Emergency funding is available to all WSU students through The Wildcat Emeriti Alumni Student Emergency Fund program, which can grant money to students with acute financial emergencies. The EASE Fund handles roughly six claims per any given academic year.
The Emeriti Alumni Council established the Emergency Fund Program in 2004 in order to “Support students through sponsored activities and academic scholarship.”
Funding is allocated by the Dean of Students, who meets with student applicants, and, in turn, decides what qualifies as a reasonable claim to bring to the council. This process allows for WSU students who have acute financial emergencies to get access to funding which would, otherwise, take longer to access.
“The Hallmark of the EASE Fund is the simplicity of producing funds in a matter of hours not days or weeks,” said Jason Nelson, assistant advisor to The Emeriti Alumni Council.
Past approved claims include a student who had to attend a family funeral but lacked the finances to travel; the student was able to reach out to the Emeriti Council, get an approved claim and attend the funeral with funding from the council.
If a student needs help paying rent, they can apply for funding through the council; however, some students have repeatedly applied for financial help paying their rent month after month — these claims are considered chronic situations and emergencies, rather than acute; therefore, they’re not likely to be approved.
The EASE funds are reserved for students’ acute financial emergencies, so students in emergencies can get funds quickly. These funds are available for all students; any student can apply for any acute financial emergencies.
“Success is usually identified by a warm, caring attitude by faculty and staff,” Chris Rivera, president of the Emeriti Alumni Council said. “Which is critical for access for learning and community, which is the University’s mission, and what we support.”
Annually, barring any pandemics, the Emeriti Alumni Council holds a fundraising dinner and raises much of these emergency funds.
Nelson stated that many of the benefactors who have become involved with the Emeriti Council’s EASE Fund, have been former applicants; they’ve graduated and want to give back. However, anyone can help donate money into the EASE Fund.
According to Nelson, there have been more donations made to the EASE Fund since WSU’s shutdown; however, during the absence of the number of students actually on campus, the claims-filed have not seen a jump or spike due to COVID-19.