By Jenna Hobin

A mere three months ago, Carleton University’s MacOdrum Library was filled with familiar sounds: the tapping of keyboard strokes and the rustle of students preparing for midterms.

But on this day, Andrew Mendes, director of Student Care & Support, Mental Health & Conduct at Carleton hears only the echo of his footsteps. Mendes was back on campus to shoot a video to thank donors to the 2020 Student Emergency Fund. While he certainly noticed the change in atmosphere, his visit to the library reminded him of the strength and resilience of the Carleton community.

“It’s such a relief for our students to know there are people they can depend on,” he said. The support and mentorship shown by Carleton’s faculty, staff and partners as we adjust to our “new normal” comes through loud and clear.

The 2020 Student Emergency Fund was established in response to many community members who asked: “How can we help?” To date, more than 400 generous donors have given more than $100,000, providing students with much-needed funding for essential life needs such as groceries, medications and clothing.

Of these supporters, over 37 per cent of gifts were made by staff and faculty. To Mendes, this reflects the commitment of our on-campus community to make a difference in the lives of our students both in and outside the classroom.

“It goes beyond financial support,” he said. Students who are eligible for financial assistance get some extra guidance from staff through the problem-solving process, he explained. It lets them know that there are people on campus who care and who want to help.

This support has been praised by students like Madison Adams, who is going into her second year of Health Sciences.

“I have been inspired by the incredible adaptability and unwavering moral support provided by Carleton’s faculty and staff,” she said.

“Every single one of my professors and TAs have made themselves available through online office hours and have reached out with a clear message—we are here for you, we are with you.”

Fundraising for the 2020 Student Emergency Fund continues. You can support the fund here or by visiting All donations have and continue to be matched dollar-for-dollar by Carleton University.

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Monday, June 15, 2020 in , ,
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