Written by Amneet Mann, News Editor
Jas Randhawa has been impeached from his position as president of the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) after the membership voted on the matter in this year’s annual general meeting (AGM).
As a special resolution in this year’s AGM, the students voted on the motion to impeach by raising voting cards, with a two-thirds majority in favour of impeaching Randhawa as president. The chairperson determined the majority decision by eye, and the number of votes for or against the motion were not counted. The adoption of the motion was met with applause from the attendees of the meeting.
According to SFSS vice-president university relations Jackson Freedman, a decision regarding a by-election following the impeachment has not yet been made by the board of directors, as there are still enough executive members on board for quorum. If the board decides that there are enough members remaining on board to complete the year, the next election will be held on schedule in March.
As per SFSS by-law 4(2), the president’s impeachment has deferred his “rights, duties, and obligations” to SFSS vice-president student services Samer Rihani.
Preceding the vote on the special resolution, 109 attendees voted in favour of using anonymous ballot cards during the special resolution motion and 276 voted in favour of using voting cards.
Leading up to the voting, students stepped up to the microphones stationed at the front of the auditorium to speak for or against the motion.
“We’re here to vote on something that I never wanted to to participate in during my time at the SFSS,” said Freedman. He referred to the unanimous endorsement of Randhawa’s impeachment “a historical event in the SFSS.”
A student who introduced herself to the audience as Jaspreet spoke against the motion, stating that there was a lack of information available to voters. “[Randhawa] is the only one who bothered to reach out to students. [ . . . ] I strongly disagree with that motion [sic] because I feel like there’s a lot we are unaware of,” she said.
SFSS business representative Jessica Nguyen spoke about her perspective on how Randhawa handled the sexual misconduct allegations made by her, SFSS vice-president external relations Jasdeep Gill, and a third board member against former at-large representative Wareez Ola Giwa.
“[Randhawa] completely disregarded my safety, my feelings, and the sensitivity about this case,” said Nguyen. Directing her comments towards Randhawa, Nguyen spoke: “You did not do your due diligence in ensuring our safety and respecting our wishes.”
Randhawa was the last to speak before students voted to call the question on the motion. “With myself being gone, I can assure you that you’ll continue to have a CEO who neglects student groups on campus, have directors who continue making decisions such as having SFU students pay almost $20,000 to send empty busses to UBC events after cancelled Fall Kick-off,” he said.
Randhawa claimed that there “[were] no real grounds for impeachment.”