Students Matter Most

Student working in lab.The GameAbove "Students Matter Most" initiative includes a $1.5 million gift to provide financial resources for students, including:

  • Learning clubs
  • Intramural sports
  • Student government and student organization priorities
  • Solutions for student homelessness and housing insecurity, among other near-term needs

Year 1 - 2020

The “Students Matter Most” initiative will span several years. During the first year of the program, beginning January 2, 2020, $300,000 will be invested to help create the building blocks that are required for long-term student success. Such building blocks include secure housing, food security, and access to University and community resources to ensure that students’ basic needs are met. In future years, GameAbove funds will be invested in the next layer of student success to promote student persistence and graduation.

Case Manager

Students often face challenges that are unrelated to their college experience but, if left unresolved, may block their path to academic success. Examples include long-term housing insecurity and lack of medical insurance. To help students navigate these external challenges, the University will hire a full-time professional case manager who will work in the Dean of Students office to help students navigate and access these myriad external resources. The GameAbove gift is therefore a game-changing step forward in coordinating student support.

Housing Assistance

During Year 1 of the GameAbove initiative, funds will be allocated to hire a graduate assistant (GA) to work directly with EMU students who face housing challenges and need temporary housing on campus. Funds will also be allocated to expand the pool of housing units available to students who need temporary housing assistance. This new service will therefore provide important support to at-risk students who face housing crises.

Swoops Pantry Expansion/Food Insecurity

Swoops Pantry was launched as a student project to help students facing food insecurity. It was quickly provided space, the John & Angie Sabo Swoops Pantry Room, to ensure its ability to immediately begin delivering services to students. The program has since grown to become an indispensable and vibrant part of our campus community. To accommodate that growth, a portion of the GameAbove gift will be used to fund the renovation and expansion of the John & Angie Sabo Swoops Pantry Room, thereby ensuring its long-term success. The exact location and details of this project will be developed in the coming months.

Student Emergency Fund

The EMU Student Emergency Fund assists EMU students by providing financial support to address a student’s unexpected emergencies. The GameAbove investment allows us to address a wide array of short-term roadblocks for students, including transportation-related issues that affect success. Students may apply for these funds here.