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A Personal Interview with Zach Newburgh

On Wednesday, February 9th the Herald sat down with SSMU President Zach Newburgh for an interview on the recent controversy surrounding Jobbook. The following is the transcript of that interview.Thank you for joining us President Newburgh. The first question we’d like to ask is to get down to the basics: were you acting in good faith when you signed into a venture with Jobbook?Z: Without question. And from my actions this past semester I don’t think there is any reason to believe I had anything but the best intentions in mind for the students of this university.When people sign non-disclosure agreements, they are usually informed prior to signing the agreement what the scope of the agreement will be. Did Mr. De Brabant (the founder of Jobbook) inform you of the context of the NDA prior to your signing it?Z: He did not.Did you share a personal relationship with Mr. De Brabant prior to his contacting you?Z: I did not.The proposed contract between SSMU and Jobbook (providing one share per student who signed up for the venture): was that to be negotiated with SSMU upon the launch of the company, or was someone at SSMU informed of the agreement before the NDA expired?Z: This was presented by me to the Executive Committee whereby I disclosed my conflict of interest, abstained from voting, and deferred to an alternate chair. You know, this was a contract that ultimately I convinced Mr. De Brabant and the Jobbook team to provide to the Student’s Society for the benefit of students. Ultimately, it would have been up to SSMU if it wanted to negotiate further, and if it wanted to negotiate the contract details. The involvement of SSMU was never brought to anyone aside from the individual who would have been the alternate chair to whom I disclosed my conflict;… Read More