IUPUI Office of Student Advocacy and Support wants students to ROAR when in need

A new website dedicated to helping under-resourced students will require faculty and staff support in order to fulfill its mission.

Registry of Options and Resources -- also known as Help Me ROAR -- was launched in November. The site is a one-stop shop for students looking for financial, health or utilitarian assistance, and it's maintained by the Office of Student Advocacy and Support. When stressed, students will find the site helpful, but the office says advisors, professors and other staff members could suggest Help Me ROAR's services earlier, before the stress heightens or even occurs.

"Our targets for this news include faculty and staff, so they can help get the word out to students," said Ty Davis, assistant dean of students and director of the Office of Student Advocacy and Support. "Students don't seek us out until they're in dire need. We are trying to get in contact with faculty and staff members who are closer to the students and can identify these needs more quickly." 

Help Me ROAR's resources include campus and community organizations and offices within a five-mile radius -- food pantries, health clinics, military contacts, legal aid and much more.

Davis said the site branched out from the Beyond Financial Aid initiative.

Danielle Tate, assistant director of special programs at the Multicultural Center, contributed emergency information affiliated with her office as well as the hours for her church's food pantry. The additions show how Help Me ROAR is a living resource, intended to be updated often. As resources and needs grow, so will Help Me ROAR.

"We get a lot of students who stop in because they've built relationships with the staff and have familiarity with the space," Tate explained. "We can see a lot of issues students face outside of academics that affect their academics. We try to help as much as we can, but the benefit of Help Me ROAR is that all of the resources are in one spot.

"We get students who come with all kinds of different needs, from housing to child care options for when they're in class."

Davis said student surveys and a website redesign will help get Help Me ROAR's resources more known and more in tune with what is needed the most.

"Our mission and vision is to connect students to basic resources," she said.