The Undergraduate Student Government Senate unanimously approved Eric Lee for treasurer Tuesday night during the first USG Senate meeting of the year.
Lee, a senior majoring in industrial and systems engineering, was nominated to be the 2010-2011 treasurer after former treasurer Brian Anderson resigned for personal reasons. Anderson helped USG look for a new treasurer and recommended Lee for the job.
“No one was in school, so we had to make a decision quickly,” USG President Chris Cheng said. “The funding board applications were already starting to come in so we needed a new treasurer as fast as possible.”
The search included both people within and without USG. A total of 10 people were considered, and then the executive board narrowed the applicants down to three candidates. The executive board had to make a decision based on people they thought were fit for the job, Cheng said.
“Eric definitely stood out above the rest,” he said. “He had strong leadership qualifications, great academics, extensive experience with various organizations on campus and is a quick thinker. We needed someone who could learn the job quickly and someone who was committed.”
Cheng also said that USG was amazed at his focus on teamwork and commitment to fundraise for the USG endowment, which officers hope will help lower the student fee while allowing USG to continue putting more money into programming and funding student organizations.
“A lot of our applicants were qualified,” USG Vice President Nehi Ogbevoen said. “But what made Eric unique was that he would go above and beyond his role as a treasurer. He has potential to be a great leader of funding board because of his prior work experience and experience working on philanthropic organizations such as Dance Marathon.”
Lee said he expects to encounter challenges in regard to learning the policies and systems of USG, but he is optimistic and had already started learning the material even before he was chosen.
“Right now I’m just trying to get acclimated to the position and to learn the ropes,” Lee said. “I just want to be a good mentor to the funding board directors and make sure that the financial aspects of the school are running properly and smoothly.”
Lee also said he expects difficulties in terms of communicating with the various student organizations and learning about their funding needs. He plans to hold a seminar explaining the various resources that are available to student organizations and how the funding process works.
“The treasurer should be a good face for the organization because when student groups or administrators have questions about money, they will ask the treasurer,” Cheng said. “Eric has the ability to handle all kinds of situations. We want the organizations to get the money they deserve through funding, and Eric can guide them along the way.”