A new Student Support Fund program administrated by Associate Provost for Student Success David Wilmes will help students by providing short-term financial relief.
“We thought, ‘wouldn’t it be really helpful for our students to have some sort of source that they could tap into if they ran into an emergency and needed some funding that they didn’t have to pay back and didn’t have to add to their student loans.’” Wilmes said. “As much as possible we try to connect them with ongoing assistance.”
If a student needs something like groceries, gas or even a winter coat it’s now possible thanks to the support fund. SRU students now have access to short-term financial relief thanks to the generosity of donors around campus. This program has been administrated by the University’s Office of the Associate Provost for Student Success.
“I believe that the fund really came about from being at the right place at the right time.” said Karla Fonner, director of student support.
Fonner believes that the fund came from different people across campus who had good ideas but weren’t making progress with introducing the plan.
The need for the fund came from student reports that Fonner would get from either professors or even a student’s friend that expressed concern about a student. Through speaking with students, Fonner was able to see if there were any issues the student may be having, such as not paying a bill, and then helping them to enter the program.
“If the student chooses to come in we talk about what’s going on, what’s impacting their life and it was in those conversations that I was picking up on things where they had some needs that were affecting them that were financially based,” Fonner said.
As for how the program is funded, SRU recently held an event hosted by the University Foundation called ‘A Day of Giving’ and during that event donators like the Victim Outreach Intervention Center (VOICE), and Butler County Humane Society attended. The organizations donated money to help the students, with the money being used to fund the program. The event brought in $22,000 from donors who attended, part of which will be used to fund the student support program.