San Diego State University has launched an Economic Crisis Response Team, or ECRT, to better assist students who are facing an unexpected economic crisis.
The ECRT, which began meeting in October, includes faculty, staff, students and administrators from across campus who are working together to develop a plan to support SDSU students facing financial instability that could result in them being homeless or hungry.
“We have always supported students in need, but a formalized process to assist students in these types of situations has never been in place,” said Christy Samarkos, associate vice president for campus life. “As we noticed an increase in the number of students coming forward seeking help, we gathered a team to work on identifying all of the resources available to our students and establishing a process to help students access those resources.”
Resources and support
In addition to establishing a process for students to follow so they can receive support, the ECRT is also:
· Working to more efficiently coordinate existing campus resources
· Pinpointing off-campus resources available to students and their families
· Determining the most effective way to communicate with students about available resources and processes
· Planning programming and other forms of education to help students avoid financial crises in the future
· Identifying areas of need for additional campus resources
“Our students find themselves in these situations for any number of reasons,” Samarkos said. “It can range from a parent losing their job and no longer being able to help with expenses, to students facing the costs of treating a serious illness to mismanagement of their financial aid funding.”
Help on and off campus
Existing on-campus resources include providing temporary housing and meal assistance; help with applying for and obtaining additional financial aid due to a change in financial status; assistance with finding on-campus employment; and social worker and/or counseling services.
Off-campus resources that have been identified include longer-term housing assistance, career assistance, counseling and crisis management support and application for longer-term state or federal assistance and access to health care.
Students who are in an unexpected economic crisis are encouraged to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (619) 594-1630.