Buses take students on first annual HEB grocery shopping event


On Aug. 30, freshmen made their way to bus stops outside residence halls for “Catch the Bus to HEB Plus,” the newest event on the St. Edward’s University Hilltopper Welcome Days agenda. The trip was organized by Student Life.

“We tried this out for the first time to see how it would go,” Assistant Director of Student Life Lindsey Woelker said. 

Freshman Katherine McGowan went on the trip and said she considered the event a success.

“It was invigorating and enthralling,” McGowan said. “I liked the opportunity to blend a collegiate experience with a domestic experience here in Austin.”

Some Living Learning Communities attended as a group to support the event and bond with their fellow members.

“I went with most of my LLC, the business community,” freshman Austin Chandler said. “It was great. I’m happy St. Ed’s has programs like this.”

The event was a success because of the number of participants.

“The response was amazing,” Woelker said. “When the first bus showed up at 10:30 [p.m.], we already had around 20 students waiting for it. In the end, we had over a hundred students involved.”

HEB Plus proved to be the perfect choice for a first-year shopping trip.

“Planning it was super easy,” Woelker said. “We were working with alumni to get it off the ground. HEB was so helpful in helping everything run smoothly.”

Woelker said the trip will likely become a regular event each year during Hilltopper Welcome Days.

“I would fully support [the trip] happening every year,” McGowan said. “I would fully support it going all year long, maybe if they did some kind of monthly service.”

McGowan’s interest in the event did not stop at the level of purely enjoying the experience — she also had other interests in attending.

“For me, it was about buying some healthy foods,” McGowan said. “I bought a lot of fruit and vegetables because I wanted to eat healthier. The food in the cafeteria is good, but sometimes I want to eat something healthy outside of that.”

Other students went to the event looking for somewhat different products.

“I bought fifty dollars of candy and some batteries,” Chandler said. “I would totally do it again. I really enjoyed it.”

Students did not get just groceries and everyday household items from the shopping trip.

“I think it was a great way to get to know your fellow students,” McGowan said. “We got to help each other shop and figured out what everyone else liked to eat. It was a great bonding experience.”