Student Government has teamed up with the EMU Foundation to fund a project called the Student Emergency Fund, a project that will aid students who are struggling financially at Eastern Michigan.
President Ethan Smith presented this project as a top priority for Student Government at the EMU Foundation Board meeting and explained the project as being a one-time lifeline for students.
“Students can apply to this fund for a one-time monetary grant of up to $750 that does not need to be repaid if they find themselves experiencing an unforeseen crisis,” Smith said.
Smith is a trustee of the EMU Foundation, an Eastern Michigan University non-profit that manages the university’s endowment.
Smith said this project was brought to life due to Student Government bringing needed attention to the fund, and largely due to fundraising through the EMU Foundation.
“The funds raised so far have been in collaboration with the EMU Foundation,” Smith said. “The gifts of Foundation Trustees, external donors and corporate matches got us to the number we are at today. However, this fund would not have the attention of the board if it wasn’t a Student Government priority. At my first Board meeting as a Trustee, I picked this project as the one thing that I want to do with my time at the Foundation.”
Smith also said the Student Government has been interested in the idea of creating this emergency fund for awhile since many students often come to its members for help.
Foundation Board Chair Molly Leumpert-Coy said she started fundraising by starting a challenge where she pledged $500 that DTE Energy matched. She then challenged other board members to do the same.
Within a week, the Board had comprised $10,000. This was the initial goal to start the endowment and earn interest.
In just two weeks, this goal was surpassed significantly through donations and fundraising. $46,800 was raised.
The fund is currently active, and students can apply through the grant as long as they meet certain eligibility requirements.
Smith said: “There is a form that students fill that verify that they meet the eligibility requirements, [such as] taking at least 6 credits, [having] good academic standing, [show that they] demonstrated hardship and provided documentation of expense, demonstrate they have reached out to other resources first, etc., provide additional information, and make their case to receive funding. These applications are looked at by a review committee with representatives for various offices.”
The application said the fund will possibly cover expenses such as “books and other essential academic expenses, housing needs (replacement of personal belongings due to theft, fire, or natural disaster), transportation/bus passes, medical care, child care, housing/rent, and food/meals.”
Applications can be emailed to Professor Doris Fields at firstname.lastname@example.org.