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Monday, December 10, 2018

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The Economic Crisis Response Team to helps students facing economic crises. The Economic Crisis Response Team to helps students facing economic crises.

It Happens Here

A panel discussion will explore what it’s like to experience food and housing insecurity in college.
By Mallory Black

Karen Molina, a sophomore finance major at San Diego State University, has had her fair share of economic struggles. In high school, her family was evicted from their home.

Last spring semester while at SDSU, it nearly happened again.

“I remember when my mom told me that we were about to be homeless,” Molina said. “That was really tough because the news came right before my first quiz for one of my finance classes. I thought, ‘How am I supposed to focus on this now?’”

Experiencing an economic crisis while in college can happen to any student. To help shed light on the issue, Molina will share her personal experiences on a panel titled, ‘It Happens Here: A Conversation about Homelessness and Hunger in College,’ on Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Aztec Student Union Theatre. The event is being co-sponsored by the Economic Crisis Response Team, or ECRT, a group formed to coordinate efforts to support students in need, and One SDSU Community.

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, Vitaliano Figueroa, said representatives from across campus are leading the ECRT efforts, which include identifying students facing temporary, but immediate struggles and finding available resources to address those needs. 

“With ECRT, we will be able to assist a number of students who find themselves in emergency situations and help guide them through that transition period so they can stay at San Diego State and ultimately graduate,” Figueroa said. “We want to make sure that we can help students through the process and the transition to the best of our abilities.”

Aztecs Rock Hunger

As part of the initiative, ECRT will also help address immediate hunger needs of students. This fall, a partnership between ECRT and Associated Students’ Aztecs Rock Hunger Campaign will give all Aztec students an opportunity to help their peers.

"Ten percent of the monetary proceeds donated to Aztecs Rock Hunger will be donated to ECRT, giving back to both to the community and to students right here at SDSU," said A.S. Vice President of Financial Affairs Dominic Bilotti.

“As Associated Students, we realize there are students who may have food insecurities or are in crisis situations, so that is why we are supporting ECRT to help students combat the situation they are in,” Bilotti said. “We’re really excited for the transformation of the campaign this year. All it takes is one person to make a difference.”

Each year the Aztecs Rock Hunger Campaign donates to the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. The food drive will run from October 22 to November 15 this year, with the goal of collecting 300,000 pounds of food.

Since 2007, universities in the San Diego area have competed in the Colleges Rock Hunger challenge to donate food to local families in need.

Monetary donations to Aztecs Rock Hunger can be made online or at any Aztec Market or SDSU Dining Services location.