rôle en tant que directrice des scrutins des élections suite à des inquiétudes concernant de potentiels conflit d’intérêts. BOA debated a motion to dismiss Vanessa Dorimain in her role as directrice des scrutins des élections [Elections Officer] for potential conflict of interests. - http://www.larotonde.ca/conseil-dadministration-de-feuo-motion-durgence-divise-lexecutif/
- La Rotonde publie un article concernant le processus de recomptage durant les élections de la FÉUO. Article concerning the problems around the recount process during the SFUO’s elections. - http://www.larotonde.ca/elections-feuo-de-34-a-155-votes-mystere-recomptage-de-votes/
- Un article est publié concernant la hausse de salaire potentielle de l’exécutif de la FÉUO ainsi qu’une comparaison avec les autres associations étudiantes au Canada. An article comparing the salary raise the SFUO executive wanted to other student federations across Canada. - http://www.larotonde.ca/hausse-salariale-avortee-lexecutif-de-feuo-vraiment-a-plaindre/
- Roméo Ahimakin, ancien président de la FÉUO, poursuit six personnes pour diffamation. Roméo Ahimakin, former president, sues for defamation. - http://www.larotonde.ca/federation-etudiante-poursuite-diffamation-seme-discorde-sein-de-lexecutif/
The Un-Tied is here. And we want you, to be a part of the change.
-The Un-Tied Team
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