VIU ResLife hopes that their new weekly barbecue will keep students safe before drinking and help create ties within the campus community.
The newly implemented project is offering beef and vegetarian burgers every Thursday to coincide with the Students’ Union Pub’s later hours. Organizers for the new event hope that students will take advantage of a nutritious meal before drinking.
“The $20 needed for the project is coming from the Residence Life department’s budget, but I can see it expanding as we add more to the event,” ResLife coordinator Kaleb Woldeamanuel said.
This includes bringing in a wider variety of food options and student-based entertainment, such as bands and juggling acts.
The barbecue was originally the idea of a group of students living in residence, and although Woldeamanuel is the one who signed off on the project, he is adamant on it staying in the hands of students for them to shape and control.
“The last two nights this has been held, students have brought their own supplies needed for the meal—ketchup, mustard, vegetarian options—it’s in their hands,” he said.
Eating before consuming alcohol has been proven to help the body cope. Woldeamanuel feels that the weekly barbeque will help lower the cases of alcohol overconsumption that ResLife staff and VIU security deal with on Thursday nights. Another hope is that the project will strengthen relationships between students living both on and off campus. Students attending the barbecue last week agreed.
“You get to know different people. It makes you sit down and have a family meal of sorts,” Sarah Crann-Adair, who lives in residence, said. “I brought tofu to the last one and had a lot of people asking me about it. You learn about different eating habits and different cultural norms.”
Student ambassador Emily Falder said she also feels it gives the campus a stronger sense of community.
“Not only are we making sure people are being fed before going to the pub, but we’re giving nonalcoholic consumers a place to come and do something,” she said.
Falder noted that there aren’t many late-night options for students under the age of 19, and she feels that this will give them that social outlet along with people who do not wish to go to the pub.
The barbeque will be held every Thursday starting at 6 pm outside the Cedar Centre, located in the Western Student Housing block. Beef and vegetarian hamburgers, along with buns, will be supplied by ResLife, and students are asked to bring any plates, cutlery, and condiments they feel are needed.