Written by: Gabrielle McLaren, Features Editor and Amneet Mann, News Editor
In his email to The Peak, stating that he was under pressure to resign as president of the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS), Jas Randhawa attached a recording of a meeting held between himself and the executive members of the SFSS Board of Directors. The hour-and-a-half-long meeting was held on August 1 in Randhawa’s office. During this time, executive members of the SFSS board discussed why they were asking Randhawa to resign.
Both Randhawa and the SFSS have confirmed that the meeting was recorded without Randhawa’s consent. The SFSS has maintained that the decision to tape the meeting with Randhawa came from a general sense of concern about safety in the board office.
The Peak breaks down the various allegations that were brought forth against Randhawa during the recorded meeting. Each allegation will be updated with an accompanying story.
The choice between resignation and impeachment
Throughout the recording, the executive members of the board encouraged Randhawa to resign rather than go through the process of impeachment.
The board brought forward concerns regarding Randhawa’s mental well-being and level of stress. “We’re kind of in a sense looking out for you too,” said Freedman. “Because we don’t see this going in a good direction whatsoever.”
The executives presented Randhawa with an ultimatum where either he left his position as president, or all five executives resigned from their respective positions. “I’m at the end of my line,” said Rihani. “I’ve contemplated just dropping my position and clocking on out of here, and all five of us have done it,” he added, referring to the other executive members.
“It’s the first conversation we had,” said Freedman. “We looked around at the table and said, ‘are you willing to continue on in this manner?’ And every single one of us to a tee said we’d be willing to resign. [. . .] It’s not going to look good on you if all five of your executives resign.”
“What we’d like to do — as [people] who care about you, care about your wellbeing and your future job prospects, because at the end of the day, this is a one-year position, this isn’t your career, you’ve got bigger things ahead of you — if you can step out of this peacefully, we will [. . .] let you write your letter of resignation, we won’t tamper with it, we’re not going to say a word about it. We’re trying to give you the easy way out,” said Rihani.
“We want to make sure you control the entire message,” added Freedman.
“This communication is amazing,” responded Randhawa. “Some of these things I did not even know until today [ . . . ] You guys are going to have to impeach me, I’m not going to resign.”
In an email interview with The Peak, Randhawa summarized this portion of the recording, writing: “I was provided an offer to resign and publicly state that it was for personal or family issues by executive directors. During the meeting I received constant reminders of my position being for one year and that I have my entire life to look ahead for. I believe I would not be upholding to being president of the student body at SFU by giving into threats and frivolous accusations.”