It is often said that going to college is the best way to secure a well-paying job that will offer graduates a financially stable and comfortable life. However, paying for college is getting harder and harder with the rising costs of attendance.
Due to this increase in tuition costs, the number of poverty stricken college students is also on the rise. Thousands of students are faced with hunger and homelessness, and face the fact that the desire for a better future means suffering in the moment.
The University of Wisconsin sent out a survey analyzing the rates of hunger and homelessness in community colleges across the country. The newest results showed an increase from previous years with one-third of the 33,000 surveyed students as going hungry and 14 percent as not having a steady place to stay.
Ramapo is also faced with a number of financially struggling students. According to their website, the Student Government Association Student Relief Fund Committee was created to, “assist currently enrolled students who are facing issues of food insecurity.”
In his Fall 2017 State of the College address, President Mercer discussed that the committee had already raised $2,250. Students can fill out an application to apply for the Fund’s assistance, which can be used by the student’s as Ramapo Dollars.
The committee has also recently formed a RCNJ food pantry to provide aid to Ramapo College students who are in need of food and other supplies.
While the creation of the pantry is meant to help students who struggle to buy food, not much is known about it.
“I didn’t even know that the pantry was in existence,” said Ramapo business administration sophomore, Alexis Tucker. “ If they really want to help people they should advertise more and let students know where to find it.”
As part of their 10 hours of community service project, “Blue Narwhal” Honors Development group, consisting of Ramapo College’s Honors Program freshman, have decided to work with the relief committee by being the first ones to run an eight week long food drive that will stock the recently opened RCNJ food pantry.
Jessica Ryan, a freshman literature major who is heading the collection, stated that it is preferred that donated items consist of non- perishable food items, healthy snacks, feminine products, laundry products and school supplies.
The food drive began on Feb. 19 and will last until April 6, 2018. Donation boxes can be found at the Bradley Center, J. Lee’s, Potter library, the bookstore, the honors lounge in A 110 and in a few of the residence halls.