On April 2, Utica College’s Office of Advancement will engage both alumni and friends of the college in a fundraising initiative to support students and areas of the college that are most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This campaign is an important component in response to the crisis and the college encourages support, according to a campus-wide memo from UC President Laura Casamento.
Originally, April 2 was dedicated to “Give Day II” which gave the UC community an opportunity to give to a certain area, organization on campus or a scholarship. However, shortly after in-person classes were suspended, it was clear the idea needed to be pivoted to directly benefit UC students that are affected by the pandemic, said Kerr Flanders, director of Annual Support Programs.
She said this effort will benefit students in the long run and in the short term. The short term meaning those who face immediate challenges such as technology expenses, travel costs and housing insecurities. In the long run it would benefit the college’s resources, such as financial aid and technology.
“We also had to make some changes given social distancing guidelines-obviously, our in-person events and outreach efforts had to be adapted to a virtual format,” Flanders said. “We’re continuing to develop these efforts now.”
The original “superhero” theme that was a part of last year’s Give Day will not be associated with this fundraiser.
Another fundraiser going on is the new Student Emergency Fund, organized by the Senior Class.
Senior Casey Hourican said the Student Emergency Fund is ongoing and anyone is welcome to donate to it.
“I definitely think this fund is crucial because this fund could help those students who are experiencing hardships during this time,” Hourican said.
Senior Brealle Brown is part of the Senior Class gift committee and said the fund is dedicated to helping students overcome unforeseen financial crises. Brown and other students said she realized that emergencies happen within the UC community.
“Sometimes an emergency can cause a student to question whether they can finish the semester, or even graduate,” Brown said.
She said she and other members of the senior class executive board tossed around several ideas and saw that other schools were raising money for a Student Emergency Fund that helped fellow classmates facing hard times. The group decided to go with that idea because they thought it would be the best way to leave a legacy and make an impact at UC.
For the Student Emergency Fund, all seniors are challenged to make a gift of $20.20 in honor of the graduating year, but Brown said a meaningful gift of any amount is appreciated.
Brown said UC has been doing a lot in this crucial time to ensure students are financially successful. She added that the senior class executive board hopes to get as many seniors involved by making gifts and encouraging friends and families to do the same.
“We all are in a very unfortunate situation, but we want to make the best of the little bit of senior pride we still have,” Brealle said.
To give to the Emergency Relief Fund to help students that are affected by COVID-19, visit:
To give to the Student Emergency Fund and Senior Class gift, visit: https://www.givecampus.com/schools/UticaCollege/2020-class-family-gift-challenge/?a=2998549#updates