Ryerson Student Union president impeached over credit card scandal
The Ryerson leader accused of squandering some $700,000 in student funds on "questionable expenses" such as nights out at Toronto bars and trips to the LCBO has officially been ousted from his post.
Ram Ganesh, who was elected president of the Ryerson Students' Union (RSU) in February of 2018, was impeached on Monday with two thirds of his own executive team voting in favour of the move.
Vice-president of operations Savreen Gosal, who had been serving as interim president while Ganesh was suspended, was herself suspended yesterday pending further investigation into the team's finances.
Last month, leaked RSU credit card statements addressed to Ganesh showed an unusual pattern of spending between May and December of that year: Thousands of dollars were put toward booze, shopping sprees at sporting good stores and random Airbnb rentals, among other things.
A tumultuous couple of weeks followed as students called for Ganesh to resign and potentially face criminal charges for his perceived actions.
Ryerson University said in a statement following the initial publication of the credit card statements that, while it "takes these allegations very seriously," it was unable to conduct an independent investigation into RSU finances, as the student union is a separate corporate entity.
Being that the union's funds come from mandatory tuition fees, however, which add $78.50 per semester to the bills of most full-time undergraduate students, the school requested a meeting with members of the union's executive team anyway.
It was eventually learned that far more money had been spent than initially thought. An estimated $250,000 in unexplained purchases at spots like Casino Rama, EFS, Champs and Bar Everleigh had blossomed to nearly $700,000 by February.
Ram Ganesh u could have spent all dat on a condo but u spent it at..... efs and shisha bars.... and 450k for a concert nobody attended.......— Joseph Joestar (@shahruken) February 12, 2019
In light of the allegations and what they believe to be proof enough of his wrongdoing, The RSU board voted to impeach Ganesh and suspend Gosal on Feb. 11 (though, as the Eyeopener reports, it was against the advice of their legal counsel).
Student groups director Maklane deWever, who was first to surface the sketchy credit card statements to the board, was elected president of the RSU in a secret ballot vote yesterday.
"Do I want to be president? No," he said during a speech before the vote. "Do I think I can do what needs to be done at the RSU over these next two and a half months? Absolutely."
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