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Student Government column

When we think of our time at Carnegie Mellon, something that might not immediately come to mind is how we will help out the future generations of students who’ll eventually sit in our favorite seats in our lecture halls or continue our research after we depart from this institution.

As a student who struggles to cover the cost of tuition, I would love to see this school continue to strengthen its financial aid program and I believe that giving is a way to ensure this effort. After all, my existence on Carnegie Mellon’s campus has relied on the kind donations from past students. Student Body Vice President Aaron Gutierrez says that the reason why he gives is that he “wants to pay forward all the opportunities [he] was provided to the next generation.” To me, donating as an undergraduate indicates my gratitude to Carnegie Mellon and my investment in its future, and thus the students who will fill this school with wonder after I’m gone.

As it turns out, I’m not the only one excited about making Carnegie Mellon a better place. Giving Tuesday on Nov. 29 is a full day dedicated to promoting this act of giving back to our community. This 24-hour event will offer multiple giving challenges throughout the day, including prizes of $500 to gift to a Carnegie Mellon fund of your choice, a tour of the Steam Tunnels with Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Gina Casalegno, or even a lunch with President Subra Suresh. Opportunities for entry in these competitions will be available across campus, as well as throughout several social media platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter, so students and alumni across the globe can show their appreciation and engagement. There will also be special events for student organizations where the organization with the most unique donors will be able to win $500.

However, it shouldn’t be interpreted that the importance of giving is what you can get back. Contributing to a cause ensures that all students will be able to enjoy warm food and safe labs, or that faculty and staff will be able to take sick days for themselves or their family without worrying about being able to afford it. Regardless of the contribution value, it indicates an investment in Carnegie Mellon’s principles of providing a high-quality life and engagement with its community. When the Class of 2015 accomplished a record giving rate of 32.3 percent, it indicated to our community that there were approximately 1500 people who were months from leaving but wanted to make sure Carnegie Mellon would continue to provide amazing resources and opportunities for its students. How will you pay it forward?