QBACC plans physically distant events for students

Outdoor event creates sustainable, environmentally friendly face masks

QBACC invited students to make and decorate their own face masks in Victoria Park.

With the pandemic prohibiting many of their usual events, Queen’s clubs are finding creative solutions to maintain student engagement. 

Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change (QBACC) hosted a physically distanced DIY Face Masks event in Victoria Park Sept. 23. The group also Instagram live-streamed the event so students could join from home.

Students were invited to make and decorate their own face masks in the park, with their own materials or with materials provided. QBACC made reused fabric from old socks, t-shirts, and other materials available.

“Medical face masks create so much waste right now,” Aria Goldin, ArtSci ’22, QBACC vice-president of activism and education, said in an interview with The Journal. “They’re disposable, you can’t reuse them again.”

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“We just put our heads together and thought, what’s an eco-friendly way that we can help Queen’s students who may not be able to afford the medical masks or who might not want to throw them out just for the environment reasons, and also to be safe on campus.”

Students had to wear a mask to attend the event and were given a designated space to work in. They also had to RSVP and fill out a contact tracing form.

About 5-6 people came to the event in-person, according to Goldin, and another 10 to 15 attended the live-stream.

Goldin said the event saw “great turnout” considering the circumstances, adding student engagement has been “absolutely amazing” so far this year.

“We have people messaging us, or friends asking how they can be a part of QBACC, how they can get involved,” she said. “The only barrier is people’s comfort right now […] and we just try our best to make them as comfortable as possible.”

She said that this year QBACC has turned to social media to promote their events. Before the outbreak of COVID-19, they promoted them in the ARC.

“It has been a challenge to entertain the same amount of advocacy that we did before,” Goldin said.

READ MORE: New dining hall take-out option creates additional waste

QBACC live-streamed a cooking class event on Facebook on Oct. 1. Participants were given a recipe and asked to follow along with the live-stream.

It’s also holding an in-person, physically distanced garbage clean-up on Oct. 7 for Sustainability Day.

“Of course COVID-19 is a super scary time,” Goldin said. “But the environmental crisis going on right now is very important as well, and it’s very much intertwined with the pandemic that is going on."

“So it is so important to keep vouching for the environment, and to keep supporting the cause that we all believe in." 

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