(Shelby Lubienski/MJ)

By Maria Kanso, Staff Reporter

To celebrate the philanthropic actions of donors for the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Student Philanthropy Council marked Tuesday, March 15 as this year’s Tuition Freedom Day.

Tuition Freedom day marks the time when the tuition money runs out, and the university becomes wholly dependent on donations from alumni members, corporations and grant money. Occasionally, this day takes place in February of every year. This year, however, it occurred in March.

“It’s trying to put a positive spin on a negative thing because tuition freedom means the day that tuition runs out, that is, the day the university is ‘free’ from tuition,” said Fiana Arbab, a psychology and women and gender studies major at UM-Dearborn.

Alumni Relations, Student Philanthropy Council and Institutional Advancement cooperate together to make students more informed about different scholarships and those who help UM-Dearborn thrive.

Members of the Student Philanthropy Council set up tables in CASL building, the University Center and Fairlane Center South, and hosted games that educate students about different scholarships and the challenges of budgeting.

“It’s important so students understand that philanthropy is a core value for the University of Michigan-Dearborn,” said Marsha Mcmunn, assistant director of Alumni relations at UM-Dearborn, about Tuition Freedom Day. “Our students really rely on the philanthropic actions of others, and we hope that students feel grateful for what they have and empowered to give back themselves one day.”

The four games that were hosted on Tuesday included Trivia Crack, Danger Price, and Easy as 1, 2, 3, where students had to pick three scholarships out of six and arrange them from lowest to highest.

“Philanthropy is very important but it doesn’t have to be monetary because, in the end, the goal of philanthropy is to make a positive change,” said Arbab. “You are a philanthropist because you want to share your resources to open the doors for others. You don’t need money to do that.”

In Danger Price, students are given a $10-12 price range and they have to figure out how many items they should get from the bookstore, ranging from pencils, scantrons, blue books and notebooks, in order to match the budget. The purpose of this game is to show students that college is expensive and managing a budget is highly crucial. Students who pick the right number of supplies to match the budget win a food ticket or a Victors for Michigan bracelet.

Also, signs were posted around campus that contained information about scholarships and the different donations of philanthropists, such as the CASL garden and the Geo rocks in SLRC.

“I think it’s sad that we celebrate donors while neglecting to hold our state accountable for this increasing reliance on donations from individuals,” said Teiana McGahey, an urban and religious studies major at UM-Dearborn. “Donors will not save our crumbling education system and failing state government.”