By Neil Rasbury
Pennies were positive, dollars sabotage in the Student Government Association’s first Penny Wars, and the seniors took the prize.
Students deposited pennies in their class jars to earn positive points or deposited all other cash counts into other class jars for negative points. All money raised benefitted the respective class’ gift fund.
Senior Tara Roach, the SGA alumni affairs team leader, said the creation of the Penny Wars will improve student involvement with their class gifts.
She hopes it will be a new Rider tradition.
“I oversee the class presidents, and they really wanted to start funding things for the class gift starting freshman year,” Roach said. “This idea actually came about in November. We wanted to try doing it in November but then we were trying to think of a cool enough prize. Usually, how me and Andrea [Jarvis, Rider’s Annual Giving Assistant Director] work is we’re usually sitting in an office and I’m like, ‘We should try this.’ I mentioned Penny Wars, and she got really excited.”
The award that students were competing for was an opportunity to sign their names in the Rider pub, like many of the alums before them.
“I think it will help inspire students to donate,” said Roach. “You get to carve your name into the pub. Since the wall is filled with alumni and all their names, we don’t want to get rid of their tradition and their legacy. So we talked to Dean [of Students Anthony] Campbell and we got a table to carve our names on. Ideally we’d like to put it on the ceiling, but we might just think of another place to put it.”
Nicole Smith, music studies major and graduating senior who “has been waiting like four years,” was extremely excited to have the opportunity to leave her mark.
Students had the option of donating in various locations around campus, like Daly’s Dining Hall, Cranberry’s, The Rider Bookstore, The SRC Atrium and even at the Eggcellent Egg Hunt.
Co-creator Jarvis oversaw the student volunteers who were scheduled for every shift and made sure the results were tallied before she ventured off to the next location. If students wondered about their current standing in the game or where to donate, they were notified after every shift through email, Facebook notifications from the Annual Fund and Rider’s new social media tool, Collegiate Link.
Jarvis said that even though the main goal of the game is to sabotage the other class, there are other incentives as well.
“If a student makes a donation of five dollars or more, they will be recognized in the Honor Roll of Donors, and all the money goes to the class gift,” said Jarvis.
According to Jarvis, class gifts have helped sponsor many improvements on campus, such as the kiosk in front of the Bart Luedeke Center and the Rider Rock that students touch on their graduation from Rider.
While Roach may be graduating this semester, she has helped create a way for students to donate in a fun and competitive manner, that is now cemented in the SGA bylaws. Roach believes, if this campaign is successful, students will have another chance in the fall semester after Thanksgiving break to try to win the prize. However, it has been confirmed that this event will proceed next spring semester.
Roach says that because of Jarvis’ dedication, the competition will be hopefully going on for the “next couple of years.”
Jarvis announced that the Class of 2016 was successful in collecting the most money by the end of the campaign.
Roach hopes that the students will feel a sense of camaraderie during this competition and that students will continue to donate to Rider in the future.