When starting school, one of the most difficult prospects was that of spending the blessed days of Ramadan stuck in classes or studying for an exam. In fact, during my freshman year, I purposefully scheduled classes early morning so that I wouldnt have to deal with classes in the evening, and although I still got stuck with one evening class, I usually just took a snack with me, took a quick break for salah and then jetted out of class for taraweeh when class commenced.
It wasnt until my sophomore year in college that I began to understand that there was indeed a culture of Ramadan that existed on campus- the prayer area would routinely be filled, there was a more visible Muslim presence around the university, and best of all, there were daily iftars that many attended not only out of necessity, but preference. It was amongst the most beneficial initiatives that the George Mason University MSA ever instituted, and it goes as far back as I can remember.
Every single night in Ramadan, Monday-Thursday, the GMU MSA provided Iftar for students on campus. Between 150 and 300 students would come nightly (and continue to do so in Ramadan), and the cost for one night of iftar range between $1000 and $1400. 90% of the funding for iftars occured through fundraising, and traditionally that didnt necessarily pose a problem because the time between the start of the semester and the start of Ramadan provided the MSA with enough time to go out and elicit the requisite funding from students.
For this upcoming Ramadan, the school year will be starting after (or slightly before) Ramadan begins. If you can, I HIGHLY encourage you to donate whatever you can to this cause, no matter how little it is. Alhamdulillah, the GMU MSA has set up an online donation site through chip in and you can see how much has been raised up until now:
The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward equal to that of the fasting person, without any reduction in his reward.”[Related by Ahmad and Al-Nasai. Also verified by Al-Albani as sahih].