Published: April 7, 2020

CU Boulder has launched a campaign called Buffs Together to bring the campus community together around efforts to assist fellow Buffs and others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Buffs Together reflects various grassroots efforts to rally our community, including "#ShoulderToShoulder" social posts by Athletics and a crowdfunding effort initiated by alumna and Rhodes Scholar Serene Singh to assist students in crisis.

The campaign is bolstered by a university matching gift of $1.6 million. The university is committed to helping students, staff and faculty navigate the financial hardships of the pandemic by matching up to $1.6 million of gifts to the Student Emergency Fund and the Staff and Faculty Emergency Fund. The campus’s matching gift is made possible by vending machine commissions and insurance rebates.

The initiative also connects Buffs to volunteer opportunities related to providing assistance and support to those impacted by the pandemic, and aims to collect and share stories of good works being done by research faculty, students and staff. 

“Through Buffs Together, we aim to connect all the good works happening to support our fellow Buffs in need of help,” Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano said. “Despite the current distances between us, we stand shoulder to shoulder —just like we always have. We’re facing the global coronavirus pandemic as a community: We are all Buffs together.” 

Related to the campaign, an alumni-led crowdfunding effort is being launched for students and employees who are experiencing financial crises connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 Zoe Neverdowski via Instagram/@zoeneverdowski)

Photo via Instagram @zoeneverdowski

Some students are wondering whether they can pay rent, buy food or afford to continue their education in light of the extensive impacts of the pandemic. Some staff and faculty are also suffering impacts related to partner job loss, childcare disruptions and other family impacts. 

The Student Emergency Fund helps students in need pay bills due to lost wages, secure technology for remote learning, and gain access to food and healthcare. So far, more than 145 students have asked for emergency financial assistance. 

The Staff and Faculty Emergency Fund provides direct financial assistance for CU employees to gain access to food, housing and healthcare.

CU Boulder alumni, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to engage on social media platforms using the hashtag #ShoulderToShoulder (a riff off the CU Boulder fight song), and share: encouraging words and images; gratitude for those who are keeping our community moving forward; and favorite Buffs memories.

“Our university has faced major challenges before, and—together—we overcame and became stronger and this one is no different,” DiStefano said. “We will remain strong and support one another as a community.”