European Union Policy Studies

5 Reasons to Donate to EUPS

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In March of 2015 Facebook introduced a new feature called “On this day.” Since then, millions of Facebook users have been reminded of times they’d perhaps rather forget (thanks Facebook), but also reminded of some pretty epic moments. I was recently bombarded with photos uploaded at the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic year, when I started the EUPS program. It brought on a wave of nostalgic flashbacks that slowly morphed into a rude wake-up call: it’s been five years since I started the EUPS program. Where did the time go? It seems like only yesterday I was sitting in Aula Michelangelo talking about two-speed Europe, the three pillars of the EU, and what the difference was between the Council of Ministers and the European Council.

Since graduating from EUPS, I’ve done a myriad of things. I spent a summer dog walking in the oppressive DC heat and humidity awaiting my Belgian visa, five progressively colder months in Brussels as a stagiaire at the European Parliament, and three years living in Trento, Italy losing my Florentine accent and decoding the Trentino dialect. Another thing I can check off my list? Donating to the EUPS program. I recently donated a crisp Benjamin (ok, it was with a debit card) and I encourage other EUPS alumni to follow suit. Maybe my subtle hint doesn’t convince you to pick up your wallet but here are some reasons that should:

1. Because you can

If you’re like me, when you were a student in the EUPS program you were constantly worried that your financial aid would get held up-leading to meals consisting of spaghetti aglio e olio-until it was finally disbursed. Post-graduation likely wasn’t a shower of riches either, as you tried to get a new job, a decent place near your new job, and learned to cope with the harsh reality of monthly student loan payments. But as you make your way down what is hopefully a successful and fulfilling career path, it is likely you’ve worked out your personal finances, your living situation, your social life, and still have some left over at the end of the month. Now that you actually have the means to make a donation, why not? Think of it as your first step towards life as a patron, supporting international education and the institution that gave you your laurel crown and master’s degree.

2. If you don’t, who will?

Let’s be honest, this JMU program doesn’t have thousands upon thousands of alumni, it’s not connected to a football machine (a big reason alumni donate to my undergrad USC, which, by the way, I still have yet to donate to), and it doesn’t have a great deal of visibility. The biggest proponents of the program, aside from JMU administration, should be you; Alumni, family, and friends of the program who know and believe in it’s worth.

3. Give back in a small way to a program that gave you a whole lot more

If you put it in perspective, a $50, $100, or $200 donation is not a whole lot. Think about how much you spend in a weekend if you eat out, meet up with friends for drinks, or spend a night on the town. You don’t even bat an eye at a $15 cocktail in some swanky lounge, but donating to EUPS may seem like a lot respectively. To this I would respond, think about the value that EUPS added to your personal or professional growth, and ask yourself whether or not a small donation is proportionate to what you think that is worth. I know if I connected the EUPS program to all of the opportunities and experiences it offered me, it would amount to much more than $100.

4. Be part of something bigger

It is easy for us to put ourselves first. We want to make sure we’re stable economically, socially, and professionally before we begin to extend beyond ourselves and help others. Once we feel settled, we begin consider the need to help others and take part in something bigger than our day-to-day routine. Donating to the EUPS program connects you concretely to the JMU EUPS network and offers that sense of community.

5. Help create a stronger alumni network

In recent years, EUPS alumni have informally been working to keep in contact and stay connected. Be it on the Linkedin Group posting potential job offerings, organizing new student send offs and embassy open houses, or the EUPS 10th anniversary event, there is a clear desire to create a connection among the various cohorts through the years. We can continuously work to create a stronger network by communicating with one another, passing on opportunities, and sharing the desire give back and improve our dear EUPS program.

If you’re interested in donating to the EUPS program you can do so when you register for the EUPS 10 year event online or directly on the JMU Giving website.

Written by Christina Craver (M.A. 2012)

Published: Monday, October 31, 2016

Last Updated: Friday, November 25, 2016

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