Langara students wish for perks college alumni receive
Other post-secondaries discussing idea of giving same benefits to students and alumni
By Hannah Rowena Mondiwa
Langara students say their college benefits are not enough when compared to those received by alumni.
Benefits that Langara students receive include dental care, health care and eye care. Langara alumni, meanwhile, enjoy a wide array of other benefits, including discounts on food services, courses, financial services, and shopping.
Harleen Gogar, a second-year chemistry student, said she wishes students were better recognized by the college and also given the benefits the alumni receive.
“As soon as we register into this college, I think we should be having those benefits as alumni because we are part of the college as well,” Gogar said.
Second-year accounting student from India, Avneet Kaur said she could use some discounts since her tuition fees are higher than domestic students.
“It would be very helpful to get discounts on groceries, books, accommodation and college supplies,” Kaur said.
Simone Le Blanc, executive director of the Langara College Foundation, said that students are offered other types of financial support aside from dental care, health care and eye care benefits.
“In 2021, we [Langara College Foundation] supported more than 840 students, distributing nearly $800,000 in student financial aid. So, you know, I think that the benefits and the services that students receive … while they’re studying at the college is fairly robust,” said Le Blanc.
What other colleges and universities offer
Colleges and universities in Canada commonly offer benefits to their alumni. Thompson Rivers University, located in Kamloops, is discussing the possibility to extend the same benefits to their current students.
Dustin McIntyre, manager of TRU Alumni, said they have approached the university’s student union and the department of student affairs to partner on providing discounts that alumni enjoy with companies like Bell Mobility, TD and Manulife.
“I know that here [TRU] a lot of students would definitely benefit with some of the benefits that alumni get,” he said.
Douglas College also said it would consider offering alumni benefits to students. “This is not something we have explored to date but, I would definitely not rule out the possibility,” Janay Legge, senior alumni relations coordinator, said in an email to The Voice.
Alumni benefits for Douglas College graduates include discounts “on necessities they may need in their day to day lives,” Legge said.
What Langara students have access to
Katie McCallum, manager of the Langara College Foundation, said Langara College offers common benefits between alumni and students.
“For example, our partnership with Healthy Smiles [dental practice] offers both students and alumni access to a free teeth cleaning and checkup,” she said.
McCallum said that the student services departments, the office for student engagement – also known as The Hub – and the Langara Students’ Union are all focused on the student body.
Le Blanc said that alumni benefits are standard practice in colleges and universities.
“We look … to provide, you know, a well-rounded sort of a variety of different initiatives, services to our alumni,” said Le Blanc. “It’s sort of a standard kind of service that colleges and universities offer to alumni in order to stay in touch and provide sort of lifelong benefits and connections to an alma mater.”