Last month, Tré Matthews, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, suddenly found himself in the middle of a firestorm within the organization that he led - the Student Union Board.
Matthews resigned from his position as SUB director Nov. 14. A press release from AU Student Government President Seth Cutter’s office said Matthews stepped down in order to focus on his music career, but some members of SUB said he was pressured to step down because he was not fulfilling his duties as director, such as answering phone calls and e-mails, The Eagle previously reported.
“I don’t think the whole SUB thing was handled correctly,” Matthews said. “In a sense, they [Matthews’ co-workers at SUB] kind of watched me burn.”
Matthews said he chose to resign because other members within the organization and Student Government were not listening to his ideas, and as a result, he felt he could not do his job.
“I kind of had ideas that didn’t really go with the flow of the group,” he said. “I always wanted to go somewhere different.”
The biggest problem Matthews said he experienced at SUB was miscommunication with the other officers. He added that no one mentioned that he was doing anything wrong until more than two months after he had started, which he said surprised him.
“There was an issue where we are working hard for two months, and [other officers in SUB] came up to me with some issues all of a sudden one day and they say ‘Hey Tré, we have a problem with this: this wasn’t done here, this wasn’t done here,’” he said. “Well I said, ‘I didn’t know about that, man. Nobody told me.’”
SUB Deputy Director Andrew Addison said he agreed the issue was sprung upon Matthews very quickly.
“We should have voiced our opinions earlier,” he said. “In all honesty, I think he should have been gone a month before that.”
Several SUB members said Matthews did not fulfill his duties as director, The Eagle previously reported. However, Matthews said he performed all of the tasks that he was aware of, such as returning phone calls, booking shows and holding office hours.
He also said other members who had been in the organization longer did not help him learn the ropes as much as they should have, since Matthews was new to the organization when he took over as SUB director this fall.
“It was really their responsibility to guide me and tell me what to do so I could get a gist of the guidelines and how it [SUB] operates,” he said.
Addison said he and other officers in SUB tried to help Matthews in the beginning, but then backed off when he seemed comfortable with his duties.
“I believe that we didn’t prepare him enough, but that wasn’t the whole thing,” Addison said. “Tré wasn’t around enough initially to be able to be trained.”
Despite all of the events of the last month, Matthews said he feels no bitterness towards anyone in the organization.
“I have nothing but love towards all of them, I wish them all the best,” he said in an e-mail.
Matthews plans to move to New York after he graduates this spring to pursue his music career. He is the CEO of his own label, Lost Soul Records, and next semester he is making his second album. In addition to performing, the audio production major is currently interning at Nice Guy Studios, and said he plans to become involved in songwriting, producing and engineering.
Matthews said he will spend his last semester at AU focused exclusively on his music career.
“[When I was SUB director] I put my music to the side,” he said. “But now I’ve got a great opportunity to take my career to the next level ... From here on out, its music, music, music.”