University students are often low on cash. Between joblessness, tuition, textbooks, housing costs, and campus events, school life can put students into precarious financial standings. Searching through the MUSC couches to find enough change to buy your next booster juice is one thing, but what happens when you’re broke AF at McMaster University? Broke as in, I-either-eat-or-pay-my-rent broke. If you need something free to do or eat here are some things to check out on campus or in the Hamilton community.
1. Mac Bread Bin
Mac’s Bread Bin is a response to the growing food insecurity on campus. Low-income students and McMaster community members can access food and resources through their services. If you ever find yourself without enough money for your next meal, check out one of their events on campus throughout the school year. Another option is their Lockers of Love campaign, which provides anonymous assistance through access to non-perishable foods. After applying recipients can request needed items. If you are without grocery money and have a parent or friend who could help you out the Good Food Box might be a perfect option. $60 will subscribe you to a monthly box for the school year; the Good Food Box is also great for those looking for a good deal on some locally grown produce.
2. Welcome Wednesdays
On the third Wednesday of every month, the McMaster Alumni Association holds a breakfast at the Alumni House (behind Bates residence). Students can come in the morning and get a free breakfast of pastries and warm drinks. Students are encouraged to enjoy the selection of bagels, scones, doughnuts, tea, coffee, and juice in the welcoming environment. Without any money, you can fill up and feel full through chatting to friends and classmates on the couches in the classic house. Treats go quick, though, so get there early.
3. Meet a Therapy Dog
Need something fun to do with friends or some emotional support? Pal around with one of Mac’s three therapy dogs. No money is necessary to meet these furry friends. These pups are hosted by Student Health Education Centre (SHEC) in partnership with the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA at different libraries throughout the year. Especially during exam season, you can find Lily, Scout, and Liam at Thode, Innis, or Mills libraries. Check out #dogsatmac to see where they will be next.
4. Giveaways by the Sil
Publishing weekly, Mac’s student newspaper the Silhouette often includes prizes. Each week there is a gift card for pizza up for grabs to whomever answers the Sil related questions provided. Recently on twitter, tickets to Mother Mother at the First Ontario Centre (Copps) were won. Attention all broke students: try for the prize! Who knows what tickets or gift cards could be won next?
5. Art Crawl
With no cash on a Friday night, how can one have some fun? Head downtown on any eastbound bus and go to James Street North. On the second Friday of every month artists and vendors set up their wares for sale. Here’s the free part: galleries are usually open to the public. You can enjoy music too with lots of free shows during the warmer months. Almost every crawl a band sets up on the porch of a house on the corner of Mulberry and James to play rock covers. Go see these passionate, local folks for some entertainment.