Last week, we ran a letter from Committee of Hearing Chair and Students' Union Vice-President Events Irene Enyedy bearing her byline, in good faith that it was she who wanted to set the record straight about inaccuracies in my story about the proceedings against SU Academic Commissioner Gavin Preston. That is great. I'm all for representing events truthfully and setting the record straight for students, as Ms. Enyedy's letter tried to do.
However, in this Tuesday's Students' Legislative Council meeting, it was revealed during Question Period--after interrogation by an SLC commissioner--that Ms. Enyedy did not in fact write the letter in question. Only after inquiries about the appropriateness of attaching her name to a work not of her own composition--an act of plagiarism anywhere else on campus--did Ms. Enyedy disclose that SU communications department staffer Fiona Wiseman had written the letter, a fact that surprised some SLC members including SU President Matt Stambaugh.
While it is not unusual in the real world for staffers to write letters for elected officials, the personal tenor of their letter gave the impression that the hearing chair thought the matter important enough to personally redress it to students.
"Fiona wrote it, because I didn't have time to write it on my own," Ms. Enyedy admitted to SLC.
Ms. Enyedy felt the political matter to be of sufficient importance to the organization that an SU business staffer--who attended exactly zero minutes of the proceedings--needed to uphold the reputation of the entire SU by telling a truth to which she was not a party, but she did not make telling a truth to students a high enough priority on her list of things to do.
Further, Ms. Enyedy knowingly signed off on the letter with a declared goal of setting the record straight, while she herself was arguably engaged in an act of deception. When asked by Preston why she felt it necessary to sign the letter, she responded "I think that SLC needed the respect [SLC] gave to you."
Do her actions respect the students who read the letter believing it was hers? Presumably, Ms. Enyedy is aware that as a public official, anything published bearing her name and title would be interpreted as coming from the mouth of a student representative.
Enyedy concluded by stating, with respect to proceedings in SLC and the way I depicted them: "Things did not happen the way they did."
- Вen Li