SSMU VP Finance Suspended from Board Over Breach of Confidentiality

Photo: Evelyn Dom

Arisha Khan, the VP Finance of SSMU, has been suspended from the SSMU Board of Directors for two weeks over a breach of confidentiality.

The decision took place on Sunday October 15 during a meeting of the SSMU Board of Directors.

According to SSMU President Muna Tojiboeva, Khan breached her confidentiality agreement by forwarding an email exchange between SSMU executives to a non-Executive SSMU Member.

“A formal investigation was [then] launched by request of the Board of Directors into the breach of confidentiality,” Tojiboeva explained.

The investigation was conducted by Ryan Hughes, the SSMU General Manager, who interviewed Khan and other relevant parties. His investigation concluded that Khan’s actions were in violation of her confidentiality agreement.

During the October 15 Board Meeting, the investigation’s findings were presented by Hughes to the Directors, who decided that disciplinary action—through the form of a suspension—should be taken in response.

President Tojiboeva, VP Student Life Jemark Earle, and VP Internal Maya Koparkar were not present during the discussion, and all three abstained during the vote.

The non-Executive members, however, voted unanimously in favour of the suspension. This excludes Director Ellen Chen who was absent from the meeting. Director Isabella Anderson abstained from the vote.

Khan was also not present at the meeting, as she was attending a conference out of the country. When asked why such a decision took place despite the absence of the VP Finance, Tojiboeva maintained that members of the Board were notified two weeks in advance that the General Manager would present his findings at the October 15 meeting.

Speaking with the Bull & Bear, Khan maintained that she was not formally notified of her suspension even after 24 hours of the decision and that she “had to email the board last night to confirm.” When asked for further comment, she said, “I am disappointed in the way this decision was made and I would hope that this leads to some recognition of reforming board processes so they are more transparent and accountable.”

According to Tojiboeva, this move will not affect the Board’s new nominations, and the Vice-President Finance’s suspension will not affect the Board’s operations.

“There will be no need to replace Arisha with another Executive member [on the Board] as she is still a member of the Board. The Board will function with 11 members.”

A previous version of this article excluded the fact that Director Isabella Anderson abstained from the suspension vote. It has since been updated to include this information. 

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