Supporting our Students: Matt’s story
Matt Horner is a Student Services professional in the Registrar’s Office, where he works directly with students who are experiencing hardships or seeking emergency aid.
SOS is an ongoing series that highlights how COVID-19 is impacting McMaster students. This instalment is by Matt Horner, a Student Services professional in the Registrar’s Office, who works directly with students who are experiencing hardships or seeking emergency aid.
The past few weeks highlight just how thin the margins are for some of our students. For many of them, the security of having a roof over their head and a meal on their plate can evaporate in a matter of weeks.
Many of them had jobs that were cancelled. Many of them did everything possible to finance their education, and then something beyond their control happens and they find themselves in a really desperate situation, despite all their good planning and budgeting.
They’re already under a lot of stress to successfully complete their degree, and now there’s this incredible new pressure.
For some of these students, there’s nowhere else to turn. So when a student follows up with me after receiving an emergency bursary to say “thank you” or expresses how overwhelmed they are at how we’ve helped them, it makes me feel good to work at McMaster.
I was a student here, so I know that sometimes it can feel like McMaster is this big, faceless organization, but the reality is there are lots of hard-working, dedicated people who really do care about our students.
Our office is often the first point of contact for our students. Everything is changing so, so we might not have the final answer right now, but we’ll always try to provide as much clarity as we can.
The challenge is knowing that the amount of emergency funding we have is finite and that we really have to stretch it to make sure we can help as many students as possible. We have to help them. It’s the right thing to do.
McMaster has established a Student Emergency Relief Fund to provide financial relief to students affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The fund can assist with food, rent, utility bills, provide emergency grants and offer help to students who are caring for dependents. It can also help repatriate Mac students studying abroad. Find more information on applying for help at the Registrar’s Office website.