Students commandeer chemistry labs for cheaper coffee
By Chandler Walter, Contributor
With the lack of working hours available combined with bank account-crushing tuition fees, Douglas College students are finding it hard to manage their finances. A group of students have taken matters into their own hands by using laboratory equipment to brew coffee.
“It’s been working out really well,” Ian Kently, a second-year student at Douglas, told us. “I mean, the Bunsen burners and laboratory glassware aren’t exactly ideal for coffee, but hey, it’s free.”
It is still unknown what amount of permission was received from faculty for this endeavour, but it appears the student body is all for it.
“More and more people join us every day,” Ian said, between sips from a glass beaker. “They see the long line at Tim’s, and if they’ve heard about what we’re doing, they come to take a look. It’s really quite the intricate process, too. We’re like the Breaking Bad of coffee.”
Ian was gracious enough to treat me to a graduated cylinder full of his own brew, and while the coffee was burnt, watery, and lukewarm, it was most definitely caffeinated and inexpensive.
He also explained the reasoning behind such a project: “As students, we have to make sacrifices for our futures. I didn’t even have enough money to buy textbooks this semester, but when it comes to necessities like coffee, you just have to find a way to make it work.”
While many Douglas students are more than willing to get their daily caffeine fix from the on-campus Tim Horton’s, for some, like chem lab brewer Tara Reid, it simply isn’t an option. “Paying $1.50 a cup is robbery,” Reid said, “and obviously us students need coffee long after 8 p.m.—it’s just ridiculous.”
How long these makeshift cafés will continue production is yet to be determined, though the group has been migrating randomly from class to class in the hopes of remaining inconspicuous. We’ve also heard from sources that many staff members are willing to turn a blind eye if “donated” a top-up to their own coffee mugs.
With tuition fees at an all-time high, textbook prices through the roof, and caffeine addictions stronger than ever as we get into the second half of this semester, one truly does have to admire the resourcefulness, passion, and initiative shown by these penniless students.