Students say online learning leads to lack of awareness about college initiatives

By: Kaelyn Lelonde

Last month Red River College Students’ Association (RRCSA) collected donations for students who needed extra help over the holidays. It will be handing out food hampers and e-gift cards to those who applied for the Student Christmas Holiday Hamper Program throughout December.

“I haven’t heard of a college or a university doing a hamper, especially for students. It shows that they care about those who attend this school,” said Kiara DeLury, a Business Administration student at Red River College Polytechnic. 

Last year, the program gave over 500 e-gift card hampers to students in need during the holidays, according to the RRCSA website.

The program recommends a list of food items to donate for the Christmas hamper such as canned goods, cereal, and pasta. It also recommends holiday-related foods such as cranberry sauce, cake mixes, and gravy mixes.

“Whenever I know of a hamper that I can donate too, I have always done it. I want to contribute to students that can’t support themselves, especially around Christmas time,” DeLury said.

Red River College Students’ Association website provides more information about Christmas hampers. /KAELYN LELONDE

Emma Szarek, a Business Administration student at RRC Polytech, was also unaware of the program. “I haven’t heard about this program before. It is difficult to be in the loop when you are online with all your classes,” she said

DeLury said she found out about the Student Christmas Holiday Hamper Program too late to contribute. She plans to donate next year, now that she is aware of the annual Student Christmas Holiday Hamper Program.

Szarek and DeLury said they would like to see more supportive initiatives happen at RRC Polytech.

“If the school wanted to take a huge weight off everyone’s shoulders, they could fundraise for tuition cuts or have parking fees waived,” Szarek said. 

Szarek said she thinks students would get involved if they are aware of similar programs. The lack of in-person classes makes it difficult to know about programs and be able to participate.

Red River College Students’ Association is aiming to provide resources for students to make the financial stress more manageable.