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Brockport's UNICEF branch hopeful to expand

by Mark Cuminale - Copy Editor
Tue, Apr 24th 2018 10:20 pm

With the amount of suffering in the world seeming to grow every day, The United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) attempts to provide aid to children and mothers who experience the unfair imbalance of wealth and the symptoms of ongoing war.

Now, thanks to some committed members of the Resident Assistant Program, a UNICEF committee has arrived at The College at Brockport. 

Brockport’s UNICEF branch was founded by committee president Emeir Sulaiman. According to program director Ian Brady, Sulaiman’s passion for UNICEF fundraising was inspired by his Malaysian heritage. Having experienced the effects of a war-torn country first-hand, Sulaiman knows what kind of assistance children need most.

Both Sulaiman and Brady have been working with UNICEF since the committee’s inception last semester. The committee has recently joined forces with Brockport’s Public Relations (PR) Club to spread their mission statement and gain support.

“We have been working with the PR club on campus to basically market ourselves better,” Brady said. “They have set us up with a whole calendar for social media, and they set us up with a logo that they made themselves. We’ve had [the logo] checked with UNICEF — it’s amazing.”

He went on to discuss the main goal of combining with the PR Club.

“We are just trying to market ourselves so more people will know about us because most of our outreach has been on campus so far,” Brady said. “We are trying to get more commuters and more suite residents involved as well.” 

PR Club president Alexander Dean sought out the UNICEF Committee as the club’s sole project to promote this semester. 

“I felt like they needed more awareness because they’re a charitable organization which a lot of the campus doesn’t know about,” Dean said. “Their funding comes mainly from Residential Life, and they’re looking to grow in the next few years, so I saw them as the perfect PR opportunity.”

Brady and the founding members of the committee have focused on fundraising so far, with the proceeds from the first semester going to UNICEF.

“All proceeds went to UNICEF, which funds the education, health and food of children within our country and in international areas,” Brady said. “With our second semester, we’ve decided to focus our mission on what we call a 70-30 program. Seventy percent of funds will go to the international foundation again, and then the remaining 30 percent will go to the Golisano Children’s Hospital.”

As the committee has become more experienced with fundraising, the financial return on their promoted events has increased.

“In the past we’ve held events in the lower, middle and upper quad,” Brady said. “When we did a lower quad event called Fall Festival we sold raffle tickets. We went back into that [format] for the second semester but with larger goals. We got over 50 donors for it, so that allowed us to go even bigger with [the fundraising].” 

The club was able to raise $664 in three days, which Brady said was a big improvement from money raised during the fall semester.

Going forward, Brady and other elected officers plan to branch out beyond residential life activities, including applying to become an official club. According to Brady, this would allow the UNICEF committee to look further into the community.

“As a committee, we work under Residential Life,” Brady said. “We can’t say that we’re a UNICEF Club, but we’re working toward that by getting our own logo, sponsorship by UNICEF and hopefully moving away from the Residential Life aspect and opening it up more toward the public. This would allow more people to join that aren’t RAs. 

Brady also explained what steps they’ve taken so far to work toward being a club.

“So far we have elected officers, and we’re also in the process of making our own constitution,” Brady said. “It’s going to [highlight] the basic rules of what we are going to do, like where this money is going, and how we are going to dictate how to make decisions.”

As leaders in the Resident Assistant Program, Brady and Sulaiman are committed to using their passionate work ethic to garner support as they inspire the surrounding community to join their cause.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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