Thomson responds to allegations

    (Book Sadprasid\The Aquinian)
    (Book Sadprasid\The Aquinian)
    (Book Sadprasid\The Aquinian)

    St. Thomas University Students’ Union president Megan Thomson said she could not have leaked private legal information to The Brunswickan, the University of New Brunswick’ student newspaper, as she was at home during the time of the alleged meeting.
    “I’ve been falsely accused,” Thomson said.
    Thomson said her mother, Colleen, could back her story up.
    The Aquinian reached out to Colleen and she confirmed Thomson was at home that afternoon.
    Last week it was revealed the day after STU student and former Brunswickan employee Chris Brooks emailed a member of STUSU asking for legal advice against his former employer, he received an email from The Brunswickan saying a member of STUSU had informed them of his actions.
    In a previous interview,
    editor-in-chief Emma McPhee and managing editor Adam Travis said Thomson was the one who told them about Brooks’ actions.
    While Thomson turned down an interview request with The Aquinian last week, this week she said that no one from the union divulged that information.
    “The four of us (Megan Thomson, Ben Graham, Brianna Matchett, Rachel Barry) that would have been aware of the situation take confidentially incredibly seriously,” said Thomson. “We would never ever divulge information that was confidential.”
    When asked if the union would be undergoing an internal review of the incident, Thomson said they wouldn’t because the information Brooks was seeking legal help didn’t come from them.
    In an interview Thursday, McPhee said The Brunswickan and STUSU often interact and that Thomson has come to the paper with story ideas in the past.
    McPhee said these meetings were not official and there was never a line drawn between friendship and professionalism.
    Thomson said she was unsure why McPhee would say they met, but McPhee said Thomson is trying to cover for herself.
    “They had a student looking for legal advice and before even telling him they couldn’t help – they [told The Brunswickan,]” said McPhee. “That’s a breach of their confidentiality.”
    Brooks originally went to the students’ union because he believed his former employer might have defamed him.
    In their issue before March Break The Brunswickan published the caption, “Here is a photo of Tilley Hall because Chris didn’t do his job,” under a photo.
    McPhee said she had repetitive deadline problems with Brooks and described it as a moment of “tough love.”
    “[Brooks] was hired sometime in October I think…And right from the start, one of the first stories he was assigned, he was past deadline,” said McPhee. “As the year progressed he would miss deadlines completely.”
    She said other Canadian University Press papers have taken similar actions in similar situations.
    McPhee said that she didn’t fire Brooks because The Brunswickan’s discipline policy makes it almost impossible to do so without charges of plagiarism or harassment. She also said Brooks’ friendship with Brunswickan staff who are also STU students may have prolonged his employment.
    “There was kind of conflict of interest between editors and other staff members because they’re friends and roommates and classmates,” said McPhee. “You can see how that would cause some issues.”
    “I regret that it caused as much distress to Chris as it did,” said McPhee in a previous interview.
    Brooks says he is not seeking legal action against either organization. He refused to comment on if he had told anyone associated with The Brunswickan that he went to STUSU.

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