Dear Students,

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot this week about how the “STUSU hates the Aquinain” and vice versa. I’m here to say: that’s not true. This whole thing has certainly got out of hand, and at the root of it, there is certainly a strong emotional factor. Feelings have been hurt on both sides, and I’m quite certain that was never the intent of anyone involved. I don’t consider this to be a “fight”, I consider it to be a professional disagreement.

My issues are those that are outlined in the letter I wrote, and I feel that adequately covers my points. I consider Meredith my friend, and Liam to be a good guy. But that doesn’t factor into my opinion on their decision making or writing. I would hope they feel the same about me, and I don’t expect them to pull any punches when writing about the STUSU. However, I hope they keep in mind that at the end of the day, they work for the students too. The students pay directly into the AQ’s budget, and they are entitled to a quality paper in return.

There is certainly an issue of accountability with the Aquinian. Whereas the editors are accountable to a board that currently has only one of five positions filled, there is no body that can dismiss any of them. They have unchecked discretion, something any philosopher would tell you is a terrible idea.

After the elected representatives of the student body voted unanimously to ask for an apology and it was refused, I decided of my own accord that I will not no longer give interviews to the Aquinain. If an organization cannot be held accountable to its share and stakeholders, there is a clear problem. The same principle applies to the STUSU.

I have been asked if I feel it’s part of my job to give the Aquinian interviews, and the answer is that I feel I am responsible to make sure I am accountable to students. The elected representatives of students voted for an apology, and if students feel that was not in their interest then there are recall provisions that can be enacted. No such institutions exist for the AQ.

If at any point I feel this action hinders my ability to communicate with the people I work for, I will end it. But as long for as long the Aquinian is not working for students, I have no obligation to speak with them. However, for now my responsibility is to my council and to my constituents, and they have shown they do not believe the Aquinian is working in their best interest.

Respectfully yours,

John Hoben
President – St. Thomas Students’ Union