Student-led Mutual Aid Fund at Clark University

The See You Collective

$5,247

94 supporters

Team Members

Clark University

$1,211

32 supporters

Story

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The mission of The See You Collective is to minimize financial insecurity, strengthen safety, access and inclusion in our campus community by addressing issues of inequity through a respect and dignity-driven approach.

The goal is to help low-income students gain access to resources and funds not provided by Clark University or local, state and national governments.

The objective of this fund is to provide students with assistance ranging from costs of attendance, housing, food, COVID-related supplies, clothing/other gender-affirming items and other basic necessities.

WE BELIEVE in doing this work with the principle of returning agency to students, who are often treated as though they must demonstrate their “poorness,” that we cannot be trusted to know what to spend our money on, or are restricted by what an institution says is a necessary expense. This fund will help to return that agency to students by allowing them to voice what they are in need of and receive support. By giving to this fund, you will be able to directly give money and redistribute your wealth with the knowledge that we are giving it directly to those asking for assistance.

Moreover, we would also like to emphasize that names of recipients of this fund will remain anonymous and that confidentiality will be maintained for those who ask for aid. While we will provide statistics of how much is collected, distributed and individually received in the spirit of transparency, we will never publish the names of recipients of this aid. In the words of organizers at similar institutions engaging in Mutual Aid work, “Low-income students should be able to tell their story if they want to, but they also have a right to privacy. Students should not have to publicly reveal details about their personal lives, disclose their traumas and more in order to be supported by their communities. A system that makes students pour their hearts out in order to receive help with basic necessities is an unfair one. A system that is harmful to the mental health of low-income students discourages students from requesting aid and should not be kept in place.”

About the Clark University Tuition Strike:
On January 15, the Black Student Union (BSU) and Clark Undergraduate Student Council (CUSC) led a tuition strike after months of organizing for demands brought forth by BSU regarding racial justice at Clark, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in June and subsequent Black Lives Matter uprisings. Since then, students have been met with inconsistent promises of transparency, additional investments and support towards their most urgent needs, safety and sense of belonging.

Despite the racial, health pandemics and global recession, Clark University maintained its increase in tuition by 2.9%. The University announced that it would waive all late fees for Spring semester payments and add an additional $2 million in financial aid in the Spring. However, the fact that their responses were only to add aid for one semester and to maintain registration holds on accounts, rather than address how Clark perpetuates systemic issues of classism and racial injustice by increasing tuition routinely and fails to direct resources to Black community members, is telling of how they see students, families and our most marginalized communities. Regardless, we will not be hindered by barriers created by powerful institutions to diminish the real driver behind this movement; racial equity. Regardless of the additional promises made by the University, many needs and material resources continue to be unmet by the University, local governments and employers.

Clark University’s complete disregard for these injustices and failure to act in the manner which these crises demands has left students with no other option to strike with the following demands:

  • Support Black students: Disarm University Police and redistribute 18% of the existing department budget towards resources for Black students.
  • Prioritize Student Affordability: Cut tuition by 50% for the 2021-2022 academic year and institute a tuition freeze for future years so long as the global health pandemic persists.
  • A Seat at the Table: Reinstate our Undergraduate Student Representative on the primary Board of Trustee meetings and create a public comments section for members of the Clark community to speak directly with the Board.

About the The See You Collective:
We are composed of student leaders at Clark University from various movements and identities on campus. While some of our organizers are class-privileged allies, many of the organizers of this fundraiser are students who know and have experienced first hand the barriers that Clark University has put in place for their students experiencing financial hardship. At times, it is traumatizing, humiliating, and frustrating to try and receive the aid that you actually need from an institution that boasts of a commitment to equity, justice and inclusion for all students. The See You Collective aims to be a space where low-income students can tell us what they need and be respected while seeking support.

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