Dear Zach Newburgh,
I’m going to tread a fine line here, as I at least plan on respecting the procedures of Council and on keeping confidential information discussed in confidential session, something that some other representatives have obviously failed to do. Anything I write here is based on facts that have been discussed in the media, and I will avoid reference to anything that transpired at Council on Thursday night and Friday morning. In short, the editorial “Zach Newburgh must resign” is not just wrong, but flat out dishonest, attempting to manipulate readers into believing the worst about Newburgh.
The editorial suggests that Newburgh should have discussed with Council issues on which he had signed a confidentiality clause. Essentially The Daily believes that the by-laws and constitution of SSMU somehow supersede Quebec law, and that the president should have opened himself up to the threat of legal action in order to make students feel better. We elect a president to represent us; this grants him or her a certain freedom to take actions to promote the best interests of the Society, independent of consultation with others. And let’s be clear here, I find it difficult to comprehend the idea that anyone honestly thinks Newburgh was purposefully acting in a way to cause harm to SSMU.
Everyone makes mistakes, and Newburgh has openly admitted that he made a decision that in hindsight was not ideal. This is not, however, a reason to seek to remove someone who has, at least in my opinion, worked tirelessly and to the best of his abilities to fulfill his mandate. Newburgh has done a lot of good things over the past months, and it would be a shame to allow one mistake to mar his entire body of work.
The president is responsible to members of SSMU and it is the job of Council to keep him accountable; in keeping with that role, Council has censured him. Before embarking on some further campaign to remove Newburgh from office, one should consider what is truly in the best interests of students.
Arts Rep to SSMU