Volume 95, Issue 35

Friday, November 2, 2001
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Students feeding students

Editorial Cartoon

Editorial Board 2001-2002

Students feeding students

Lakehead University has us feeling warm and fuzzy all over.

Earlier this fall, the Lakehead University Students' Union began offering free hot lunches one day each week to students who frequent their food bank. It costs the council about 30 cents per person and is regularly used by roughly 30 people.

The weekly cost adds up to less than $10.

If a small university like Lakehead can make a difference to the contents of students' stomachs, think of what the largest student council in Canada could accomplish.

At Western, there is a widespread interest in philanthropy and no shortage of students willing to volunteer. However, when it comes to students helping students, the philanthropic temperature is only lukewarm.

Last year, The University Students' Council opened a food bank for needy students on campus. This year, the food bank was given a permanent space on the third floor of the University Community Centre and, though council members are doing a good job ensuring confidentiality to the few students who utilize the service, their efforts may not be enough.

With a reputation for being the fashion and party hub of Canadian universities, there is a misconception - both inside and out of the university community - that every student at Western goes home at night to water their money tree.

In truth, a free hot lunch program might be an overlooked necessity.

Revenue generated by the USC annually - combined with large sums raised for external charities - proves that money exists for those in need.

Still, we shouldn't overlook Western's administration. They seem to have perfected the art of taking our money at a record pace, so why not urge them to give a little back to those who need extra help?

However, if there is a need for a program like this at Western, who better to make it a reality than our student leaders? By starting up a free hot lunch program or something of an equivalent nature, the USC would be able to generate an image beyond the facade, showing their heart for student lies beyond understanding the dynamics of Robert's Rules

Maybe we need to give back to students who sacrifice their time for work in order to eat. A hot lunch would be a guaranteed meal for students who do not have the resources to make one themselves.

Still, are Western students willing to overcome the stereotypes associated with people in need in order to get a free lunch?

The stigma that goes along with those who need charity might keep students from asking for help when their bodies could use it most. That would be a shame.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001