The Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU) will be donating the remaining eligible funds in the sponsored projects account to both the Boise State grocery gift card program and the emergency funds program.
Generally, these funds are provided to students who request money from ASBSU assembly for events, conferences and other occasions relating to students, such as the Seven Arrows Powwow, student-led projects like Bronco Beam and women’s leadership conferences, according to ASBSU student body president Kaleb Smith.
The remaining funds of $13,100 in the account will be divided in half, with near equal parts going to the emergency funds program and the food pantry.
“The Dean of Students had over 100 requests for the $400 emergency funds, and they had a big account and they still have money in it, but every donation adds more to it and the more students can benefit from the funds,” Smith said.
Over 100 requests for the emergency funds from mid March to April 21 directly mentioned COVID-19 in their reasonings, according to Anna Moreshead, assistant dean of students.
Moreshead noted that the average number of requests per year ranges from 80 to 90.
Each recipient of the funds can request the full amount of $400 and as of April 21, the Office of the Dean of Students has granted around $43,000, according to Moreshead. The original amount in the account each year is $55,000.
“It would not surprise me if we hit that $55,000 mark,” Moreshead said. “And what really I’ve been tasked to do is make sure that we are not going to spend over that. Ultimately, with the ASBSU [donation]and then advancement, our foundation, who works with donors, they have been working so hard to raise funds during this time.”
The University Foundation works with the Division of University Advancement to raise money for a number of scholarships, grants and additional programs for students, according to the University Foundation website.
“[The University Foundation has] so many super creative ways that they ask for support and right now, I know they really have to scale back like we all have, but they are prioritizing the emergency fund and the pantry fund over, all other initiatives right now,” Moreshead said. “So, that’s been really helpful because I think that speaks to the help that has come in so far.”
Smith reached out to the students of the ASBSU assembly to see if anyone could offer ideas or suggestions on how to help programs on campus, as well as students overall.
Karl Prokop, a senior double major in entrepreneurship management and human resource management, and ASBSU vice president Mikayla Melchert had the same idea. Prokop and Melchert realized that all events and travels were canceled, so the funds would be sitting unused in the account.
“I personally have taken advantage of the student emergency funds. I do work for the university but in campus facilities and we’re not the highest paid individuals on campus,” Prokop said. “With a wife and two girls, you know every little bit [counts and]every once in awhile, you need that help.”
According to Moreshead, the majority of the money from the emergency funds program has gone towards internet bills, plane tickets either internationally or nationally, phone bills and rent.
The idea to split the funds between the two programs was initiated due to the realization that students may need money for more than food and possibly could have other bills or medical needs, according to Prokop.
“Anything we can do to help our fellow students in my opinion, that’s what we’re for,” Prokop said. “That’s what ASBSU is for and that’s what the assembly is for is to speak up and to make sure that these things are acknowledged and recognized and supported as best we can.”