Drexel 24, Drexel’s “Day of Giving,” has managed to bring the university together to raise more than $700,000 for the university. Almost 3,000 people from our university including alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and general friends cashed in to break a Drexel record for how many people can be inspired to give within 24 hours. Aside from the major support we received from the alumni, faculty and staff, this movement also gave an opportunity for student groups to express solidarity with the university. Smaller groups such as the Men’s Wrestling Team and Alpha Epsilon Pi were able to fundraise an outstanding amount of money, exhibiting what a small group of people are capable of accomplishing. In addition, the Close School alone was able to raise almost $300,000 for themselves.
But the support wasn’t all positive. Throughout the day, students complained about the “Missing Mario” emails and anonymous Twitter accounts, such as the @Drexel24Fascism soon popped up to spam hate on the fundraising idea, hurling out such eloquent gems as “@DrexelDragons I’m not giving more money to you #Drexel24” and “@DrexelDragons #ImNotEvilImJust #Drexel ‘s money laundering scheme #Drexel24.”
Often times, it seems like many people are deterred from the idea of raising money for a school when they already pay tuition to it. It’s understandable; tuition is a big bite to swallow and feeling like you’re pressured into giving more than you can afford can seem borderline offensive. However, we should keep in mind that donations like these don’t just fly into the pockets of anonymous corporate suits standing in the shadows; they come back to us. They directly benefit the educational experience of us students currently enrolled at Drexel as well as future students. With Operation 24, the university offered to match direct funding to organizations that raised money for themselves/their own causes or attracted the most alumni to donate. For every dollar they gave, they got and campus involvement met campus activism. Promotions like these encourage community spirit, creating a better and more inclusive campus and bringing us closer to our alumni.
Yes, you have every right to to choose when you can and cannot give more to our school. You don’t “owe” the school anything, but you do go here to learn if nothing else, and that means that when the University reaches out to the academic community, it’s probably not a personal insult to your pocketbook. Frankly, higher standards for community involvement push the university to live up to expectations and use these funds to benefit the student body. In the future, we hope to see the university do better to inform student leaders about opportunities like this and widen the scope of such projects to include more campus groups.