One of the most dramatic EUSA events in recent years, and the conclusion to the long running Scandalgate has just finished. And fuck me it was exciting.
The General Meeting, which was so significant it was both Special and an Emergency, saw the biggest audience at a EUSA meeting for years, with George Square Lecture Theatre packed, and another 100 or so students watching in David Hume Tower. The mood was tense, the sabbaticals under fire looked nervous, and Twitter was ablaze. Student representative democracy has never seen so much hype.
And so, after weeks of a innuendo, leaks, counter leaks and the kind of online arguments usually reserved for Daily Mail comment sections, both motions fell, and by a wee bit more than most people (including your dashing correspondent) would have expected. A narrow majority voted against the no confidence motion in Max “Creme de la” Crema, while both the motion to censure and amendment to sack James “McCasual” McAsh fell by overwhelmingly.
However, controversy hangs around student politics like a half known family member at a party, and as mentioned before, the affair has already had an impact on this year’s presidential race, with the theme of “taking back” EUSA prevalent in manifestos and statements. Indeed, presidential hopeful Sian “Don’t Call Me Julia” Robertson took to the stage to argue in favour of sacking Max, saying that future sabbs need to “know they will be scrutinised”, perhaps setting out her stall for future debates.
Everyone has their own ideas of the boogeymen hidden away in EUSA – from radical activists that have got too big for their Doc Martens to management that live in friction with elected representatives, or a student council disconnected from the student body to a culture that downplays the effects of sexism. And even if the efforts to reprimand Max and McAsh were judged to be based on flawed reasoning tonight, the boogeymen have been dragged out into the searing light of debate because of them. And as anyone who has ever let an imaginary childhood manifestation of unknown fear loose will tell you, they don’t go away easily.
So while Max and McAsh are safe, the wider debate about what problems exist in EUSA and how to solve them will bound along like a political Labrador on eckies. And tomorrow night’s presidential debate will be the first set of tennis balls thrown for it to chase.