On Friday night, an email was passed to The Journal by a student at Queen Margaret University. The missive, sent to all students and staff by the QMU Students’ Union's general manager, baldly stated that the the Student Parliament had removed their president, Blain Murphy, from office. The reason for this impeachment was his apparent “non-fulfilment of responsibilities”. No further explanation was given.
Further investigation by The Journal over the weekend has left no one any the wiser as to why a student representative was summarily ousted by his union. When pressed on the matter, QMUSU officials declined to give any information beyond the agreed party line - the formulation of which was embarrassingly clear, thanks to the accidental forwarding of a confidential message from QMU’s communications staff. None of the students we contacted, nor any of the outraged few commenting on the union’s Facebook page, seemed to know anything beyond rumours.
This is a misguided way to run a union. Sabbatical officers are democratically elected - their falls from grace should be equally transparent. It is improbable that two-thirds of the Student Parliament voted against Mr Murphy without good reason, but of course that is pure speculation because the Parliament meeting took place behind closed doors and has not had its minutes published.
By leaving Mr Murphy at the mercy of the rumour mill, the union do both him and their members a disservice. If Mr Murphy’s failure was so great, surely those about to stand for election - and those about to vote - deserve to know where he went wrong. Alternatively, If he was sacked for some minor technical infraction, and his ousting is liable to make the QMU parliamentarians look petty, then they deserve to be labelled as such. In neither case is The Journal advocating a witch-hunt: just honesty.