Perhaps the biggest shock that the SFSS board of directors faced this year was when then-President Deepak Sharma resigned just over a month into his tenure as the President of the SFSS and Chair of the Board of Directors. It may now come as a bigger shock that Sharma claims the decision was forced.
“If SFSS policy and bylaws had been concurrently practiced in the same manner they had been followed since at least 2008 onwards, I would [have] never been forced to resign as I still was an eligible member of the SFSS,” said Sharma in his first public mention of the matter, well over four months since resigning.
The Peak is currently investigating, but it appears that Sharma was not registered in a single class at the start of the summer semester, which he correlates during his statement as “[his] own choice of long delay in enrolment for the 2016 summer semester,” which then was flagged as an issue. Typically, candidates are warned of this before another check later on.
At the time of this check, Sharma was not registered a student, as he was under the impression that he would have until week six of the semester. This is just after the add/drop deadline for SFU classes, and the time this check routinely had been coming since 2008, which is what Sharma was referring to.
However, according to an anonymous source, Pierre Cassidy, Campaigns, Research, and Policy Coordinator for the SFSS, decided to push that time up, catching Sharma unprepared. For the record, it would appear that Sharma was a registered student by the time the check he was expecting came.
From there, Sharma was supposed to be (and was) suspended from the Board, with a full check supposed to happen later on, and with Sharma given enough time to add classes to become eligible as per the the SFSS requirements.
However, Sharma instead took “temporary resignation,” which was taken as a complete resignation from board, and not a semester off as he intended, according to Sharma. While he was pressured earlier to be an enrolled student than he was expecting, he made the mistake of resigning from the board during his suspension period, which he acknowledged in his statement, while still maintaining the resignation was forced.
“Due to my own choice of long delay in enrolment for the 2016 summer semester all of this took place, which is why I can only hold myself accountable for all that has transpired,” he said. “As this is all my fault, I sincerely apologize to everyone that was compiled to deal with the outcome of my forced resignation.”
The Peak reached out to Cassidy for comment, but were told by VP university relations Arr Farah that he “does not have the authority to speak on behalf of the SFSS.”
The Peak is currently awaiting comment from the SFSS, and will update the story as it progresses.