Where no student has gone before
SAMRU letters have been sent and have gotten attention: Students’ Council calls students to first-ever Edmonton protest
Letters written by MRU students in October have been sent out and Legislature is starting to notice. But students aren’t stopping here.
Since the student protest that started on Oct. 9, SAMRU has been helping students get their voices heard. A total of 1,191 letters have been written by students. 502 of 578 of the letters addressed to Premier Jim Prentice have been sent already and 613 letters addressed to Minister of Advanced Education, Don Scott, have also been sent.
On the first day that the letters were sent out — only one to each addressee was sent. Then on the third day, 50 letters were sent. Finally on Oct. 28, Erik Queenan and Seija Roggeveen drove the rest of the letters, two boxes worth, to Edmonton where the Legislature office is. They did this to ease costs on students.
Zoe Slusar, VP of Student Life, says the work students have been putting is making an impact. When Queenan and Roggeveen arrived with the letters, people at the mailing office were surprised that even more were coming in; they had noticed when they received the first 50.
“It was clear that this wasn’t something that happened often,” explained Slusar.
To date, there are still 76 letters addressed to Prentice that will be sent out soon.
The Students’ Council will also be mailing follow-up letters to both Prentice and Scott as a call to action since they have not heard back from either member.
“We want to let them know why we are doing this, what the issues are and to let them know that we expect a response,” said Slusar.
The letters will be mailed on Nov. 6.
But efforts will not end there. Students’ Council is arranging another protest — one of the like that has never been done before.
The executives have arranged for two buses to pick students up from campus and take them to Edmonton for a day of marching to the Legislature office. The protest will take place on Nov. 17. This originally was the release date of the decision on market modifiers, which is rumoured to be pushed back.
U of C, U of A, U of L and MacEwan are also said to be participating in the protest that will have students march from U of A to the Legislature Office.
Buses will be leaving from MRU at 9 a.m. Slusar says she hopes they will be able to gather around 100 students to participate for the day on Monday.
“We will be providing letters, that serve almost as a doctor’s note for students to give to their instructors in case they will be missing class because of their participation in the protest,” said Slusar.
“This is a really critical time, with a new Minister of Advanced Education and a new Premier. A lot of the time, the reason that there is so much delay on action is because of the switch of new people to these roles. It is a really vital time to push back now.”
Lunch and dinner will be provided for the trip on Nov. 17, and it is completely free to participate.
Slusar says that the Students’ Council is incredibly thrilled and grateful to students; the efforts made have far surpassed their original goals.
In order to reserve a spot on the buses to participate in this protest, contact Zoe Slusar, VP of Student Life at firstname.lastname@example.org.