Iowa State and the other regent universities have established emergency funds to support students who may be adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 is impacting every one of us in some way – the global pandemic is unlike anything most of us have faced,” according to the Cyclone Strong Fund website. “But if there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that Cyclones come together in times of need. So, it’s no surprise that many of Iowa State’s loyal and forever true alumni and friends have asked how they can help.”
The three universities, Iowa State, University of Iowa, and University of Northern Iowa, launched the funds Monday as a way to help students address their most urgent needs as they transition from living and learning on campus to online instruction.
Anyone, whether they be alumni, fans or friends of the universities, can donate to one or more of the funds, which will help students with issues such as housing and food insecurity, travel expenses, technology expenses for online learning and other financial challenges, according to the press release.
“We decided to set this fund up for two reasons,” said Elaine Watkins-Miller, director of communications for ISU Foundation. “First, we definitely had alumni and friends of the university reaching out asking how they could help, so we definitely had the Cyclone family wanting to do what they could for one another. We also understand that college students can often live close to the edge financially and for some, this situation has caused an additional layer of both financial and emotional hardship so we wanted to come together for those students.”
Watkins-Miller said that in general, ISU Foundation works with the university to identify where the funds go.
“In general we have funds that are set up and we work with the university to identify the needs that students, faculty and staff may have,” Watkins-Miller said. “So, in general, we always work with the university to identify where those needs exist and then the university would be the one that that students, faculty and staff would work with to get those funds.”
The Cyclone Strong Fund, launched by the ISU Foundation will allow Iowa State to help students in a variety of ways. The fund will fill various needs for students and on campus, such as:
- Grant emergency aid to students experiencing financial hardship that may keep them from remaining enrolled, from paying their bills or rent to buying groceries.
- Help fund the SHOP Food Pantry on campus, which serves students and staff in need.
- Offer additional support through Student Counseling Services.
- Assist university citizens who were studying abroad and have unanticipated expenses related to returning home in this emergency situation.
- Offer dining and residential accommodations for students who returned from abroad and need a place to live for the remainder of the semester.
- Purchase additional reservable laptops and equipment for students and staff as face-to-face classes are replaced by online courses.
- Serve additional, unforeseen priorities as they arise during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in any future crises.
Anyone can contribute by clicking on the “Make a Gift” button at the top of the Cyclone Strong Fund website. If someone has questions or would like to discuss their gift with an ISU Foundation staff member, please email email@example.com or call 515-294-8536.
Checks can be made payable to ISU Foundation, noting Cyclone Strong Fund in the memo line, and mailed to:
PO Box 2230
Ames, IA 50010