One phrase comes to mind when describing this week's HCBU campus cutie: “BU 500.”
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, allow me to explain: if you're an extremely involved student here at BU, you belong in this category of the alleged “same 500 students” who participate actively in the BU community, whether that be through the Community Service Center, Student Activities Office, Center for Career Development, Educational Resource Center or club organizations.
But when it comes to Sua Morales, a junior majoring in PR and minoring in computer science, you might even think of him to be in the top ten percent of this group.
“I have a really deep conviction to help people,” he said, citing his participation in Boy Scouts and The Giving Tree as his influences.
“Service was always emphasized, and it was a concept my mom believed in as well,” Morales said. “I remember this one day, she made us go to as many neighbors as we could and offer to do chores, like throw their trash and wash their cars.”
As for The Giving Tree, the theme of selflessness has stayed with him throughout college, he said.
Before he applied to BU, Morales, of San Diego, Calif., admitted he didn't know BU existed, but he wanted to explore the school, find out what its resources were and help people. And man, does he help people.
“Whatever it is, I was a member of it,” Morales said.
Freshman year, Morales worked at SAO's Activities Information Desk on the second floor of the GSU, where he answered students' quick inquiries. He said he loved those micro-interactions, because he could help people in just 15 seconds.
Morales also worked for the Mugar Undergraduate Greene Scholars, or MUGS for short, a group of students working for BU's Mugar Library and managing its blogs called The UnCommon Discussion and new@BU.
“I love libraries, so I said, 'Why not work for them?' ” Morales said, who worked as a PR manager for new@BU.
That summer after his freshman year, Dean of Students Ken Elmore offered him a job to work in his office, after having breakfast with him.
“That was awesome. As a freshman, that was a dream come true,” he said, referring to Dean Elmore's celeb status on campus.
So it comes as no surprise that Morales would occasionally attend Dean Elmore's weekly Coffee and Conversation at the Howard Thurman Center.
But would Morales consider he and the Dean to be close friends?
“He's my boy, for sure,” Morales laughed, adding that he has had dinner with him at the Dean's house.
And that's not all. During his sophomore year, Morales developed an interest in startup culture, with the goal of helping others through entrepreneurship. He helped organize Startup Weekend, where groups of six to seven students attempt to build a company in just 54 hours.
Of course, all this success did not come without obstacles. Morales admitted he did not always “see eye-to-eye with people.”
For instance, tickets to Startup Weekend cost $90, and he wanted to ensure money was not an issue for people who could not afford it.
After “heated discussions” with his teammates who didn't think of ticket cost as a priority, Morales said he reached out to Stay in MA, a scholarship program for Massachusetts-based college student, and secured scholarship money.
Back on campus, Morales was involved in various club organizations, from more cultural ones like Phi Iota Alpha to political like Student Union.
Morales said he finally settled down with the Catholic Center, where he is on the Fundraising Committee to help raise funds for the center.
In the end, he realized his goal of making change by helping people would overrule all others.
For example, with the club he founded last year called The Oval Office, he hopes to help low-income families get the trees they want this Christmas by selling empty, unused parking lots to tree vendors, who then give tree certificates for low-income families.
Morales also co-founded the Delta Tau Delta fraternity here at BU, the founding of which he compares to that of a startup.
It's yet another way to make an impact, he said.
But how does he balance it all? Morales' secrets to success are Google Calendar and beginning every day at 6:30 every morning with a workout.
“It feels great – after the workout, that is – and gets you ready for the day,” he said.
But if waking up early doesn't work for you, consider what you'll be doing after graduation.
“Take your dream job, do you really see it being easier than college?” he said. “Learn to manage your time here, have fun and set your priorities.”
Morales is now a student ambassador for the CCD/ERC, where he gives weekly presentations for its various workshops, ranging from face-to-face networking to test prep.
“Older friends told me I would only get to pick two between sleep, a social life or good grades,” he said. “Pick what matters most to you.”
Want to learn more about Sua? Follow him on Twitter! And yes, he's single.