Give to Slug Support

UCSC Student Emergency Fund

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Program Description
The Student Emergency Fund is a vital resource for students experiencing major life events that threaten their academic progress. Under the guidance of the Dean of Students, the Student Emergency Fund, helps the neediest students bridge financial gaps during periods of distress, such as food insecurity, high medical bills, familial issues, loss of family income, or self-funded students who need additional money for food or rent.

Vision and Goals
The UCSC Student Emergency Fund supports a transformative student experience by intervening when students are in distress. The Student Emergency Fund is administered by the Slug Support Program. A trained Slug Support Manager provides personalized consultation with a long-term goal of stabilizing the student. The fund helps alleviate financial stressors that are obstacles to student academic progress. The UCSC Slug Support program serves about 1500 students per year; the key outcome is that we retain these wonderful students during difficult times and move them toward graduation. UCSC Slug Support creates significant good will consistent with UCSC’s principles of community and service. Examples of how the Student Emergency Fund is used:

  • Grocery or Campus meal cards
  • Emergency housing
  • Mental health support
  • Book and school supplies

One such student sought help from the Slug Support Program. The student disclosed that his parents had cut off all support and had a history of being emotionally abusive toward him. The student was “couch-surfing” and had no permanent housing; he was also struggling to buy groceries and meet basic needs. The student had arranged a possible job at the Arboretum, but they lacked funding for the position. The Slug Support Manager provided Safeway gift cards to assist with food, arranged for his emergency award to be transferred to Arboretum utilizing his work-study to fund a long-term position and stabilize his financial crisis. The student was guided through a CalFresh Application to provide long-term help with costs of food. The Slug Support Manager advocated on student’s behalf to establish him as an “Independent” on his financial aid documentation so that he would no longer be dependent on his parents.

Background/Qualifications
The UCSC Student Emergency Fund was created in 2009 to promote early intervention with students of concern and prevent culminating problems from escalating into a crisis.  UCSC's Slug Support Program was established in 2011. Today an area for Slug Support is emergency housing and food access. 4 in 10 UC students do not have access to consistent sources of nutritious foods.* The Student Emergency Fund addresses this issue by supporting vouchers for UCSC dining halls and the food pantry in the Dean of Students Office. The Slug Support Manager is a direct point of contact for students, staff, faculty and parents who are concerned about a student. The Manager will consult about the student’s presenting issue, develop an action plan utilizing campus and community resources, and coordinate appropriate services.

Opportunites for Impact

  • A $10M lead commitment will permanently endow this program.
  • $325,000 annually will fund the entire program for one year. Currently, only $34,000 is permanently funded.
  • $50,000 will endow one student per year with faculty-led employment or an internship.
  • $25,000 will endow one student’s typical emergency needs for a year.
  • Annual gifts of $500-$1500 per year will fund one student in most cases.
  • Annual gifts of $50 - $250 per year would supplement food for the Slug Support Food Pantry.
*UC Global Food Initiative Student Food Access and Security Survey, 2016. http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/regmeet/july16/e1attach.pdf