Toronto

Ryerson Student Union president impeached after allegations of financial mismanagement

After questionable expenditures appeared on the credit card statement from the Ryerson Student Union, its union's board has taken action and shaken up their the union's executive team.

The union's board elected Maklane deWever president Monday

The Ryerson Student Union's board has impeached their president after a student newspaper uncovered a $250,000 credit card bill (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

The president of the Ryerson Student Union has been removed and the vice-president of operations has been suspended pending an investigation into overspending on the union's credit card account. 

The union's board made the decision to impeach Ram Ganesh and elect Maklane deWever as president at a meeting Monday night. 

But deWever said it's a difficult triumph. 

"Congratulations isn't really the right word," deWever told CBC Radio's Here And Now Tuesday afternoon. He says the last few weeks have been very tough. 

The Ryerson Students' Union executive had come under fire after numerous questionable expenditures over an eight-month period totalling about $250,000.

Maklane deWever was elected president of the Ryerson's Student Union Monday night. (Submitted)

The charges and photos of the credit card statements were first reported by The Eyeopener, Ryerson University's student newspaper. 

CBC Toronto has not seen the credit card statement.

The statement, which was addressed to Ganesh, reportedly included purchases at LCBO locations, a shisha lounge and a credit risk company in Stratford, Ont.

As a result of Monday's meeting, an audit committee has also been formed to handle all the legal issues, while PricewaterhouseCoopers will do a full forensic audit of all the expenses from last year.

The committee will also seek professional and community advice on some reforms that could be made to the student union's finances. 

DeWever says as early as late 2018, he had been trying to get access to financial information and when he finally got hold of it, he made the board aware of some of the things he noticed. 

Ram Ganesh was impeached Monday night and Marklane Dewever was elected as president in his place. (Provided by The Eyeopener)

He said he was most likely chosen president because he has been leading the charge towards financial accountability and transparency. 

DeWever says he feels some pressure now to clean up the financial mess . 

"This is my last year of university," he said. 

"I joined the student union because I thought it would be fun. But I definitely have a duty to the students who elected me in the first place. I'm here now to serve up that duty and restore trust in the student union." ​