By Nicole Kobie
There’s nothing like free food, music and news cameras to draw a crowd. On Wednesday, the Students’ Union held a soup kitchen to raise awareness about the tuition increase and the Board of Governors meeting this Friday. Local television cameras were on the scene to interview students and SU members. Music was provided by Busking for Smiles.
"Last year was successful, so we continued it this year," said SU President Rob South.
Along with providing a free lunch, SU members and volunteers handed out leaflets and postcards to be sent to Minister of Learning Lyle Oberg as part of their campaign. Along with the soup kitchen, the SU will be visiting classrooms, writing on sidewalks, putting up posters and continuing the postcard campaign.
A steady stream of students received free tomato soup and crackers, provided by the Campus Food Bank.
Many students actually had questions about the tuition fight and the BoG meeting.
"We’re getting all kinds of feedback," said SU Vice-president Academic Heather Clitheroe. "A lot of students say they are going to show up at the BoG meeting."
The SU is hoping that the BoG receives the message they are sending: students can not afford tuition.
"We are sending a message that some students don’t have enough money for nutritious food," South said. "This is a big issue with the tuition hike."
While some students wanted only free food, many appreciated the chance to find out more about the tuition issue and take part in a protest.
"First, I thought, hey, cool, free soup," said second-year General Studies student Grant Strem. "I’m all for protesting hikes. Tuition is astronomical."
Other students agreed with this sentiment.
"It’s a fantastic idea," said fourth-year General Studies student Gavin Hodgson. "Students aren’t impressed [with the increase]. It’s good that the SU is giving a lot of support."
While most students enjoyed the free soup, some did not think anything students and the SU do will affect the level of tuition.
"[The soup kitchen] sends a good message, but the government doesn’t care," argued fourth-year Political Science student Paul Klemke. "What we do doesn’t matter."