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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

BNC asks for student help in fundraisng

Published: November 6, 2009
Section: News

The Brandeis National Committee (BNC), the most prominent fundraising arm of the university, will hold a letter-writing event Thursday aimed at reaching out to local chapters and increasing awareness of the Committee’s goals. Students may participate in the event by writing a letter to their local chapter highlighting their personal interests and experiences at Brandeis at the BNC office in Goldfarb-Farber Library starting at 5 p.m.

“Our Adopt-a-Chapter event is a student ambassador program so that local chapters of the organization can find out about what students are doing on campus,” Marti Dembowitz ’10, the student representative to the BNC’s executive board, said.

“We’re going to ask students to basically write a letter about themselves, and incoming first-years would be able to continue the chapter relationships,” Dembowitz said.

Students will also be able to get information about visiting or participating in an event for their local chapters, or others. Dembowitz advised that students could visit when home or vacationing during breaks from school. “We’ll ask where they will be, and when they’ll be home,” she said.

Even new students to Brandeis can help further develop the BNC, and the event will feature information on the Committee and its process as a whole. “I believe that there are no better people than Brandeis students, and they think the same thing,” Dembowitz said.

The BNC is the largest organization of its kind in the world, with 25,000 members nationwide, supporting the university and its libraries, according to Janice Fineman, the executive director, in a joint Committee member e-mail to The Hoot.

Beth Bernstein M.A.’90, the Committee’s director of programming and publications, emphasized the importance of Thursday’s event in an e-mail to The Hoot.

“This new letter-writing campaign hopefully will bring a new connection between our members throughout the country and Brandeis students,” Bernstein wrote.

The BNC also sends professors to local chapter events, and through this connects with alumni and outside actors to promote the goals of the university, namely by “[reflecting] the values on which the university was founded: academic excellence, social justice, non-sectarianism and service to the community,” according to the Committee’s mission statement.

“Our…student ambassador program helps connect BNC members to Brandeis students. The students often visit BNC chapters and also participate in the letter writing campaign. This helps strengthen our fundraising efforts to support the library and scholarship funds,” Fineman wrote.

Dembowitz expressed enthusiasm about the event. “This brings what we appreciate about the Brandeis academic world to the chapters, and all [the Committee members] want to know is what we do on campus,” she said.

“You’re in a room with so many people who care so much about a place you care about, and to watch that, it’s an honor for me to sit in a room with these people…they’re fantastic,” she said. “I’m honored to be a part, and I really like the idea of connecting to people who care about the university from multiple vantage points,” she added.