A group of nine students — which later grew to approximately 15 — have founded the Colorado College Mutual Aid Fund to support students who request aid to meet basic living expenses. Funds generally are requested for items such as groceries, rent, transportation, and utilities by low-income students already receiving financial aid but who need additional help.

Begun in late July, the Mutual Aid Fund started as a branch of the student group Collective for Antiracism and Liberation. The Mutual Aid Fund is entirely student-run, created by students, for students, and organized under the Colorado College Office of Advancement. The group strives to create a network of solidarity within the CC community in order to meet each other’s needs, say students who drafted much of the organization’s statements. Among them are Hannah Friedman ’22, Misbah Lakhani ’24, Tova Salzinger ’22, Dylan Chapell ’24, and Ellie Miles ’23.

According to the organizers, approximately 70% of the students who have requested aid are people of color and 62% are Bridge Scholars. The average request is $1,800.

The founding students say a key differentiator of the fund is that it’s based in solidarity, not charity – one that directly allows CC students full and equitable access to their education.

“We hope to better our collective capacity to access a CC education, and address a number of related challenges that may have arisen for community members pertaining to COVID-19,” says Salzinger.

Since July, the group has raised $100,827 and distributed $76,781 of that to 151 students so far. This has been possible because of donations of all sizes from more than 600 students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, board members, and other community members. The group continues to raise money and will distribute the additional funds over the course of the Spring Semester.

All donations to the Mutual Aid Fund are used to supplement needs not covered by CC’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency Response Fund and International Student Assistance Fund.

The group is working on fundraising from current students through social media, noting that if every CC student donated $20 per month ($5 a week) through the end of the Fall Semester, the fund would be able to redistribute $91,640; if continued through the end of the academic year, it would add up to $320,740. The students also are partnering with the Senior Class Gift and the Young Alumni Donation Committees to engage seniors and young alumni in redistribution of wealth. They also are sending targeted emails, texts, and letters to alumni and parents.

Discover More Online: More information and giving information is available at 2cc.co/mutualaid