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Fanshawe creates relief fund as students wait out COVID-19

Credit: EMILY STEWART

Fanshawe's emergency fund will give $500 to students who are in greatest need of financial assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Angela McInnes | Interrobang | News | April 10th, 2020




Fanshawe College has created a $1.5 million student emergency fund for students facing financial challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The fund will provide short-term help for students who have found themselves in unexpected economic need. It has been created with the support of donors and the Fanshawe Student Union (FSU).

“These are very stressful times for our students and we are concerned for their well-being,” Michele Beaudoin, vice-president of student services stated in an April 9 media release. “This emergency fund will provide some financial relief to those most in need. It is during difficult times that people really come together to help each other. We sincerely appreciate all offers of assistance and thank those who have already contributed to the fund.”

Applications open on April 13 at 10 a.m., almost a month after the College closed its doors and switched to online delivery due to the pandemic. Students can receive up to $500 in financial assistance, distributed on a first-received basis to students in greatest need. The fund is open to all students, domestic and international.

The College will continue to release funds to as many students as possible as additional funds are raised from donors and the FSU.

The COVID-19 crisis has created disruptions to postsecondary student routines such as delaying final exams and creating barriers to move forward with summer and post-graduate employment plans.

On April 8, the federal government announced a 100 per cent wage subsidy to employers in the Canada Summer Jobs Program, while extending placements to the winter and providing subsidies to part-time students.

However, advocacy group Canadian Federation of Students has expressed concerns with the Summer Jobs Program changes.

The Canada Summer Jobs Program is available to domestic students and students under 30, leaving out international, mature students and recent graduates. The government’s changes to the Summer Jobs Program will help 70,000 out of Canada’s 2-million postsecondary students, both domestic and international.

“While students welcome these measures, these piecemeal reforms mean that many students will be left behind,” Sofia Descalzi, CFS national chairperson, said in an April 8 statement.

Descalzi also commented on the accessibility students have to the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).  

“CERB must be expanded to include all students and recent graduates to ensure that everyone is able to pay rent and put food on the table during these very uncertain times,” she said.

The CERB, which opened Monday to almost one-million applicants, will provide Canadians who have stopped working due to the pandemic $2,000 per month for up to 16 weeks. Current CERB requirements say that applicants must have made at least $5,000 over the past 12 months.

Fanshawe students can learn more about the emergency fund at fanshawec.ca/foundation/ways-give/fanshawe-student-emergency-fund.
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