First year students continue to fight for a closer Laurier community.
Shortly after meeting during O-Week, Ethan Luke and Abigail Topolski created a petition directed at the president of Laurier, Dr. Max Blouw, for a bus that would travel between the Waterloo and Brantford campuses.
The students noticed a disconnection between the two campuses and thought the opportunity to experience both would help students feel more connected.
“I feel like with the bus it won’t just be Laurier Brantford and Laurier Waterloo, it’ll just be Laurier,” said Topolski.
Topolski said that the Brantford campus is often forgotten about.
“When you tell people you go to Laurier, they automatically assume it’s the Waterloo campus, and then when you say Brantford it’s almost like you’re letting them down,” said Topolski.
Luke and Topolski said that the petition originated from their discussion of the lack of sports and club opportunities in Brantford compared to Waterloo.
Topolski mentioned how the Brantford students miss out on university football games and varsity games.
Luke contacted the Waterloo campus to ask about joining their Tennis team but was told that he could start his own on the Brantford campus.
Topolski explained that starting a team can be difficult when there is not enough interest, but said between the two campuses there would be something for everyone.
“There are a lot of kids here who have amazing talent but they just have no way of getting to the main campus,” said Luke.
Luke and Topolski also said that the bus would result in a greater attraction for incoming students if their program is offered at either campus. If a bus could run between the two campuses, students could take part in classes that are offered at both locations.
Luke and Topolski explained that the bus would also help the students socially.
Luke said that people on the Waterloo campus signed the petition because they want to be able to visit their friends, as well as experience classes and different programs.
“I want to experience the student atmosphere. I know Waterloo is known for being a student city, and I want to see what it is like in Brantford, as Laurier is the only school there and the campus on Brantford is quite small,” said third year Laurier Waterloo student Teagan Pecoskie-Schweir.
Luke and Topolski started by word of mouth and walking door to door in their residence asking all of their friends and floor mates to sign the petition. Currently, it has reached out not only to students, but also parents.
Topolski hopes that because there is adult support, the petition will be taken more seriously.
Luke said that he expected there to be a great deal of attention on the petition for the first day but anticipated it to die down after a few days.
There are currently over 330 supporters.
“I really hope this leads to a deeper discussion about the transportation needs of Laurier students. I have not seen the actual petition, so I can’t comment on that, but I do hope it ignites further conversation,” said Laurier Brantford Dean of Students Adam Lawrence.
“Theoretically, I think it’s a lovely idea. Practically, I’m not certain it makes sense financially, environmentally or as something that would be prioritized in an increasingly competitive period at Laurier,” said Laurier Waterloo Dean of Students Leanne Holland Brown.
The petition can be found at: https://www.change.org/p/dr-max-blouw-get-a-bus-that-goes-between-both-laurier-university-campuses-daily
Luke and Topolski encourage supporters to leave a comment upon signing.