Today's Update: Friday, April 24

April 24, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, 

It’s Friday, and that means High Five Friday, where I like to give special thanks to people who are doing special things.  

First...I have this beautiful story from Dining Services: “Gina Forster, Assistant Director of Nutrition, was making her Kindness calls.  A student told her they had to move in with two new roommates and they were eating on the floor as they did not have a table or chairs (or much in the way of cooking equipment/plates).  Gina loaded up her car with a few fold-out chairs, a table, some utensils and cookware, and dropped it off for them!” 

And I want to share a note I received this morning that gives a high five to all you:

“On behalf of the over 2,500 members of the OSU Retirees Association, thank you to you and your staff for all you have been doing for our students during this stressful time! We who have been in the trenches before appreciate all that you are doing to help the students navigate this difficult time as they study on-line and off-campus! What a challenge for everyone! Please take care of yourself and all our best to you and your staff!” 
-Meg Teaford, President and the members of the OSURA Board 

Also this week, I want to acknowledge a group that we don’t see often, but we feel their contributions each and every day...our friends of Student Life. In ordinary times, their gifts of time, treasure and talent enable us to expand our offerings to a greater number of students.  In this emergency situation, their support is even more critical.  

Last week, Ohio State Energy Partners (OSEP) announced it has donated $100,000 to funds administered by Student Life Student Advocacy to provide financial assistance to students facing unexpected economic circumstances.  

This generous contribution comes at a critical time when many of our students are facing financial problems due to the pandemic, and there has been a dramatic increase in the number of students requesting assistance. In just the past six weeks, Student Advocacy has received more than 1,500 requests. In autumn semester, they received a total of 80 applications.  

The generosity of OSEP and that of many other donors, including some of you, is making a dramatic difference in the lives of our students, and words cannot express my gratitude.  

There are many others doing remarkable things for our students in these difficult times. Many are stepping up quietly and without fanfare, so I won’t use their names. But they know who they are, and they know we are all grateful.  

Among those deserving a high five.... 

  • A donor assisted a student who was going without food as a result of COVID-19 by grocery shopping and delivering fresh produce, protein and other groceries to the student’s off-campus home. 

  • After moving out of their residence hall, a student’s homelife abruptly changed as a result of their parents moving. A donor is working with the student to find available off-campus housing and has offered to help subsidize their rent for the summer. 

  • As a result of COVID-19, a number of students have lost internship experiences for the summer and an alumni donor with a fast-growing start-up company is working to create remote internship opportunities for some of these students. 

  • A number of notable alumni and donors including Matt Desch (CEO of Iridium), Nick Foligno (Captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets), Jeni Britton Bauer (Founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams), Tahira Rehmatullah (President of T3 Ventures)  and Brandon Bryant (Co-Founder of Harlem Capital and Curator of Wall Street Paper) have participated in Zoom Leadership Calls with Buckeye Leadership Fellows. 

These stories and others like them warm my heart. It humbles me to know there are people who share our enthusiasm and dedication to supporting our students, and are so eager and willing to be involved.  

High fives to these Scarlet and Great friends of Student Life.