Disciplinary committee examined complaints by and against VP finance Camelia Touzany
The most recent Board of Administration (BOA) meeting dealt with a range of topics from complaints among Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) executive members, ratification of the recent election results, to academic amnesty.
The meeting took place on Feb. 28 in the Senate Room in Tabaret Hall.
The meeting saw poor turnout—though still enough to meet quorum—and vice-president services and communications and president-elect Roméo Ahimakin was not present at the meeting. The explanation given by Nicole Maylor, vice-president of equity, for his absence was that he had had an “emergency.”
According to the SFUO’s constitution, executives are required to attend every meeting (section 126.96.36.199).
Review by the disciplinary committee
During the meeting, a review by the disciplinary committee, which outlined a number of complaints between members of the executive, was discussed. When the review was brought up, several BOA members requested that it be discussed in camera (closed to the public).
Katherine Giroux Bougard, chair of the BOA, responded that the main findings of the review had to be announced in public, but that afterwards it could be discussed in camera, which went on for three hours.
The first complaint was against vice-president finance Camelia Touzany, brought by all of the other members of the executive. The complaint alleged that she had recorded an in camera (closed to the public) meeting on Jan. 11 on her phone, which she denied.
The report found that as it was impossible to prove that Touzany was recording the meeting, and she did not distribute any recordings, there was no breach of confidentiality.
Touzany filed a related complaint that after she was accused of recording the meeting, she was sent an email by another executive that she was no longer welcome at executive meetings, and was excluded from a number of meetings.
Touzany also complained of ill treatment by other members of the executive, including what the review called “abusive in camera points.”
The review concluded that the other executives have been harassing Touzany, and that some SFUO employees have been mistreated and used as pawns in the disagreements of others.
Another complaint was filed against Touzany by Nicole Maylor, vice-president equity of the SFUO, over use of racially discriminatory comments, specifically pertaining to anti-black racism.
The review found that the comments did not have “racially-charged intent,” and that the executive should foster an inclusive work environment for all parties.
The stated goals of the review were to start a mediation process and clarify by-laws, and to reverse Touzany’s ban from executive meetings.
While an overview of the review was read in public, no written copy has been provided as of yet.
The SFUO was not made available for comment. At the end of the meeting, Giroux Bougard reminded members of the BOA that most of them were not designated to talk to the media.
Ratification of election results
The results of the recent SFUO election are now official, as the BOA ratified them at the meeting.
William Downey, civil law representative, was expulsed from the BOA due to unexplained absences. Health science representative Fernando Hernandez resigned from the board citing health reasons.
Both vice-president services and communications and president-elect Ahimakin (via vice-president social Hadi Wess) and president Anne-Émilie Hébert urged members of the BOA to attend and promote the next General Assembly (GA), which will take place on March 15. This comes after last semester’s GA did not receive any motions to vote upon or meet quorum, with only 40 people in attendance.
Hébert reminded members to promote the fact students will get academic amnesty, so they won’t be penalized for missing class to attend the GA. However, she add that students with tests and assignments will not receive academic amnesty.
Vanessa Dorimain, vice-president university affairs, reported that negotiations with OC Transpo to create a summer U-Pass are underway, as the referendum question passed.
She said they are working on determining what the definition of a full-time summer student is, and that due to time constraints it might not function as an International Student Identity Card (ISIC), as current U-Passes do. An ISIC card can get students discounts at certain businesses.
Touzany said that the SFUO’s accounting department will owe $300,000 in accrued costs due to the health plan.
She said that premiums for the health plan will increase next year, but that she is hopeful about the situation since the health plan referendum question passed.
The first motion, brought forward by Dorimain, was to broaden the scope of the SFUO’s accessibility fund. The fund exists to provide assistance to students with disabilities, though the SFUO’s website says it can be used for “a variety of other purposes.”
This motion focused on making sure student-parents and people in the Trans community are included in the fund. The motion was passed.
The second and third motions, were both brought by Tanner Tallon, representative for the Telfer School of Management, which looked to increase transparency within federated bodies, and ensure that at least one executive position on each federated body is bilingual.. The former motion stated that all federated bodies would have to hold public votes to make changes to their constitutions. Both motions passed.