Record-breaking sub-zero temperatures weren’t enough to keep financially frustrated post-secondary students from taking a mid-afternoon dip yesterday.
“With the high cost of tuition, a little shrinkage wouldn’t be a bad thing,” a NAIT student shouted before jumping half-naked into a freezing dunk tank yesterday afternoon, when temperatures hovered around -30 C.
About a dozen students from NAIT, Grant MacEwan College, Red Deer College and Mount Royal College took the icy plunge, hoping to raise awareness and inspire help from the provincial government with ever-rising tuition costs.
“Every year students cry out that they can’t pay tuition, and our institutions are between a brick wall and a hard place,” said Amy Trefry, vice-president of campus life at Grant MacEwan. “We need our government to back us up.”
Returning to post-secondary education is a Catch-22 for many students, said NAIT Students’ Association president Brent Constantin, who strapped on a metallic wrestling mask before stripping down yesterday.
“In the economic downturn, a lot of people will be returning to post-secondary to retrain and redevelop their skills,” he said. “Many have established families and lifestyles, and that extra burden of tuition will be a shock to some of them.”