Pomona College, which commenced furloughing over 200 employees on Oct. 1 amid budget shortfalls caused by loss of room and board fees with remote instruction, started the Sagehen Employee Support Fund. The fund solicits donations to provide immediate grants to furloughed employees.
According to Dean of Students Avis E. Hinkson, the fund is a joint effort of the Alumni Association Board, Staff and Faculty Charitable Giving Committees, Faculty Executive Committee, Associated Students of Pomona College — Pomona’s student government —and the Pomona College Board of Trustees.
According to the fund’s website, “[t]he initial goal is to raise at least $300,000 to respond to some of the immediate needs of our furloughed staff. To help reach that goal, the Board of Trustees has committed the first $100,000. All donations will go directly to support furloughed employees. (If more funds are raised, we will continue to look for other ways to support our furloughed staff. If there is any balance left in the fund after the need for furloughed employees is met, funds will be directed to help other employees facing hardships in our community.)”
Pomona is partnering with America’s Charities, a 501(c)3 organization to maintain private information and administer and distribute the funds.
Furloughed employees can start applying in a little more than a week:
“Benefits-eligible employees who have been furloughed (both full and partial) may apply for tax- free grants up to $1,500 beginning Oct. 15, 2020. The online application will be posted by that date and will take no more than five minutes to complete.”
Donors can contribute online, while staff and faculty can donate through payroll deduction.
For students facing hardships, there is a separate student emergency grant fund administered by Student Affairs.
Student group Occupy Pomona is continuing its fight against the furloughs and another student group, the 5C Student Worker Alliance, raised $57,000 to distribute to employees in need.
Pomona faculty previously voiced opposition against the furloughs, although the administration reaffirmed its decision.