October 22, 2012
BY: NICOLA MACLEOD
The Aquinian will not be apologizing for an article published in last Tuesday’s edition, says Editor-in-Chief Liam McGuire.
The article was about the resignation of St. Thomas University Student’s Union (STUSU) Vice President of Student Life Nicole Pozer. Pozer stepped down the week before, citing personal reasons.
The article suggested the possibility that Pozer’s resignation came after a series of pranks, bordering on harrassement, went too far between the STUSU executives.
Members of the STUSU were outraged by the article and many took to forms of social media to express their disdain.
“The AQ has turned into a tabloid magazine,” tweeted Vanier Hall’s Vice President External, Renée Comeau.
John Hoben, president of the STUSU, requested to meet with McGuire and his staff in private to discuss the situation ‘off the record’. The Aquinian turned down the invitation, unless the meeting could be on the record.
On Wednesday, the STUSU posted a letter to their website calling for the Aquinian to apologize for “not publishing proper corrections, for printing inaccurate stories, unfounded conspiracy theories, rumours and prying into a student’s personal life.” The letter was signed by all four members of the executive.
The Student’s Representative Council’s voting members unanimously passed the motion to accept the letter at Thursday’s meeting.
Though all members were in favor of the letter, some expressed concerns as to why the letter was posted online before the council could approve it.
“The open letter has created a somewhat volatile situation,” said Holy Cross’ Vice President External, Alex Carleton.
Some members worried that this would cause a permanent rift between the student’s union and the student paper.
“A good working relationship between the student’s union and The Aquinian is something we should strive for,” said Pozer, who still holds a non-voting seat on the council despite the resignation of her executive position.
Pozer added she did not want a public apology from The Aquinian for examining her personal life, but rather a private one.
“I value my personal relationships much more than my public ones.”
Both the writer of the article, VPSL resigns, denies harassment, Meredith Gillis and The Aquinian’s Editor-in-Chief Liam McGuire were present at the meeting.
“I stand by my writers and my editors and I will not be issuing an apology,” said McGuire during Thursday’s meeting.
The council also passed a motion to change the name of the SRC Media Fee to the title of Media Fees. St. Thomas University students pay this 25 dollar fee every year, with 13 dollars going to CHSR radio and the other 12 dollars towards the production costs of The Aquinian.
Maybe members suggested that the name change came at a bad time, making it appear as if the STUSU is cutting off all ties with the paper.
President John Hoben says he will not be speaking with The Aquinian until an apology has been issued.
“All of those who voted, voted unanimously and asked for that [an apology]. I think as long as the Aquinian withholds that [apology], they will be doing a disservice to the students,” said Hoben.
“I will not be apologizing because I think what’s listed in the letter is ultimately incorrect,” said McGuire.
“He’s[John Hoben] trying to back us down into a corner and we are not going to be bullied into apologizing.”