Students at Kennesaw State should take advantage of the services offered by Campus Awareness, Resource & Empowerment Services (CARES) to remain stable with their grades and life in college.
In the past few years, universities have worked to perfect their support programs to ensure every student has access to what they need. In August 2019, KSU launched a “financial hardship” website to provide emergency assistance to students. The program works under CARES, which provides financial aid, housing and food assistance.
Students should not have to go hungry and the CARES pantry is available to ensure that. College students have more than enough stress on their plates while trying to achieve academic success.
Food insecurity is one of the most pressing matters facing college students since lack of proper nutrition can negatively affect energy levels and health. Any negative life changes, such as homelessness and food insecurity, can severely impact grades.
Opening up about homelessness can be embarrassing and a source of fear for students. This is mainly due to the overall disdain of people experiencing homelessness. Little to nothing has been done to help homeless people around the United States, and the situation has only worsened after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Norman Transcript’s 2021 article, The Shame of Homelessness, states that homelessness is a widespread societal problem rather than an individual problem.
“Our society tries to shame homelessness, when it is really the shame of our society,” editor Jackson Foote wrote. “The shame of homelessness is ours, the privileged, more than the marginalized.”
There are more homeless students than people believe. “Around 3 in 5 college students faced some form of basic needs insecurity in 2020,” according to Best Colleges.
Best Colleges delves further into a few possible factors affecting a student’s living situation. High tuition costs are one of these factors and only get worse if students wish to advance to a higher degree. Another important factor would be that many of these students are from marginalized groups, such as low-income, indigenous or LGBT communities.
If a student cannot enter college due to a lack of living facilities, they cannot take advantage of the university’s financial aid or basic needs support.
Hope4College’s 2019 survey interviewed nearly 167,000 students from over 180 two-year and four-year universities about their food and housing insecurities.
According to the survey, “39% of respondents were food insecure in the prior 30 days. 46% of respondents were housing insecure in the previous year. 17% of respondents were homeless in the previous year.”
CARES has a campus pantry that allows students with food insecurities to shop for donated food. Donation bins are located across the Kennesaw and Marietta campuses, and an Amazon wishlist is present on the KSU CARES website.
Any KSU student experiencing food or home insecurities should take advantage of CARES and the plethora of services. There is no shame in asking for help and there will always be someone willing to lend a hand.