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Associated Students’ Government reestablishes student emergency fund

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Photo by Daniel Potter
Photo by Daniel Potter

The Associated Students’ Government at CSU-Pueblo plans to re-launch the Student Emergency Fund at the Student Leadership and Involvement Awards Banquet April 14.

The program is meant to help students financially through tough times such as emergency situations, catastrophic events or any unexpected expenses that would put their education in jeopardy.

The fund will begin accepting donations in April but funds will not be able to disperse until an established amount has been raised by the fall 2015 semester.

Students and faculty, as well as the community, will be able to donate a minimum of $10 through text as well as online in the near future. Donors may also contribute more than $10 to the fund if they wish.

Funds will also be raised through several events and donation jars will be set up throughout campus.

“If each student gave $1 we would have about $4,700 right off the bat,” said ASG senator Sarah Zarr. “It would help students give back to their fellow students and get students in the mindset of philanthropy.”

In order for students to receive assistance, they must meet eligibility requirements.

Students may apply for funds when they have exhausted all other resources and must be enrolled full-time. Also, they must be in good academic standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Documentation of finances must be provided as well.

Applicants must have a CSU-Pueblo faculty or staff member fill out a recommendation form. A community member is also an accepted reference.

Types of covered expenses include medications, housing, childcare, groceries, school supplies and others.

“For instance, maybe there is a death in a student’s family and they don’t live here, so they would want to go home for the funeral, but they don’t have the money for it,” Zarr said. “They could apply for a grant for the plane ticket to attend the funeral.”

A committee will be established to review applications and make prompt decisions. It will consist of a CSU-Pueblo Foundation representative, the dean of students, along with three ASG representatives.

Zarr said the committee will be able to review and decide whether or not the student is eligible for the emergency funds within a week, or sooner depending on the circumstances.

Once approved, the student will receive the funds to assist their short-term financial needs and will not be required to pay back the money.

Generally, the amount dispersed will not exceed $500. If the situation requires more than the set amount, the committee will review the application further.

Students can receive the Student Emergency Fund twice during their undergraduate degree and only once during their graduate degree.

ASG President Timothy Zercher said the fund is meant to help students and also to help establish a campus of generosity and kindness.

“It supports what ASG is really trying for, which is creating a sense of community. It’s students helping fellow students who need it. I think it’s a good program and I can’t wait for it to start,” Zercher said.

“The program is perfect. It’s the absolute helping students when they need it, which is exactly what the student government is supposed to be doing,” he said.