NU Saskatoon: National Day of Action

By: Laura Hopkins, NU Saskatchewan, Year 2

On February 1st, students from hundreds of colleges and universities from across Canada, united to send a clear message to the federal government: make education a priority.

Along with a number of other Saskatoon NextUp participants I was fortunate to be able to participate in the National Day of Action at the University of Saskatchewan. Although the undergraduate student union at the university does not belong to the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) – the national advocacy group coordinating the campaign, we were mobilized to participate by Alanna Makinson, a Saskatoon NextUp participant and former CFS prairies coordinator.

Justin and Jae

Justin and Jae, NU Sask

Not a great deal of urging was required – the majority of Saskatoon NextUp participants are current or former students, cognizant of the burden of high tuition fees and heavy student debt. It was no surprise, given the group’s overall enthusiasm and passion, that many of us volunteered to help put together the campaign at the University of Saskatchewan.

In the weeks preceding February 1, a rotating group of NextUp participants could be found in the tunnels on campus each Tuesday speaking to students and staff about the importance of this event.  A small group of NextUp participants also created a fun and humorous holiday themed youtube video in support of the campaign, which can be seen here.

We had hoped to raise enough interest in the campaign to plan a large rally on campus on February 1st. Likely as a result of the CFS’ low profile on campus, and despite our best efforts, we were unable to gather enough support for a rally. Undeterred, we proceeded with a highly effective letter campaign in support of the national movement. We were able to send 175 signed letters to the Prime Minister attesting to University of Saskatchewan student and staff support for greater federal investment in post-secondary education!