Commentary  SSMU executives are human, too

Re: “Zach Newburgh must resign” | Editorial | February 7

Is SSMU at war? Is there some dangerous security threat that we, the defenceless students, should not be privy to? Why was there a move to remove our president without any student involvement (recent buzzword: consultation)? I applaud The Daily’s efforts to shed light on this event, and to get its readership involved. I disagree on what needs to be done. This isn’t another offshoot of the revolutions in North Africa. As president of a union, Zach Newburgh’s primary role is to represent the interests of the union members to other authorities. In four years at McGill, no president has done this better than Zach. The “damage” this supposed conflict of interest has caused is only as big as we let it be. Honestly, SSMU’s reputation is intact, there is no financial liability, so what’s the big fuss? Zach Newburgh, like any candidate, took a big risk being SSMU president, and he put himself on the line to negotiate something that would arguably be beneficial to a majority of McGill students. It’s unfortunate that the council was upset at his level of secrecy. As an engineering student, I have a lot of respect for someone who honours such a contract to the bitter end. We forget that the SSMU executive are students just like us, elected in what is largely a popularity contest. Like most students they can make mistakes; they are just as overburdened. And yet, the campus-paper-reading, GA-attending minority wants more: financial ethics, peace in the Middle East, a charity fund… I would beg those involved in this to consider their broader mandate: representing the undergraduates of McGill University. Forget the personal betrayal, this is politics. Please keep our president in power.

Raphael Dumas

U3 Civil Engineering