ASSU execs look for Haiti ‘czar’

Feb. 3, 2010, 12:01 a.m.

In the wake of the disastrous Jan. 12 Haiti earthquake, ASSU executives on campus are continuing their search to fill a newly-created paid position: “Haiti relief czar.”

The job, which would involve managing both on-campus and off-campus relief efforts, has so far had four student applicants. Currently scheduling interviews, the executives said they will likely appoint a student by next week.

The “czar” would receive a $500 stipend for 10 to 15 hours of work per week. Though the stipend will come out of Gobaud’s salary, some ASSU leaders last week questioned the decision to pay the czar.

“The idea that we’re paying someone to do a charity position just doesn’t go well with me,” said Adam Beber, a doctoral computer science student and member of the Graduate Student Council, at last week’s meeting. Other members supported the creation of the job.

ASSU President David Gobaud, a coterminal computer science student, has continued to push the job as a paid role.

“We believe that offering this stipend for what will be a full-time cabinet position is both fair and in keeping with our policy for other cabinet members [who are all paid],” wrote Gobaud in an e-mail to The Daily. He also pointed out that executives have created paid “czar” roles in the past.

Gobaud said that whoever fills the position will focus first and foremost on campus relief efforts.

“On campus, the HRC will work with individuals, dorms, [volunteer student organizations] and other organizations on events relating to Haiti relief,” Gobaud said. “This includes facilitating and collaboration among people with similar project ideas, planning and organizing events, coordinating with the ASSU, [and] acting as a liaison between students and administration.”

“The HRC will be able to use his/her experience with on-campus events to advise the group on the most successful strategies to raise money and awareness while working to get more students and colleges involved throughout the country,” Gobaud added.

As to the rationale for making the position a long-term job, Gobaud offered that “the thing to remember is there’s a lot more to rebuilding Haiti than money — it’ll take years.”

He said he will recommend that next year’s executives retain the czar job.

“At least through the end of our term — we would hope through at least the end of the year. We will recommend that they [the next administration] keep this person on their staff.”

—Daniel Khalessi

Login or create an account