1,000 free glasses quickly scooped up hours before eclipse

SA helps students wishing to safely view this rare event
Photo: Ben Fleguel
Izach Carberry, a game development student, watches the beginning of the eclipse with his friends.

In preparation for the total solar eclipse on April 8, the Students’ Association purchased 1,000 pairs of eye-protecting glasses, which were much more popular than anticipated.

“We weren’t even sure if we were doing it ourselves,” said Alain Cyr-Russo, senior manager for the SA. “We didn’t know if we were going to get popular.”

The giveaway started at 10 a.m. and by 11:15 a.m. the SA had run out of glasses and were forced to put up their sold-out sign.

Typically, the glasses would have cost around $15 each, but Cyr-Russo said that because of the bulk order, the SA got them for $2 each.

“About two weeks ago, I was looking into it and was like, you know what? I’ll buy 1,000 pairs and give them out for free,” said Cyr-Russo.

Not all the glasses were given away on the Ottawa campus; 100 pairs went to Pembroke and 160 pairs went to Perth.

Students gather outside of E building as the solar eclipse starts to reach it's peak
Students gather outside of E-building as the solar eclipse starts to reach its peak. Photo credit: Ben Fleguel

The glasses came with instructions cautioning users not to use them if they are damaged, torn, punctured or separated. The glasses instructions also cautioned against using them for more than three continuous minutes.

Paul Gardner, the college’s director of risk management, sent a final memo the morning before the eclipse. The memo urged students to only view the eclipse through certified eye protection.

A Level 2 police foundations student, Elizabeth Gallo, got a pair of glasses before the SA sold out. She planned to watch the eclipse with friends on campus.

“We didn’t want to drive anywhere, but our original plan was to go watch at the beach,” said Gallo. “I think we’re just going to sit on the rocks outside of X-building.”

Gallo was worried about the risks of driving during the eclipse and decided it was safer to stay on campus despite her final class ending two hours before the start of the eclipse.

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