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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Choon Woo Ha and the F-Board

Published: April 4, 2008
Section: Opinions

When I first joined the Finance Board two years ago, I really didn’t know what to expect. Nearly everyone elected that term was new and almost all of us were first-years. The Treasurer back then was a guy by the name of Harrison Chizik ’07 and he was the only returning member to the Board. As we went on our summer breaks, we all trusted that the powers that be would guide all of us newbs so that when we got back in the fall, all of us could just sit there and allocate funds. That, however, was not meant to be. Instead, Harrison left the university and there was a special race to decide a new Treasurer. In a close election, Choon Woo Ha was chosen to be the next leader of Student Union finances.

I remember the first meeting the F-Board had with Choon. Man did he take command of the room! He told us all to turn off our cell phones and pay attention. To my surprise, he had memorized all of our names and was totally ready to assume his duties. Choon started right off the bat and made a monumental difference in finances at Brandeis. Not only was he an active leader on the F-Board, but was meticulous in the other duties of the Treasurer. He even had an air mattress set up in the office so that he could literally sleep there and maximize his efficiency on the job. This year, Choon has continued his success. The Office of the Treasury is now a wonderful institution of the Student Union and the financial process is more efficient than ever.

Perhaps the best part about being on the Finance Board, was to get to know Choon better. Whenever there was a drab moment, and the group was genuinely “F-Bored,” Choon was there to make the situation more lively. Whenever a club leader had blatantly messed up their request, Choon was there with a smile to help them out. I know personally that Choon has truly enriched my own Brandeis experience. To see him around campus enlivens one’s day. During my darkest hours last year, when my actions with the Hoot were shrouded in controversy and tension, Choon was there to help sort it out. From a person who does not consider himself to have many friends, Choon has truly earned my utmost respect. And when I was living off the floor of my brother’s apartment over winter break, feeling miserable and lonely, Choon was there to wish my family and me a happy Christmas. Truly, this fine gentlemen has worked himself into so many of our lives, earning our utmost gratitude.

Sorry to hijack half of my column with a shout out to Treasurer Ha, but it does relate to the greater point I desire to make. The Treasurer of the Student Union is a huge responsibility. Not only must they attend numerous meetings on the Finance Board, the Executive board and with administrators, but must execute other tasks as well. He must handle all financial transactions, govern the Office of the Treasurer, and is ultimately responsible for the distribution of nearly a million dollars. With all of this responsibility, I think the Treasurer should be a paid position at Brandeis.

The work of the Treasurer is nearly the same load handled by a full time employee. The Treasurer is so busy that he deserve financial compensation for his work. I know people may be adverse to this policy, but when one truly understands how helpful the treasurer is, then they will surely support this initiative. He is the assistant of every club leader in distress, the knowledgeable administrator of SAF funds. He is accountable for the successful operation of club life at Brandeis, a huge responsibility indeed. With all this in mind, I believe that the students should give the Treasurer financial compensation for their work.

Choon Woo Ha has given so much service to the students of this university. He has not only distinguished himself as a wonderful Treasurer, but as a great person as well. The best way to recognize his contribution is to grant compensation to future treasurers, For all they do for the students, future Treasurers deserve stipends. In fact, I might have found a way to get rid of the rollover money. Perhaps we should just give it all to Treasurer Ha. For the way he has transformed our institution, he deserves all that money and more!