By Becca Bona
From around a conference table within UALR’s Bailey Center, ten members of the newly formed Trojans Supporting Trojans council met to discuss their mission in early August.
Derek Boyce, Membership Coordinator of the UALR Alumni Association called the students a “select group.” Truly, the students represent various corners of the campus with nearly every interest combination covered. Art club, athletic groups, Greek life and business clubs were but a few of the extracurricular and organizations mentioned from the attending students.
Beneath the Alumni Association, the group will begin philanthropic measures in a move to give back to UALR from a student perspective. Along the lines of paying it forward, the student fundraising will be driven by UALR logoed piggy banks.
The council was created to raise money for the fund for UALR, as well as to trickle philanthropic needs down to a student level.
The fund for UALR, also known as UALR’s annual fund, meets various needs that tuition and state funding cannot cover. This could include purchasing textbooks for students in the Academic Success Center or even helping with the cost of study abroad programs. Also, the money has helped supplement scholarships, as well as travel costs for student-led organizations in order for them to attend to conferences and other events.
Students on the council are familiar with fundraising on various levels. When asked about their experiences, students took turns detailing their involvement with charity work and fundraising in the past spanning the race for the cure and familiar food drives.
The hope of starting a tradition of giving back aims to show that no donation is too small. Boyce explained, “The goal is to let your change make change. We’re looking for small donations, 15 cents here, 10 cents there.”
The members will set up a table at Burgers at Bailey on Aug. 20 with Trojan piggy banks. Students-at-large will be able to check out a pig for the semester. There will be two cash in dates during October and December, and at the end of the semester their efforts will be quantified and even tax deductible.
Sarah Harrison, Annual Fund Manager, also spoke with the council. She explained that within the parameters of the annual fund, “We attempt to fund only student-centered programs.”
In order to “keep with tradition,” as Boyce said, an initial pledge of 19.27 from each of the members will kick off the funding. The numbers represent the year that Little Rock Junior College, the predecessor to UALR, was established.
The goal of each council member is to get at least 27 other students involved with giving. Then, at the end of the year the money will be measured and allocated according to student need and in conjunction with the annual fund.
Harrison suggested alerting interested parties to check the annual fund’s Web Site – ualr.edu/annualfund – which provides a list of different stories of those affected positively by the fund.
She also noted the fund’s overall importance: “Some school’s […] annual fund goes to pay the bills. Our annual funds […] are all student driven programs.”
The student attitude was one of positivity. One remark after another suggested that the council was ready to go out and get started; after all, they’re only asking for some spare change.