The 2012 Class Council kicked off their Senior Class Gift Campaign with a happy hour for the senior class on Friday, Jan. 20 in Hirst Lounge in Wilson Commons. Rather than soliciting money for a lump sum donation, the Class Council has taken a different route this year and is asking seniors to donate to any aspect of campus that they are passionate about, such as sports, academic programs or clubs.
The Council believes allowing students to choose where their money will go will increase participation, which, more than a specific monetary goal, is the focus of the campaign, according to Administrative Chair of the Council and senior Trevor Baisden.
“It’s meant to encourage the class to come together and make their first donations as alumni,” he said, adding that many students are cynical about making donations because they erroneously believe that tuition more than covers all of UR’s expenses. In reality, student tuition only covers up to mid-March in the academic year, rendering donations imperative, he said.
“There are people who have made it possible for us to be here, so we should give back,” he explained.
At the ceremony on Friday all nine members of the Council and SA President and senior Bradley Halpern kicked off the fundraising with a symbolic contribution of $20 each and presented a check to encourage their fellow seniors to follow suit.
Other seniors at the event said they had already donated to a number of diverse parts of campus, such as the Art and Art History Department, the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership, the Center for Study Abroad and Interdepartmental Programs and the Shotokan Karate Club.
The Council has compiled a list of over 300 different funds that seniors can choose to support, Administrative Chair of the Council and senior Annamarie Spielmann explained. She also believes that donating is important for continuing a relationship with UR after graduation.
In past years, only about 20 percent of the senior class has donated, but the Council hopes that the new fundraising technique will increase that number to as much as 60 percent this year, she said.
As an added incentive, Dean of Students Matthew Burns announced his own challenge for the seniors: If 25 percent of the class donates, he will match all contributions with $5 of his own money. If 40 percent of the class donates, he will dress up in a Boar’s Head costume. If 60 percent donate, he will dress up as Rocky and sing “The Genesee” at high noon on the last day of classes. If 80 percent donate, he will shave his head and wear red skinny jeans at graduation rehearsal while singing “Livin’ la Vida Loca.”
To learn more about the campaign, or to donate, visit www.rochester.edu/2012, a site newly launched by the Council this year.
The senior class will also be tabling for contributions throughout the Spring semester.
Additional reporting by Alysha Alani, class of 2015.
Buletti is a member of the class of 2013.