As the potential severity of coronavirus (COVID-19) became clear, Tulane University sought out ways to keep the Tulane community healthy. Among them was suspending all on-campus classes and reducing the concentration of students on the uptown campus for the remainder of the semester. Recognizing that such a move could raise challenges for students who demonstrate financial need and other vulnerable groups of students, the university quickly marshaled the resources of the Tulane Student Emergency Aid and Assistance Fund.
The fund is a flexible resource that can be rapidly mobilized to provide support for students in times of crisis. It will be used to assist students with financial hardships associated with the campus closure and transition to online instruction, including airfare, purchasing a laptop and supporting WiFi access at home, among other needs. The fund is structured to respond to the needs of students across the Tulane community, from undergraduates who need support to access online learning to the daycare needs of graduate students to housing support for both populations.
As soon as word got out about Tulane’s decision regarding remote learning, university leadership was contacted by alumni, parents and friends—all wondering how they could support and strengthen the student community at this uncertain time.
Ginny Wise, senior vice president for advancement says, “I was touched by how Tulanians from near and far immediately rallied around our students, wanting to know what they could do to ease this transition. The Tulane Student Emergency Aid and Assistance Fund provides an easy way to give students the support they need quickly.”
She added, “It’s a wonderful way to help foster the resilience the Tulane community is known for and further strengthen our connections to each other during a time of necessary social distancing.”