M25 provides emergency assistance for students

File+Photo%3A+Augustana+Observer+

File Photo: Augustana Observer

Students face different hardships while in college, from financial to academic, but some worries can be lessened whenever an emergency arises with the help of the M25 Fund.
The M25 student emergency fund was given to the school through the help of a donor, as a way to provide immediate relief for students who have a significant need, such as from food or winter clothing.
“If you are cold or hungry or don’t have your basic needs met–you cannot grow. The M25 Fund enables us to help make sure students are able to grow and thrive at Augustana,” said Pastor Kristen Glass Perez, Chaplain and Director of Vocational Exploration.
Pastor Perez said in an email that any enrolled student can qualify for assistance. The fund was put into effect last year and works in collaboration with the Advancement Office, the Dean of Students, the College Chaplains and other faculty and staff. It offers assistance as a one time basis and enables the college to help students receive what they need on that day, however the fund does not give out money directly to students.
“I think [this fund] is an amazing thing, since not a lot of schools have this and it gives people the ability to ask for help- if you need it use it,” Third year Noel Zapata said. Zapata wishes that this kind of fund was made more public as this is his third year and his first time hearing about this kind of fund.
Those who need emergency assistance would contact Pastor Perez, Dean Evelyn Campbell, or Pastor Richard Priggie, following an application process and meeting with one of the three. Each situation is different and assistance is given out depending on the need.
The name given out to the fund was chosen by the donor as a reference to the biblical passage in the Christian New Testament Matthew 25:35-45, where Jesus tells a story about feeding and clothing those who are in need. Pastor Perez said she feels deep gratitude and appreciation from students who have benefited from the fund.
“The M25 Fund is not a permanent solution for a student who has a recurring financial need,” Pastor Perez said. “My hope is that we can work as a campus to address more long term and sustainable solutions to the real problems that we know are in our campus community.”