U of T parties free of corporate peddlers

Rating: NNNNNBucking the trend with a little savvy and a lot of student power, U of T students have gone.

Rating: NNNNN

Bucking the trend with a little savvy and a lot of student power, U of T students have gone virtually no logo at this fall’s frosh-day bash.

The 12,000 students expected to hit the Student Administrative Council party Friday, September 8, will no longer have to swat off enthusiastic telephone companies, banks and breweries that have become accustomed to setting up shop at the annual event.

In the past few years, corporations collectively paid out between $60 and $80 thousand to stick their stalls beside those of student organizations.

But thanks to a bit of ingenuity, the cash won’t be missed. “It’s a bit like reinventing the wheel,” says U of T SAC president Adam Bretholz.

Last year, undergrads voted to contribute $1 each to help the corporate-free cause. And the university administration agreed to match funds, bringing the total to $64,000.

“Maybe they (SAC) caught me at a moment of weakness,” says U of T provost Adel Sedra. “But they made a good case.’

It’s about time, says the SAC prez. “The corporate presence was getting excessive. We were losing track of our mission.’

The afternoon party, with student group and university info booths as well as non-profits, will close St. George Street. While there will be some sponsorship in frosh kits, the effect, Bretholz says, will be minimal.

Meanwhile, SAC orientation organizer David Nam has been patiently swatting away corporate offers.

“I have only two words on how the corporate sponsors are reacting,” he says. “Pissed off.”

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