What is the Student Foundation?

President Sanford sporting a Student Foundation rugby shirt at Party at the Park. Photo courtesy of Andrea Cid.

The Student Foundation is a student-run organization at the University of Dallas that was founded in 1976, making it the oldest student-run organization at UD. SF seeks to promote the unique character of the student body through events geared towards raising money to spend on initiatives and students.

John Rezendes, senior business major and president of SF, said, “Something unique about UD is that it’s such a tight-knit community. A lot of the students either know alumni or professors, or students really know professors and professors know alumni. There’s a lot of love for what UD is. We definitely want people to come back to the campus and bring the community together – alumni and students. Hopefully, we can contribute to this already growing community.”

SF consists of a president, vice president, three chairs and 25 members. SF holds meetings to discuss upcoming fundraisers and events, and any students running the initiatives can then ask for assistance in planning or setting up events.

“All of our funds come from generous donors, alumni and generous students who like what we do,” said Rezendes. “We’re really grateful for that since we really don’t get handed money unless we fundraise. We spend that money on the students or put them towards initiatives that we think fulfill our mission statement.”

Rezendes’ role includes directing the strategy of SF, leading some initiatives and serving as the intermediary between Operations and Development. Senior politics major Emma Roberts (who was president previously) is the vice president of SF, assisting Rezendes in running events and working with Administration. Rezendes credits his fellow members and classmates for their work in SF.

“A lot of the seniors and juniors are able to provide insight just through experience on things that might be good or how things could be run,” said Rezendes. “I feel like one of [our] strengths good members that are able to fully lead the initiatives.”

Fundraising events put on by SF include selling brats on the mall for $1 (“dollar dogs”), Clash of the Classes (for the third year in a row), which includes Film Fest, and the revival of Chili Fest.

Film Fest consists of students creating and submitting short films under the umbrella of a certain theme. The films are typically shown in Haggar Cafe, and afterwards votes are cast at the price of a dollar a vote to determine the winner.

In fall 2022, SF raised enough money to refurbish and redecorate the Rathskeller dining area.

“We listened to the students, and we realized that just buying new chairs wouldn’t be the best use of the money, so we were trying to make it a place where if you lifted it out of the university and placed it on a new university, it wouldn’t make sense because it was very much a UD space,” said Rezendes. “We were trying to make it have a very UD feel.”

This year, SF is planning on putting some of the money raised for Clash of the Classes towards the upcoming UD Olympics.

Coming up, on Saturday, Feb. 17, SF is hosting Chili Fest from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the Mall, complete with music, chili-making teams and judges. Clash of the Classes will take place after spring break, which will include a lot of smaller fundraisers throughout the week, such as Film Fest and Professor Jeopardy. Service day will cap off the week, where the hope is to bring back alumni in the local community and beautify the campus.

“I think that SF is important to have on campus because we have a lot of autonomy, which allows us to host events that both students and alumni want,” said Roberts. “We work closely with a UD alum for our campus service day, which is something that he is really passionate about and, through SF, has been able to do. It is really cool to see how events like that, even though they are relatively simple, bring people together. Our Chili Fest will also bring students and alumni together in a way that something more formal couldn’t do. I think that SF fills a role on campus that can’t be found anywhere else.”

Both Rezendes and Roberts are grateful to their fellow members, the student body and the UD administration.

“I have greatly enjoyed my time with SF the past three years. It has been really cool to lead it,” said Roberts. “I am so grateful for all of our members and all of the UD administration that helps us out. They are all the best!”

“Despite my nominal [title] of president, I still view myself on an equal level as the very capable people of the foundation,” said Rezendes. “I think we’re all extremely qualified, and it’s a pleasure to work with everybody. A huge thank you to the students for supporting our initiatives and letting us make your lives a little bit more fun. Please come support Chili Fest and Clash of the Classes and all the other stuff we have going on, so we can give it back to you.”


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