At ITAM, there is a phrase that implies solidarity and philanthropy and that is known to all: the annual Becatlón. Every year in September, students from all the departments come together for a common, concrete and measurable purpose, that is, opening the doors of our university to students of great merit, but with scarce resources.
In this contest, each department devises a fundraising strategy for Our ITAM Scholarship, which is awarded to outstanding students who have financial need. The team that raises the most will receive the scholarship for one of their classmates. The beneficiary of the scholarship will be decided by the Selection Committee that will convene at the end of the Becatlón.
The 2018 edition was characterized by the large participation of the student teams and the generous amount collected thanks to the sales and events that took place on the Río Hondo campus. As a result of these team efforts, the third ITAM Becatlón funded a new maintenance scholarship. The contributions of the students from the Río Hondo campus made the difference this year, since they not only surpassed the collections from previous editions, but also those obtained online. The winning team, for the third consecutive year, was that of the Department of Political Science, which means that a student from that program will receive the scholarship.
What does the team fundraising strategy consist of?
It all depends on the imagination, the effort and the coordination of our students. The incentive is clear. It does not matter what program you are in –whether you are an Actuary, Political Science, Law, or Applied Mathematics student–, it is about establishing a sufficient fundraising goal to guarantee that an applicant for your program gets the monthly allowance and can study in one of the best institutions of higher education in Mexico.
Zyanya Castro, president of this year’s winning student representation, said the strategy which made the difference for her team was that the sales and events they organized were directed at the entire communty and not only at students of that program, as they had been in previous years. In addition, they obtained part of the support thanks to students, alumni and professors who continued the tradition of the Federico Estévez Challenge. This consists of making a donation online, sharing it on social networks and challenging other people to make a contribution through this channel.
Luis Santos, president of the Asociación de Estudiantes Foráneos at ITAM, said that the active participation of ambassadors, such as the aforementioned professors, is one the most effective tactics for promoting the donation. Likewise, Andrés Enriquez, president of the Student Council, suggests that innovation and creativity be the tools to bring students of the new generations to this event which, after three editions, has awarded maintenance scholarships to six students from the Institute.
Solidarity, Reflection and Fun: the Keys to the Becatlón
During the eight days of the Becatlón ITAM 2018, more than 30 events were held, which allowed an important number of students to join the fundraising effort. This is one of the key objectives of the event, since the intention of the Fundraising Office is to foster the spirit of solidarity among the members of the community and make them reflect on the economic difficulties some of their classmates face, along with keeping up with their university studies. This video serves as an example. A community of students that does not forget that the right to a good education must be the key of a functional meritocracy. And that’s what they say, openly:
The first week of September, then, the ITAM facilities were filled with fun, recreational and solidarity activities that cost money, a contribution that would provide access for future colleagues. In this philanthropic series of events, one day teachers debated one of the most esoteric (and delicate) topics in Mexican gastronomy:
Quesadillas: ¿Con o sin queso? (Quesadillas: With or Without Cheese?) was an event carried out by the representatives of Industrial Engineering, Economics, Law, Political Science, International Relations departments, foreign students and the Student Council.
The not-to-be-missed event, according to social networks, is the all-time classic from the student community, 100 itamitas dijeron (100 ITAM students said), where teams of five students, teachers and administrators must answer questions – not easy ones – about life inside the institution, the cliché phrases of teachers and other matters for those who are really in the know. In this edition, the event was organized by the Student Council and all the student representations.
To see this cathartic ceremony in all its splendor, we present the video of the event that took place under the same rules in 2016:
Both events were characterized by the vigorous participation of students and teachers, including Alejandro Terán, Barbara Carrillo, Claudia Gómez, Juan Pablo Micozzi, Haical Besil, Horacio Vives, Isabel Flores, Pablo Castañeda, Rodrigo Chacón y Valeria Zepeda.
In addition, the students of Alpha Economía organized the sale of movie posters. On September 4, 2018, the following events were joined together:
Therefore, festive and recreational activities contributed to the success of the chain of events known as Becatlón ITAM. One specific department stood out in its organization of activities from the first day. And this tweet is proof of that:
— ITAM (@ITAM_mx) 30 de agosto de 2018
Becatlón 2018: The Winners
Although this is not a technical report, data matters. And we can proudly say that the Political Science student team fulfilled the objective above anyone else. They maintained their effort to have a student among their ranks receive a scholarship. The Department of Economics came in second place, and the Department of International Relations in third.
The online contributions were as follows:
|Public Accounting and Financial Strategy||1||1||2|
The corresponding representions of each department organized or participated in the following events. The reason why Political Science raised the most money is shown in the following table:
|Department||Number of activities|
Beyond Becatlón: A Scholarship System to Help the Best Students
The quality and depth of the scholarship system at ITAM is rarely known outside. Starting with Our ITAM Scholarship, it is a solid support system that follows these operating rules, applicable, of course, to all of the scholarships. These are the requirements:
- Pass the Admission Test or have a direct pass.
- Have a grade average of 9.0 (nine) in high school.
- Show that there is financial need, that is, explain the reason or reasons why the student cannot pay the cost of tuition. We will verify the situation by means of a socio-economic study.
- Fill out the application online and turn in the required documentation to the Scholarship Office.
- Wait for the results of the application, which will be submitted to the Scholarship and Financial Aid Committee.
It is also important to remember that, in order to renew the scholarship in each school period, a student must keep the minimum grade average indicated in the Financial Aid Regulation.
In the specific case of Our ITAM Scholarship, these are the characteristics of Our ITAM Maintenance and Accommodation Scholarship: on the one hand, they are awarded to students who obtain the highest scores on the admission test, and on the other, they must prove their financial need, and then be interviewed by the commmittee members who select the best candidates.
The scholarship amount is maintained for up to 10 semesters, including the summer. This scholarship follows similar standards. Continuity depends on the student, since it is their obligation to maintain the minimum grade average required in the Financial Aid Regulation, to ensure that their financial need persists, that they are not working, and that they have a scholarship that covers the tuition. You can read about this regulation by clicking on the following image:
Financial Aid Regulation
ITAM’s explicit mission is “to contribute to the individual’s comprehensive education and to develop a freer, more just, and prosperous society. It also aims to become a community in its fullest sense, an institution of excellence and academic freedom, and a high quality autonomous research center.” Therefore, we like you to know about some of our students’ success stories, students who have obtained monthly stipends to study in conditions that do not interrupt their intellectual development.
There are many stories of the effort of our institution which ends in graduation and recognition, or a curriculum based on excellence. Christian Alexis, another beneficiary of Our ITAM Scholarship, is an example of this:
Therefore, do not hesitate: for each peso that an ITAM student contributes in the annual Becatlón, the institute gives its own, and together we create a powerful philanthropic network that offers students who deserve the best a way to study.
Our ITAM Scholarship is just one of the more than 10 funds that are supported by contributors in order to provide maintenance and accommodation scholarships to students who are at risk of diminishing their performance due to the need to get a job to cover their expenses.