SGA announces 2017 charity weeks


Graphic by Charlotte Alden.

By Lily Friedman

For years, SGA filled February with dine-outs, spirit weeks and beard battles for Whitman students; but this year, SGA’s philanthropy will span all of second semester.

Four separate charity weeks will replace LLS month this school year: Mental Illness Awareness Week Feb. 6-10, LLS Week Mar. 13-17, Environment Week Apr. 24-29 and Homelessness Week May 15-20. Some weeks will include special events including a 5k run and a new dance.

SGA reshaped LLS Month to include more causes that affect students, charity weeks chair Rachel Hazan said.  

“We wanted to redesign our program to not just focus on one charity,” Hazan said. “[The new charity program will] spotlight other causes that different members of the student body may feel passionate about and connect to.”

Events both during and after school will focus on activities and raising money. For example, students will make sandwiches for the homeless during homelessness week, said junior chair Dana Gurland, who also helped design the new charity weeks program.

“Fundraising will become a less important goal because we want to make our events message-based,” Gurland said. “We have donated so much money in the past that it is time to show students other ways they can help besides emptying their wallets.”

The change in Whitman’s charity events will more accurately represent the needs and problems that students at Whitman face, junior Genevieve Meier said.

“There are so many people affected by causes besides LLS and it’s important to spread awareness of those causes, too,” Meier said. “The hands-on focus will also get people more involved in charity because they’ll make helping the cause more fun.”

Hazan also emphasized that the new weeks will teach students about how to fundraise rather than just donate money.

“We also wanted to try and integrate more education and awareness with fundraising, which can be difficult to effectively do with a money-focused program like the LLS High School Challenge,” Hazan said.

The variety of causes combined with new activities may also help students relate to different charities more, senior Olivia Doran said.

“There are so many great charities out there and I like how Whitman is moving towards helping a greater variety of people in need,” Doran said. “Having more activities also helps with understanding the causes better.”

SGA will provide students with specific details when they finalize plans and administration approves each event.

Rachel Hazan is a photographer for the Black & White.