Students make calls, raise money

Students make calls, raise money

For the past 30 years, the phonathon has been a staple on Simpson’s campus, providing students with work study positions and the college with necessary funding.

The phonathon is a program on campus that raises money for the Simpson Fund, which provides scholarships, financial assistance to students and other resources to students and faculty members.

Melisse Walpole, associate director of annual giving, said that the phonathon is a successful program.

“(Phonathon) gives our students the opportunity to network with our alumni, share news and raise money for their Simpson education,” Walpole said.

During six weeks in the fall and spring, students call alumni, friends and parents and update them on what is new at Simpson. Students answer whatever questions the caller has and then ask for a gift. The phonathon traditionally raises around $160,000 each year.

As the spring semester gets into full swing, current students and their parents are starting to get calls from the phonathon. While phonathon organizers said this is not a new practice, many have been caught off guard.

Some parents and students feel as though they should not be asked to donate more money while they are already currently paying to attend school.

“Some parents that have been asked to give to the college are not as receptive and get offended that you are calling them for money,” Monaghan said.

Sophomore Meghan Gamble agreed that some parents do get angry and do not want to give to the college.

“I can see how some parents might get upset about us calling to get money,” Gamble said. “If someone’s not receptive or gets angry, I’m not going to badger them and demand that they give the college money.”

Freshman Nicole Olson has also had similar experiences with parents of current students.

“I know a lot of parents that don’t like getting calls from the college,” Olson said. “They think that they’ve already paid enough for their child to go to college and don’t want to pay anything extra.”

Though some parents do frown on the calls, Monaghan said that they should support the college.

“I think that we should be calling them because it’s benefiting the college and helping students out in the long run,” Monaghan said. “Every little bit helps, so why shouldn’t they help out?”

Walpole agreed.

“We call parents because financial support is essential to the success of the college and their children,” Walpole said. “The support makes an impact on all Simpson students and their Simpson experience.”

This spring semester there have been around 45 student workers at phonathon. Gamble has worked at this program every semester since she came to Simpson. Students say that they generally like the position as a student worker for the phonathon.

“I think the phonathon is a really entertaining experience,” Gamble said. “It’s a pleasant job to have, and we (are/get) paid quite a bit of money.”

Monaghan agreed with Gamble and said it is a new experience for her.

“I really enjoy when people are really friendly and want to have a conversation with you,” Monaghan said. “That makes me realize that I’m doing something right.”

Gamble, Monaghan and Olson all look forward to working at the phonathon in the future.

“We have games and prizes at the end of the week to reward the star caller,” Olson said. “It’s a great incentive for students to try their hardest.”

According to Walpole, this program is continuing to grow and involve more students.

“We always encourage involvement and are looking for enthusiastic students who are interested in connecting with alumni,” Walpole said. “Sometimes these connections prove useful in the future via internship or mentoring opportunities.”