Common $ense Celebrates 10th Anniversary, Looks Forward

In honor of its 10-year anniversary this spring, Common $ense, a student run financial literacy and money management program on campus, has promoted its commitment to financial management on campus increased through outreach and events.

Common $ense is sponsored by The George R. Houston Memorial Fund, the Office of Student Financial Services, and the Georgetown University Alumni & Student Federal Credit Union, and strategic program coordinator Ayo Aruleba (COL ’17) has further developed event partnerships with active student organizations such as GUASFCU, New Student Orientation and the Black House during the 2016 school year.

“We are really reaching out to a broad range of student groups,” Aruleba said. “[We want] to make sure that lots of different students are exposed to the workshops Common $ense holds on campus.”

To mark its 10-year anniversary, Common $ense will releasing a video titled “Everything We Did Wrong in Our Twenties” this spring, in an attempt to teach students to avoid financial mistakes. The video will showcase older faculty and staff members recounting their poor financial decisions earlier in life. Common $ense will hold an event April 15 on Healy Lawn with food, prizes and games regarding money management.

According to Common $ense staff advisor and Executive Assistant to the Dean of Student Financial Services Candace Holmberg, Common $ense’s mission is spread through their monthly workshops covering various topics including investing, budgeting and entrepreneurship.

“It is easy for us to count our successes how many people come to our workshops which is a great deal,” Holmberg said. “But for us, [success] is when we know that a student is able to make a different and a better financial decision about their lives and feels comfortable navigating money post-graduation.”

Common $ense student program coordinator Kevin Durham (MSB ’19) said he believes Georgetown students should place a greater emphasis on learning about money management on campus rather than solely focusing on classes and extracurricular activities. He argued students will not be able to have proper financial self-sufficiency without financial literacy.

“The same emphasis we put in classes and in clubs is all for the focus of what we can do in the future,” Durham said. “And without that foundation in financial literacy you can’t ensure your future if you do not have the skills to live on your own and be self-sufficient.”

Common $ense has structured a three-step initiative to increase their outreach on campus. The leadership of Common $ense plans to survey the student body to better understand their needs. As part of this effort, the group will try to increase its presence on campus.

“We are the best-kept secret on campus,” Holmberg said. “Those that know about us utilize us and continue to use our services. But getting the word on campus that there is help with your money and it’s important that you manage your money is the one message we want to get out to students.”

Common $ense team members will additionally run small, more individually focused workshops to create a more personal environment for learning. The third step of their three-step process will be to establish new partnerships in the Georgetown community as part of an attempt to give Georgetown students more discounts.

“Everybody, in whatever stage, whether they are freshman or senior, wants to know how to manage their money, [which] has a different meaning for each student,” Holmberg said. “So, know that there is someone out here that will help you. A 10-year anniversary is fun, but we want you to know that we can help.”

 

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