University in “silent phase” of $1 billion fundraising effort
The Santa Clara
April 20, 2017
For the last three years, Santa Clara has been quietly raising $430 million.
At last week’s Associated Student Government Senate meeting, student leaders learned about the progress of the university-led fundraising campaign. Initiated in 2014, the eight-year project aims to raise $1 billion.
According to Vice President for University Relations Jim Lyons, who spoke at the meeting, the funds raised will be used across the university. The money will be allocated for scholarships, athletics and development projects—such as the new Law School building and the recently-completed Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building.
The campaign also aims to increase funding for student and professor-led research opportunities.
Lyons said the campaign is currently in its “silent phase” and has already raised $430 million, with $80 million allocated for future scholarships. The campaign outreach included visiting 22 cities and sharing Santa Clara’s future goals with alumni and friends of the university.
“We’re spending a lot of time with marketing the university in terms of telling a story of faculty and students,” Lyons said. “Those are the stories that people want to hear about.”
Lyons said that the campaign’s success relies on alumni financial contributions, as potential donors consider the current rate of alumni donations when deciding whether or not to invest.
Students Zech Martin and Michael Wu also presented a proposal for a Santa Clara chapter of the Secular Student Alliance (SSA). According to Martin, the club would aim to represent non-religious individuals and resolve misconceptions about secularism.
“Santa Clara does not have a group yet that advocates for non-religious free thinkers,” Martin said. “There could be a lot of stigma especially at a Jesuit school where (there are) students like Michael and myself who maybe don’t have as much affiliation with any religion at all. We want to eliminate that stigma.”
Wu added that there are currently over 400 national SSA chapters. In accordance with the national organization’s policies, the Santa Clara chapter would abide by the national principles of community, advocacy, service and education.
According to Martin, potential club meeting discussions could include the definition of reality outside of religion, the intersectionality of Jesuit principles and the religious and cultural diversity at Santa Clara.
With regards to SSA’s openness to interfaith dialogue, Martin said that SSA welcomed discussion amongst religious groups on campus.
People United for Reproductive Rights (PURR) also sought recognition as a registered student organization. Students Hannah Sisney and Gayatri Krishnan spoke to senators, saying that PURR would aim to educate students about reproductive and sexual health in addition to fostering a dialogue about reproductive justice.
Unlike other pre-existing RSOs, PURR would focus entirely on reproductive health education. Krishman expressed confidence that the club would be successful because of the fervent activism regarding reproductive health throughout the country.
Senator Ahmer Israr asked Sisney and Krishnan if they were aware of the university’s rules for distributing contraception. The long-standing policy states that only sexual health educational resources may be provided, but not actual contraception such as birth control and condoms.
Sisney said that PURR would only provide informational pamphlets and resources, but added that individuals are allowed to independently distribute contraception on public property.
ASG President Lidia Diaz-Fong also informed senators about a potential dress code policy revision at the Malley Fitness Center. The change would standardize apparel regulations across the entire facility, including the indoor basketball courts.
Additionally, student senators confirmed two new ASG members. Junior Paul Armstrong and senior John Ferrari were sworn in as the new LGBTQ inclusion senator and senior class senator, respectively.
Six other student groups sought RSO approval and will be voted on at the week three meeting.
ASG Senate will meet again on April 20 at 7 p.m.
Contact Bella Rios at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554- 4852.