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Helping students in crisis

Helping students in crisis

Thomas M. Columbus March 30, 2020

Established in 2010, the University of Dayton Student Crisis Fund averaged five requests per year — until Memorial Day 2019 when tornadoes struck Dayton. Then 15 students needed help.

brick walkway on campus with studentsThe tornadoes damaged students’ off-campus housing and destroyed their furniture. Their aid helped with temporary housing, food and other essentials.

As the novel coronavirus hit Dayton in March, in less than two weeks, 236 students — mostly graduate students and international students — had requested aid.

Many of the students requesting aid now were employed on campus. Those jobs are gone. Some of the students have children, now home from shuttered schools, to feed. Requests are for help with groceries, rent, utilities and in some cases transportation home — though travel has become difficult and sometimes impossible.

Situations that caused students in the past to request assistance from the Student Crisis Fund demonstrate the important role the fund can play in helping students continue their education:

  • The sudden death of a graduate student’s father leaves the student needing help with living expenses.
  • An apartment fire leaves a graduate student needing a bed, linens, cookware and food.
  • A single mother needs funds for car repair and diapers.
  • A student’s husband loses his job; to work more than limited hours she would have to drop out of school.
  • A first-year student’s mom — his only source of financial assistance — experiences hardship and cannot drive him back to school for the second semester. He cannot travel by bus because of a medical condition. The fund provides airfare.

The first-year student who was able to return for his second semester wrote a note of gratitude that concluded: “I’m grateful that UD has resources like the Student Crisis Fund that helps families who run into unexpected situations that cause setbacks. As a student, this is just a reminder that the University of Dayton is my family as well.”

The One Day, One Dayton giving day celebration scheduled for April 2, 2020, is now a day of caring and sharing. Please participate by giving to the Student Crisis Fund or an area of your choice. Together, we are one — even when our community is struggling and we’re far apart.

Home early from study abroad