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SMU Daily Campus


Students accept challenge to give

The SMU Young Alumni began the “Shape the Second” campaign to encourage students to donate to SMU’s future. (Courtesy of SMU Young Alumni)

A recent challenge by SMU Young Almuni is urging students to give, and receive.

“The challenge is based on participation, not a dollar amount,” said Annual and Alumni Giving Officer Benjamin Williams.

The challenge: for every student that makes a gift to an organization of his or her choice, a group of SMU alumni will make a $10 gift to that same organization.

“If 20 students make a gift to a certain organization, then alumni will give $200 to that same organizations, 50 gifts, $500 and so on,” Williams said.

The challenge began April 14, and ends today. Thus far, 18 organizations have participated and that number is expected to increase as the challenge comes to an end.

Williams said that one of the main goals of the student-giving program is to educate students about the importance of giving and the impact it has on a university.

“Tuition only covers about 70 percent of the actual cost to be at SMU, the other 30 percent is covered by the giving of alumni, friends, faculty and staff,” Williams said.

The challenge reinforces the idea that students could not attend SMU without donations to the institution. It also gives students the chance to show that they care and be a part of the “culture of philanthropy.”

“Most students at SMU have some organization that they care about and our goal of the alumni challenge is to give students the chance to give to an organization that is meaningful while at the same time benefiting those organizations,” Williams said.

Many students see the challenge as an opportunity to make a positive change to their university.

“The Shape the Second campaign gives undergraduate students an opportunity to partner with alumni to help make change happen,” said Lauren Lyngstad, Development and External Affairs student trustee representative.

According to Lyngstad, contributions from students and alumni help student organizations campus-wide programming, and contribute to SMU’s national ranking.

“The more students and alumni participate, the better off our university will be in the long run,” Lyngstad said.

The challenge has been particularly beneficial for smaller student organizations, like the Asian Council.

“For small organizations like AC and its member organizations, even $15 can go a very long way,” Asian Council President Michelle Ko said.

Despite the money that organizations receive, Williams said the real objective is to get students involved in the spirit of generosity.

“We simply want to give students the opportunity to become familiar with the giving process and experience the benefits to giving to a worthwhile cause,” he said.

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