Reported by Sydney Morton
A former director of the Langara Students’ Union has delivered a letter to the union, claiming that she was wrongfully terminated by the board.
According to the LSU, Harsimran Malhi was fired on Nov. 23 because she broke a bylaw that states if a member misses two meetings, their membership is eligible for termination. However, Malhi said she provided a valid doctor’s note and had gotten permission from former general manager Desmond Rodenbour to miss the meetings in question.
“I wanted to clarify that it was the board’s mistake,” she told The Voice.
In the warning letter delivered on Jan. 24, Malhi demanded a retraction of her termination and payment of lost wages from the LSU. Malhi said she believes her dismissal was illegal.
“They should have read their own bylaws. And secondly, it’s their due diligence that they should have contacted me if they couldn’t contact Desmond,” Malhi said.
Former general manager also dismissed
Rodenbour was hired to bring transparency and improve the democratic process within the LSU, but was dismissed three months later, along with the LSU’s lawyers, Malhi and a fourth member, by a new board.
Sukhman Singh, a former international student advisor of the LSU said board members cannot be terminated without prior communication.
“If they are missing board meetings regularly [the LSU] can’t just terminate them, they have to talk to them before and ask why they did not come to the meeting,” Singh said.
LSU distinguishes between resignation and termination
The LSU media spokesperson, who does not want to be named, would not comment on Malhi’s firing, but did say board members are “deemed to have resigned from Council [and] Council simply accepts their resignation,” instead of terminated.
Malhi has met with legal counsel but could not comment on what action she will take if there is no response to her letter. If reinstated, she is determined to find answers from the board about her dismissal.
“Now, I’m not going to stop fighting for it,” Malhi said.
Listen: Former LSU board member Harsimran Malhi explains why she wanted to send the LSU a letter about her termination.