Timeline of Significant Events Concerning the GCSU
The following timeline represents a joint effort on the part of the Pro Tem team over the past few weeks; it is intended to serve as a framework of facts around which interested students will be able to formulate their own opinions regarding the events listed within.
Executive GCSU Council 2016-2017
President: Brandon Francis Cheong
VP Operations: Seyoung Chang
VP Academics/Senators: Aishah Rashid & Aleksandar Golijanin
VP Bilingual: Hugo Laprés-Chartrand (impeached) - Anais Dagrou
VP Athletics: Jenna Krajinovic
VP Social: Amanda Merry
VP Campaigns and Advocacy: Alexander Sokal
VP Communications: Adams Rashad
VP Clubs: Ruvimbo Mutangadura
CFO: Alexia Brown (appointed in October 2016)
Executive GCSU Council 2017-2018
President: Brandon Francis Cheong ®
VP Operations: Elodie Villemont
VP Academics/Senators: Phil-G Simard ® & Aishah Rashid ® - Cassandra Germaine (hired)
VP Bilingual: Keesha Nurse ®
VP Athletics: Alexander Eckert-Mackay ®
VP Social: Cassandra Alvarez ®
VP Campaigns and Advocacy: Brandon Brown-Bear ®
VP Communications: Agathe Maillard (graduated) - Lewis Le
VP Clubs: Janvier Kakoko ® - Brandon Wilson (hired) ®
CFO: Frank Borelli ®
® = resigned
May 3 - Financial fraud of approx. $20 000 discovered by members of the incoming 2017-18 executive council upon review of outgoing financial documents during team changeover.
Police and York University have confirmed that only one individual was responsible
The suspected individual was a member of the 2016-17 Executive Council
Summer Term - undefined date - Incident of Sexual Violence occurs between President Cheong and VP Ops Villemont - no formal complaints are filed
The act of sexual violence which is alleged to have occurred may be summarized as follows: President Cheong shared a personal story of a sexual nature - which was not his own and which he did not have permission to share - with members of the GCSU council in an unofficial capacity.
President Cheong was trained by the University to recognize and understand the plural definitions of sexual violence and would have been aware of the inappropriate nature of these comments.
July 12 - A York University Tribunal is held regarding the thefts
July 24 - Agathe Maillard appointed Interim VP Communications
July 26 - Tribunal reaches a decision and releases the following public statement:
- The University Tribunal would like to make it clear that: On the suggestion that Brandon provided information on how to defraud the GCSU, “The Tribunal Decision did not reflect that anyone or persons other than the respondent, were complicit in the conduct and actions that were under review”.
August 22 - VP Academics Aishah Rashid resigns, retains position as Orientation Chairperson
August 23 - GCSU Issues Open Hiring Call for Interim VP Academics until October
Oct. 11 - VP Clubs Janvier Kakoko resigns and the official GCSU statement regarding the thefts is released in Issue #2 of Pro Tem
See www.aecgcsu.ca/student-life-2/ for both of these documents.
Oct. 11 - GCSU Issues Open Hiring Call for VP Clubs & advertises open hiring call for VP Academics
Oct. 18 - Failed GCSU AGM - unofficial meeting, no minutes taken
Pres. Cheong confirmed that legal action had been initiated against the individual responsible for the thefts
Pres. Cheong confirmed that this individual is no longer a member of the GL community
Pres. Cheong made statements regarding student apathy (cf. failing to reach quorum)
Pres. Cheong made statements as to where the GCSU deposits their money, a loss prevention issue which was cited against him in the impeachment motion
Nov 20 - Student and former 2016-17 CFO for the GCSU, Alexia Brown, begins circulating a petition to impeach President Brandon Cheong on the primary grounds of financial mismanagement and behavioural misconduct.
Nov 29 - Audit from 2016-2017 term completed by President Brandon Cheong and current CFO Frank Borelli
Nov. 30 - Signatures from 10% of Glendon’s population successfully collected by Alexia Brown and submitted to GCSU Speaker Fernando Luna
Although 300 signatures were collected in total, only 274 counted due to legibility issues.
Pres. Cheong was not allowed to see the signatures, he was simply informed of the motion being presented against him
Dec. 12 - 2016-17 fiscal audit for the GCSU is received by the auditor
Dec. 14 - GCSU End of Term Council Meeting - Motion to Impeach the President addressed
President Cheong is accused of sexual violence by VP Operations Elodie Villemont
The meeting lasted from 10am until 6pm and was technically open to the public, although it was not openly advertised to the student body.
Constitutionally, a vote to impeach any member of council requires a two-thirds majority of voting members. At this meeting, that would have meant 13 voting members of Council voting in favour of the motion.
The motion to impeach President Cheong failed with 9 members voting in favour, 2 abstaining, and 8 members voting against the motion. President Cheong was not allowed to vote on the motion and was not present in the room at the time of voting.
President Cheong was awarded $1333.33 in honorarium — the full amount he was eligible to receiving for his work during the 2017 Fall term. This amount was voted in favour of on the basis of a points system which was stated as being unconstitutional — implemented by VP Operations Villemont (see document entitled GCSU Honoraria Point System)
The minutes for this meeting are available online; however, they have not been edited, formatted, or approved by Council — therefore, they are to be considered unofficial.
Editor’s Note: Pro Tem would like to go on-record stating that we believe the integrity of these minutes to be highly compromised. While no changes were made on her part, Pro Tem’s EIC was given editing access to the Google document containing these unofficial minutes for a period of several days in December following the Dec. 14 meeting before the presumed error in access attribution was corrected by an unknown member of the GCSU Council.
Dec 19 - GCSU Executive Meeting
All members were present, VP Ops Villemont was physically absent but phoned in
This meeting was reported by both sides to have run smoothly with unanimous decisions regarding programming for the entirety of the 2018 Winter semester
Dec 20 - Pro Tem conducts an interview with President Brandon Cheong regarding the state of the theft investigation and the impeachment petition brought forward against him
For a complete transcript of the interview, see our website
Jan 4 (AM) - Unstamped posters were found across York Hall containing quotes from the Dec. 14 unofficial minutes alluding to the act of sexual violence committed by Pres. Cheong
Jan 4 (PM) - Alexia Brown launches the GL’s Student Voice facebook page with the following:
“The Glendon College Student Union Council had demonstrated to the Glendon Student Body that they do not in good faith represent us. Hundred’s strong we demanded the impeachment of the President for reasons including continual financial mismanagement and sexual violence. The council made up of 21 voting members (exclusive of the President) decided they did not care about the people they represent. They belittled almost 300 students as nothing, but a mere percentage. They called us passive and apathetic and voted to ignore our voices. They voted against the interests of the Students they were elected to serve and it appears instead voted to forward their own personal interests. They demonstrated consent culture did not matter to them and that sexual violence is not grounds for dismissal with their decision.
Now we get louder. Now we demand more. The Student Body at Glendon believes in democracy and we believe in consent culture. We will not allow the Glendon College Student Union Council to misrepresent and ignore us. We will not allow sexual violence. We will stand strong and we will stand together. Glendon College is OUR space and we will push for it to be one we can be proud of.
*Disclaimer - This page is meant to inform students by providing more details as to what is happening at Glendon and in relation to the students and the GCSU. It is not meant to be taken as the final word.” (sic)
“WHAT CAN WE AS STUDENTS DO? (read in full, action plan at end):
SO AFTER The Glendon College Student Union demonstrated it is not concerned with the issues brought forward by their constituents.
The Glendon College Student Union actively voted against creating a safe space, voted against consent culture by voting to keep President Cheong in power after hearing of the sexual violence he was responsible for causing to a fellow Executive.
The Glendon College Student Union President repeatedly called their students apathetic, and disinterested, as documented in the meeting minutes.
PROVE THEM WRONG. TAKE ACTION:
- Actively boycott GCSU events, such as pub nights. If they refuse to listen to our voices, and call you apathetic, make a statement with your disinvolvement from their events. Do not let them continue to benefit off of you.
- Send emails outlining your concerns of this anti-democratic process directly to the GCSU at email@example.com
- Contact David Ip Yam, the Director of Student Affairs at Glendon, outline your concerns to him as well.” (sic)
Jan 4 (PM) - Stamped posters found in York Hall — online post by GL’s Student voice:
“In a deliberate act of censorship and deliberate action to avoid transparency and honesty with the student body stamped posters that are containing direct quotes from council meeting minutes where the council voted against consent culture and against the voices and interests of the Student body are being ripped from the walls so the student body can be kept in the dark of the inappropriate actions of their Student Government” (sic)
Jan 5 - GL’s Student Voice post:
“President Cheong spent time today removing posters containing nothing but DIRECT quotes from meeting minutes screaming “SLANDER” (this would imply him slandering himself which is strange, but not the issue). Why this is INCREDIBLY CONCERNING is him continually disregarding what he did as nothing worth holding him accountable, saying then that consent culture itself and the student body are nothing” (sic)
Jan 9 - President Brandon Cheong officially resigns
Jan 11, 1pm - Executive Meeting of the GCSU - VP Operations Villemont as acting President
Villemont proposes the idea of making a public statement for the GCSU on the state of council with regards to the recent events
Frost Week is cancelled
Jan 11 - VP Bilingue Nurse, VP Athletics Eckert-Mackay, VP Social Alvarez, VP Campaigns and Advocacy Brown-Bear, and CFO Borelli resign from their respective positions
Jan 12 (PM) - All of the above resignations are posted in the window of the GCSU office with no additional announcement being made by the GCSU
Jan 12 (PM) - All of the above resignations are removed from the office window at a later point.
Jan 13 - Pro Tem releases statement via Facebook regarding the resignations
Jan 13 - GL’s Student Voice page posts about the resignations, including photographs of the posted letters taken by the GCSU window:
“As a lot of you may know the President has resigned (citing misinformation which the next post can hopefully shed more light on). After his resignation 5 more resignations came though (VP Bilingual Keesha Nurse, VP Social Cassandra Alvarez, VP Athletics Alexander McKay, VP Campaigns and Advocacy Brandon Bear and the Chief Financial Officer Frank Borelli). Their resignations were posted in the window of the GCSU/AÉCG all with the same tone of "workplace toxicity."
Why does this matter? Well, these members of council (aside from non-voting member Frank, who was present, but again not voting) were a part of the December meeting that allowed for keeping the President in his position even after what they heard. In this way, it can be seen as that they voted against consent culture and voted in support of his behaviours. Sexual violence in a working environment is one of the most toxic environments one can be in. The divide created in council was also partially a product of peoples feelings on this issue (the vote to impeach the President was 9 IN FAVOUR, 2 ABSTAIN, 8 AGAINST > 13 votes IN FAVOUR would have been needed to impeach). The way they resigned takes the tone that this toxic environment they were in was thrown on them as opposed to contributed to by their decisions. There is a complete lack of acknowledgement for what was done wrong and this means theres a lack of acknowledgement of what was done being wrong in the first place.
Some of the resigning people were heard to have said they were going to resign should the President leave. They followed through with that promise, but their prioritizing of their friend over what is right and the student body makes it hard for this to be an unfortunate occasion.
CONTINUE: to demand accountability for those left on council and council's to come. Demand more, demand better and be heard.” (sic)
Jan 15 - VP Academic Simard resigns
Jan 16 - Pro Tem issues statement via Facebook announcing Simard’s resignation, with his permission.
Jan 16 - An email containing the following emergency motions was sent to all remaining GCSU Council members:
Motion 1: Motion to appoint Councillor Claire Brooks as Interim VP Athletics
Motion 2: Motion to appoint VP Operations Elodie Villemont as Interim President
Motion 3: Motion to appoint Orientation Chairperson Aishah Rashid as Interim VP Operations
Motion 4: Motion to grant temporary signing authority to Councillor Lameck Kefela
Jan 16 - A concerned member of the GCSU Council responds citing unconstitutional practices
Jan 17 - Council responds to the above cited concerns via text message to all council members
The GCSU Council defended their actions, stating that they are following part 16.1 of their constitution in that they must appoint an interim council member no later than 20 business days following the resignation or impeachment of a Council member.
The Council also notes that it is the constitutional duty of the VP Operations to assume the role of President in the case of a President’s resignation, necessarily meaning that they can no longer act as VP Operations and so that position must in turn be filled.
Jan 17 - A voting council member was given the right to retract and recast their vote during the email election prior to the end of the voting period at 11pm (actioned by Speaker Fernando Luna)
Jan 18 - VP Clubs Brandon Wilson resigns and posts his own resignation letter on the GL Club Executive Facebook Group following the completion of Winter Clubs Day events
Jan 18 - Current Interim Executive GCSU Council as per the success of the above email vote
President: Elodie Villemont
VP Operations: Aishah Rashid
VP Academics/Senators: Cassandra Germaine & (vacant)
VP Athletics: Claire Brooks (refused position and resigned)
VP Social: (vacant)
VP Campaigns and Advocacy: (vacant)
VP Communications: Lewis Le
VP Clubs: (vacant)
Interim Signing Authority: Lameck Kefela
Jan 19 - Pro Tem conducts an interview with Alexia Brown regarding her motion to impeach Brandon Cheong, the resignations, and the future of the GCSU
To read the complete interview transcript, see our website.
Jan 20 (12pm) - GCSU posts graphic on Facebook announcing that they will be releasing an official statement at 9AM on Monday, January 22nd
Jan 22 - Anticipated GCSU Statement (via Facebook and the GCSU Website)
This will mark the first official acknowledgement of any of the above listed events following the circulation of the petition to impeach Brandon Cheong.