Student Emergency Fund grants exceed $50,000, meet essential needs

Roger Coda
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Over $50,000 has been distributed to 240 Fredonia students to help them cover unexpected expenses related to the healthcare crisis and the pivot to distance learning, thanks to faculty, staff, alumni and friends who made donations to the newly created Student Emergency Relief Fund established through the Fredonia College Foundation.

Individual grants between $100 and $500 were given to students to help them meet technology needs, purchase supplies needed to complete course work online, address food insecurity and cover other basic needs.

“It has been heartwarming to see Fredonia’s faculty and staff, alumni, and friends come together to help Fredonia students experiencing hardship due to the transition to distance education,” - Fredonia College Foundation Executive Director Betty Gossett.

“It has been heartwarming to see Fredonia’s faculty and staff, alumni, and friends come together to help Fredonia students experiencing hardship due to the transition to distance education,” said Fredonia College Foundation Executive Director Betty Gossett.

“The immediate and generous response for the Fredonia Student Emergency Relief Fund allowed the foundation to get much needed resources quickly into the hands of students in time for it to relieve some of the challenges they faced during this unprecedented time,” Ms. Gossett added.

The funds that Vinace, a Business Administration major, received went to cover his essential expenses that allowed him to connect to his online classes. “I was able to continue trying to complete my work online, yet it was still overwhelming,” Vinace said. “I was very thankful and felt a little less pressure from this pandemic.”

Maddy used her allocation to help purchase a much-needed laptop. This helped Maddy to be able to spread her learning throughout the day instead of having to consolidate it in between 5 p.m. and midnight on a shared laptop.

The computer will be used by Maddy, who is majoring in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, with a concentration in Finance, during her remaining years at Fredonia.

The allocated funds Yek received were used to pay a month’s worth of medical insurance, which SUNY requires of all international students, as well as miscellaneous items, such as the telephone bill and course supplies, so he was able to focus all of his attention to the distance education transition.

“There were a couple things that I needed the money for urgently that I didn't know where I would find the money for, so when I got the email I just let out a huge sigh of relief,” - Yek

“I was relieved more than anything,” Yek said upon learning that his application was accepted. “There were a couple things that I needed the money for urgently that I didn't know where I would find the money for, so when I got the email I just let out a huge sigh of relief,” he said. Yek, who is from Malaysia, has three majors: Physics, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics.

“I felt relieved being that someone heard what I had to say and was able to help me during this crazy time,” Brianna said.

The Emergency Relief Fund assisted Brianna, a Communication: Public Relations major, with food, a new charger and extension cord.

The fund has helped to enable Jun, who lost her part-time job at Cranston Marche due to coronavirus restrictions, to continue to live and study at Fredonia. She avoided the risk of infection if she would have traveled back to China, and was able to continue online studies, which Jun says is hard to do in China because of the way the Internet works there.

A grant allowed Jun to continue telephone service, so she could complete online classes, reach her family in China and purchase food and other necessities needed that her family could not help with since they could not send funds from her home country.

Jun indicated the assistance program relieves the economic pressure felt by students and shows them that the university cares for them. “This is the love and help from the faculty members who are like family members,” Jun said.

“It is a nice surprise; my heart is filled with gratitude. Because I know that, I can continue to study here, I am here pursuing my dreams and doing what I love,” said Jun, who is majoring in Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

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