There's a new market in town and it's looking for students. On the first Tuesday of every month for the fall semester, there will be a farmers' market trade area in the north and south courtyards of MacEwan Student Centre starting Oct. 7.
The market is an opportunity for local vendors to sell fresh, organic produce and for students to sell crafts, handmade goods and garage sale items. Musicians and artists will showcase their works while clubs and other groups on campus can display projects. The idea for the market came from fourth-year development studies students Lindsay Pollon and Brayden Unwin who thought of it for a project in their University 207 credit course on sustainability.
"We thought a market was a good thing that would bring people from all different faculties together and build a stronger sense of community," said Pollon. "Just recycling goods and bringing in organic and local produce would make the campus more sustainable."
Pollon and Unwin pointed to separation amongst faculties as a driving force behind their dedication. The lack of sustainable student habits was another.
"I think our campus is really segregated," said Pollon. "This is something that will bring us together to work because sustainability is something that effects every aspect of life . . . University students are seen as the future so we need to start here on the campus."
Unwin feels the market will address food prices and how they factor into student choice. The market is designed to help students make priorities like sustainability a reality.
"Where their food's coming from, that's a question that's maybe not often asked," he explained. "You go to the market and buy whatever's cheapest and it doesn't really matter where it comes from. It's just an opportunity to connect people with their food and who produced it."
Students' Union vice-president operations and finance Alex Judd was enthusiastic about the project and helped the students get it organized. She explained that there are many ways in which students will be able to participate in the market.
"One of the coolest things about it is that it's designed to support students," said Judd. "They want to have space for clubs to promote themselves, a number of student artists to promote themselves and students and staff to sell their own things. It's going to empower people."