McGill student president misled Ivy Leaguers

Conflict of interest allegations over social networking website continue to grow

McGill’s student president is accused of deceiving his counterparts at three Ivy League American universities over his involvement with a social networking website site. Zach Newburg was censured by his student council earlier this month after it was revealed that he had a financial stake in jobbook, a website that aims to connect employers with students at top universities. He did not disclose his interest in the company until January despite being involved for several months.

In promoting the new service, Newburg traveled with company founder Jean de Brabant to several universities in the United States and Britain. Newburg maintains that when meeting with student leaders at other universities, he represented only himself and not the Students’ Society of McGill University. “I was not representing the SSMU in an official capacity. And that should have been clear. And was made clear,” he told the McGill Daily.

However, the Daily reports that student presidents from Princeton, Harvard and Yale, who all met with Newburg, dispute those claims. “I thought throughout the meeting that [Newburgh] was representing McGill” said Michael Yaroshefsky, president of Princeton’s undergraduate union. “He was using his involvement in student government as a fulcrum to gain leverage for this private endeavour – it was dishonest and distasteful.”