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 4:00 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

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Campbell River School District calls for report on buses and seat-belts

Parents have questions following expose on research around buses and safety

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

GoFundMe helps Vancouver Island teen battle a rare cancer

Nanaimo’s Michelle Reilly, 16, battling spinal cord cancer, seeking possible treatment in U.S.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Most Read