Opinion: Tight-lipped governance a bad idea
It didn’t have to happen like this.
The Meghan Melnyk fiasco could’ve played out much differently had the student government been more transparent following her departure.
There’s a chance she could’ve been helped. Or, police may have stepped in sooner.
Instead, Mount Royal University and its students’ association is left cold cocked by the actions of the former SA president. Both groups are left nursing black eyes and sullied reputations as details of her criminal history continue coming out.
Blame the Students’ Association for the narrative that has emerged since Melnyk was arrested for allegedly robbing a credit union.
The initially tight-lipped response to her resignation is a major reason why SA brass aren’t being lauded as the heroes of Wyckham House right now.
Releasing more details would’ve promoted the association’s good work.
But, rather than praise council’s tighter policy controls that caught the “anomalies,” the student body is still searching for answers as to why Melnyk left in the first place.
Students pay around $5-million to the students’ union each year. Melnyk, as a student-elected official, pocketed more than $60,000 during her two terms on executive council. For that kind of money, we deserve to know what happened.
The student-led group says they’re acting on sound legal advice, and they surely deserve credit for putting out a release a week after Melnyk quit her post. However, the statement lacked many necessary details. Citing “potential anomalies and compliance issues” just doesn’t cut it.
What the hell does that mean anyway?
Legal speak and vague terms like “anomalies” indicate something’s been going on behind closed doors.
It’s unfair to say the SA was familiar with all of Melnyk’s rap sheet. Still, they must have known something was wrong prior to her resignation. Details are still sparse.
It’s a shame. The Students’ Association employs some of the most honest, creative and hard-working young people.
Hiding behind a hear-no-evil, see-no-evil, speak-no-evil mentality only causes the student body to distrust its government.