Audit notes lack of control on executive spending, updates given on clubs

The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) held a Board of Administration (BOA) meeting on Oct. 15, which dealt with audit results, the upcoming General Assembly (GA), and the health of SFUO-run businesses.

Executive updates

SFUO president Hadi Wess said that the SFUO was finishing up talks with protection services to make sure that the University of Ottawa Student Emergency Response Team (UOSERT) would be able to administer the nasal spray version of naloxone, a drug used to help people who have overdosed on opiates. He said that they also discussed with protection when it would be appropriate for police to be called during SFUO-run events.

Wess also said that the upcoming General Assembly, where students can submit and vote on motions affecting the SFUO, will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 6:30 p.m. in the Alumni Auditorium. The GA structure underwent some changes last year, with the SFUO amending it so that any motion passed at the GA must be approved by the BOA before coming into effect. Quorum for the GA was also lowered from one per cent of the student population to 0.75 per cent.

Wess said that the opening of an SFUO office on the south side of campus has been delayed. According to Wess, while they had found a suitable space, other student associations wanted to share it with them. Wess said that they couldn’t accept that situation as there would need to be confidential documents kept there.

Vice-president equity Leila Moumouni-Tchouassi said that that 330 clubs have been registered so far, and that registration for the winter semester will open on Nov. 20. Vice-president services and communications Kathryn LeBlanc added that the communications team would be auditing the clubs website to improve user experience.

Vice-president finance Rizki Rachiq said that while the budget for the federation for this year is ready, it has yet to be posted online because he is unhappy with how it’s laid out. He also noted that Café Alt will close for three weeks starting on Dec. 11 for renovations.

Rachiq continued that the SFUO is trying to include Gardasil, an HPV vaccine, in students’ health plans with Greenshield. He also noted that when the SFUO’s former comptroller general Yannick Mugabo was arrested, he had been keeping some of the SFUO’s financial documents at his house, and the SFUO is in the process of trying to recover them.

Audit results

The annual audit of the SFUO was presented by representatives of the firm Deloitte. The representatives said that the firm found only one area for recommendation, and that was around executive expenses, as they were unable to find any policy in the organization that regulates executive expenses. Rachiq said later that this recommendation stemmed from last year, when the previous comptroller general, Tanner Tallon, criticized the executive for spending on taxis, noting that just two members spent $1,820.64 the previous year. Tallon also brought up other expense-related issues later in the year.

After the initial presentation, the board voted to move in camera, and the rest of the discussion between the auditors and the board was closed to the public.

Other business

The board voted to create a portal to connect students with professors who need help with research, academic, or clerical work, to expand the range of opportunities offered to students on campus.

Rachiq also discussed the financial health of student businesses. A more detailed breakdown can be found below.

The SFUO also ratified their new comptroller general, who will replace Mugabo. Rachiq, who is in charge of Human Resources, said that the SFUO had received two applications for the position, and both were strong. Of the two, the candidate Pamela Bader was deemed most suited to the position. The board voted to approve Bader, with all ‘yes’ votes, save for one abstention. Bader was not present at the meeting.