AUSTIN (KXAN) — UT Austin and Texas A&M students were among millions across the state who were affected by last week’s massive winter storms.
Many of these students were left to worry about bill payments and figuring out how damages to their housing would be fixed. In response to that, student leaders at both universities decided to figure out a way to help by launching a competitive fundraising campaign.
The contributions will go toward the schools’ emergency funds that will help students replace groceries that may have gone bad due to power outages, along with personal items and school supplies that may have been damaged in the storm.
The campaign was started after UT Student Government President Anagha Kikkeri and Texas A&M Student Body President Eric Mendoza were discussing the storm’s impact. Mendoza said that both longhorns and aggies were greatly affected by the freeze that swept the region.
“We want the students to be able to focus on what they’re here for — which is school,” Mendoza said. “Distractions that are out of their control, like this winter storm, make that hard, especially when the impact is financial.”
Both universities faced similar challenges, such as power outages, dry taps, and burst pipes at apartment complexes across the state.
Mendoza said power outages caused A&M students to charge their phone in increments in order to maintain connection with family. While in Austin, Kikkeri said icy road conditions prevented students from leaving their homes to seek warmth or running water.
“Some students were going hungry because they didn’t have access to food,” she said. “It was a very intense situation.”
The 12-day crowdfunding effort will end Wednesday, March 10. In the spirit of friendly competition, the school that raises the most money for Texas students in need will be announced at the March 30 baseball game between the rivals.
Students seeking aid as a result of the winter storms can submit an application online.