©2018 by René García Franceschini.

Class Awareness, Support and Equality
President, September 2017 - present
Funding Coordinator, September 2016 - May 2017

CASE's mission is to raise awareness of and to solve issues regarding socioeconomic class on MIT's campus. I joined CASE as part of its first cohort immediately after it was founded in the summer of 2016. Since then, CASE has significantly impacted life on campus through its various initiatives aimed at reducing the burden that financial instability can have for students.

It would be impossible for me to go into all of the amazing work that three years of CASE members have put in. I encourage you to go to our website to learn more us. Here are just a few of the things we've done:

Financial Literacy Workshops (2018 - present)

From a survey we ran in 2016, we determined that students across income levels lacked a strong foundation to make financial decisions during and after MIT. With the support of MindHandHeart (MHH), we have coordinated a series of workshops designed to teach students about topics such as investing, budgeting, salary negotiation, etc. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, so much so that we were approved continuation funding through 2019.

Read more about our project and the rest of the MHH Spring 2018 cohort here: MindHandHeart announces record number of Innovation Fund winners.

thrifty (2018 - present)

Following in the footsteps of students in the University of Michigan and the University of Texas, Austin, CASE created a crowdsourced guide to living affordably at MIT called thrifty. The guide has already been viewed and edited hundreds of times, many of them at our wildly successful launch event pictured above. Dissatisfied with a simple Google Doc, we are currently building a full website aimed at facilitating search and incentivizing inputs. Stay tuned!

Report on the Socioeconomic Challenges of the MIT Undergraduate Body (2016 - 2017)

In 2016, CASE ran what is perhaps the first survey on socioeconomic class struggles for MIT undergraduates. It focused on a myriad of topics, from food insecurity to financial literacy to financial aid. Although looking back at it I do see it as a bit amateurish, its impact is unquestionable. It prompted the creation of the MIT ARM Coalition and the Food Insecurity Working Group, both of which have had CASE representation on them.

Read the full report here. The Tech also wrote an article on it: One in ten MIT undergrads can’t afford food, survey finds. This was followed up shortly afterwards by a response jointly authored by Dean Nelson, Dean Schmill, Tchelet Segev (CASE VP 2017-2018) and myself: CASE leaders and MIT deans on financial hardship.

Awards:

Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award (2019)

Bridge Builder Award (2018)