As the Class Gift 2013 team launch their promotional video, committee chair Alex Thornton-Reid tells us about the initiative and what its members wish to achieve.
The Class Gift is a student-run initiative which aims to encourage donations, primarily from the graduating class of the year and their parents and friends; the money raised is invested back into University projects.
It was set up in 2009 by a group of students who wanted to leave a financial legacy to the University. From that point, the aim has been to build up awareness and participation (among the entire student body, not just those graduating), as well as the amounts donated.
Aided by the Principal and Development, those goals have been met. Last year the initiative gained 113 student donors, which exceeded the aim to get 100 students to participate. The money raised went towards the Library redevelopment.
This year, Thornton-Reid says, the overall aim is to raise as much money as possible – the target being £7,000.
As chair on a committee of five, her role has been in organising meetings and events, such as the Class Gift Ceilidh held during RAG Week, and liaising with other groups, such as Lightbox (who produced this year’s Class Gift video).
The video, which she describes as “incredible, such good quality”, is designed to tell students what the Class Gift is and what the money being raised is for – the Students’ Association Bursary Fund. As illustrated in that video, donations can be made by text (to 70070).
The Class Gift committee has not stopped there, however. Thornton-Reid said that they will be asking students to vote for their favourite St Andrews tradition in Week 11 (from Monday 22 April), again with the aim of getting the Class Gift name out there.
There are also plans coming together for an event on the Monday of Graduation Week, possibly involving PhotoSoc, as well as maintaining a presence at the Graduation garden parties.
Thornton-Reid added that she was “absolutely” confident of reaching the £7,000 target, as the initiative is in a better position at this point in the term compared to last year. Indeed, she described that figure as “a low aim, and I would hope to get even more than that.”
Next year, she revealed, the Class Gift will be organised differently – with closer links to the Students’ Association, which she hoped would make it even more integrated with the student body.