There was small student protest against the Durham College Students Inc. (DCSI) in the bus loop of DC and UOIT on Feb. 27.
Former elected DCSI president and vice-presidents Jaylan Hayles, Geoffrey Olara, Toosaa Bush braved the cold and snowy weather in an attempt to rally students to prevent DCSI’s “wrongdoings”. The protest drew only a handful of passersby.
Hayles, Olara and Bush allege they were wrongfully terminated from their student elected positions last August — without explanation.
Joseph Jiyanu, who is a member of the events squad for DCSI, debated with Hayles during the protest.
“DCSI just won’t fire them for no reason. How many presidents, how many (vice-presidents) have been there?,” says Jiyanu.
Jiyanu believes there has to be more to the story and a reason behind the firing of Hayles, Olara and Bush.
“I want DCSI to come out and tell the story…and I want all of the students to be like ‘OK this is right and this is wrong’,” says Jiyanu.
DCSI attempted to hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in November with the plan to announce proposed general operating bylaws, listed in a 41-page document.
But according to the protesters, the new bylaws include giving DCSI the authority “to fire any elected official if they do not like them.”
The AGM was cancelled due to a lack of attendance of DCSI members and DC students. It has been rescheduled to today.
The fired execs also claim DCSI has nearly $5 million in its budget and has been misusing the funds.
DCSI chairperson Charles Wilson denies those allegations.
“I’m not sure where they’re coming from with that $5 million figure,” says Wilson, noting the budget is closer to $3 million and has been audited for the period July, 10, 2017 to April 30, 2018.
Wilson says Hayles, Bush and Olara have the right to protest, but calls the attempt to frame DCSI as wasting students’ money as “insulting.
“We are feeding (the) Durham population, we are promoting things like Black History Month through our Outreach Services, we are giving students opportunities in clubs,” says Wilson.
“This organization has done great things this year, and we continue to do great things,” he continues. “We’re not going backwards.”
Wilson adds he’s been forwarded emails Outreach Services has received from students thanking DCSI for providing them food from the food drive, giving them an opportunity to have a show on Riot Radio or starting a club.