Supporting students in crisis during COVID-19

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Photo by Colin Lancaster

Last week, the University of Dallas announced the much-needed creation of an emergency relief fund to assist students affected by the international COVID-19 crisis.

To date, this fund has raised almost $121,000 from 263 separate gifts. These gifts make a real difference—helping to facilitate access to technology, internet and food through additional scholarship assistance and through other means for our fellow students most in need.

As our community continues to work towards sufficiently supporting all of our students in this challenging and unpredictable time, our shared goal must be clear: UD must continue to meet student needs to the full extent of what is possible and appropriate, so that every student may be able to prioritize their personal and familial well-being, as well as their scholarly success.

In pursuit of this goal, every dollar makes a difference. This is why our Student Government Senate should commit to allocating at least 30% of our unallocated dollars at the end of the year, or an amount roughly equivalent to SG’s canceled spring programming, to the emergency student relief fund.

It is true that there are several other worthy causes that, as SG, we must continue to steadfastly and constructively aid. Before the end of the year, a personal goal of mine is to work with the Senate to buy some very nice thank-you bags with gift cards and more for our campus facilities staff and UDPD officers, who continue to diligently hold down the fort in our temporary absence. SG would also do well to allocate further funds toward the longer-term Stations of the Cross project, which Senator Bryce Baumann and I have consistently worked to move forward and which requires continued SG support.

Thankfully, it’s not a zero-sum game between any of these causes. We can—and indeed must—bolster each of these important objectives, and with the unfortunate but necessary cancellation of our remaining programming, we have the funds to do so.

As SG, we must continue to see through the goals we’ve set. But, we must also step up to the plate and meet the challenge of this moment. Our fellow students need help; let’s serve them in the most useful way we can by directly supporting their most immediate needs.

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