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UC Davis events celebrate trend of students helping students

By From page A1 | February 21, 2014

An award-winning student organization that provides emergency support to UC Davis students will mark the growing trend of students giving to fellow students on International Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day on Thursday, Feb. 27.

We Are Aggie Pride, which has provided more than $27,000 to help about 30 students stay in school, is organizing activities to draw attention to the need for more student support and the power of students themselves to contribute to change.

Activities will include sidewalk chalking, doughnut and hot dog giveaways, and the writing of a letter to first lady Michelle Obama in a call for more student support. More than 15 student organizations, including The Pantry, a campus food bank, will participate.

Established in 2012, We Are Aggie Pride has raised more than $70,000 from 800-plus donors, including students, staff, faculty and alumni. We Are Aggie Pride is also a beneficiary of a new textbook scholarship from the UCD pilot project with Amazon and the Stride for Aggie Pride 5K run.

Emergency aid

“Imagine beating the odds and making it to a world-class university like UC Davis, only to have to bow out early because of costs,” said Nav Chima, one of 12 members of the We Are Aggie Pride student board of directors.

“Some students have maxed out loans, grants and other forms of aid, and they need a safety net before they fall,” said the senior, who is majoring in communications and psychology. “We’re really proud that We Are Aggie Pride can either provide that support for students or serve as a resource to help them find other forms of funding.”

We Are Aggie Pride provides emergency support to students to cover tuition and books — as well as food, rent and other essentials — not covered by other programs to give a temporary boost to those who are trying to make it on their own.

It is the first student-run, volunteer organization on the West Coast to award emergency funding to student peers. It has been cited for its exemplary student philanthropy, and in 2013 the group was named the Outstanding External Program by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education: Affiliated Student Advancement Programs.

Activities

The International Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day, now in its second year, is organized by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education to enhance awareness and engagement of students in philanthropy for higher education.

Several activities will lead up to the day:

* Monday: “Doughnuts and Donations” — Encouraging students to make a donation to help fellow students in need and enjoy hot coffee and doughnuts, from 9 to 10 a.m. on the Haring Lawn;

* Tuesday: “Chalk for Change” — Asking students to share their ideas for change and how they can make a difference on the UCD campus, from noon to 1 p.m. on the Memorial Union Plaza;

Wednesday: “Hump Day Hot Dogs” — Asking students to help their fellow students get over “the hump” by donating to We Are Aggie Pride and enjoying a “Hump Day” hot dog in return, from noon to 1 p.m. on the Silo Plaza; and

Thursday, Feb. 27: We Are Aggie Pride and other student organizations will celebrate how students can be the power for change and encourage students to sign up for volunteer opportunities, from noon to 1 p.m. on the Quad.

For more information on these events, visit http://weareaggiepride.ucdavis.edu/events.

— UC Davis News

Julia Ann Easley

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