Doubts on the use of the student council fee arose with the embezzlement by the 23rd student representative of ELTEC College of Engineering, which was disclosed in March.
Lee, the 23rd co-representative of the College of Engineering, was denounced due to her breach of duty and embezzlement. She was the co-representative of En-try, the 23rd student council of College of Engineering.
On March 28, a poster condemning Lee of mismanaging the student council fee was attached on the student council bulletin board in Asan Engineering Building by SHEAR, the 1st student council of Division of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering (DMBE). SHEAR demanded Lee to attend the Meeting of Student Representatives of College of Engineering for the first half year and fully explain her embezzlement. However, when Ewha Voice attended the meeting on April 4, Lee did not appear.
During the meeting, SHEAR claimed that 1,209,485 won of their student council fee was used for Lee’s personal purposes. SHEAR further denounced that Lee arbitrarily spent 1,235,000 won for purchasing food ingredients Sundae for Daedong Festival from the account she had been using to manage the student council fee for the division. SHEAR commented that Lee further faked the account book as if it were withdrawn from En-try’s account. Moreover, SHEAR found out that 1,581,250 won of their student council fee was missing due to her mismanagement in the student council fee.
Lee did restore the amount she used for personal means, but according to SHEAR, it is not clear if this is the actual amount. This is because it seems that she has sent them an inaccurate copy of her bank account. Currently, Lee is unreachable. Hence, the 24th student council of the College of Engineering has restored the expense that Lee arbitrarily used for Daedong festival and the missing student council fee.
“We feel betrayed at the fact that an ex-student representative embezzled the student council fee for one’s own good,” said Son Ju-heon, a junior majoring in DMBE. “I can’t even imagine how hard it must be for our current representatives to resolve this issue.”
The embezzlement was unveiled when Lee was handing the budget over to the 1st co-representatives of DMBE; SHEAR. As DMBE was newly formed in 2017, there had been no student representatives from its division until 2019 due to the college’s student council rules - only those who have been enrolled for four or more semesters in each department are qualified to run for the student representatives. Therefore, Lee stood in for the representative of the division and managed their budget throughout 2018.
Through the embezzlement disclosure, a loophole in the current student council rules of the College of Engineering was revealed - there were no audit systems. Until now, the only evidence for checking the usage of budget was the closing accounts that were solely written and submitted by the student representatives. However, according to an announcement by the 24th Operation Committee of College of Engineering which was attached on April 2 in Asan Engineering Building, few students pointed out that the closing accounts cannot guarantee the transparent usage of the student council fee, considering the possibility of manipulating the ledgers. In order to prevent similar incidents from happening, the Operation Committee came up with new rules regarding transparency.
“We will allow any students who attend the Meeting of Student Representatives to request access to student council ledgers and further require the representatives to include evidence such as receipts when writing these ledgers,” the announcement read. “We also concluded that an audit system was necessary to guarantee the transparent management of student council fee. We plan to reexamine the overall student council rules of ELTEC College of Engineering with the aim of adding audit-related rules in the Meeting of Student Representatives for the second half year.”
“I was deeply disappointed by Lee’s irresponsible attitude and I profess my utmost regret that she is currently not responding to any of our attempts at contact,” commented An Hyeon-ju, the other 23rd co-representative of En-try when asked about the current situation. “As a co-representative of En-try, I feel sorry for letting my fellow students down regarding this unfortunate case. We are constantly requesting Lee to apologize sincerely and explain the situation fully.”
“There are still many questions unanswered regarding the 2018 accounts of DMBE, which cannot be solved unless Lee steps up,” said Park Se-won and Yum Ha-eun, the 1st co-student representatives of SHEAR. “We promise that we will try our best to resolve this issue and further demand Lee to take responsibility.”