Two people sit at a desk and eat snacks while playing a game.

The Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences (FLAS) wanted to say thanks to Humber's students, so they decided to organize Student Appreciation Month (SAM).

The main launch to what they envision as an annual event was held on February 5 outside the FLAS office on the fifth floor of the Learning Resource Commons building at North Campus. There were games along with free food and snacks for the students who attended.

Somewhere around 200 students took part and many of them stuck around to socialize with their peers and faculty.

“It was a great success, and everyone had a pretty good time, including us,” said Candace Iron, Liberal Studies program coordinator. “We wanted everyone to enjoy themselves and know that they’re appreciated outside of the classroom as well.”

Patrice Esson, associate dean, English, was at Lakeshore Campus where they were offering free food – granola and fruit bars along with vegan and gluten-free options – that appreciative students quickly accessed.

Four smiling people hold up snacks and drinks as they pose for a photo.

As part of the semester-long celebrations, FLAS will offer Free Food Days at North Campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 21, April 5 and April 15.

Ensuring the students have free and healthy food options is important for FLAS and is in response to what they were hearing from students – that food insecurity is a major concern for them. As Esson notes, it’s difficult to learn on an empty stomach and that there’s a perceived stigma around food insecurity so offering these days was a way to discreetly address it.

Also happening as part of SAM was a series of digital challenges designed to foster connections while introducing them to FLAS for a chance to win prizes, including a $25 Amazon gift card.

“It’s important to us that we help our students understand how the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences supports their education above and beyond the experiences they have in their programs and what that support can offer them and their futures,” said Esson.  

There are also plans to establish more spaces in the Faculty office where students can come and hang out and feel welcome.

As Esson noted, when students feel included and that they belong, it can have a positive impact on their studies while making the entire Humber post-secondary experience better.