The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) issued notices of impeachment to vice-president, education, Siddhanth Satish, and vice-president equity, Vaishali Vinayak, at its board of directors meeting Wednesday evening.
In addition to their current positions, Satish and Vinayak were elected as, respectively, the new president and vice-president operations in the recent RSU election.
The RSU also ordered an investigation of both executives by its oversight committee, a group of five RSU directors. Both the oversight committee’s investigation results and the formal motions for impeachment will be delivered on April 7, one week from Wednesday.
The specific notices of impeachment for both focus on allegations that both Satish and Vinayak used “their position and privileged access to students’ personal information to contact potential voters and potentially build a voter list.” In addition, Vinayak’s notice also cited allegations that Vinayak “took actions that resulted in students feeling pressured and targeted due to their reliance on equity centre programs.” Both notices of impeachment were submitted by Alexandra Nash.
Nash currently sits on the RSU board of directors and also ran on the For the Students slate during this year’s elections. This slate was directly at odds with Adapt, the group Satish and Vinayak campaigned with this year.
Neither of the notices of impeachment required a vote, as it is only a notice of impeachment rather than the actual trial. However, a vote was needed to order an oversight committee investigation into both Satish and Vinayak. This vote largely went along party lines, with directors on the “Inspire” slate (Nash’s slate from last year’s election) voting in favour of investigating, while Satish and Vinayak’s “Rise” slate abstained.
One notable vote was Satish’s, who changed from abstaining to voting in favour of an investigation. “I want to clear this out and I don’t want this to be lingering around for a long time,” Satish explained at the meeting. Vinayak was not present for Wednesday’s meeting.
These impeachments will not be the first seen at the RSU this year. As previously reported by the Ryersonian, David Jardine was impeached from their position on the Board of Directors in January. If Satish and Vinayak are successfully impeached on April 7, they will be removed from their positions for the remainder of their terms in office. It is unclear if this impeachment will have any bearing on Satish and Vinayak’s positions on the RSU next year.