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When the announcement was made that students would not be returning to campus for the remainder of the spring ’20 semester, FLITE Librarian Fran Rosen knew that she wanted to find a way to help students in need. She views Ferris as an “opportunity school,” where many students work very hard to attend, with some even working multiple jobs while taking a full class load. She felt compelled to help those students in need of immediate assistance.
Rosen voiced her concern to the Dean of Student Life, Joy Pulsifer, who brought it to the President and his council. Fran then offered to make a lead financial gift to immediately assist students in need. That gift, combined with another gift from President David and Patsy Eisler kickstarted the Student Hardship Fund.
Rosen’s motivation for supporting the fund was simple: “It was that immediate urgency to help students not have to make the decision to drop out of school or not be able to finish a class when really all they needed was just a little help.”
In her position as the Collection Strategies Librarian, Rosen also strives to make sure FLITE has the resources students need to graduate. Much of the collections available to students are digital content. This poses another challenge for students: Now that students are off campus and all classes have transitioned to remote learning, some do not have access to the technology that would help them to take full advantage of FLITE’s collection of content, even under normal circumstances.
“Students are in a position where they can’t access the tools that they need. That’s what part of the fund was for; to help students who might just need to pay for the internet connection for the next few weeks,” Rosen said, “The events of Spring 2020 haven’t affected us all equally and I hope we can give extra help to those who need it.”
Fran works alongside other faculty and staff at the university to find innovative, targeted ways to support students. During her time at FSU, she also has supported the Ferris Youth Initiative, the Ferris State Wesley House food pantry, Promesa Pathways, Women’s Basketball and other athletic teams, the Office of Multicultural Student Studies, the FirstGen Workgroup, LGBTQ+ Resource Center, and many more.
Rosen hopes her contribution to the fund will also be used by students who may need to make a housing or rent payment while out of a job. Her donation along with all of the other contributions to the fund will not only assist students with their basic living needs, but also give them the ability to successfully complete their classes and degrees.