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April 23, 2015

Rutgers creates fund to assist LGBTQA students in need

After coming out, some students lose family support, advocates say

Higher Education Rutgers
Rutgers creates fund to assist LGBTQA students in need Contributed art /Rutgers Center for Social Justice Education

Rutgers hoping to create fund to provide financial support to LGBT students

The Rutgers Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities (SJE), Office of the Deans of Students and the Rutgers Foundation are working together to raise money to support students in the LGBTQA community who are in a financial bind.

The crowd-funding project, Emergency Fund for Rutgers University LGBTQA Students, aims to "provide emergency relief for queer students in need of housing, food, tuition assistance, school supplies, and other necessary expenses to help ensure their safety, health, and academic success," according to the fundraising page. 

“Safer spaces don’t matter if our students don’t have access to them, and what I mean is affordability and economic access,” Zaneta Rago, director of SJE, said in a statement. "Every year we have a handful of students who struggle with family acceptance after coming out and are in need of things like emergency housing; enrollment support; and additional resources for textbooks, meals, and commuting expenses."

Founded in 1992, the SJE has set a goal of $19,920. As of Thursday, the campaign raised $7,041.

"The great thing about crowd-source funding is that it’s students lifting one another up," Rago added. "We’ve got different levels of giving, so we are engaging not only our alumni, faculty and staff but it’s fellow students, too, and that really means something.”