The Dean of Students Office is fundraising emergency financial aid for nearly 8,500 Texas State students who are from Houston and other surrounding areas that were affected by the storm.
Dean of Students is the department responsible for assisting students who have been involved in natural disasters or other emergencies.
This type of financial aid is to help students not only get back on track with the delayed school year start, but to also ensure that students are able to continue attending college, rather than dropping out because of these emergencies. Although this funding does not pay the full tuition price of the semester, it can significantly help these students pay for the classes they are taking, varying between the type of assistance they apply for.
Margarita Arellano, associate vice president for student affairs and Dean of Students, said the fund will benefit students depending on the circumstance.
“A lot of our students are still back home, so they will be coming in and they’ll say, ‘Hey I lost my laptop’,” Arellano said. “Their family may have lost everything.”
This campaign is not just for the relief of Hurricane Harvey victims. The department is continuously aiding students year-round for any emergency that may occur throughout the year, such as family matters or other natural disaster related events.
“Any money that goes toward it is continuous, we are always helping students. You would be surprised of all the emergencies we receive,” Arellano said.
The Dean of Students Office assists with more than just financial aid though. For example, this fund could help students pay for a bus ticket from their house to the school if they are unable to afford transportation from their area due to the flooding. If anything was damaged or lost in the flood, students can apply for assistance and receive help within 24 hours.
Dan Perry, vice president for university advancement, said the effects of Harvey has been noticeable since Aug. 28.
“The Dean of Students received over 90 calls on the first day,” Perry said. “From students who weren’t able to attend class this week due to the devastation of the hurricane,”
The fundraising goal was originally set at $10,000 but has since been surpassed and raised to $25,000, due to the contributions of the community.
In as little as a week, there was more than 250 donors who have partaken in this event, and this number continues to grow as more people find out about the opportunity.
According to the crowdfunding page, “Every gift makes a difference, no matter the size. We are Bobcats helping Bobcats.”
Although the end date for donations is Sept. 28, students in need are currently eligible for financial and other forms of assistance and do not have to wait until this date to receive aid.
In the past, the Dean of Students Office has put on other similar campaigns, such as the fundraiser helping people affected by the Memorial Day flood in 2015 that resulted in more than $7 million in damages.
Contribution can be made on the crowdfunding website. More information about this campaign can be found by visiting the Dean of Students office on the fifth floor of the LBJ Student Center.
The Dean of Students Office encourages everyone to consider donating to support students who have been affected by this tragic event.
Students in need of student emergency services, can call the Dean of Students Office at 512-245-2124 or submit an application through the office’s website.