The audit committee of the residents’ association SkyBox found out this month that last year, several transactions were made to the personal bank account of the former treasurer (1500 euro) and one transaction to an ‘unknown recipient’ (500 euros). After an urgent consultation between the audit committee and the current board, and an email exchange between the board and the former treasurer, the full amount has now been repaid by the former treasurer.
Initially, the student used the association’s money for ‘various reasons’, the document says. Then he started investing in stocks. The reason, which he puts forward, for not paying back the ‘borrowed money’ sooner was that ‘the investing went quite well for him initially and repayment would affect his profits’.
A while later, according to the treasurer, the market crashed and it was ‘not a good time to sell his stocks’. He hoped to make up for the loss before handing over his duties to a successor. But because the stock market had not yet recovered in his favour, he paid back some of the missing SkyBox money out of his own pocket.
In his e-mail to the board, he expresses his regret several times. ‘I made terrible choices’, ‘I acted irresponsibly and did not want to take my losses. That is why I have not paid back the money for so long.’ And: ‘I hope you can give it a place now that you know my story.’
However, the board of the residents’ association plans to expel the former treasurer at the upcoming members’ meeting. The board also started a conversation with an accountant from campus housing corporation Vechtdal Wonen. They advised the board to not pursue and to work with ‘decent accountancy software instead of Excel sheets’. That is also on the agenda of the board. They want to introduce a ‘four-eyes principle’, meet more often with the audit committee and purchase good accountancy software. SkyBox members can vote on those plans.
It is the second time in a relatively short time period that a treasurer of an association on campus transfers money from the treasury to their own account. Last November, it was revealed that a treasurer of the swimming association Piranha took money from the club’s treasury. The motives for taking money out of the association’s treasury – investing – are also strikingly similar.