Penny wars build scholarships

Amina Murati, Writer

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 “All is fair in love and war”, penny wars that is. The third annual “All is Fair in Love and (Penny) Wars” will be held Thursday, Feb. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Several student organizations will be in Village Square competing to see not only who can collect the most points but, more importantly, who will raise the most money for various student scholarships at NEIU. Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Ashely Agron provided more information about the event, hosted by NEIU’s Office of Alumni Relations.

The name of the event comes from the original quote, “all is fair in love and war”, which means a situation where people don’t follow the usual rules of behavior and do things that are normally considered unfair. “We do the event around Valentine’s Day because of its title,” stated Agron. 

She also explained how student organizations compete during the event. “Penny Wars is a friendly competition between different Student Organizations. The competition is a way for students to get to see that donations, no matter the size, do have a positive impact on the university.” 

Agron also explained how pocket change is collected by all students and staff in an effort to gain more money toward student scholarships. “We collect pocket change, as people are walking through Village Square, we just ask them to donate whatever change you have. Whether you have one dollar or 20 cents, it doesn’t matter. It will make a difference.”

The goal of the event is not only to raise money for student scholarships, but it is also a way for students to learn the importance of giving back to their university. 

“It’s more of a student engagement event. It is a way to get students actively participating in philanthropy efforts,” Agron mentioned, explaining the event’s effect on the student body. She also included other benefits of the event, saying, “getting students in the habit of giving back to the university by donating toward student scholarships, helping each other so students will understand the importance of giving to create some type of philanthropic tradition around campus, and it helps build school spirit.”

The event has achieved success over the past two years. In its first year, the event raised $150, and last year donations exceeded $400. Agron predicts that this year’s effort will build upon past successes, as more student organizations registered this year.

 A factor that might increase the participation of student organizations is the fact that each organization can choose which scholarship they wish to make a donation toward. Agron explained, “our first year, we only had the donations go toward the class gift scholarship. Last year, we started seeing donations to any scholarship that was near and dear to them, or something that affects the students that are in that organization.” Agron went in depth about different organizations that collected money for certain scholarships last year, such as the Aspire scholarship for undocumented students. 

Throughout the entire year, the NEIU staff are encouraged to donate toward student scholarships. “We ask them [the staff] to donate at the tables, but we also give out piggy banks through the foundation and our office. We tell people to save these piggy banks for these types of funding events. In the past, we’ve had staff come by with bags of $30 in change donated toward a scholarship of their choice.”  

The competition is all about who can raise the most money for their scholarship, and who can earn the most points at the end of the event. “We tally things differently. Pennies and dollar bills are positive points, and all silver coins are negative points,” Agron said… In the end, Agron explained how two prizes–one for the organization that earns the most points and another for the organization that raises the most money–are awarded at the end of the event. 

For more questions regarding the event, Ashley Agron can be contacted at [email protected]