SOS Fund meets emergency insecurity needs


Tamonda GriffithsNews Writer

The Support Our Students Fund is not a brand-new idea or fund, said Vice President for Student Affairs Tracy Tyree.

“It’s a fund that we have given a name to,” said Tyree, “that will resonate for people to give. It is used for emergency needs of students.”

An emergency, Tyree said, would be when “a student is unable to do something related to their livelihood.”

“It is not a form of financial aid,” said Tyree.

The fund, Tyree said is meant to assist students in instances such as homelessness, hunger or recent victims of a house fire. Students experiencing continual problems with paying their tuition could not use it since it is not intended to fill “an on-going gap,” she said.

In terms of her role regarding the SOS Fund, Tyree said she helps to raise awareness.

“For Giving Day we have really tried to expand our reach in Student Affairs,” said Tyree, “to help students and alums and family and friends kind of be aware of the needs that our students have so that we can increase the giving through Giving Day to the SOS Fund.”

Tyree said there are programs that consist of the “idea of students needing support” such as Swipe-It Forward and the Mobile Food Pantry.

There are also multiple funds already in place that are meant to assist and support the “emergent needs of students.”

However, some of those funds have restrictions that limit their availability to certain students, she said.

According to the Giving Day website, the fund was the fourth highest donated to with several donors and has raised several thousand dollars.

Campus Compact for Southern New England AmeriCorps Vista member Aleyra Lamarche said this fund is a chance for people to, “put their money, where their mouth is.”

“Really [the giving is] across the board,” said Dean of Student Affairs Jules Tetreault. “Faculty, staff, students, alumni, external, the [the SCSU Foundation] board itself.”

Tetreault said the SOS fund was before his time at university, but since he has been working at Southern, the fund has fallen under his office’s management.

“One, is to continue to help bring awareness,” said Tetreault. “To put it out there for everybody. To have an opportunity to, to play in, in this arena in supporting our students in this way. On the other side of it, I serve in the – more in the direct service side.”

This fund, Tetreault said is purposeful and intentional to “reframe” how to better meet a student’s basic needs.

Tetreault said his other intention to grow the fund is a, “more comprehensive structural support” of students directly and indirectly.

Some monies raised for the fund, he said, could be for the installation of an opportunity center on campus.

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