The Alumni Association Scholarship and Recreational Sports Legacy funds are asking graduating students to each make a $20.12 donation to help the organizations reach their $100,000 goal for this year’s senior class gift.
The senior gift program donated over $72,000 to the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund and Associated Students Food Bank last year, and departing Gauchos in 2010 sought to fund the restoration of Storke Tower. The Alumni Association will host an event — offering free sunglasses and T-shirts as well as a raffle and music — this Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Student Resource Building to encourage student contributions.
Senior Class Gift Co-chair Alyssa Benavidez said she, Co-chair Morgan Parsons and A.S. President Harrison Weber selected a gift that would benefit the larger student body.
“Some of the proposals were to paint murals in the tunnels [or] to create a new scholarship fund just for freshmen,” Benavidez said. “And when we went over everything, we decided that these are the two best things we can give our gift to, because they’re going directly to the students.”
According to Parsons, donations of any amount will help due to the UC shifting its financial dependence toward private contributions. Roughly 30 percent of UCSB alumni historically donate to the university while institutions such as Princeton receive donations from about 80 percent of their alumni, Parsons said.
“In all honesty, it’s not even about how much money people give back,” Parsons said. “We’ve only been doing this for a short amount of time compared to other schools [and] we’ve had increased numbers of people giving back right out of college.”
Benavidez said the program will ensure that future Gauchos have access to a UC education.
“We don’t expect everyone to be able to donate now, especially because students have a ton of student debt, but we want to bring awareness to the importance of giving back,” Benavidez said. “Without [seniors’ donations, students are] probably not going to get those same resources, given that state funding continues to drop.”