The CEO Saga Continues
Council Gives Holoubi Vote of Confidence at Meeting
Amid accusations of bias due to unclear allegiances in last year’s Concordia Student Union general election, the CSU Council voted on Nov. 30 to maintain support for Chief Electoral Officer Ismail Holoubi.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss two separate motions regarding the CEO position, one of which called for a discussion of Holoubi’s role in last year’s general election. Former councillor Tomer Shavit had raised allegations that Holoubi had run on the Your Concordia slate, whose candidates comprise a majority of Council, as well as executive positions, which Shavit said would be a conflict of interest.
During the meeting in room H-762 of the Hall Building, VP Finance Jordan Lindsay pointed out that Holoubi’s name cannot be found on the Your Concordia website, and that there is no documentation showing Holoubi had been on the slate.
VP External Chad Walcott recounted a question asked in closed session during Holoubi’s job interview, where Holoubi explained he had aborted his bid for a Council seat due to prior commitments, thereby eliminating any chance of a conflict.
“Having chaired [the meeting where Holoubi was hired], I distinctly remember the question being asked, and I distinctly remember Ismail saying, ‘I submitted my application to run; however, due to school and work, I had no time,’ which would explain the fact that there are no expenses to his name, and that he does not appear on any affiliation [forms] for either side,” said Walcott.
The confusion was the result of an unclear portion of the CEO report last year. Holoubi, who at the time of the special meeting was overseeing the byelections, which ended on Dec. 1, was named in the document, but his name could not be found among the unaffiliated candidates.
Holoubi confirmed he had intended to run and submitted paperwork, but ended up not campaigning. He maintained his independence from both the Your Concordia and Action slates.
“I wanted to be involved as a councillor, to serve and to have all the students’ voices heard,” he said. “But I didn’t want to be on any of the sides, because honestly, I had a lot of friends running on both slates, and both were amazing slates and amazing people.”
“Ceejay sent me an email saying that since the appeal talks about the character of one of the JB members, they think that it’s inappropriate for them to see it … It’s as arbitrary as saying, ‘Let’s let The Link decide on the matter.” -Tomer Shavit
JUDGING THE JUDICIAL BOARD
Council also voted against overturning a recent Judicial Board ruling regarding the former CEO, Bram Goldstein. Goldstein had been dismissed by this year’s Council, who had determined that their predecessors last year had not followed proper hiring procedure.
On Nov. 2, the day after a Judicial Board hearing on the matter, that decision was upheld by the JB. The position was declared to be open, and Holoubi was hired at a Council meeting that night after several applicants were considered.
Shavit, who represented Goldstein at that JB hearing appealing his dismissal, filed an appeal after JB ruled in favour of this year’s Council.
As part of his appeal, he had claimed that JB Chairperson Ceejay Desfosses had colluded with members of the executive to ensure Goldstein’s dismissal. JB referred the matter back to Council, asking for advice, a procedure that Shavit said is not mentioned anywhere in the bylaws.
“They sent me an email saying they received my appeal. But then Ceejay sent me an email saying that since the appeal talks about the character of one of the JB members, they think that it’s inappropriate for them to see it.
“She wasn’t following any code of procedures or bylaws when she was doing that,” he continued. “It’s as arbitrary as saying, ‘Let’s let The Link decide on the matter.”
In emails to Desfosses and other members of the JB, Shavit has suggested the JB members were guilty of violating bylaws, which say that the JB must try and meet within five days of receiving an appeal. Shavit had sent in his appeal on Nov. 11, but the Board only met to discuss the appeal on Dec. 4.
However, the reason for that delay was Shavit’s accusations against Desfosses, according to JB member Nadim Kobeissi.
“It took three weeks for two reasons,” Kobeissi said. “The first is that this whole issue is highly extraordinary in the sense that we were asked to evaluate and judge one of our own members. There is no clear rule for [how we should] do this. So we referred the matter to Council. Once Council got back to us, we actually did meet within five days.”
Kobeissi added that the other reason the JB hadn’t met was that its members were preoccupied with final exams. He also noted that the JB members will be meeting on Dec. 11 to discuss the matter further.