SIFE begins year with new class and community programs

Fri, 2012-09-21 08:00 -- univcomm
September 21, 2012

New programs are coming to Anderson University’s chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) this fall. The student organization currently has more than 100 members, and Ashley Ledford, a global business management and Spanish double major, is serving again as president.

Since 1971, SIFE has been a major part of the Falls School of Business at AU. With annual projects impacting the community, SIFE reaches out to those who need help in the business realm. SIFE also recently finished as the first runner-up in the SIFE regional competition.

[Photo: Students and sponsors from the 2011-2012 SIFE team celebrate the year’s successes.]

The 2012-2013 academic year marks the first time that SIFE will be offered as a class. Titled simply SIFE, students can take the course for credit. However, according to Ledford, that is not the only exciting thing that is happening this year.

By partnering with MainSource Bank, SIFE will be able to reach out to the entire Anderson community by impacting local fifth graders. The goal of this program is to show students the importance of having a savings account.

“Roughly 8.9 percent of Madison County is unbanked,” said Ledford. “How do we fix this problem? We can do this by reaching out to the younger generations.”

MainSource has already established the program in the Anderson elementary schools, but it needed help administering the program and working with the children in the classrooms. That is where SIFE comes in. Not only are the 100 members of SIFE getting involved, but the program also uses a partnership between AU finance and education majors to get both elementary students and their parents involved in savings accounts in banks. To do this, they use their unique mascot, “Sunny the Supersaver,” and budget preparation and savings worksheets.

“Although I cannot be a part of this program directly, it will be great to see these children have a chance to truly learn the importance of saving,” said last year’s vice president of community impact Jon Maxwell. Maxwell graduated May 5 with a degree in marketing.

In addition, SIFE leadership plans to restart many of their previously successful programs. For example, “Cheat Your Neighbor Cheat Yourself” is a campaign that revolves around honesty. This program will work with third graders in the Anderson schools, teaching the importance of telling the truth and how cheating can harm you and those around you.

SIFE is also re-launching the “Flying to Financial Freedom” accounting program. Through this program, accounting majors serve lower-income areas of the community and teach important skills such as budgeting, how to get out of debt, what credit scores actually mean, and how to grow those scores.

As SIFE works to continue impacting the AU community and the Anderson area as a whole, students can still get involved this fall.

“Please stop by our office on the second floor of Hardacre Hall,” said Ledford. “We have a lot of information that can help you.”

— Cody Poor is a junior from Middletown, Ind., majoring in communication arts and minoring in marketing. Poor is an associate with Fifth Street Communications, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.