A letter from SA President Yousouf Amolegbe
My fellow students,
We’ve been failed by our own. Today I am writing to you all in great disappointment as I’ve been unjustly suspended indefinitely as the President of the University at Buffalo Student Association Inc. I would like to take this opportunity to explain and inform you of this unjust action.
On November 22nd, I attended an SA Board of Directors meeting, where I learned I was being investigated for several alleged conflicts of interests. All of these alleged conflicts of interests involved my personal ventures as an event promoter, which they alleged conflicted with my role and responsibilities as your President. Over the course of the next few weeks, multiple meetings were held with several SA employees, SA Officers and myself. Finally, I met with the Rules and Government Oversight Committee for close to four hours to accurately and honestly discuss their concerns regarding potential conflicts of interests. The Committee put forward a final report, and although I strongly disagreed with their finds, I followed each of their recommendations.
Upon returning from winter recess, on January 31st, I attended the SA Board of Directors meeting. At that meeting, I was blindsided. A Board Member simply motioned to review old business and the Committee recommendations were brought back to the table. Although I followed all of the Committee’s recommendations, claims were again made regarding my personal ventures. These spurious claims included me ‘having my positions on both SA and RAGE Boyz in my Instagram bio’ or ‘putting together a charity event titled: Black Excellence Ball which was aimed at celebrating Black History Month and empowering Black leaders. The Board Members then subjectively claimed that I didn’t take seriously their request for me to meet with our counsel for a debriefing on our conflict of interest policy and update my conflict of interest form. The board then moved to suspend me on very false and inappropriate grounds.
I strongly disagree with these inappropriate actions of the Board. During the course of the January 31st meeting, multiple Board Members called for recesses where they and SA Vice President Georgia Hulbert went outside the room to deliberate and collude on their plans to remove me from office. Furthermore, the motion was made without providing me any notice. I was denied the opportunity to prepare or obtain legal counsel. This was simply a sneaky and diabolic approach at unjustly formulating a coup against me to satisfy some of the directors, coordinators and the vice president’s parochial benefits.
This is an absolutely unjust, unfair and very great disappointment to not just myself, but the entire UB undergraduate student body. If this suspension stands, you will be left without a leader, without a supporter, without an advocate and most importantly without a voice. Multiple SA obligations will be hurt by this sanction; No hiring or removals can be done without the President, which means our media and marketing team can’t get their new photographers and videographers and all the Chief of Staff interviews have to be cancelled. SA is unable to make multiple By-Law amendments that bring us into compliance with NYS Not-For-Profit laws, no notice may be provided to our audit committee that our by-laws and state laws requires us to have. Our seat on the SUNY SA essentially becomes vacant, as no one else is instituted with the power in our By-Laws to delegate individuals to represent UB on a system-wide level.
As President, I’ve dedicated myself to the will and livelihood of our students. I’ve helped build SA right from the ground throughout the fiscal transitions and fought for the revival of many of the services SBI provided, fought hard for the different minority groups on our campus and for the need of representation through our faculty and staff (An initiative that was only pushed by myself and Treasurer Harris, to which Vice President Hulbert willingly neglected herself from), expanded multiple programming on our campus, expanded the fall fest concert series to become an event students finally appreciate, advocated for many clubs on the board in helping them grant supplemental funding, supporting individual students in times when they’re in distress and needed someone to talk to and instituted a mental health taskforce. Not a single individual on the board is required half the responsibilities the Student Associations puts on myself and Treasurer Harris and no one can confidently claim that we don’t do our jobs to the best of our ability.
With that all being said, I want to reassure you all that I’ll be fighting this decision to the full extent of the law and I will not allow for this injustice to prevail. The students need a leader, the students need a voice.
This letter has not been edited for grammar.