Updated April 28. 2020
In March 2020, San Jose State’s Annual Giving partnered with SJSU Cares to launch a crowdfunding campaign to support the university’s Student Crisis Support Fund in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health pandemic. The Student Crisis Support Fund, administered by SJSU staff as part of the SJSU Cares initiative, provides immediate assistance to SJSU students who are facing unforeseen economic crises. This fund is entirely supported by charitable donations and helps meet students’ time-sensitive needs. Requests are increasing dramatically due to the ramifications of COVID-19.
Since the crowdfunding campaign’s launch on March 25, more than 550 donors have helped SJSU surpass its initial $50,000 goal. As of 48 hours before the April 30 campaign deadline, SJSU announced that corporate partner, Cisco Systems, agreed to match all donations in the final week up to a total of $10,000. This, combined with a $10,000 donation from Joan and Don Beall, San Jose State alumni, has brought SJSU close to reaching the goal of $125,000. Funds will address ongoing, anticipated and unforeseen economic needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has already disrupted the lives of life of SJSU students significantly, creating unexpected housing and food expenses, restricting travel and potentially stranding them away from home, limiting their income from hourly jobs, work-study positions, or internships or jobs that have been cancelled or put on hold, and creating other unforeseen challenges such as medical costs and technology resources they need to attend online classes. Some federal emergency funds exist to help students who are Pell- and FAFSA-eligible, but the funds won’t be available to help many other students, including international and undocumented and Dreamer students.
“By helping meet their immediate needs, the Student Crisis Support Fund can give SJSU students the ability to overcome the immediate difficult setbacks the pandemic poses,” said Ben Falter, SJSU behavioral intervention chair and senior student affairs case manager, who also responds to students requesting assistance from SJSU Cares. “However, recovery from the pandemic may take years, so the need will continue.”
“It’s encouraging to have so many in our Spartan community, especially San Jose State alumni and faculty and staff members, willing to support our students even as they too cope with the pandemic,” said Nancy Stewart, senior director of annual giving.