NORTH ISLAND STUDENTS' UNION organizer James Bowen ladles out free soup during the Debt Sentence Soup Kitchen Wednesday at North Island College.

College students protesting ‘debt sentence’

Education shouldn't be a debt sentence.
That's the theme of a campaign by student unions across the province, and North Island College (NIC) students learned more about the campaign this week.

  • Mar. 24, 2011 2:00 p.m.

Education shouldn’t be a debt sentence.That’s the theme of a campaign by student unions across the province, and North Island College (NIC) students learned more about the campaign this week.The North Island Students’ Union (NISU) held a Debt Sentence Soup Kitchen on Wednesday at NIC’s Courtenay Campus.”Students are taking on crushing debt loads to get their education in B.C. currently, and they’re looking to the provincial government to help ease the weight,” said NISU organizer James Bowen.This was the third annual Student Debt Soup Kitchen, and it was part the the Canadian Federation of Students — B.C.’s Debt Sentence campaign.NISU representatives gave away free soup and offered students the opportunity to further engage in the campaign.Debt Sentence is a provincewide campaign to the provincial government asking for four things — reduced tuition fees, increased funding for North Island College, the elimination of interest rates on student loans, and the creation of a grant program for students, explained Bowen.During the Debt Sentence Soup Kitchen awareness-raising event — which was also held Tuesday at NIC’s Campbell River Campus — students could sign a petition, and they were encouraged to write to their MLAs.”Tuition fees in B.C. in the last 10 years have skyrocketed,” said Bowen. “We have the lowest non-repayable student aid in Canada in B.C. and the lowest minimum wage, and you put it all together, and students are struggling. Events like this let other students know (student unions) are working on these issues, and they’re working on campaigns like this. It lets them know their voices matter.”Bowen feels the students’ voices are being heard.”These things weren’t part of the conversation politically two years ago,” he said. “In the NDP leadership race and the Liberal leadership race, they started talking about this because we were campaigning. Interest relief on student loans is definitely part of the conversation now; a grant program is part of the conversation now. I’m very hopeful that around election time, the candidates will start making serious promises around this.”To learn more about the Debt Sentence campaign, visit www.debtsentence.ca.writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

New look and feel on the horizon for Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill

“We are hoping between now and then to do another fundraising campaign for acoustics”

North Island Bantam Eagles capture Tier Three banner with win over Powell River Kings

The Eagles next game is Jan. 19 against the Juan De Fuca Grizzlies at 4:00 p.m. in Port McNeill.

Mainroad meets with Regional District of Mount Waddington

“It was really nice to have Mainroad there to give a presentation to the RD”

Port Hardy council agrees to list question and answer period on agenda packages

CAO Allison McCarrick confirmed the question and answer period will be listed on the next agenda.

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of B.C. overpass

Dash cam footage shows vehicle speeding across Brunette Avenue overpass in Coquitlam

Second fatal crash occurs in Alberni Valley

Traffic on Highway 4 is being re-routed as investigators are en route

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

VIDEO: Mattress fire at Cowichan Hospital under investigation

The Cowichan District Hospital was locked down on Tuesday afternoon due to… Continue reading

Most Read