The Student Government Association allocated $1,000 on Oct. 28 for the family of Saint Vincent College student Chelsey Bolish, who recently lost her house in a fire only eight weeks after the death of her sister. The SGA donation occurred amid efforts by Campus Ministry to collect money and supplies for the Bolish family.
Russell Clark, senior communication major and Wimmer Hall Representative, is the SGA member who first motioned to allocate money for a donation to the Bolish family.
“They’ve gone through tremendous loss, and we have the financial resources as the Student Government Association that we should be able to use them and give them to someone in need,” Clark said.
Clark’s original motion to allocate $250 was amended twice before reaching the total of $1,000.
“I was so overjoyed that I said $250, and then someone said $500, and then someone made it $1,000,” Clark revealed.
Clark explained that meeting needs all around Saint Vincent is a normal part of his role in SGA.
“As a whole, our SGA is very giving,” Clark said.
However, Dr. Jerome Foss, faculty advisor for SGA, said that this situation is unique.
“Each year, SGA sets aside a considerable amount of money for things that are hard to predict ahead of time, and the Senate has lots of discretion when it comes to spending this money,” Foss explained, adding that he was happy to witness the students’ generosity.
In addition to SGA’s donation, Campus Ministry has raised $3,086.99 in collections and gifts for the Bolish family, according to Rev. Killian Loch, OSB, director of Campus Ministry. Student volunteers sat at tables in the Carey Center and outside the cafeteria to collect donations.
Loch stated that usually in the case of an emergency involving the student, Campus Ministry goes directly to the Student Emergency Fund.
“Because of the extent of the Bolish tragedy, and that the Emergency Fund is lower than we would like at this time, it was decided to take the collection up,” Loch elaborated.
Loch also noted that SGA usually makes a contribution to help students in emergency situations, as they did for Chelsey Bolish.
“SGA is very attentive to the needs of students and tends to respond quickly and generously as part of helping the student and their family,” Loch said.
Chelsey Bolish, sophomore early education major, expressed that she is extremely grateful for the generosity of the people at Saint Vincent.
“We greatly appreciate everything that the school has done and I just can’t be any happier for picking a school that actually cares about their students,” Bolish said.