Halifax College Student Association President Roberto Powell is being investigated for financial misdemeanours by YUSU Officers following allegations of embezzlement, Nouse understands.
Services and Finance Officer Matt Burton and YUSU Chief Executive Saul Bertoletti are investigating specific withdrawals made from the college account, after numerous Halifax students raised concerns over certain events authorised by Powell.
Halifax College Student Association (HCSA) Treasurer, Dominic Titherington, failed to respond to a request from a Nouse reporter to provide the college association’s financial statements, a right afforded to all Halifax students under the constitution of the college.
Despite being denied access to the statements, it is believed that the level of expenditure this year is far greater than the amount under previous President David Sharpe.
The statements were requested after several students alerted Nouse to a number of events run by students that were bankrolled by the college accounts.
One student told Nouse that Powell had promised to allocate “up to £200” to students running events such as block socials and barbeques.
Powell rejected the allegations outright, and denied there was any need for the YUSU investigation.
“I don’t know where these allegations have come from, but at no point in time have Halifax funds been used to fund private parties or BBQs,” said Powell.
The HCSA constitution stipulates that “all expenditure and income must be approved by an Executive Meeting.”
Powell stated that the only money that he had authorised to be donated to private parties amounted to £20 that was given to an individual student in Younger Court. Powell justified the money as designed to test the system of funding parties to encourage social interaction.
One female resident told Nouse that Powell had promised “between £150 and £200” to each court, with the money to be arranged through “court reps”.
The legitimacy of these ‘court reps’ is unknown, with no official election to the Student Association, and most students unaware of their existence.
A male resident in Lindley Court told Nouse that as much as £400 could be obtained for private parties through negotiations with the college porters.
Each college representative is allocated £800 per term, in addition to their YUSU grant, in order to foster community spirit amongst residents.
The supplement, arranged by Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Students Jane Grenville, is intended to support bar quizzes, welfare provision and other techniques to raise the importance of the collegiate system for all students.
The investigation was still ongoing as Nouse went to press.