A swarm of students enticed by the smell of popcorn and the chance to share their favourite Durham College memories crowded around a table set up in The Pit on March 4.
Students came for the free snack but then realized the Alumni Association was providing a chance to give something back to the school.
“It was the popcorn at first, but I had a good two years so it’s kind of bittersweet,” says Nathan Currie, a protection, security, and investigation student.
Students were filling out a simple three-question survey so they could compete in the second annual School Cup Challenge (SCC). The SCC is a competition between the seven academic schools and the Centre for Food to see who can get the most students to answer the survey.
“We’re looking for a way to connect with our students in a fun, creative way to help them celebrate the fact they’ve worked so hard,” says Sally Hillis, Durham’s annual development and alumni operations administrator.
Students were asked to share their favourite DC memory, their favourite faculty or staff, and what they would like to know about the Alumni Association.
Currie’s favourite memory was last semester when he had to create an initiative for a school project but it was actually enacted. He created Feet on the Street, which was designed to help kids with mental health issues. Currie said it was nice to do something real and not just an assignment.
Other students like Morgan Parnell, a social service worker student said their favourite memory was CampusFest, when she met and became friends with people in her program.
The school with the highest participation wins a $1,000 bursary for their school for the 2015-2016 school year. They also get bragging rights with their school’s name on the School Cup Trophy. Second prize is a $500 bursary.
“It’s to give students an idea of giving back to fellow students and to make them aware of benefits of the Alumni Association when they graduate,” says Lori Connor, Durham’s alumni relations officer.
All students who enter the competition also have the chance of winning a $500 prize and Toronto Maple Leafs tickets.
Students still have a chance to participate. The SCC runs until March 19. They can fill out the survey online, in person at The Pit on March 18, and at the Countdown to Grad event.
The Countdown to Grad event is a pre-grad party to teach graduating students about convocation, employment services, alumni benefits. It also includes a free pizza lunch.
The Alumni Association is also trying to get graduating students to help fund the graduates bursary fund by donating $20.15, the same number as their final year at Durham.
“It’s students helping students and the money will go directly to help future students have the same great memories the current students are having,” says Hillis.