Position students to thrive while at Western, persist to graduation, and reach their full potential, by reducing basic needs insecurities, through passionate individuals, donor generosity, and innovative partnerships.
Upon enrollment to WMU, every student has access to the necessary resources for basic needs, to maintain well-being and fully engage in the college learning experience.
Invisible Need Project Committee
The Invisible Need Project is a volunteer-based committee intended to support WMU students with unmet basic needs.
- Michele Behr (University Libraries)
- Candace Faistenhammer Bracey (TRiO Student Success Program)
- Kim Cho (International Admissions and Services)
- Ciji Heiser (Assessment and Effectiveness, Student Affairs)
- Nicole Kalmbach (Business Operations, Student Affairs)
- Julia Primavera Kuntz (Development and Alumni Relations)
- Jamie Long (Accountancy)
- Kelly Reed, Chair (WMU Signature)
- Shannon Rininger (Miller Auditorium)
- Brenda Thomas (Financial Aid)
The Invisible Need Project was started by Karen Lamons (Residence Life), Shari Glaser (formerly Family Engagement, retired), and Julia Kuntz (University Advancement) in Fall 2014 as a grassroots initiative. They recognized the concerns surrounding students' unmet basic needs, and wanted to promote a culture of giving within the WMU community to meet those needs. The committee focused on offering a food pantry, student emergency fund, and promoting the health fund available through Sindecuse Health Center.
The pantry's original location was in the Student Affairs Suite, in Faunce Student Services, before moving to the Kiva Room, in the lower level of Faunce in Fall 2018. The Student Emergency Relief Fund started with the sale of t-shirts by committee members, and has since grown to a partnership with University Athletics and the WMU Bookstore, with sales of the annual Game Day t-shirt supporting the fund.