UBC’s Alma Mater Society has organized a march for Tuesday (April 7) that is historic on a number of levels.
Andrew Rushmere, spokesperson for Friends of the UBC Farm, is especially pleased about the event.
In a phone interview with the Straight, Rushmere confirmed the Great Farm Trek 2009 was going ahead at 3:30 p.m. that day, with students, faculty, and community members leaving from the Student Union Building.
“It’s a community support rally to support the Friends of UBC Farm,” Rushmere said today (April 2). “The march is modelled after the original UBC Trek in 1922, where students had a march from their own ramshackle campus, which was out somewhere close to VGH, and onto campus, carrying stones.”
The stones, Rushmere added, was a sign that better times were coming. Now the group that has fought to keep the 24-acre garden at its current location wants to emulate the marchers of yesteryear.
So far, public pressure has succeeded, Rushmere said. He noted that UBC’s department of campus and community planning has already removed the farm from its ongoing campus planning process. However, he said the farm is still being considered as part of the academic planning process and is not safe yet.
Rushmere and other activists backing the farm have laid out five criteria that would guarantee the ongoing survival of the farm: land security; recognition that the farm fits within the framework of a “sustainable university”; guaranteed long-term funding for the farm; ecological integrity in decision-making around the farm; and community-driven decisions on the life of the farm.