Kaitie Spaude, a third-year student working toward a dual degree in journalism and media arts and technology, is a supervisor at the RIT Telefund office and a student organizer for ROAR Day next week. Spaude, from Little Suamico, Wis., is going into her third year of involvement with RIT Telefund. In her time away from the office and classroom, Spaude enjoys writing, dancing and packing parachutes at a skydiving drop zone.
ROAR Day, which stands for Raise Our Annual Response Day, is a 24-hour window during which students, faculty and staff are encouraged to make small donations back to their university. Last year’s event brought in $123,000 in direct support to RIT with more than 2,400 students, faculty and alumni donors. This year’s ROAR Day will take place on Oct. 5.
Question: What brought you to RIT?
Answer: In high school I worked at a commercial photography studio and my boss was always talking about how she wished she would have gone to college at RIT. After hearing the name over and over for two years, I decided to apply. After touring RIT and meeting some of the wonderful faculty and students in my programs, I knew it was the place for me.
Q: How did you come to work for RIT Telefund?
A: I saw a job opening listed on the student employment office website, so I applied! After some nerve-wracking phone interviews and lots of training, I was on the phones speaking with thousands of alumni about how they can help make RIT the best university there is.
Q: What is ROAR Day, and why is it so important?
A: ROAR Day is really about giving back to RIT because it gives so much to you! Most people don’t realize that it takes about $800 a minute to run RIT, and tuition only covers about $300 a minute. That means the rest comes from donations made by alumni, parents and friends of the university. ROAR Day is the students’ chance to step up and also help to give back. Any gift given by a student, faculty or staff member on ROAR Day is matched by RIT’s Board of Trustees dollar-for-dollar up to $40,000! That’s amazing! No other donors get this sort of opportunity to instantly double their impact, so it’s so important that the students realize that this is their time to show their support.
Q: How much time has gone into planning for the day, and how many people are involved?
A: Too much! The Telefund’s director, Brenna Mangano, and acting assistant director/RIT alumna Coral Emond have put in months’ worth of time organizing, planning and running the events on campus for ROAR Day. Plus, all of the Telefund callers have been busy promoting it on the phone for the last two weeks. Even though we’re a pretty large team, we are only a small part of all of the people who help make this day a reality.
Q: Who will you be donating to on ROAR Day?
A: This year my gift is going toward the College of Liberal Arts Scholarship Fund. I want to help a future COLA student get the same amazing support that was offered to me in order for my RIT dreams to become a reality!
Q: What are the most challenging and rewarding things about working as a fundraiser for RIT?
A: The alumni we talk to make it both a challenge and a reward. We get to speak to so many alumni who have moved on from RIT to do amazing things. Just by being able to spend a few minutes on the phone with them, you pick up so much advice and hear a lot of inspiring stories. Plus I’ve even gotten a co-op offer or two!
Q: What would you say to anybody who is considering donating to motivate them to participate on ROAR Day?
A: If you are involved in any club or activity on campus: DO IT! RIT doesn’t provide financial assistance to any club on campus, so giving back is super important, otherwise all of the wonderful, diverse clubs here won’t be able to continue to exist, and they’re half of what makes RIT so great!
Q: What are your plans following your graduation from RIT?
A: When I figure that out, you’ll be the first to know!
Lauren Peace compiles “Student Spotlight” for University News. Contact her at email@example.com with suggestions.