All but two high board members of the Student Union resigned earlier this month in an email to SU president Ahmed Alaa, citing internal problems within the SU as well as an “unclean and unethical environment” according to one former SU member.
When asked about why high board members resigned, former SU vice president Ahmed Chedid mentioned that Alaa is currently studying abroad in the United States and as a result “is not able to communicate with us properly. It is a hassle for us. We thought that we would work properly even if he was in the U.S.” He further asserted that it is all a “communication problem” and that it was nothing “strategic or operational.”
However, Chedid explained that upon coming to the realization that resignation e-mails are not considered official until they are sent to the Office of Student Development (OSD), he stated that he “took this as a chance to reconcile when Ahmed Alaa, and put everything on hold.” He elaborated by saying, “Everyone is trying to hold off decisions until we can properly communicate with the president.”
There have been efforts to present the SU in a positive light in front of the students. Chedid explains, “We are trying to collaborate to make this work, trying to make the general assembly feel like there’s nothing wrong with the SU.”
Worried that such an event will make the general assembly lose faith in the Student Union, Chedid added, “I just want people to know that we are transparent and clean and not hiding anything. We are here to serve the students; we don’t like to get involved in politics or any other activities. We want to work in silence and we don’t want any problems that will make us stop the process of works.”
Further highlighting the importance of transparency, Chedid assured that the SU will “issue a high board official statement to ensure trust with the general assembly because it is a part of our mission and vision to be transparent.”
Ahmed Chedid has since been replaced by Omar Farahat as SU vice president.
Another former member of the high board, Mohamed Adel, former vice president of financial affairs, confirmed Chedid’s assertions by elaborating on the communication issues: “Mainly it was the lack of communication. (Alaa) was not replying to us when we had a crisis in the high board.”
He further stated that “there was a crisis in recruiting the members. Basically we had to call Ahmed Alaa, he didn’t reply within a certain time of period that we can work in.” He mentioned that when Alaa did respond to their grievances, “his reply was really short and he did not give us anything tangible to do; he just said ‘wait until I get back.’ I couldn’t wait, I had to take action. He is coming back Aug. 15 which is too late.”
He mentioned that the high board members sent Alaa a five page proposal, to which Alaa gave a terse reply and told them that some things in it were good, others were not and told them “not to do anything till he gets back.”
He emphasized that these communication issues were a problem because Alaa did not “delegate any authority to anyone.” Lastly, Adel mentioned that the members then sent Alaa another e-mail saying “we as the high board will not be able to continue working in this working environment.”
SU president Ahmed Alaa, who initially refused to comment on the situation, later said, “What I can promise is that me and the (remaining high-board members) will keep on working and that will never affect our output. The thing is me and the others are here to serve and that is why I was elected and I will keep on working till the last day, as the SU is an entity that should not be affected by individuals.”
Other members of the SU high board had different things to say. Abdullah Al Daour, service committee chairperson said he could not yet comment on this issue because internal issues “are not yet resolved.”
Samar Raouf, entertainment chairperson stated that she resigned because she “didn’t like the work environment.”
Omar Ezz el Deen, development chairperson said, “I did not find that the vision or the ethical environment complied with the ethics I campaigned for.” He however mentioned that he “still believes the high board is one of the best high boards in history. They would have had a great output, but it was based on wrong things. This is my own point view and I wish (Ahmed Alla Fayed) the best of luck.”By Dalia Abbas