Last week, the entire Ryerson University community was shocked to learn that the Ryerson Student Union had somehow accumulated over $250,000 in charges related to clubs, alcohol and Airbnbs. The charges were made on a credit card that was meant to be used for school activities which were ultimately funded through a mandatory fee in each Ryerson students' annual tuition. Meaning it wasn't just the university that was duped, but students who had no control over where that fee money was going. Unfortunately, it seems the story has somehow gotten even worse with updates inferring that the RSU's "questionable" spending is actually closer to $700,000.
Now instead of $250,000, the amount of questionable spending has exceeded half a million and was reportedly spent in only 9 months. With the RSU's board of directors passing the motion for a forensic audit, auditors will now be sifting through the charges to determine just how much was warranted spending.
The growth from $250,000 to $700,000 has to do with the fact that auditors will now also be looking at spending for a music concert called Loud Fest that occurred on January 19th at Rebel. According to Dharshini Jay, the financial controller at the RSU, $415,000 was paid for the concert but the RSU was expecting a $350,000 sponsorship. That sponsorship money never arrived and the promised $50,000 to $60,000 that would be earned in ticket sales didn't come through either.
Since the news initially broke, RSU executives were told to hand over all receipts related to charges on the union's credit card by the following Friday. The chartered accountant for the RSU who has worked with the union since 2016 claims she has not seen the receipts yet for herself.
Ram Ganesh, the president of the RSU who was elected by the students opted out of attending a meeting involving RSU executives where hundreds of Ryerson students waited outside for an update. Ganesh claimed he would not attend because he feared his own safety. As a result, other executives stepped up telling students they "understand that many are frustrated and angry." With executives continuing to resign, only three elected representatives remain to address the scandal.
Unfortunately for students who are looking for answers now, with the situation continuing becoming even messier the longer it's investigated, it's clear that it will take much longer than students would hope for everything to unfold before it can be resolved.
Source: Toronto Star