Behind the scenes: Investigating through lost and found cases
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Behind the scenes: Investigating through lost and found cases
  • Ko Min-seok & Lee Hea-won
  • 승인 2011.06.04 16:28
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Any lost property found on campus is, in principle, to be sent to the Student Service Center (SSC). Until the items are returned to owners, the center goes through a process of recording, posting, classifying, storing, and eventually delivering the lost items. Found items are stored for six months, and if no one claims the items by then, the items are donated to the Beautiful Store and Ewha Cooperative flea market.
With the mission of safely returning missing items to Ewha students, the detectives investigating the scenes of missings are the student assistants of the SSC. Scanning through the endless contact lists of students, the student assistants have gone through cases of lost items and safely returned valuable goods back to their owners.
Of all the cases encountered, there are several atypical incidents that still lucidly evoke memories from the student assistants. Returning a long lost wallet to a student who graduated ten years ago from Ewha is strikingly uncommon.
“A black muddy wallet once came in to the SSC,” said Kim Zi-on, a student assistant at the SSC. Though there was no money inside the wallet, luckily there were several photos and personal contact information. After painstakingly getting in contact with the student, she turned out to be an Ewha graduate who lost her wallet ten years ago when she was a freshman. With only blurrily vague memories of the incident, the graduate was astonished that she even had this wallet ten years back. As the photos reminded her of cherished memories with her and her friends, the graduate student thanked the SSC for putting the missing puzzles of her sweet freshman year.
This was not the only case that the SSC had brightened a student’s day.
“I remember finding a mysterious envelope in which a secret love letter seemed to be enclosed,” Kim said. “With the student’s address written on the envelope, I scoured the student database to find the student who had exactly the same address.”
Having successfully found the student’s contact information, Kim got in contact with the student. Unexpectedly, however, the student joyously cried over the phone for finding her love letter which was supposedly sent to her beloved boyfriend in the military.
Frivolously humorous incidents are also encountered by the SSC. Having lost her student ID card, a student came to the SSC to re-issue another one. As she dispiritedly filled in the Student ID Card Reissuing Form, she suddenly received a phone call. The student assistant was on the phone contacting another student who had coincidentally lost her student ID card as well.
“When I asked questions on the phone, the student who came to re-issue her student ID card seemed to be answering my questions on her phone also,” said Park Ju-yeon, a student assistant at the SSC. It turned out that Park was calling the student who came to reissue her student ID card.
“Fortunately, the student did not have to pay for reissuing a new student ID card and gleefully left the SSC,” Park said.
Returning lost valuable goods to owners is usually a happy news, but there are somber times too.
“One or two years ago, someone called to notify that an Ewha student’s ID card was found at a subway station,” said a student assistant who wishes to remain anonymous. “After waiting for about 40 seconds for someone to pick up the phone, the student’s father unexpectedly answered.”
Speaking in a very low monotonous voice, the father suddenly cried when she mentioned his daughter’s name and other contact information. “The student’s father explained that his daughter had been murdered two days earlier and that he was currently in the middle of her funeral,” she said. “Unsure of how to respond to the father, I listened to him with my blank mind turning white. As I hung up on the phone, tears ran across my cheeks. After that phone call, I was immersed in a trauma and I could not answer any phone calls that mentioned the word ‘student ID card’ for a while.”
When found items are returned to their owners, the student assistants feel a sense of heroic satisfaction. However, the more found items there are, the more time, space, and human resources are necessary in the SSC.
“It would be best if students take good care of personal belongings and claim lost items, even if they are small,” said Nam Kyeong-hee, SSC senior clerical staff.

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