John Hoben is known around campus for his passionate political aspirations, but last years STUSU president has now experienced the so-called brutality of politics.
Hoben, who was soundly defeated in his re-election attempt last spring, resigned as president of the New Brunswick Student Alliance before the school year began.
“Being an elected member, there is a lot of bullshit involved and there are a lot of big egos. I saw the good and the bad of it these past two years,” Hoben said.
NBSA lobbies government on student issues. Each school sends their president and VP external to the meetings. These members make up the board, some of whom are STU students.
Hoben said he resigned because of issues between him and board members.
Although there were rumours that Hoben was forced to resign, the fifth year student insists it was about trust.
“It was more my frustration with the whole thing,” Hoben said. “The board didn’t trust me and I can see why they wouldn’t want me to be there if they didn’t trust me.”
Although Hoben had difficulty interacting with the board as NBSA president, he said he still enjoyed these past four months.
“I really liked the work I was doing and I felt it was something important,” he said. “I ran for NBSA president because I really believe in the cause and I feel the organization can be fixed. NBSA has a lot of past and present problems. I’m optimistic that it can be fixed but I don’t think I can be a part of it.”
Before Hoben cut ties to the NBSA he hired and trained the executive director, Patrick Joyce. Hoben resigned before the next board meeting, Joyce said in an email.
“A new president will be elected next month. In the meantime, the majority of the president’s duties have been transferred to me as the NBSA’s full-time executive director,” said Joyce.
When Hoben lost his re-election, he had plans to stay involved with STUSU in some way. But that has changed. He has no plans to run for any positions on the union this fall.
While his STUSU presidency was often controversial and included a long-running conflict with the Aquinian, Hoben feels he accomplished some positive changes.
“I think the most important thing we did all year was make sure that the executive could no longer make decisions on their own. They need to consult the council – so the council is like a board and has lot more legal responsibilities and power,” said Hoben. “The power is more evenly distributed.”
The former STUSU president said he learned a lot last year but he does not want to continue the work.
Despite this, “I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
As he prepares to graduate this May, Hoben doesn’t see politics anywhere in his future.
A triple major in political science, international relations and history he hopes to head off to graduate school first.
“My dream would be to own my own non-profit.”
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