SG seeks student input on senior class gift

Katie Balevic

Seniors received an email from Student Government yesterday with a survey gauging class interest in donating to a senior gift — something SG hopes will become a new Longhorn tradition.

“Our senior class wants to pay it forward so that no student feels that they can’t be at UT,” said Cameron Maxwell, SG external finance director. “For students who are struggling to get by day to day, this project is for them.”

The survey, which was emailed exclusively to seniors, listed a variety of options. Students could check all items that they would consider donating to, including a general scholarship fund for future students, donations to the CMHC and a Longhorn silhouette sculpture on campus.

“This really has to be something that students want to do and that students get behind,” finance senior Maxwell said. “I view it as a way that the senior class can come together and express some of that spirit that we have about UT and have that camaraderie with fellow classmates.”

The objective of the gift is to unite the senior class, said Brad Wolff, class gift director.

“Our real goal is to have participation. With the senior class’ support, we can really go a long way in improving accessibility and programs for future Longhorns.”

The requested donation amount is $20.18 to commemorate the class of 2018, according to the survey. Based on the survey’s results, the list will be narrowed down to three items that seniors can choose to donate to, Wolff said.

“On the survey, the real purpose is to democratize this class gift,” Wolff said. “We wanted to give seniors the opportunity to choose what type of class gift they want … so with strong participation, we can really get a feel of what the senior class is passionate about.”

The tradition of having a yearly class gift will continue through SG with the requested donation amount increasing by one cent each year to reflect graduation year of each class, SG vice president Micky Wolf said.

“I think that having that legacy of giving and students shaping our own campus is so vital to what this University is about and really fits the mindset that we’re going after with revamping a senior class gift,” said Wolf, a Plan II and business honors senior.

Every donation will be matched by the office of University President Gregory Fenves up to $50,000, according to the emailed survey. Wolf said he hopes this will increase seniors’ willingness to donate.

“There have been mixed reviews on some of the past campaigns that have been done, but I think the student-run nature of the campaign and the fact that every dollar that someone donates will be matched by the president will really make a difference,” Wolf said.

Seniors who donate the full $20.18 will receive a token of appreciation in return, such as a class pin or tassel to wear at graduation, Wolf said.

“For seniors, I’m really looking at this as a way to come together and leave a legacy at the University and make a difference for students,” Wolf said.

The survey is projected to close within the next two weeks.