Ramen noodle meals, used text books, and high tuition payments are just a few of the problems attached to a student’s college experience. All of these problems stem from the same bigger problem—the high costs of college.
The University Advancement Division of Worcester State University aids students dealing with those problems by hosting fundraising events like the Day of Giving Challenge.
“We want our students to have the best possible life during their time here at WSU,” said event coordinator Diana Curran, who’s been organizing the event for the past three years. “Every penny we raise goes directly to improving the student’s overall experience and helps alleviate financial needs though merit and need-based scholarships.”
The event, which takes place Wednesday, April 5, raises substantial amounts of money. Last year, $78,000 was raised  from more than 600 donors, who included alumni, parents of students, students, and faculty members. That 600-donor total smashed the 300 goal.
The challenge is to see how many gifts can be collected during the day. The goal again this year is to acquire at least 300 gifts.
“We like the idea of a participation challenge rather than just counting monetary donations, because, in our eyes, participation helps build community,” said Curran. “We want to make anyone who makes a gift on the Day of Giving to feel important.”
As a special incentive to participate this year, two alumni, Gregg ’86 and Pamela ’87 Rosen, have offered a challenge gift of $10,000 if WSU can get 300 alumni, friends, students, faculty and staff to give on this day. “Any amount of gift will qualify. It’s your participation that matters most,” said Curran.
The money raised from these gifts helps address numerous student financial needs, such as the emergency text book fund, athletics, research initiatives, student-leadership experiences, and scholarship funds.
The emergency text book fund is an important aspect of WSU. In the process of registering and attending classes, students face financial emergencies. Sometimes that emergency situation means textbooks are out reach. The emergency text book fund is available to these students so they have a better chance of success.
Student scholarships are a type of financial aid. For some, this is the only way they can afford to attend WSU. Money raised through Day of Giving Challenge funds scholarships aims to make the costs of attending more affordable.
For many students who rely heavily on those resources or know the importance of the scholarships, being involved in this event is important and encouraged. Curran is always seeking out students to volunteer their time and talent as social media ambassadors.
“We are looking for students to create content on social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, all in an effort to spread the word about the Day of Giving Challenge, so we can surpass our goal of 300 gifts,” said Curran. Last year 140 students were involved as volunteers.
The event is dependent upon alumni donations. Alumni understand better than anyone the struggles of college life.
“Alumni donate for a number of reasons,” said Curran. “Some donate to particular departments, scholarships, or sports teams.
They give to an area that made a lasting impact on their life when they were a student. It’s important for alumni to pay it forward and to know that their donations are helping students who are in the same position they were in years ago.”
Alumni, parents, or other supporters who wish to donate on April 5 can access the donation site online at worcester.edu/day-of-giving  or text LANCERS17 to 41444. For more information contact Diana Curran, firstname.lastname@example.org  or 508-929-8252.
Written by Andrew Forbes, a students in the Media Writing (CM105) course; writing about the Day of Giving Challenge was a class project