Giving Tuesday 2019 sees Augustana community support student mental health

This December 3, faculty, staff and volunteers gave back by fundraising for the Alumni Student Support and Engagement Team (ASSET).

Sydney Tancowny - 18 December 2019

Peter Murray '76 (centre), Marlene Maertens-Poole '87 (right) and other members of the Alumni Student Support and Engagement Team (ASSET) joined us on Giving Tuesday to visit with students, share homemade cookies and let students know that who they are makes a difference.

This past December 3, the Augustana campus community came together to fundraise for something close to their hearts-student mental health.

At a post-secondary institution, the mental health of students is something that's often front of mind. In fact, Augustana faculty and staff expressed their support by choosing the newly-established Alumni Student Support and Engagement Team (ASSET) as the campus Giving Tuesday 2019 fundraising project. The campus raised over $4,000, with over $2,000 going to support programming offered by ASSET!

Comprised of U of A alumni, ASSET is committed to addressing the mental health of Augustana students on campus. Created in partnership by the Alumni Association and the Office of the Dean of Students, the ASSET program recognizes the diverse skills and experiences of our alumni-something that is an advantage when understanding and engaging with current students. In this endeavour, each member is specially trained in Mental Health First Aid and Helping Skills and works closely with various offices on campus to best support students. This support can range from quizzing students on consent and sexual assault to providing information on services and resources within the university and Camrose to simply offering a caring conversation.

Over the fall term, ASSET has made several other appearances on campus, including Giving Tuesday and this week's "Unwind Your Wind" event that gives students a moment to de-stress during the exam season. With a dedicated area in the Forum filled with resources and ASSET members on campus throughout the week, students can rely on getting help when they most need it.

"As an educator I believe that building relationships is crucial to the well-being of everyone," said Augustana ASSET member, Judy Sommer. "I know that a positive interaction at the right time can make a huge difference in the life of another individual."

Thanks to everyone who gave generously on Giving Tuesday! If you would like to give a gift in support of student mental health through ASSET programming, you can give online at and indicate "ASSET" in "An Area Not specified". If you are an alumni, you can also apply to be a part of ASSET for future academic years! Look out for the application to open in summer 2020.