UOSU advocacy commissioner Sam Schroeder, seen in November 2019, resigned on Saturday. Photo: Aaron Hemens/The Fulcrum
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Continuing as member of exec could be seen as ‘tacit endorsement’ of decision, Schroeder wrote in letter to BOD

Sam Schroeder has resigned from his role as the advocacy commissioner of the University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU), citing concerns over the executive committee’s appointment of a former Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) manager as director of services.

In a letter sent on Saturday to the UOSU’s Board of Directors (BOD) that was shared with the Fulcrum and La Rotonde, Schroeder wrote that there were two candidates being considered for the role of director of services. A vote on the appointment took place on Tuesday.

Schroeder wrote that one of the candidates was “very qualified for the position” with “ample experience, a great interview, and seemed to be a great fit with the workplace culture that I believed the UOSU should be trying to create.” 

According to Schroeder, the other candidate was previously a manager at the SFUO, which served as the school’s former undergraduate student union until 2018 when the U of O terminated its contract with the organization in the wake of fraud allegations against student leaders.

In their decision, the administration also cited allegations of improper governance, mismanagement, internal conflict and workplace misconduct in the SFUO. 

“There had been a number of staff with whom I had spoken after my election as advocacy commissioner who had expressed concerns not only with the way that the management of the SFUO operated, but also with the way this specific manager operated,” Schroeder wrote in his letter.

The Fulcrum has been unable to independently verify the identity of the candidate for director of services appointed by the executive committee, and their name is not mentioned in the letter. 

“The concerns raised varied from bullying, to favouritism, to general mismanagement. Despite this, and despite the fact that these concerns had been raised at numerous executive committee meetings, the executive committee voted for the second candidate over the first,” Schroeder wrote.

It is still unclear which members of the executive committee voted for the appointment of the candidate, but in a message to the Fulcrum, francophone affairs commissioner Natasha Roy said she abstained from voting. 

Schroeder called his decision to resign a “difficult one” and wrote that after “deep consideration” he feared that continuing as advocacy commissioner and member of the executive committee  “could be perceived as a tacit endorsement of the decision.”

“At the very least, it would show that I do not see this decision as having enough gravity to merit a protest on my end,” wrote Schroeder. “I feel as though continuing in my role would be a betrayal to the students who elected me, and to the staff who have treated me so well.”

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for all four of my colleagues on the executive committee,” Schroeder wrote, adding that “the work that they do is exceptional, and I would hope for nothing more than their success.”

“However, I cannot stand behind the decision that was made.”

The Fulcrum has reached out to the four remaining members of the executive committee for comment. This article will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.