The Division of Student Affairs has created a centralized location for three existing student service initiatives thanks to a generous donation from the UNT Diamond Eagles Giving Society.
The UNT Food Pantry, Mean Green Gowns for Grads and Suit Up are now housed in Crumley Hall. Centralizing the programs simplified staffing, minimizes labor costs and allows students to have their needs met with privacy and discretion.
The programs impacted by this project all aim to solve problems that stand in the way of a student’s well-being and achievement: Suit Up, a Career Center program, helps students prepare for internship and interview opportunities by allowing them to pick out free, professional clothing; the UNT Food Pantry, under the Dean of Students Office, works to ensure that no student’s success is compromised by food insecurity; and Mean Green Gowns for Grads, also under the Dean of Students Office, strives to alleviate the hardship of graduation expenses for low-income and first-generation college students by offering free cap and gown rentals and providing graduation photo sessions.
"We are grateful for the Diamond Eagles awarding these programs with the ability to renovate the area to serve our students who may need assistance," said Moe McGuinness, UNT Dean of Students. "Our food pantry has moved three times since it began in 2015 due to the continued growth to serve our students who are impacted by food insecurity. I love that we have a huge location to help those that need it and the ability to take on more donations. So many people want to help our students impacted by food insecurity and this is a great way to help the pantry grow and have individuals help!"
The three programs were housed in separate buildings with inadequate space, but the new location allows for the expansion of vital offerings and services. Notably, the project provided Suit Up with dedicated fitting rooms and the ability to loan professional clothing year-round; allow the UNT Food Pantry to offer refrigerated and frozen foods for the first time; and give Mean Green Gowns for Grads the space to store more graduation regalia and extend the program’s reach.
The $90,000 project was funded through the Diamond Eagles’ unique venture philanthropy model. Every year, members make $1,000 individual contributions and then pool their gifts together to fund a high-impact campus project, determined by a member majority vote.
“We are so thankful that the Diamond Eagles funded this project," said Dan Naegli, Career Center director. "This new space will enable us to serve more students year-round in need of professional attire for job interviews year-round.”