Soulaymane El Alaoui is cited personal reasons; fourth finance coordinator to resign in last three years
The Concordia Student Union (CSU) finance coordinator made his way to the ninth floor of the John Molson School of Business on Nov. 22, asked for the attention of the students on council and then read a message aloud:
“My resignation is effective immediately. It was a pleasure to work alongside you all, and I will be available once my replacement is chosen to help him transition into the role. Thank you for your support. Best regards, Soulaymane El Alaoui.”
He then walked out of the room. El Alaoui cited personal reasons as the cause of his resignation. El Alaoui told The Concordian he made the decision “a couple days ago.” Internal affairs coordinator Veronika Rydzewski has been named interim finance coordinator.
El Alaoui was elected as the finance coordinator in March. He is the fourth CSU finance coordinator to leave the position in the last two years. In March 2016, Anas Bouslikhane resigned from the position before finishing his mandate. His replacement, Adrian Longinotti, was asked to resign by the CSU after the executive body deemed him unfit to act as a representative of the student union.
In November 2016, Longinotti was replaced by Thomas David-Bashore, who was the finance coordinator from December 2016 until the following CSU election in March, when El Alaoui was elected.
Rydzewski said El Alaoui did not warn the CSU’s executive team that he would be resigning.
Rydzewski, who as the internal affairs coordinator is responsible for supporting clubs, often communicated with El Alaoui regarding club budgets.
“A large portion of the cheques that the CSU processes weekly are from CSU clubs,” she explained. “My role as interim finance coordinator will be to make sure that cheques are processed in a timely manner.”
According to Rydzewski, there will be a general call out for students to apply for the finance coordinator position. Councillors will also be able to apply. The CSU’s appointments committee will then “collect the applications and only filter out applications that do not meet the most basic requirement, i.e. be a registered Concordia undergraduate student,” Rydzewski wrote in an email to The Concordian.
The appointments committees will forward all the remaining applications to the CSU council for further deliberation, she added.
Apology letter rejected
A letter of apology written by CSU general coordinator Omar Riaz and submitted to council was rejected by an eight-to-five vote, with one abstention, during the council meeting.
The request for the letter, as well as the repayment of two plane tickets, were sanctions decided by the council on Sept. 20, after learning that Riaz and El Alaoui accepted plane tickets from Alliance pour la Santé Étudiante au Québec (ASEQ) CEO Lev Bukhman.
Riaz and El Alaoui used the tickets to fly to Vancouver in August for the Student Union Development Summit (SUDS).
John Molson School of Business councillor Rory James described the letter as “frankly quite insulting to council.”
“There’s no contrition, there’s no apology, no acceptance of what actions were wrong,” James said.
In his letter, Riaz wrote: “I did not deem this sponsorship as a personal gratuity or intend to benefit from it. Instead, I considered it as a cost-saving measure for the CSU.”
The first draft of the letter had to be submitted on Nov. 22, to be reviewed before being submitted to the student body. Due to the rejection, Riaz must resubmit a revised version of the apology letter.
Photo by Kirubel Mehari