It is not often that our university faces a tragedy as terrible as the recent fire that took the lives of two international students. While many may have taken a moment to feel sad and have since moved on, one student in particular, a member of The Bulletin staff, has taken this tragedy and turned it into an opportunity for hope and support.
Sisi Huang, president of the Chinese Student Association and business manager for The Bulletin, has orchestrated the creation of a memorial fund – the Phoenix Charity Foundation. The PCF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that exists to supports the families of international students in emergency situations.
Sisi’s response was quick, having organized the foundation and acquired its IRS certification within one week of the accident. Putting aside her own grief over the loss of two friends, she had no hesitation whatsoever in her reaction.
Her work, which was accomplished in such a short time, is an outstanding addition to the many programs and organizations for international students that ESU has taken years to accumulate.
Her actions are amazing, not only in their immediacy and incredible selflessness, but in the context in which they are occurring.
During this time of economic crisis, when people are protesting the legal theft of their income and clinging onto every dollar they earn, it is not common for someone, especially a college student, to be fighting for the financial wellbeing of others. She used every resource she had, including her knowledge of business, to accomplish something that not every student could or would do in a similar situation.
Sisi has set an example for us all. Though this is a difficult time in our lives, we cannot forget the importance of altruism. Though we may be strapped for time, we cannot forget to volunteer. Though we may be swimming in debt, we cannot forget to donate.
The Bulletin is honored to have someone of such a high caliber work at our humble paper. Sisi is the kind of person who will take an emotional trauma and, instead of wallowing in sadness, funnel it into productivity and strength.
Her cheerful personality brightens our lives every week, and her airtight organization has been essential to the smooth running of our publication. Now, people around the world will feel the benefits of her love.
Sisi knew what had to be done, and she did it. We are so proud of her.