Calling for cash

by Kari Koehler

Looking for a convenient way to make some money that allows you to set your own schedule and spend time with students like yourself? Then look no further than the on-campus phone-a-thon.

Five nights a week, students gather in College Hall to fundraise for Simpson’s National Annual Phone-a-thon. The pledges raised go directly to benefit the college’s general scholarship fund and to assist financial aid for students.

The draw of a paycheck is what initially attracts many students to help out with S.N.A.P, but the on-going opportunity to meet new people, have some snacks and win prizes keep the workers coming back for more.

Ashley Tilka,assistant director of alumni giving and annual programs, is heading up the operation this year and observed that participation has been pretty consistent with past years. Tilka said she thinks that students come and help out because, “it’s a nice, flexible job.” But, there are more potential benefits.

“It’s a great learning experience. The students get to talk to alumni and can make some great connections,” Tilka said. Tilka noted that she’s heard of past students getting to know alumni through S.N.A.P. and learning about their current lives, and this sometimes can lead to internships, recommendations or influence the student’s decision when choosing a graduate school to attend.

Sophomore Sara Lundy initially joined S.N.A.P. her freshman year for the money. “It looked like a good way to make some extra cash,” said Lundy.

But in the end, the money wasn’t the only thing she got out of the experience. She’s back again this year because she enjoyed talking to the alumni so much.

“It’s not like telemarketing because we actually get to talk to past students and get to know them personally,” said Lundy. “And the people we call want to hear from us. They enjoyed Simpson and are happy to talk to us.”

Freshman Kristi Prostine, like Lundy, joined for some extra cash.

“It’s a pretty simple job; it’s a lot of fun to go with my friends.” Prostine also finds stark differences between S.N.A.P. and telemarketing. “These people love Simpson and have common ground with us, so we’re able to carry on a conversation with them,” said Prostine.

Prostine too enjoys exchanging experiences with the alumni. “I especially enjoy hearing their stories about World War II and other memorable events,” Prostine said.

Prostine has also gained insight into Simpson’s past.

“I’m finding out stuff I never knew about Simpson. I’m learning all kinds of new, interesting things about the college,” Prostine said.