Former student president appears in court

The students’ association of Mount Royal University has handed over its file on Meghan Melnyk, its former president, to Calgary Police.

The handover followed the completion of the students’ association’s review of Melnyk’s activities while in office, said Michelle Dennis, VP external on Friday afternoon.

The students’ association released a statement on Jan. 31 that indicated Melnyk stepped down after the first of a series of periodic reviews, which addressed “several potential anomalies and policy compliance issues for which Council was unable to receive a satisfactory explanation within a reasonable time frame.”

“It was because of our policies and procedures that financial anomalies were found,” said Dennis.

Police were unavailable for comment on this development at press time.

Melnyk was arrested and charged in the Feb. 29 robbery of a Servus Credit Union in southeast Calgary, said police.

Police said a female suspect handed a note to a teller saying she had a weapon and demanded cash. The suspect was given an undisclosed amount of money and then left the bank.

Melnyk, 27, appeared briefly in court today via closed-circuit TV on charges of robbery, possession of a prohibited weapon and committing an indictable offence while wearing a disguise.

Court was adjourned until March 7. Melnyk remains in custody.

Melnyk also faces outstanding warrants for fraud, uttering forged documents and a breach of probation — all unrelated to the robbery charge, said police.

Student reaction

Through the hallways of MRU, many students could be heard discussing the case.Michelle Dennis, VP external of the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University, said that files on former president Meghan Melnyk have been handed over to police. Melynk has been charged with bank robbery.
Photo by: Kyle Napier

Business student Julie Chuong said that although she thinks Melnyk’s privacy should be respected during a difficult time, she added, “When you become a leader, people look up to you and you become a role model so what you do affects what they do.”

Chuong is among more than 14,000 students able to vote for a new students’ association executive council. The election ends March 7 and will bring in a new president and executive.

The association does not conduct background or criminal checks on candidates, said Dennis, VP external.

“We’ve looked at implementing some further measures about our controls, specifically around helping [to make] individuals more accountable as well as sharing the power dynamic within the executive team and taking away a lot of that responsibility from one person and spreading it out amongst more as our best practice,” Dennis said.

As for Melnyk’s departure, Dennis said Melnyk did not give a reason.

MRU business student Jordan Kruger said he wishes the students’ association disclosed more details.

“Obviously when they resign, everyone wants to know why and so I definitely think transparency is key in any form of governing body,” he said.

But one student said the students’ association is being transparent enough.

“I don’t think they are responsible for the actions of a single person,” said Jason Brownlee, an environmental science major.

“Maybe they want to do some security checks now but I don’t think you can blame the students’ association.”

llushington@cjournal.ca

thajnrych@cjournal.ca

See Thursday’s coverage here.