Councillor Ramy Khoriaty officially resigned from the Concordia Student Union less than an hour before a Judicial Board hearing following an allegedly unintentional violation of the standing regulations.
During the last regular council meeting, Councillor Chad Walcott brought forth the issue of Khoriaty’s employment as orientation director for the CSU’s two-week long orientation that starts off each school year.
The standing regulation 225 states that a member of council is eligible for disqualification for six reasons, one of which is being hired after they took office as a councillor. Khoriaty was elected in March 2012 and the current slate and councillors’ mandate began in June. Upon being hired by the CSU as orientation director, Khoriaty violated standing regulation 225, article C.
Khoriaty stated in his letter that he stepped down because “under no circumstance should the standing regulations be broken” and that he wanted to lead by example since he was in fact in violation of the rules that govern the CSU.
“… I would like to apologize to my constituencies and assure them that as ENCS councillor, my objective was only ever to use experience I’ve gained from my previous job as executive to try to improve the events of the student union; my actions were always in good faith,” the letter read.
Regardless of Khoriaty’s resignation, the JB still held a meeting to discuss standing regulation 225 and the position of orientation director during fall 2012.
Those present included Khoriaty, Walcott, VP internal Nadine Atallah and VP external Simon-Pierre Lauzon. The executives who interviewed Khoriaty for job of orientation director were not present. According to Khoriaty, the interview was conducted by VP student life Alexis Suzuki, VP Loyola Stefan Faina and VP sustainability Andrew Roberts, and possibly President Schubert Laforest.
It came to light during the meeting that Khoriaty was interviewed for the position on June 23 and that his last paycheque from the CSU was on Oct. 11; although he was unable to confirm, Khoriaty believes he received $470 every two weeks as a salary.
As Walcott confirmed he knew of the violation in October, he explained that he was waiting to bring the issue to the policy committee. When Khoriaty questioned why Walcott did not address the issue of Councillor Jordan Lindsay’s potential violation of the same standing regulation, Walcott simply replied that he voted against Lindsay’s appointment to oversee ongoing issues with the CSU’s information technology services.
“It was all in good faith and I never meant to take advantage of that position,” said Khoriaty. “One week before council I had no clue about standing regulation 225; neither did any of the councillors.”
When asked by JB if a hiring committee, which are often static, would be aware of Khoriaty’s position on council, Atallah confirmed that those interviewing applicants would have been aware.
While JB questioned the roles of the individuals in charge of interviewing and hiring students for jobs at the CSU, Khoriaty said he felt that the standing regulation severely limited the pool of applicants for any future volunteer or paid position.
“This is a waste of experience,” said Khoriaty.
Following the hearing, JB issued a provisional decision and recommendations regarding Khoriaty’s violation and the CSU’s hiring policy.
JB addressed the need for clarification of the word “employee” in the standing regulations and was concerned with the hiring process of students by the CSU including the lack of written formal procedure for the recruiting of non-unionized and unionized positions. Furthermore, JB formally reprimanded the individuals involved in the contracting of Khoriaty as orientation director.
“The CSU Judicial Board formally reprimands all those persons involved in the hiring of Rami Khoriaty, including both the orientation hiring committee and Rami Khoriaty, for violating standing regulation 225 C,” the provisional notice read.
Lastly, JB recommended that all councillors and executives take the time to read and understand the CSU bylaws and standing regulations in order to avoid such discrepancies in the near future.
With files from Robin Della Corte.