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Chief of Staff, Molly Pennington, left, listens to Treasurer, Trinity Robinson, right, at the student senate meeting in Walter Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 14 2022.

Student Senate: Giselle Garcia speaks on Basic Needs program

Student Senate met Wednesday for the first time this semester and heard from Giselle Garcia, graduate assistant for the Basic Needs program.

Garcia gave a presentation on the Bobcats Helping Bobcats program, which she said has a goal of emphasizing how students, staff and faculty can help support students who are experiencing financial challenges.

Jade Dutiel, an intern for the Basic Needs program, then spoke to Senate about Cats’ Cupboard, Ohio University’s food pantry. Located in Baker 514, Cats’ Cupboard works with OU alumni and other Athens residents to provide food for OU students, staff and faculty, as well as their families.

Dutiel said Cats’ Cupboard currently serves over 1,000 people, 545 of those being OU students.

Cats’ Cupboard does not ask any questions about income, only the number of people in the household. Families are allowed to use the pantry twice a month, with a week between visits.

Garcia then talked about an emergency microgrants program, which she said are for unavoidable expenses such as an accident or illness. She also said that grants are typically no more than $500, and that any current student who is enrolled at least half-time is eligible to apply.

Kylie Duncan, an intern for the Basic Needs program, spoke about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Duncan said SNAP Provides funds to households to purchase food at a grocery store.

Families can receive up to $281 per month from SNAP, sometimes more depending on household size. Eligibility for SNAP is determined by students who are work-study eligible and/or have a $0 Expected Family Contribution, or EFC, on their FAFSA.

Senate moved to welcome Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Lyn Redington.

“My job is to support you and your success, and I am very excited to be here and to do that,” Redington said.

Following Dr. Redington’s introduction, Senate moved to appoint Dylan DeMonte as Academic Affairs Commissioner.


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