Ryerson Student Union (RSU) president Obaid Ullah apologized via Facebook for planning a walk-out with the RSU executive team to try to control the outcome of a motion at a Semi-Annual General Meeting (SAGM) last November.
Through screenshots posted by The Eyeopener, it was determined that Ullah asked executive members to lose quorum so that remaining motions could be pushed to the board meeting.
The walk-out took place before and during the presentation of a motion from for the RSU to organize a Holocaust education week, causing some to accuse the RSU of anti-semitism and the Toronto Star to publish an article on the situation. Ryerson University released a statement shortly after.
In his Facebook post, Ullah went on to explain that his intention was not to take away from the motion for the RSU to organize a Holocaust education week that focused specifically on that genocide, but instead to “keep the room united” as many students had already left the meeting.
Ullah stated that he never spoke against the motion and was “confident that this would get passed at the board meeting unanimously,” which it did.
Michael Friedman, an RSU board member who is Jewish, commented on the post to show his support for Ullah.
“I have seen him work to make sure that Jewish people have a voice on campus and within the general membership and commend him for doing so,” Friedman wrote.
While many students showed support for the RSU president, some were still angry at his actions.
Evan Roy, a Jewish employee for the RSU, expressed anger at the post.
“If you truly cared about Jewish students on campus you would have asked them what they needed in that moment. I promise you none of them would have asked you to do what you did. There is no transparency in your actions — it is clearly an abuse of power,” Roy wrote.
Ullah and Hillel Ryerson declined to comment.
The screenshots of the above posts are shown below.