Where are the Students?

by

Well over a year ago about 40 of us, mostly students did a “ride in” from the UBCO campus through Robert Road to City Hall where we met the Mayor and the Vice Chancellor of the University. The purpose was to publicize the lack of cycling access to UBCO and ask that the situation be improved.

Everyone at the event was polite and considerate but the end result was that nothing changed – some promises, little action. Since then the campus (with the exception of a very few people, mainly staff) has been extremely quiet on the cycling issue.

I can think of several reasons for the lack of activity on the part of students:

1) the student council is not interested in bikes. At least one of the council has been publicly vocal against the U pass and that same individual told me that “bikes might be ok for the likes of you but I’ve been driving since I was 16”. This fellow is less than 1/2 my age – sad.

2) some students are working two jobs to pay for school and understandably don’t have time or energy to advocate for cycling.

3) Kelowna is so wealthy that many students can afford to own and operate a motor vehicle – it is just so much easier than riding a bike.

4) since the biking routes to the campus are poor, few are encouraged to ride a bike and thus the “UBCO biking lobby group” is very small to start with.

It is too bad that the students are not more active – they could have a lot of political clout. We all know that Climate Change, Peak Oil and other aggravations will have no effect on Kelowna because we are such a privileged lot. However there are a few people who are very concerned that our generation has taken so much from the earth – resources that will never be available for our children and grandchildren. Perhaps a lobby group of students pointing this out to our political “leaders” would be effective where all other means have failed.

John.

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