We need more students who give a sh*t: A re-cap on Student Life at UNBSJ

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During the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) meeting on Oct. 29, Jessica Barrieau (SRC Arts Representative) brought to the council’s attention that student life on campus is lacking. She was able to back up this information with the support of a survey taken by just over 1 per cent of students (that’s a little hard to justify with such a low number of students who were asked to take part in the survey).

Third year UNBSJ student, Odessa Shea , according to Barrieau, thinks that student life is being completely cut out of this university because of the SRC. Barrieau stated that the 29 surveyed students agreed that “SRC lacks in advertising, there is nothing for grad class, lack of effort, lack of events, lack of spirit and motivation and there are no frosh oriented events.”

Nine weeks into classes, there have already been roughly 12 events planned by Jen Brown. This does not include Ashley Macosky’s Orientation Week (AKA Frosh Week), which happens every year during the first week of school. Don’t forget about the Grad Class Pub crawl, which occurred on Oct. 13 (and other Grad Class events which happen on the thirteenth of every month). As well as open mic night and 45’s in Colonel Tuckers Bar every Wednesday and Thursday from 3 p.m. – close. On top of all of these things, students can also enjoy Seawolves games almost every weekend throughout the school year.

Brown confirms that UNBSJ is one of the only universities to have a wet-dry license. This means that students of all ages are able to attend events that serve alcohol (however, students must be of age to buy said alcohol). Brown states that at UNBF, “under-aged students are unable to attend drinking events, at all.”

According to Brown, the security on campus is making it particularly difficult for her to do her job. Therefore, she is going to experiment by taking a bash off campus; The White Russian Party being held at Tonic on Nov. 23.

This information leaves Brown in tears over the fact that some students just don’t care. Brown says, “For those students who think that, those are the ones who aren’t coming here. There is so much out there for them, they have to be the ones to get involved. I’m sorry, but I do not feel bad for those students.” She confirms this information by stating, “Look at all of [the] people [in this room]. You care. Those people don’t care. [. . .] It’s up to them to make their university experience.”

Barrieau states that when she looked into her research (a survey taken by 29 students), everybody had the same opinion. However, Brown states that she has hit capacity for both of the bashes that she has put on. She confirms this by stating, “the First Class Bash had people waiting outside. [. . .] We try to have events for everybody and if they don’t want to go, that’s why they are not having fun.”

Michelle Adams, SRC Science Representative, asks the council, “I’m a little bit confused how it became the SRC’s fault. Was there any explanation on how it was the SRC’s fault?” The 29 students did not provide any feedback for the SRC.

Donald Bassey, SRC International Student Representative, states, “There is no guarantee that these [29] students are the ones that come out to the events [on campus]. If we are going to do a poll, we need to make sure that it’s [answered by] more people. That way, the more people who get involved will give us a clearer picture of who [agrees and disagrees].” Bassey believes that perhaps the SRC should move their focus away from the events and towards advertising. He states, “For someone to say ‘what happened to frosh week?’ That’s ridiculous.”

“It’s 50/50. [Students] need to try and figure out what’s going on too,” says Brown. In my own opinion, I’d like to believe that UNBSJ is a school full of adults who don’t need information spoon fed to them. SRC advertises through posters (all over campus), Facebook, Twitter, The Baron, Student eNews and more.

According to Alasdair Rathbone, a fourth year student attending McMaster University, their student council advertises through posters, the student newspaper and most recently, social media. So if you think our SRC is lacking in advertising, I’d like to see you survive at a University in Ontario.

Out of my three years here at UNBSJ, I have never had an issue knowing about an event on campus. It’s as simple as picking up the student newspaper, looking at a bulletin board, “liking” UNBSRC on Facebook and reading the Student eNews every Monday. SRC does their job in providing students with the tools that they need to get involved. It is up to students to get in the know. After all, knowledge is power.

Ashley Macosky says, “If students have a problem with [student life], maybe they could join a club or form a club and get involved that way.”

Personally, I am tired of hearing from students that UNBSJ is a bad school because we lack in student life. I am tired of hearing from students that people only come to UNBSJ because they can’t afford to attend a university out of their hometown. I myself am an Ontario resident who moved to Saint John for this university.

According to Eric Lawrence, a student who came to UNBSJ during the 2011-2012 school year for the study abroad program from his University in Belgium, “Tuition fees [in Belgium] can vary from 300 Euros to 500 Euros, (doctoral degrees and the like can go up to 700 Euros). Transportation (by bus) is usually free with either your student card, or the university will give you a yearlong bus pass. I go to Brussels by train, and it will cost me roughly 25 Euros a month for unlimited train transportation.”

With a simple converter, you will see that University in Belgium will cost a student roughly $381.00 – $635.00 for tuition per year.

To those students who think that UNBSJ is only a university for “the poor,” I’d like to know why “the poor” are paying over $7,000 a year to attend such a “sh*tty campus.” If you don’t like the student life on campus, perhaps you should get off your lazy butts and open your eyes. Or, I’d gladly like to point you in the direction of another university. Because quite honestly, it’s students like these who make this university lack in “school spirit and motivation.”


Emily is in her fourth year of Political Science. She loves studying and academics which follows into her research work. She's a stern black coffee drinker and is a proud Acadienne. When she's not working or doing school work, you can find Emily listening to 70s music on vinyl and watching Parks and Recreation. If you ask her about parliamentary institutions, she won't stop talking.