Annual day of giving a crucial platform for many projects

By Josh Chapin, manager of editorial services

MoveInMiami, Miami University’s annual day of giving, is Aug. 13. For the past seven years, the motto of the day has been, “They unpack. We give back.” While the unpacking looks different this year, Miamians near and far can still support the areas of Miami most meaningful to them. There are more than 100 worthy projects to support this year. Three of those projects – the African Students’ Union, the International Student Emergency Fund and UNIDOS UniDiversity Scholarship – have graciously volunteered their time for a short Q&A to talk about what #MoveInMiami means to their project. For more on #MoveInMiami, please visit MoveInMiami.org.

About the projects:

The African Students’ Union: Our project focuses on trying to increase the amount of diversity and inclusion on Miami’s campus. In order to do that, we would need funds to help bring our events and programs to life. Through our programs, we can teach students about the various diverse countries and cultures that are in Africa, as well as throughout the diaspora. They would also serve as a safe space for all students, so they have a place they feel accepted and welcomed.

The International Student Emergency Fund: International students are a valued part of Miami University’s student body and campus community, and we are committed to their success. Situations can arise when an international student needs financial support to survive an emergency or sudden financial shortfall. Financial aid resources are limited for international students in the U.S. Our hope is to raise money to help support students who experience unexpected financial difficulties.

UNIDOS UniDiversity Scholarship: As a student organization, UNIDOS is partnering with the Center for Global Initiatives to raise money for the UniDiversity scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to multicultural students who need help paying for college, as the high tuition costs and fees can be especially difficult for them to pay. We want to ensure that diverse students can afford to pay for the initial costs of college, as well as come back every year in pursuit of their degree.

Q: How does #MoveInMiami help benefit your project?

UNIDOS: #MoveInMiami helps us in these efforts by giving us a bigger platform where we can reach out to alumni, many of which were multicultural students themselves and can relate to the struggles of diverse students in academia. This also allows us an opportunity to engage with alumni as UNIDOS and connect with them to start to build our own network of diverse alumni.

International Student Emergency Fund
International Student Emergency Fund

International Student Emergency Fund: This fund provides modest grants to help international students overcome unexpected financial challenges in order to successfully complete their degree programs at Miami University.

African Students’ Union: #MoveInMiami provides us with a space to get our message out to the greater Miami community. With this, more people will be aware of our group and can offer support through donations.

Q: What are some of the most unique aspects about #MoveInMiami?

African Students' Union
African Students’ Union

African Students’ Union: I think one of the most unique aspects of #MoveInMiami is it allows for the celebration and appreciation of donors. They are so important to this process, and I think it is always good to give thanks to those who are offering support to all the various projects!

UNIDOS: #MoveInMiami is unique in the sense that it is a university program, so it has the facilities to reach out to alumni and past donors. This would be very difficult to replicate in a student-only campaign, since organizations do not necessarily have all of those resources. Because of this, #MoveInMiami is able to get the exposure it needs for donors to find a cause for them and for organizations to find a new audience to engage with. I also like how personal this program is, especially with the ThankView videos. This is an added benefit since it gives the donor and recipient a more personal way to connect and express their gratitude, building connections that could last a lifetime.

International Student Emergency Fund: Yearly event that adds to the excitement of a new semester and allows us to connect with alumni and other audiences who may not know about our work.

Q: How beneficial is donor support to your project?

International Student Emergency Fund: It is vital. This is a new fund, and we are hoping to raise enough money to support at least 10 international students who may have unexpected financial difficulties this fall. A typical award is $500.

African Students’ Union: Donor support is extremely beneficial to our project. These funds can help us bring many of our ideas to life that will help keep people educated, even in this digital time of COVID.

UNIDOS UniDiversity Scholarship
UNIDOS UniDiversity Scholarship

UNIDOS: Donor support is integral to our project since without them, a college education for most students would not be possible. Students across the nation struggle to pay for college and it becomes a constant lingering stress over them. With donor support, we can make this feat easier and put to rest some of their worry. With the ability to fund their education, students are more at ease, and could potentially find their passion in a major or minor and feel free to pursue it, since their costs are taken care of. Here, we can take a load off the students’ shoulders and help them focus on what really matters: their education.

Q: How does your project help support Miami students?

African Students’ Union: Our project helps to give Miami students a safe place at a campus that isn’t all that diverse. Whether it be tips for career success or information on campus resources, our organization strives to provide all students (no matter their race or cultural background) the skills they need to excel at Miami. We also are a source of information to students about all things pertaining to the continent and the diaspora. All in all, this project supports diversity and inclusion on campus, which benefits all students.

UNIDOS: Our project donates money to the Global Initiatives’ UniDiversity fund, which gives money to multicultural students who are struggling to pay for their college education. By donating to and receiving this scholarship, students and alumni are made aware of the community that is here for them at Miami, with UNIDOS and the Center of Global Initiatives. We want to let them know that we are here and that we care for them and their success, and will walk this path along with them whether they are a student right now or have already graduated.

International Student Emergency Fund: Coming from over 80 countries around the world, international students bring a global perspective to the Miami University community. The Code of Love and Honor states that we welcome “a diversity of people, ideas, and experiences.” The ability to assist international students who are far away from home and experiencing unexpected financial difficulties will help to ensure that these students are able to successfully complete their academic journey at Miami University.

Note: Responses have been edited for clarity and style.