Ho’s role questioned

For the past few weeks, Chin Ho, who is taking a year off to do research at the College, has taken over some of the duties of College Council (CC) secretary, a position that he was elected to but not allowed to immediately assume because he is not currently an enrolled student. Jacob Eisler ’04, the other candidate for CC secretary in the March 7 election, has been executing the secretarial duties for the remainder of the semester in Chin’s absence. Chin, the brother of Ching Ho ’03, CC co-president, although not allowed to vote or publish any official documents, has been present at CC meetings and has been sharing certain tasks with Eisler.

“My understanding is that Jacob Eisler has been serving as acting secretary until Chin’s status changes, and then Chin will assume his full duties,” Roseman said.

Ho’s apparent assumption of certain duties has raised concerns among a number of CC members.

“Though Chin has limited his influence on CC to a relatively low level, especially compared to what it was in the past, he still plays enough of a role in Council so that his presence is felt, if only in a small way,” said Ben Cronin ’05, Morgan/Lehman representative. “Though I have the utmost personal regard for Chin, I am nevertheless troubled by the legality of this situation: the agreement, essentially, that Chin would resign from the post of secretary until he enrolls as a student, seems undermined to some extent if he is on the way to becoming the de facto secretary right now.”

According to a joint statement by Mark Rosenthal ’03 and Ching Ho ’03, CC co-presidents, the CC constitution states that Chin, even though not a student, may serve as a “secretarial assistant.”

“To date, he has not voted on any issue, has not served on the Appointments Committee and has not assumed responsibility for any Council related matters,” the statement reads. “He has, however, worked with several Council members as any non-Council member can, in advisory purposes – and there is consensus among College Council leadership that this is a good thing, for it will help prepare him to be a more knowledgeable and efficient secretary next year.”

Chin Ho discussed how thankful he was that Eisler could take such a large role on such short notice, as Chin decided to step down during spring break. “Jacob graciously accepted to be secretary, a rather thankless job, which I am still very thankful for,” Chin said. “I told him I’d help him any way I can.” He said he has been helping Eisler take notes, gather information for minute writing and writing CC’s agenda.

“Jacob is still responsible for writing the minutes, and has done so, placing finishing touches on Chin’s rather extensive notes and consolidated information he has gathered on projects.  Everything officially published still goes through Jacob, as he has the final say,” Ching Ho and Rosenthal wrote.

“I am responsible for all the duties of College Council secretary,” Eisler said. “Chin has been providing aid with certain minor things, like agendas, but I’m still voting and distributing minutes.” Eisler also mentioned the time-consuming work he has been doing on the new College Council website (http://wso.williams.edu/cc) as a reason Chin has been performing some secretarial duties. “If [Chin has] taken over anything, it’s because of this,” Eisler said. “You’re looking at a good 40 hours of work on that website.”

Chin Ho described his current role in CC as “advisor and encourager” and “the secretary’s secretary.”

“I am Jacob’s secretary or assistant due to my thanks and graciousness of him taking the job,” he said. “He has all the real powers and responsibilities of the secretary…and I help him get everything done.”

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