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The St. Thomas University Students’ Union receives approximately 10 emergency bursary applications every week, and has awarded $4460 in emergency bursaries as of Oct. 18. Former vice-president student life Nicole Pozer gave an interview about the process of receiving emergency bursaries and the intended uses of the program before she resigned.
“A lot of the time it’s people asking for more money than they need, or asking for books and tuition when it states clearly on the application that’s not what it’s for,” Pozer said.
The $22,000 line in the students’ union budget is intended to help pay for basic needs after tuition and textbooks have been paid for by the student. According to Fin Mackay-Boyce, vice-president administration, there’s just over $17,500 left in the line.
Students can apply for up to $500 from the emergency bursary committee.
“They are definitely not intended to help you over a long period of time. We expect that students have a way of sustaining themselves throughout the year and that their EB application will help them in a one-time emergency situation,” Pozer said.
The emergency bursary committee meets on Fridays at 1 p.m. to go over all the applications submitted during the week. The committee consists of John Hoben, president, Jono House, student advocate, Tina Reissner, STUSU general manager, and Henri Thibeau, acting vice president student life.
The number of applications makes it difficult to decide who gets an emergency bursary and for how much.
“It’s encouraged that people attach photocopies of their bills and official documents just so we have a clear idea of your financial situation,” Pozer said.
She also wanted to assure any students applying that all the documents submitted with an emergency bursary application are shredded once the decision is made. The only record of the bursary is a line in the account book.
The form can be found at http://stusu.net/services/emergency-bursaries or at the help desk in James Dunn Hall. Applications can be submitted either through email to firstname.lastname@example.org or dropped off at the help desk.
“I can’t promise that all applications will be accepted. If you’re a student in need and you meet all the criteria, there should be no reason for you to be denied,” Pozer said.