A glance at the timeline and results of the investigation into the VP External’s role
Megan Amato // Associate News Editor
An ongoing saga has been unfolding behind the doors of the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) over the last few months concerning the VP External, Happy Singh and complaints brought against him concerning neglect in his official role and duties. An Executive Performance Committee (EPC) was established to undergo an in-camera and confidential investigation that would make recommendations regarding temporary removal of some of his external duties and his monthly stipend of $1300 until they are satisfied that the issue had been resolved.
The issue was brought forward to the Board of Directors meeting by the governance committee on Nov. 22. “The VP External was asked to provide a report, or basically present his interpretation of events at the next Dec. 13 board meeting,” said Emily Bridge, CSU President and Vice President of Equity and Sustainability. “At that board meeting, we decided to strike a special committee to address those performance concerns.” During this meeting, he was removed as a delegate to the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations Policy & Strategy Conference.
On Dec. 20, the EPC met to discuss the investigation into the complaints against the VP External, the “lack of fulfillment of duty proceedings” and determine the next steps as noted in the meeting minutes. On Jan. 2, the EPC recommended that Section 2, Article 14.1 of the Procedures Manual be temporarily suspended so that it would allow flexibility for who they would send in the VP External’s place concerning external meetings. On Jan. 14, the EPC recommended that his stipend be temporarily reduced by 25 per cent. The Board of Directors took this under advisement on Jan. 17 and agreed to the temporary suspension in the procedures but determined that the VP External’s stipend be reduced by 100 per cent. All of this would be reevaluated on Feb. 14.
The CSU policies and procedures regarding in-camera work is confidential and so the exact nature of the complaints is unclear. However, a source who asked to remain anonymous shed some light on the situation. “He hasn’t been doing his job,” they said, which involves meeting with external bodies such as Translink and local, provincial and federal MPs. “He hadn’t been completing and submitting his reports, and misses meetings. He hasn’t been doing the work that students pay him to do.”
Before the Feb.14 meeting, the EPC met on Feb. 11 to discuss the progress of the investigation and improvement to the VP’s fulfillment of duties. They resolved that the VP External “be instructed to develop a work plan, in collaboration with this Committee, to address the concerns of this Committee with the objective of full stipend reinstatement.” They also planned to recommend to the Board of Directors that his stipend be reinstated by 75 per cent which was approved during their Feb. 14 meeting.
“I think the board has gone about this in a good way and followed due procedures,” said Bridge. “I really am hopeful that—and I know that the executive team is hopeful that—things are going to improve and we won’t have to make additional recommendations for either suspending procedures or stipends moving forward.”
VP External Happy Singh could not be reached for comment.