Canadian  Federation  of  Students-­‐Saskatchewan  Component  

STATEMENT  ON  A  RECENT  Carillon  ARTICLE     September  28,  2012  

  Students   at   the   University   of   Regina   are   members   of   the   Canadian   Federation   of   Students,  as  well  as  the  CFS-­‐Saskatchewan  Component.  Each  individual  student  pays   a   membership   fee   to   both.   The   university   collects   these   fees   and   the   University   of   Regina   Students’   Union   is   responsible   for   remitting   the   fees   to   the   CFS.   CFS-­‐ Saskatchewan   Component   is   not   a   separately   incorporated   body—it   exists   as   a   standing  resolution  of  the  national  organization.  Thus,  even  though  a  provincial  fee   is  collected  for  use  in  Saskatchewan,  it  technically  and  legally  belongs  to  the  national   organization.     Therefore,   moving   the   provincial   money   into   a   central   bank   account   would   increase   transparency,   as   it   is   now   more   easily   accessible   for   audits   and   the   rigorous   financial  reporting  procedures  of  the  national  body.     The   CFS-­‐Saskatchewan   Component   takes   financial   management   very   seriously.   There   are   processes   in   place   to   ensure   accountability   of   money,   including   cheque   request   forms,   multiple   signing   officers,   and   monthly   account   reconciliations.   In   addition,   the   CFS-­‐Saskatchewan   Component   Steering   Committee   is   provided   with   regular  updates  on  the  Component’s  finances.  

  In  early  2012,  the  Saskatchewan  National  Executive  Representative  was  alerted  by   the   bank   that   a   cheque   in   the   amount   of   $300.00   with   his   signature   had   been   written  to  the  Component  Chairperson,  and  that  his  signature  did  not  match  the  one   they   had   on   file.   In   other   words,   the   bank   was   concerned   that   the   signature   was   forged.     Upon   being   alerted,   the   Saskatchewan   National   Executive   Representative   had   the   cheque  cancelled,  and  asked  that  it  be  mailed  to  him  so  he  could  personally  examine   his   signature.   Secondly,   he   confiscated   the   cheque   book   from   the   Chairperson,   as   well  as  all  financial  documents  in  her  possession.     After   examining   the   cancelled   cheque,   the   Saskatchewan   National   Executive   Representative   determined   that   his   signature   had   in   fact   been   forged.   Recognizing   that   it   is   very   important   not   to   make   any   assumptions   or   false   accusations,   the   Saskatchewan  National   Executive   Representative  confronted   the  Chairperson  about   the   now-­‐cancelled   cheque.   The   answer   provided   was   not   satisfactory,   so   the  


Saskatchewan   National   Executive   Representative   quickly   moved   to   take   further   action.     First,   the   Saskatchewan   National   Executive   Representative   instructed   the   bank   to   freeze   the   account.   The   Chairperson   was   removed   as   a   signing   officer   for   the   Saskatchewan   Component,   and   the   process   to   close   the   account,   and   transfer   the   funds  to  the  national  organization,  was  initiated.   Unfortunately,   the   Chairperson   was   not   able   to   provide   several   months   worth   of   bank   statements   and   so   there   were   many   questions   that   needed   to   be   answered   before   the   account   could   be   fully   closed.   Since   there   was   not   enough   information   about   the   matter   available,   these   account   statements,   as   well   as   other   financial   documents   including   cashed   cheques,   were   requested   from   the   bank.   Once   they   were   received   and   reviewed   a   number   of   weeks   later,   the   account   was   closed   and   the  funds  and  documents  were  transferred  to  the  national  organization.   At   this   point,   in   lieu   of   an   admission   of   responsibility   on   the   part   of   the   Saskatchewan   Component   Chairperson,   the   Saskatchewan   National   Executive   Representative  felt  he  had  taken  all  of  the  steps  he  could  to  address  this  matter.  Any   decision  about  seeking  repayment  or  taking  legal  action  is  not  under  the  authority  of   the  CFS-­‐Saskatchewan  Component.   Days   before   the   end   of   her   term,   the   Saskatchewan   Component   Chairperson   admitted   to   forging   two   cheques,   totaling   $700.00,   and   committed   to   repaying   the   money.  Shortly  thereafter,  the  new  Saskatchewan  Component  Chairperson  informed   the  Board  of  the  University  of  Regina  Students’  Union  about  the  matter.    

  • • • • • • Once  a  discrepancy  was  realized,  swift  action  was  taken  to  address  it.   CFS-­‐Saskatchewan  Component  was  careful  to  collect  all  information  possible,   as  making  unproven  allegations  is  irresponsible  and  damaging.   Procedural  changes  have  been  made  to  ensure  that  mismanagement  of   members’  money  can  never  happen  again.   CFS-­‐Saskatchewan  Component  took  the  steps  necessary  to  address  the   situation,  and  then  informed  the  University  of  Regina  Students’  Union.   Decisions  about  seeking  repayment  or  taking  legal  action  are  not  under  the   authority  of  the  CFS-­‐Saskatchewan  Component.   We  are  all  disappointed  when  an  individual  acts  inappropriately;  however,   we  should  not  let  one  person’s  lapse  in  ethical  judgment  eclipse  the  good   work  that  we  do  every  day  as  students.  

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