Ottawa

U of O cuts ties to student union over fraud allegations

The University of Ottawa says it will no longer recognize its student federation as the official voice for students following allegations its members misappropriated funds.

SFUO members have been accused of misappropriating student funds

The University of Ottawa has announced it will no longer recognize its student union, one month after allegations emerged that some union members had misappropriated student funds. (Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press)

The University of Ottawa says it will no longer recognize its student federation as the official voice for students following allegations its members misappropriated funds.

The university made the decision after "additional allegations of improper governance, mismanagement, internal conflict and workplace misconduct" involving the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) came to light, said David Graham, vice-president academic and provost, in a statement.

Last month, the university's French-language student paper, La Rotonde, reported that Ottawa police were investigating members of the SFUO for misappropriating student funds for personal use.

In response, the University of Ottawa halted payments to the student union, while promising to cover some bills on the union's behalf, such as the student transit pass.

The SFUO's board also voted unanimously to allow an outside firm to take a look at its finances.

Students can form new government

Despite opening up its books, the SFUO had not been able to "restore the university's confidence" that it could properly conduct its affairs, Graham said in his statement.

"A new undergraduate student government may be formed in due course and the university encourages students to take steps in this direction," he wrote.

"The university remains firmly committed to working in good faith with a student government that demonstrates a commitment to good governance and sound financial management."

The decision comes into effect Dec. 24, 2018, Graham said.

Hair salon visits, Audi expenses, Louis Vuitton shoes...Not the sort of items you would expect to find on the bank statement for a university's student union... 10:11