Amanda Brail – News Reporter –
Southern Connecticut State University’s Senior Class Campaign is a success so far because of the hard work of two student workers, according to Jamie Toth, faculty coordinator for the Senior Class Campaign.
“I work with the budget and the numbers,” said Toth, “but the student workers are the heart of the campaign.”
Toth said student workers for the development office, Sarah Lukaszek, senior liberal studies major, and Taylor Blauvelt, senior liberal studies major, have been hard at work raising money to give back to the university.
“The goal is to get all of the seniors to donate $20.13 to the campaign in commemoration of their graduation year,” said Lukaszek.
The senior class campaign’s first large scale event took place Thursday, Mar. 7 and, according to Lukaszek and Blauvelt, was a huge success.
Lukaszek said the senior class candy bar, in which students could make a donation and fill up a pint glass with various candy, raised over 4,000 dollars. Blauvelt said donations, made mostly by seniors and grad school students, also earned them a senior class t-shirt and their name on a nine-foot banner at the commencement ceremony.
“People loved it,” said Blauvelt, “there was a huge line while we were still setting up.”
Toth said 100 percent of the proceeds from all of the senior class campaign events go back to the university in the form of scholarships and student initiatives so students will “reap the benefits” in following years.
She said the campaign is less about money and more about the number of people that participate.
“While dollars are important,” said Toth, “it’s the participation that we care about and the involvement of the students.”
“The goal is to get everyone involved in giving back and to show them how the scholarships make a difference,” said Lukaszek. “Sometimes it decides whether or not someone can go to school.”
Blauvelt said why she believes the event was a success.
“When students see that they get all these things, but they’re also giving back to other students,” she said, “it just means a lot more.”
She also said that she and Lukaszek have put a lot into the senior class campaign and began planning it last summer in conjunction with the senior class committee; which organizes trips and events to raise money for the graduating class.
“We introduced the lucky number 13 concept way back in November at the Senior Bar Night put on by the senior e-board,” said Lukaszek. “We’ve been working with them to get the word out and they even attended our candy bar event.”
She said the reason she was so interested in running the campaign was the opportunity to get involved in philanthropy.
“I saw how everything came together last year from the very beginning to the final product,” said Lukaszek, “all the money that the person who planned it last year raised and the proud feeling she had afterwards – that’s what made me want to do it.”
Toth said she hopes the senior class campaign will help build camaraderie between students.
“We want students to keep ties after they go off and become alumni,” said Toth. “Students who are involved while they’re here are more likely to stay involved after they graduate.”
She also said she hopes the campaign will show students the importance of giving back to the university.
“We don’t students to graduate and go off and only come back once a year for homecoming,” she said. “We want students to have a legacy here at Southern.”