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FSU president leaves position


The Fanshawe Student Union is currently strategizing how it will fill the presidential chair.

Angela McInnes | Interrobang | News | July 23rd, 2019

Abdullah Qassab is no longer president of the Fanshawe Student Union (FSU).

“Mr. Qassab, a paid full-time employee of the Fanshawe Student Union, effectively resigned his position by failing to attend work repeatedly without notice or explanation,” said Student Administrative Council (SAC) chair, Cole Ayerst, in an email statement to Interrobang on July 19. “As a result, Mr. Qassab was deemed to have abandoned his position within the FSU.”

In an interview with Ayerst, Interrobang learned that Qassab was deemed to have officially left his post on July 11. Qassab had been president for 11 weeks, having began his official presidency on May 1.

Qassab won the student-wide election for the 2019/2020 presidential role in March. He beat runner-up Jennifer Iannessa by nine votes. As part of his platform, he had promised to offer 10 per cent of his salary to students in the form of a bursary.  

Ayerst did not comment further on the reasoning behind Qassab’s departure.

FSU finance co-ordinator Julia Brown was appointed interim president by the SAC on July 17, with an announcement of her presidency appearing on the FSU’s Facebook page the next day.

“The board has put their full regard into Julia,” Ayerst told Interrobang. “They have complete confidence, and it seems for me, the executive team are feeling confident [as well].”

The SAC is an FSU board which includes elected directors to represent all full-time Fanshawe College students to define and implement strategic goals and policies. The executive team is comprised of hired students to oversee day-to-day operations of the FSU on a part-time basis, led by the president to act as the voice of the students.

Because of her obligations as a full-time student and finance co-ordinator, Brown will be unable to serve as president once school begins in the fall. Ayerst said that no official decisions have been made as to how the SAC will go forward in electing a new full-time president for the upcoming school year, but the board is working to hash out an action plan to be discussed by their next meeting on August 7.

“I am grateful to be given such an important responsibility and look forward to serving my fellow Fanshawe students in this interim role,” Brown said of her temporary position in an email.

This is the first time in its history that the FSU has been without a full-time president.

Ayerst said that the FSU’s commitment to students would not be impacted by the unique situation.  

“The priority of FSU is making students aware of everything that's available to them, as well as keep adding to what's available to them. Hopefully when our grandkids come down the road, Fanshawe will be just a little bit better. We are continuously building [on our work] from each previous year,” he said.

Qassab did not respond to multiple phone requests for comment.
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