Groups plan tsunami fundraisers

A coordinated effort is underway among the University and student groups to help raise money for the tsunami relief effort.

Members of several student organizations came together Wednesday night to formulate a plan to raise money for victims of the tsunami. The Dec. 26 earthquake in the Indian Ocean caused a massive wave that killed more than 200,000 people in Southeast Asia.

Tim Miller, director of the Student Activities Center, sent out an e-mail to student groups to organize the meeting.

“Instead of having a bunch of fundraisers that each raise a hundred dollars, we’re trying to get one big event that will raise thousands of dollars,” Miller said. “Everyone’s aware of what occurred. We need to come together to do as much as we can.”

Miller said he hoped that students would take charge of organizing fundraising events, while he would help them with the University’s administrative processes.

Members of groups such as the Student Association, Asian Student Alliance, Residential Life, Program Board, Class Council and Students for Fair Trade attended the meeting.

A medical student group has already raised more than $2,500 for tsunami victims. GW Satyam cancelled a tsunami fundraiser at Baja Fresh that was scheduled for Thursday, Inauguration Day.

On Wednesday night, students split up into two groups, one discussing fundraisers and the other discussing events, to come up with a few main ideas they could execute.

Some suggested plans included selling wristbands, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and a variety show with an after-party at a local club.

A program through the University of California-Los Angeles is selling wristbands to colleges nationwide. They are similar to Lance Armstrong’s yellow “Livestrong” bracelets, but say “Tsunami Relief.”

Schools can buy them for 50 cents each, and then decide how much they want to sell them for.

At the meeting, students decided that individual student groups will request a certain number of bands and will have certain hours in the Marvin Center to sell them. Any leftovers can be sold at their own events.

Senior Megan Zixon suggested selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts at Metro stations, which she did for an AIDS fundraiser.

Other students brought up the concern that support might wane as the semester continues. They hoped that a variety show, which is tentatively planned for later this semester, would help bring more support and give them time to plan.

The show would feature a number of student groups, such as a cappella groups, step groups and student bands. An after party would then take place at a nearby club, such as Lulu’s Mardis Gras or Singapore Bistro.

Miller said he was surprised by the number of students who showed up for the meeting, adding that there are more students who still want to help plan fundraising events.

“I just wanted to help these groups help each other,” Miller said. He has no specific monetary goal for the fundraiser.

“I just wanted this to happen – for groups to come together,” he said.

Miller is offering to put up the money needed to fund the potential events through SAC, which would then be reimbursed.

Junior Rujuta Bhatt, a member of the American Medical Student Association, is helping to research where the fundraiser’s proceeds should be donated.

“We’re going to find out what organizations are still taking money, and what is best to put the money to, such as doctors, medical supplies or donating blood,” Bhatt said. Possible beneficiaries include the Red Cross and UNICEF.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.