Earlier this year, the SA Senate called on President Joel Seligman to donate university funds to the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. This request led to criticism of the Senate as many questioned the practicality of spending university money to fund outside charitable organizations, the precedent set by starting such a practice and the message it sent to students.

Rather than directly fund charitable organizations, an alternative proposed at the time was that UR assist in the fundraising efforts without spending the university’s money.

Seligman’s recent campaign to raise money for the Greater Rochester United Way/ Red Cross is an outstanding example of community leadership.

This establishes a standard of how to use university resources and man power to raise money rather than donating the university’s own funds to support charitable causes. While we are sure UR would love to be able to donate millions to every natural disaster or disease-related relief fund, the school cannot afford to hand over a year’s revenue in tuition every time a hurricane ravages the United States. What can be given is something much more significant than a blank check – our time.

As Rochester’s largest employer and as a beneficiary of United Way funds, UR has the responsibility to support the local community by raising money for the influential organization.

Since so many of UR’s charitable efforts, like Meals on Wheels and the Mt. Hope Family Center, survive on funding from United Way it is important that not only the university’s faculty and staff support this cause but that student groups take the initiative to help UR reach it’s $1 million goal.

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The Campus Times is live tracking the Gaza solidarity encampment on Wilson Quad and the administrative response to it. Read our updates here.

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