Senior gift a tie to the future

Geneseo, like most institutions, is imperfect. What we overlook as our list of complaints grows, however, is that students can actually change what we don't like - Enter: senior gift.

There is a lot more to the senior gift than the T-shirt you receive when you donate. Yes, that's right - you are not buying the shirt - you are making a donation that will be put into the Fund for Geneseo. Annually, these donations are allocated into areas where support is most needed. The money that we donate is set aside for scholarships, athletics and other programs.

When seniors donate, they have the choice to designate where their money goes. So, for instance, I am in a sorority. If I wanted to, I could designate my donation to the Inter-Greek Council. Athletes might want their donations to go to their team or the fitness facilities.

On the other hand, if you choose not to specifically allocate your money, Geneseo will put your donation into the most appropriate place - and there are many areas of this college that are in need.

Students who are wondering why they would donate their money to a cause they don't believe will not affect them post-graduation present a valid concern. What students tend not to realize is that senior gift is not a gift for seniors; rather, it is a gift from seniors.

Seniors also fail to recognize that this cause does affect them. When we donate, our money goes toward improving Geneseo. And as we improve various aspects of the college, the reputation attached to Geneseo gets better. Our degrees are, in turn, more valuable; we have the power to directly contribute to bettering this place that many of us have been lucky enough to call home for the past four years.

Donating to the senior gift is somewhat of a rite of passage. Last year's gift raised close to $15,000 that went toward bettering our experience. This year it is our turn. So far, this year's seniors have donated $1,185, while parents of seniors have donated approximately $11,000 into the Fund for Geneseo. We need to step it up.

Hopefully knowing where your money is going will make it that much easier to open up your wallet and shell out $15 to give a little back. Considering all that we have gained from our college experience, no donation could be great enough.

Carey Burgess is a senior comunication major who loves the idea of the senior gift.