Dear Zach Newburgh,
I was a student politician at Dalhousie University, serving as the Union’s vice-president internal. I learned to watch out for “the capitalists.” I’m no Leninist, but when you have large pools of public dollars (OPM – Other People’s Money), you get vultures who prey on inexperienced executives who do not fully understand the nature of their obligations toward the organization they represent.
After four years of law school, I can tell you the EXACT nature of the obligations you have – they are fiduciary in nature. You owe a duty of loyalty and due care to the union. You owe this duty 24/7, and your sole mission in life should be to serve the students of McGill University. If you made any business dealings stemming from your position as a student politician, you have breached a cardinal rule! All dealings should have been involving the benefit of the student society, and not you personally. ANY outside income from alternate sources is simply dirty money.
Your involvement with Jobbook is so clearly a gross violation of the duty you bore toward SSMU. You should not be making ANY income outside of your salary from SSMU, and if you are not barred from doing that by policy, you certainly are ethically. This entrepreneur/capitalist/what-have-you took advantage of you at an early stage in your career and blackened your name. Trust me as a former executive, you do not need future prospective employers reading a bunch of bad stuff about you from old McGill newspaper clippings on Google.
It is time for you to act honourably and quit your post as president of SSMU. The organization will be better off without you, and it is due penance for what was clearly a violation of your duty to serve the students of McGill.
Former vice-president (internal), Dalhousie Student Union
This letter first appeared in an email to Zach Newburgh.