Our attention turns once again to the ongoing drama at the top of Queen Margaret University Students' Union. We have previously called from these pages for more transparency from the union on the circumstances surrounding the sacking in February of president Blain Murphy.
We have now spoken to both Mr Murphy and vice-president Christie McMonagle — who, we revealed in our previous edition, initiated the disciplinary action that ended with Mr Murphy's dismissal.
The picture that has emerged from our conversations with both party is a caricature of student politics. From what we now know, the entire affair was driven by a major failure in communication between two people, and a personal grievance that was aired far too publicly, and which has reflected poorly on everyone involved.
Student politicians should not necessarily be held to the same personal standards to which we would hold our nationally-elected representatives. But they play an important role in campus life: they are the public face of the student body to the university administration, to policymakers, and to the public. With those responsibilities to bear, we would hope for some maturity. None of the problems which developed between Mr Murphy and Ms McMonagle, as far as we can fathom, could not have been resolved by a frank — and private — conversation between the two. But there is no lasting record of such a conversation taking place: only of a great deal of bad blood and embarrassment for everyone.
Yes, it seems that Mr Murphy did not take his job as president very seriously. Indeed, he has repeatedly referred to it as a "joke job". But equally, Ms McMonagle chose the nuclear option when she submitted a motion of no-confidence before QMU's Student Parliament.
And to what end? QMUSU is now lacking a president, Ms McMonagle and Mr Murphy have made themselves look as foolish as one another, and QMU students have been left to wonder what on earth is going on at their union. The whole silly soap opera leaves us wondering: while all this infighting was going on, who was left representing the students of QMU?