Emergency Fund Replenished
Monday, April 19th, 2010
“I had not heard of [the fund] before that night," Sealey said. "I told her about my laptop and asked if I would be eligible to receive a grant from the fund, to which she said, 'Yes.' I e-mailed her and she forwarded my e-mail to Karen Conner-Wilson.”
Conner-Wilson is the entry contact for the emergency fund. Along with the rest of the emergency fund committee, she reviews applications to determine whether the emergency in question merits the use of the fund. According to Conner-Wilson, the process can take several days once an application is turned in.
Sealey had broken his laptop and was relying on spare computers in the university computer center and his brother’s laptop. "This made getting work done more difficult, because sometimes there would be no computers available at the lab or my brother would be busy doing his own school work on his computer at home,” Sealey said.
Like many seniors in the final undergraduate dash, Sealey was dependent on his laptop for his senior thesis class. He spends five hours and 40 minutes working in class, with countless more hours spent completing work outside. The $1,000 from the fund made a considerable difference in his life, as he combined it with his financial aid refund check in order to purchase a brand new MacBook Pro.
The emergency fund, formally called the Petrie Foundation Student Emergency Fund at The New School, was created in 2008 after the university was awarded $300,000 from the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation. The fund was originally intended to last three years, but became nearly depleted by 2010.
However, The New School's administration approved the use of university money to replenish the fund.
Eileen Doyle said the emergency fund has served 78 students, covering a variety of emergency expenses, including uninsured medical appointments, homelessness, and even MetroCards.
The Petrie Student Emergency Fund resources, allocated to the university on a schedule designated by the foundation, were depleted in the normal course of student need, according to Peter Taback, senior director of communication. "Given the nature of emergency requests, there is no way to anticipate the annual dollar amount necessary, so to maintain uninterrupted coverage until the next award date, The New School supplemented the Fund with other available resources," wrote Taback in an e-mail.
In July, the Petrie Foundation will provide a new installment to help students who can’t quite help themselves. The New School may also apply for an additional three-year grant when the current one ends in 2012.
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