Staff Senate hosts walk-a-thon for student scholarships
Members of the VCU Staff Senate warmed-up and walked rounds at Monroe Park Tuesday afternoon during the 6th annual Virginia’s Caring University Scholarship Walk-A-Thon in an effort to raise funds for junior and senior students in need of financial assistance.
Marquita Aguilar, the Staff Senate activities and events chair and administrative staff assistant to the College of Humanities and Sciences said the fundraiser has aided 44 students and raised about $50,000 for scholarship recipients. Last year’s event raised $9,700.
“We don’t want our students to have a lot of debt,” Aguilar said. “We said, ‘We’ll just sacrifice from our pockets,’ and you know – It’s worked, it’s really worked.”
Aguilar said the money donated by faculty participants go directly to the scholarship recipient’s student account. She said some junior and senior students are working three or four jobs just to stay in school.
Aguilar said the Staff Senate wishes more students applied, they generally receive 50 applications each year. The number of scholarship winners depends on the amount of funds raised, nine were selected last year.
The fundraising event began in the Commonwealth Ballroom of the University Student Commons. Several speakers including VCU President Michael Rao spoke at the event. He said Tuesday’s event had raised about $12,000 and showed how committed the university staff and faculty are to meeting the financial aid of students.
However, Rao said many faculty and staff are frustrated because VCU only meets 60 percent of students’ financial aid needs.
Following Rao’s statements, Aguilar spoke to the event’s attendees and introduced Assistant Professor for Recreational Sports, Eric Wes, who led the participants in the warm-up and walk.
Staff Senate members were led by Wes and his fellow fitness instructors into the Richmond Salons to warm-up.
Casey Bunce, a junior exercise science major helped lead the warm-up session for Staff Senate members before they walked around Monroe Park. He said one of his instructors encouraged him to participate in the event.
“It was good leading everyone in the warm-up and having a fun time with it to show everyone that exercise can be fun,” Bunce said.
Walkers returned to the Commonwealth Ballroom for lunch, which ended the fundraising event.
Aguilar said members of the Staff Senate began reviewing applications after the event and will prepare to announce the scholarship winners.