December 03, 2009

Care packages available to ease final exam stress

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The student-run Saluki CEO Corps’ first business venture offers parents with children attending Southern Illinois University Carbondale a chance to show them a little extra TLC at final exam time.

The Saluki CEO Corps Care Packages project allows parents, relatives, employers or friends to send a care package filled with goodies to help their SIUC student prepare for exams. There are actually three options to pick from, ranging in price from $20 to $40, and each includes energy boosters, stress relievers and healthy snacks.

The registered student organization recently launched the project in test mode and the goal is to expand and fully implement the project next spring. At a Chicago workshop this fall, Renee Favreau, a senior business administration major from Carbondale who also serves as co-president of the Saluki CEO Corps, learned that chapters of the organization at other universities were successfully selling the care packages to raise funds for their organizational activities. The SIUC group conducted a poll and found there was interest in care packages. The group also used the poll data to pick products for the care packages.

“Final exam week can be an incredibly stressful time for students and I know that getting a care package will be fun and truly appreciated,” Favreau said. “Who can resist a basket of goodies and gift cards for some of your favorite Carbondale study/food establishments?”

The Saluki CEO Corps largely used a student-to-student marketing plan so far. They distributed fliers through campus mail to areas with student workers and e-mailed College of Business students and encouraged them to forward the e-mail to their parents. They directly e-mailed some SIUC parents, too. Although the organization plans to ramp up its marketing efforts next spring, members are hopeful they can sell at least 100 care packages this month.

The organization is taking orders through Tuesday, Dec. 8. Purchasers can pay by cash, check, or credit card and you can order by mail or e-mail. For more information about placing an order or the Saluki CEO Corps, call 618/453-7788 or e-mail You can also fax credit card orders to 618/453-5040.

If e-mailing or faxing in orders, be sure to include the name and e-mail of the student, the name of the sender(s), which package you’re ordering, a personalized message to the student (organizers will add it to the package), what type of credit card, the number and security code and complete billing address and telephone number.

Saluki CEO Corps members will assemble the care packages on Wed., Dec. 9, and the recipient students can pick them up at the Student Center Dec. 10 or 11.

The basic care package costs $20 and all packages include study tips, Post-its, highlighters, stress busters (fun games), hot chocolate, on-the-go servings of soup, easy macaroni and cheese, gum, toaster pastries, granola bars, fruit snacks, microwave popcorn and assorted candy. The $30 and $40 packages include additional eatery gift cards.

The Saluki CEO Corps’s mission is “to inform, support and inspire college students to be entrepreneurial and seek opportunity through enterprise creation.” The group formed just last year and the care packages are its first business venture. Faculty advisers are Maryon King, director of the Center for Innovation and associate professor of marketing in the College of Business, and Lynn Andersen Lindberg, director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center.