Crowd-Funding Underway for Rutgers LGBTQA Students in Need

Crowd-Funding Underway for Rutgers LGBTQA Students in Need

Fund would help students who lose financial support for school when they need it most

Rutgers Rainbow R
The Rutgers Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities, Office of the Deans of Students and the Rutgers Foundation are raising money for an LGBTQA Student Emergency Fund.

'Safer spaces don’t matter if our students don’t have access to them, and what I mean is affordability and economic access.'
 
– Zaneta Rago, director of the Rutgers Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities (SJE).

Every semester, a few students in the LGBTQA community are in a financial bind. Some lose financial support for school from families when they identify as a member of the LGBTQA community. Others come from families who accept their identities but are experiencing economic difficulties.

“Safer spaces don’t matter if our students don’t have access to them, and what I mean is affordability and economic access,” said Zaneta Rago, director of the Rutgers Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities (SJE).

That’s why SJE is working with the LGBTQ & Diversity Resource Center, Rutgers University-Newark, the Office of the Deans of Students and the Rutgers Foundation to raise money for an RULGBTQA Student Emergency Fund. The aim is to raise $19,920 in honor of the center’s founding year, 1992. The campaign will end following the May 6 Rainbow Graduation ceremony for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Allies (LGBTQA) graduates, the culmination of GAYpril events planned this spring.

“Every year we have a handful of students who struggle with family acceptance after coming out and are in need of things like emergency housing; enrollment support; and additional resources for textbooks, meals, and commuting expenses,” Rago said. The center provides educational, social, and leadership development programs and activities for LGBTQ students, allies and staff/faculty liaisons for LGBTQ students.

The campaign is among the first crowd-funding efforts by the Rutgers Foundation, Rago said. “The great thing about crowd-source funding is that it’s students lifting one another up,” Rago said. “We’ve got different levels of giving, so we are engaging not only our alumni, faculty and staff but it’s fellow students, too, and that really means something.”

The idea for the special fund arose as more students approached the center with financial needs and applied for assistance through the Office of the Deans of Students, Rago said. The Deans of Students work with struggling students on multiple fronts including connecting them to various networks of support and resources to aid in pursuit of a successful academic career.

 
 
Dory Devlin

 


For media inquiries, please contact Dory Devlin, Rutgers Media Relations, at ddevlin@ucm.rutgers.edu