EDITORIAL: Meal Swipe for Charity aids community

Youth Empowerment Club is correct choice in annual campaign


Did you ever think that your meal swipes could make a difference? The Meal Swipe for Charity campaign is doing just that. Meal Swipe for Charity is a campaign that gives students the opportunity to donate their unused guest swipes to a charitable organization. Which charity do the swipes go to? This is what the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) votes on every year, and this year the decision came to the Rutgers Youth Empowerment Club, which supports the nonprofit group Youth Empowerment Services (YES).

The Youth Empowerment Club was chosen out of a total of eight applications that RUSA received. This decision was based upon which organization RUSA believed would be able to raise the most money.

The Youth Empowerment Club pushes for the aid of at-risk children in the New Brunswick community. The members of the club do this through educational assistance, mentoring relationships and recreational-based prevention and intervention programs. This means that the group is dedicated to bettering the condition for children within the local area that need it the most. And now, students around the University have the chance to donate their meal swipes to this organization. Each swipe that is donated directly funds their program.

One of the initiatives that the Youth Empowerment Club pushes is the A2E tutoring and mentoring program at a local elementary school for first, second and third-grade students. These students are ones who have been designated as the “most behind” in literacy and math skills according to their teachers. Last year 130 volunteers helped 50 students, and with more donations, the club hopes to increase these numbers even more. The Youth Empowerment Club also pointed out that New Brunswick High School has a 68 percent graduation rate. The club plans on taking action to raise these numbers, as well.

RUSA’s Meal Swipe for Charity has made a worthy choice in selecting the Youth Empowerment Club for this initiative. The club pushes ideals that are not only going to benefit the students within the club but also the future generations of students that they are helping. Oftentimes, people forget that New Brunswick and Rutgers University are not simply interchangeable areas. New Brunswick is a residential city on its own and deals with financial and educational struggles of its own. The Youth Empowerment Club not only recognizes this but also spreads this awareness to the rest of its members who then take action to improve their city.

If there was one thing that could be improved or changed about Meal Swipe for Charity, it would be the technicality that students can only donate guest swipes to the cause. Students are only allowed to use 10 guest swipes per semester, and they are not allowed to use any of their own meal swipes as guest swipes after these 10 have been used up. This makes students less willing to donate them, as they often save them for friends or visitors. If Meal Swipe for Charity opened up the donation to regular meal swipes, they would most likely receive many more donations. This also has to do with the fact that many students do not even finish the meal swipes they purchase for a semester and end up either letting them disappear or rushing to swipe for as many things as they can from a student center. These rushed swipes would be put to much better use as donations to Meal Swipe for Charity.

The Youth Empowerment Club is a fine representative for the University this year, and it will, undoubtedly, use its donations to create a positive impact on New Brunswick.

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