Crowdfunding to support survivors
In one of her final acts as University of Minnesota Student Association (MSA) president, Abeer Syedah, ’17 B.A., made fundraising for the Aurora Center a priority. The center provides free and confidential services to students who have been hurt by sexual assault, relationship violence, and sexual harassment. It also offers education on topics such as consent, bystander intervention, and healthy relationships.
“The Minnesota Legislature was looking to drive down student fees, which fund the center, even though sexual assault reports and sexual misconduct allegations at the U have increased in recent years,” Syedah says. In 2016, 568 people turned to the center for help, a 23 percent increase over the previous year.
In response, the MSA and other student groups launched Fund Aurora on URaiseMN, the U’s crowd-funding platform. They’ve raised almost $12,500 since April, and gifts continue to come in.
Money raised through Fund Aurora will help the center enhance client services, increase marketing efforts, and train volunteers.