Wise Words from the VP, February 2018

Feb. 1, 2018

Financial hardships can have a negative impact on sustaining a student’s enrollment and academic interests, as well as providing an adequate quality of life.

For example, food insecurity is a reality for some of our students. Student Emergency Services in the Office of the Dean of Students supported 66 students in 2015-2016 and 73 students in 2016-2017 with specific food-related needs through the Student Emergency Fund.

Some students also lack the resources to own clothing appropriate for job interviews or work. In 2016-2017, Student Emergency Services helped 224 students with financial emergencies, and provided over $30,000 in emergency aid through the Student Emergency Fund for items like clothing.

I am excited to share a new initiative that not only will support students with these challenges — it will also be managed by student volunteers. This initiative includes two services for students.

A campus food pantry is being established to help students with the goal of providing access to nutritious food so no student has to wonder if they’ll have enough to eat.

A campus career closet will advance student success by providing interview and/or work clothes for students.

Will Ross joined our team as the Student Emergency Services Coordinator for both projects. He will lead a volunteer team of students. They will learn valuable job skills as they help manage daily operations, stocking, donation drives, marketing and maintenance. The pantry is committed to partnering with student organizations.

Both operations will be located at 2609 University Avenue. Currently the programs are receiving donations, creating/implementing procedures and developing marketing materials. A hard opening is scheduled for this year.

You may ask, “How can I help?” You can email Will Ross with questions about initiatives or to set up a donation.

Student-driven initiatives like these are what makes the Division of Student Affairs shine. They are among the many ways our programs, facilities and services change the lives of our students.

We’re asking our students to contribute by suggesting a name for this initiative. Please encourage students to participate in the Office of the Dean of Students’ Name the Pantry, Fill the Pantry! Contest through March 2.

We are also asking everyone for help with our Name the Pantry, Fill the Pantry! donation drive for nutritious food and cleaned professional clothing to start these programs off ready to help our students succeed. To learn how to make a donation, click the link.

Hook ‘em,

Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students