Help Blazers in Crisis

Student COVID-19 Emergency Fund

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Hana Habchi, outgoing Undergraduate Student Government Association President, talks about the Student COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Habchi explains how they allocated $30,000 from their remaining budget to help start this fund.

Many of our students are experiencing unexpected hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they need your help. When you give to the Student COVID-19 Emergency Fund, you'll help provide emergency aid to students facing lost wages, a decrease of financial support from parents, relocation expenses, and more.

How Are Students Hurting?

  • Lost Wages and Loss of Employment: Many students have lost their jobs and won't receive unemployment benefits. Students who had on-campus jobs likely won't qualify because universities are exempt from paying unemployment tax on student jobs. Those who had off-campus jobs were likely employed seasonally or part time, meaning they also are unlikely to qualify for unemployment. And there are many students who have had to give up their jobs because their child-care facilities have closed.
  • Decrease in Family Support: Others are seeing a decrease or halt in financial assistance from home as their parents are laid off or have had their work hours reduced. As this occurs, some students are seeking employment to supplement their parents' lost income and help their families.
  • Living Expenses and Basic Needs: Many students have had to secure alternative emergency housing and are facing unforeseen expenses such as security deposits, first and last months rent, and application fees. They may have also incurred moving expenses when relocating from residence halls. While UAB's Blazer Kitchen provides food to students in need, those with medical- or faith-based dietary restrictions may find it challenging to find suitable meals.
  • Education Expenses: Students who relied on on-campus technology have faced costs as they acquire the needed tools to complete their courses online. Some have returned to rural areas where Internet access is limited and have had to pay for wireless hotspots or satellite Internet to continue their studies. Some students are also needing to ship textbooks and pay for other expenses related to virtual learning.
  • Other Unforeseen Costs: There are many other ways students have been affected. Examples include the purchase of PPE and needing to pay for transportation to and from campus while vacating on-campus residences.

About the Fund

The Student COVID-19 Emergency Fund was created by student leaders at UAB. The Undergraduate Student Government Association saw a need for emergency relief for UAB students affected by the pandemic and allocated $30,000 to provide assistance. Joined by contributions from the Division of Student Affairs and Graduate Student Government, the Student COVID-19 Emergency Fund was created to support students who qualify.

How Can You Help?

There are more students in need of assistance than there are funds available, so we need your support. When you make a gift, you can magnify the investments made by UAB student leaders and provide assistance to students facing financial hardship. At this time, we ask you to not specify that your gift go to a particular school or department and allow the university to direct the gift to the area of greatest need.

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