News

GSA president resigns from office

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On March 24, shortly after passing a referendum to leave the Canadian Federation of Students federal lobby group, Graduate Students' Association president Veronique Dorais-Ram submitted her resignation to the General Representative Council.

GSA vice-president academic Dan Bidulock will serve as interim president until May 1, when the incoming president, James Lange, takes office.

In a prepared statement emailed to graduate students Bidulock said he understands that some might want answers but as Dorais-Ram tendered her resignation during a closed session of GRC, it remains confidential.

"I am not at liberty to disclose any specific details," Bidulock said in the email. "All that can be said is this: the GSA's Executive Board voted on a motion put forward by Veronique. As a result of that vote, Veronique felt that she could no longer serve in the position of president."

The contents of that motion are now a point of contention within the GSA, with the interim president stating that the contents of Dorais-Ram's report are "controversial" and currently under investigation.

"Steps are being taken by the GSA to investigate the matters alleged in [Dorais-Ram's] report, and in particular the GSA is arranging for an audit of its financial records," Bidulock said in a later e-mail to graduate students, dated Mar. 29. "At this time, there does not appear to be any reason for concern but the GSA Executive is determined to make the proper inquiry into whether there has been any wrongdoing."

All parties involved declined further comment until the matter was resolved, citing liability concerns.

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Comments

Bidulock may want to check his facts. According to HIS statements at the open session of Council there was no vote. Rather \"the Executive was split on how to proceed, 2 versus 2.\"

So glad they are doing an audit...something that organizations do every year anyway. Isn\'t that special. What are they trying to hide?

It\'s strange to me that the GSA abolished its VP Finance around two years ago, when the Grad Lounge appeared to be a persistent money hole on the books.

http://www.su.ucalgary.ca/governance/student-legislative-council/67th-slc.html

\"The VP Operations & Finance is responsible for overseeing and monitoring the SU’s budget; liaising with the insurance company that provides the student health and dental plans; providing strategic direction and student perspective for SU services and businesses in conjunction with the President; overseeing the travel and conference fund;...\"

It would be nice to see the GSA executive report their expenses in the same level of detail as the SU, particularly around hospitality.

I hope the current budget deficit resulting from the paperwork failure around the GSA fee increase from last year won\'t degrade the student experience too much for graduate students who are silly enough to stay on at this institution. On the other hand, the GSA has been largely irrelevant to graduate students, except as administrators of the health and dental plan, so expecting business as usual might not be unreasonable.

Here is what the Students\' Union offers students:
\"In the spirit of transparency and responsible representation the Students’ Union (SU) will be hosting a Report to the Community...\"

I am so ashamed to be associated with an organization like the GSA who\'s goal is to stifle free speech with threats of being sued. The GSA is anything but transparent. The GSA and Bidulock\'s idea of responsible representation is to keep everything a secret, whether it be bad news or worse news.

Where is this report? What did it say? What is being investigated? Obviously Dorais-Ram wanted Graduate Students to know something and now the GSA is covering it up.

Rise up Graduate Students. The GSA gets hundreds of thousands of dollars from us and we get nothing in return. Don\'t you think we at least deserve answers?

Just a quick note for comment poster #2 you are mixing up two different organizations. You quoted my job description from the SU website that represents undergrad students. We are a different body than the GSA.

@#4: I\'m pointing out that the SU is more competent and accountable than the GSA on finances by the simple decision not to abolish the one executive position with the ability to fix massive organizational funding issues in a time when there were massive organizational funding issues.

Has the GSA really begun to ban from the Grad Lounge students whose political views oppose those of the GSA?

I\'m starting to miss the check on power provided by CFS...

Problem?

GSA Bylaws: \"4.10.9 Following the campaign period, the CRO shall allow at least two uninterrupted business days for voting.\"

However:

\"-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Gsa-students-l] CFS Referendum - Voting Continues Until 4:30PM Today
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 11:18:59 -0600
From: GSA Executive Assistant
To: gsa-students-l@mailman.ucalgary.ca


Hi Graduate Students! This is to let you know that due to a technical
error, the voting on CFS Referendum was temporarily shut down this
morning. This has been fixed and the voting is open now. Please make
sure you have your say, get out and vote!

Voting ends at 4:30pm today.

Thanks!

Referendum Oversight Committee\"

I had questions about the GSA finances so I sent an email to James Lange, the current GSA President. He responded right away and arranged a personal meeting where he showed me anything I wanted to look at and explained the GSA finances, which are in much better order than I imagined.

If you have questions about anything to do with the GSA stop complaining and email James at pres@gsa.ucalgary.ca