The events and decision following the outbreak of the coronavirus left many individuals and groups in vulnerable positions. More specifically, students are having to face tough financial strain with few options for relief.
Luckily, the student organization Ichabods Moving Forward has stepped up to the plate to assist these students in crisis thanks to philanthropic goals and recent generous support from the Washburn Student Government Association and others.
“It has been really inspiring to see the community donating to help students in need,” said executive council member Becca Nyman. “WSGA donated $30,000 and the Washburn Board of Trustees also donated $25,000 to the fund. Since then we have had personal donations coming into our fund. We are entirely grateful to everyone who has helped support students in need during this time.”
This timely show of generosity from students and community members alike truly reflect the mission statements of Ichabods Moving Forward: “for students, by students,” WSGA: “students serving students” and Washburn University: “not for ourselves alone.”
These sizable donations came at just the right time for the widespread crisis that many students are facing.
“Many of our students are struggling,” said WSGA President Victoria Smith. “And most of the schools in the states are developing their own emergency fund. Washburn already has an emergency fund, [namely Ichabods Moving Forward] and the amount of people who are going to be requesting from it is going to drastically rise.”
With the funds, Ichabods Moving Forward will be able to support students as they move forward from the initial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The current situation is exactly the kind of unforeseen emergency that Ichabods Moving Forward set out to help students get through,” said executive council member Bayley Baker. “We feel a tremendous amount of responsibility to spread the word and encourage as many students as possible to apply for assistance through the fund.”
Some of the specific ways that Ichabods Moving Forward has been able to help the Washburn student community is by providing financial assistance for rent, utilities, new laptops, insurance payments, groceries and essentials. Through a partnership with HyVee, gift cards have also been provided to students.
“We as a Senate and as an administration are all in the same boat as students,” said Smith. “The majority of students are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic horrendously, and that goes for our senate as well. In this time, we are all struggling college students, in whatever capacity that means.”
Being able to support one another as students is a core value of the Washburn community.
“Our goal is to help students be successful during this time,” said Baker. “We want to ensure that Washburn students have the resources they need to stay in school and continue seeking their degree. These are difficult times, and we want to provide an opportunity for students who are struggling to access the financial assistance they may need to stay afloat.”
If you are an undergraduate or graduate student who is facing a financial emergency, due to the COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise, you can apply for aid through the Ichabods Moving Forward emergency fund. To do so, fill out the application found on the Ichabods Moving Forward website. Likewise, if you are someone who is able, you can also find the link to donate on the website.
Edited by Abbie Barth, Joelle Conway