Nurses hit the bar to raise funds for Thai clinical work

September 25, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Devon Beard and 11 other Kwantlen University College nursing students are hoping to do their clinical placement in Thailand next summer.

But helping the sick and injured has its price: the five-week trip will cost anywhere from $1,800 to $3,200 for each student. So as well as attending third-year classes, Beard and classmates plan will spend the next year raising funds.

They start Friday, Sept. 26, when they host a club night at the Mirage Nightclub in Surrey. The event begins at 9 p.m., tickets are $10 and there’s a free drink if you arrive before 10 p.m.

“We’re hoping to do a lot of other fundraisers throughout the year to raise money as well,” says Beard. “We’re pretty much just getting started right now. This is our first event, and it’s been kind of hectic…so hopefully it will go well.”

Beard said the nursing students want to work with children in Thailand.

“We’re going to HIV clinics and orphanages and working with the kids…teaching them about prevention and hand washing — basic stuff like that,” she said.

Optimized for iPhone, iTouch (update)

September 23, 2008 by · 3 Comments 

If everything has gone according to plan, this site should now be optimized for viewing on an iPhone or iPod Touch. We don’t know for sure, though, because the editor has misplaced his iPod Touch and can’t test it.

Update: The editor found his iPod Touch and the new feature works fine. You don’t have do anything special: the WordPress plugin detects someone browsing via an iPhone and sends an optimized version of the site.

Green Wednesdays push sustainability, healthier living

September 23, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Kwantlen’s Langley campus will promote environmentally-conscious ideas in a new series called Green Wednesdays. Every second Wednesday of each month will be devoted to movies that deal with environmental issues, as well as presentations about sustainability and healthy living.

Gary Jones, horticulture instructor at Kwantlen, is putting on the event along with the Green Ideas Network. Jones says that the event is open to everyone because “we want what we do here to be relative to the community.”

Jones said that last semester, they put on a similar event called the Environment Around Us, which was held only three times in the spring. He said that they had a great turnout and, by the last event, they had 120 people show up.

This year, the Green Ideas Network approached Jones and said it wanted to get involved and include its movie picks in the itinerary. Jones, along with students from Kwantlen and the horticulture sector, set up the evening, bring in guest speakers and make sure that everything is running smoothly.

The Green Ideas network, consists of two women, Doreen Dosdwell and Joyce Rostron. It’s a non-profit society, based in Surrey. Jones said that Dewell and Roston share his goal for the environmental series, which is “to make people more aware of issues surrounding food security, community development landscape, housing development.”

Jones said that he hopes people will leave the series with an idea about issues such as sustainability, alternatives to oil and challenges to the food supply. He hopes that people will teach these issues to other members of their communities so people will “decide to do something, specifically, that they can implement themselves and make a change on a local level.”

The first Green Wednesday will be held Wednesday, Oct. 8 at the Langley campus auditorium. King of Corn, a movie about farmers finding out what happens to their crops in a “fast-food nation.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 for the general public and $4 for students.

Parking fees hiked to ‘keep standards,’ promote transit use

September 23, 2008 by · 3 Comments 

Kwantlen students are paying more to park, but the college says rates are still low compared to other colleges.

Kwantlen students are paying more to park, but the college says rates are still low compared to other colleges.

Kwantlen students who drive to school but don’t have parking permits have seen a small hike in parking rates.

Both daily and four-hour parking fees have increased by 25¢, with daily parking costing students $4, and a four-hour fee now $2.75. Weekly e-permits are now $13, up $1, and carpool semester permits have risen $5 to $82.50. Unreserved and reserved semester permits have been increased $5 and $10, and now cost $95 and $165 respectively. There have been no changes made for two-semester permits.

“Comparative to all other colleges around the area, like BCIT, Capilano, Douglas and Langara, we are still relatively low with the parking rates,” said Sandy Kwan, reporting and systems accounting analyst in Kwantlen. “Just because our rates are relatively cheaper compared to all other colleges…that was the main reason [for the increase].”

Even with Kwantlen’s new status as a university, Kwan explains that the institution was comparing parking rates with other polytechnic universities, such as BCIT, rather than larger universities like UBC and SFU, whose rates “are still quite a bit more.”

“We want just to keep our standards with all the other colleges, too,” Kwan said.

Kwan said another reason Kwantlen decided on the increase was the number of students who park without paying. “[Students] would just park without a parking ticket or without a parking pass and they would probably get one ticket every few months. So in relation, it was still cheaper to get the ticket rather than buy the parking pass,” said Kwan.

Kwantlen is also hoping increased parking fees will promote public transportation. “By increasing the rates, people will more likely be taking transit…there are more and more cars each year on the road, and if some were to take transit, that would free up space,” said Kwan.

The increased rates will also help pay for parking improvements in the Surrey and Cloverdale campuses, Kwan said.

Eagles fall 2-0 to top-ranked Blues

September 22, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Kwantlen's Sukhjinder Chahal attempts to manouvre past a Capilano defender as the Eagles try to close a two-goal second-half deficit against the Blues. (Dave Pires photo)

Kwantlen's Sukhjinder Chahal attempts to manouvre past a Capilano defender as the Eagles try to close a two-goal second-half deficit against the Blues. (Dave Pires photo)

The Kwantlen Eagles suffered a 2-0 loss to the Capilano Blues Sunday, as British Columbia’s two undefeated men’s college soccer teams met for the first time this year.

The patient Capilano squad (6-0-0) had a hard time securing solid chances against the defensively-minded Eagles (3-2-1), until midway through the second half when a momentary lapse allowed Milad Rhamati to weave to the end line before tapping a centring pass to Corey Birza for the winning goal.

“Today wasn’t about winning or losing, today was about respect, and I think we achieved that,” said Kwantlen head coach Vincent Alvano.

After Capilano’s Alan McIndoe scored in the 34th minute, Kwantlen continued to stack their defense against the top team in the country, preventing any solid chances but at the cost of scoring opportunities for themselves. 

“We’re too young, too inexperienced, and too naïve. So we know that we’re going to make mistakes and give up possession, and we accept that. By accepting that we maximize our strengths and minimize our weaknesses,” Alvano said.

The Eagles’ Justin Lodge was the lone striker for much of the game, consistently fielding clearing kicks in the midst of four Capilano defenders.

After the Blues’ widened their lead to 2-0, Lodge dropped back to midfield in favour of two fresh Kwantlen attackers, Sasa Plavsic and Jethro Kambere.

Despite a tough second half, Capilano capitalized on one of their only chances, showing just how dangerously efficient they were. The only thing preventing the Blues from notching an additional goal was an amazing breakaway save by keeper Michael Newton.

“It’s not how hard you fall, it’s how fast you get up. And I guess the character of this team will be told next game… I told them from the beginning of the season that this team was going to be defined not by the way they won, but by they would lose. So I’ll get my answer in a week,” said Alvano.

The Eagles defeated Vancouver Island University 3-2 on Saturday. Their next match is at home Saturday against fourth-ranked Thompson Rivers University.

Bringing tennis to the table

September 20, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

A selection of photos from Saturday’s Canadian Chinese Table Tennis Federation tournament, held at Kwantlen.

Michael Jin of the Tri-Star Seafoods Mavericks sets himself to return a smash from his opponent.

Ten-year-old Michael returns a volley to win his first game in the first round of competition.

Tri-Star Seafood manager instructs his team on the game plan.

A warm-up serve before the competition.

The young and the old were there to compete and to have fun.

Appreciative spectators paid close attention as their favourites launched their quests for a championship.

Rodenbour suspects death threat linked to lawsuit

September 18, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 


The letter sent to Desmon Rodenbour, KSA general manager, last week. (Amy Reid photo)

The letter sent to Desmon Rodenbour, KSA general manager, last week. (Amy Reid photo)

A death threat was sent to the home of Desmond Rodenbour, general manager of the Kwantlen Student Association, on Friday. 

Rodenbour suspects the threat comes as a result of a statement of claim that was filed by the current KSA last month in B.C. Supreme Court against former KSA executives, members of the Reduce All Fees (RAF) party members. The suit is an attempt to regain almost $1 million of KSA money that the current KSA claims illegally went to unsupported payments or unapproved, high risk loans. 

The grammatically incorrect letter that was sent to Rodenbour, tells him to “take stip back” or else “police well find another foot from Fraser river.” The letter provides a time limit of 10 days, which Rodenbour believes is a deadline to drop the lawsuit by. It warns not to get the RCMP involved. 

The Vancouver Police Department has the letter and has opened an investigation but is not optimistic that it will find any forensic evidence. 

“Also, we have passed on the letter to the RCMP staff sergeant officer who is doing the investigation of the fraud case,” said Rodenbour. “There is still a chance that the Crown may press charges against these characters in a criminal court. So this has gone into that evidence pool as well.”

Rodenbour is taking the threat seriously. 

“It’s obviously quite disturbing both to friends and family. I am under some direction from the Vancouver city police on changing up my patterns.” 

Measures that have been taken include spending less time at home, campus security escorting him from his vehicle to the building and even changing his work schedule. Police have given him priority access 911 status, guaranteeing speedy response.

“As far as giving into the threat, no we are not going to back down from the lawsuit. People can’t be intimidated by such actions,” he said. 

Rodenbour also says it’s not within his power to withdraw the lawsuit filed by the KSA.

“The lawsuit was put into place by two motions of the board of the directors, unanimous motions, and it’s also a bowling ball. It’s been let go. It’s already been filed into court, people have been served, there’s no stopping it at this point.”

KSA rejects no-fees referendum, changes the rules

September 18, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

(This article has been corrected in response to comments.)

Kwantlen students would have been able to vote to have all KSA fees reduced to zero if all had gone as planned for Robert Mumford. 

They won’t get the chance. In response to the former KSAer’s petition for the referendum, a quick amendment to KSA regulations has prevented the idea from ever going on a ballot. 

Robert Mumford

Robert Mumford

Mumford proposed a referendum question that, if approved, would have drastically changed the fee system that is now in place and that currently costs a full-time student $43.75 per semester. Under his new fee structure, that would have been reduced to zero. A second proposed referendum question would have asked if students favoured a new fee system that would have directed fees to groups other than the KSA. 

To have a question appear on a KSA referendum, you must collect 250 signatures from Kwantlen students. Mumford did that, and submitted the petitions to the KSA on Aug. 1.  

The first referendum question Mumford proposed was that fees for academic and trades students – excluding fees for the health and dental plans, and for the Canadian Federation of Students and the Canadian Federation of Students-BC Component – be reduced to zero.

The second question, which was based on students approving the first one, proposed a $3 per credit fee, with half of that going to the Kwantlen Foundation, one-third going to the Kwantlen Student Life & Development department, and the remainder being split between the Kwantlen Athletics department and the Kwantlen Learning centres.

On Sept. 4, according to minutes from their meeting, the KSAs executive board KSA council rejected Mumford’s petitions, stating that they were “not in order as the changes require specific amendments to the KSA’s bylaws.”

The board also voted to change its bylaws regulations so that no referendum question can be put forward “(seeking) to increase or decrease existing fees of the Society by more than fifteen percent in any given fiscal year.” 

A second change says that referendum questions that direct fees to any organization other then the KSA are not allowed.

Mumford believes his proposals would have resulted in almost no changes in a student’s day-to-day routine.

“I don’t think the students use the KSA for anything except for maybe a free agenda. Most of their events are basically just handouts of free food,” he said.

He noted that most students he spoke to reacted positively to the petition. 

“One girl said she would go on a date with me [if it went through]…. But basically, the reaction from most students was giggling or laughter,” he said. “They didn’t think it was actually possible to not pay the fee.”

A spokesperson for the KSA could not be reached for comment.

B’ball teams prepped for Sept. 26 openers

September 18, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The Kwantlen Eagles are getting ready to hit the court on Friday, Sept. 26, when both the men’s and the women’s basketball teams will play the first games of the new season, at the Kwantlen gymnasium in Surrey 

The women will play an exhibition game against the Douglas Royals at 6 p.m., and the men will be playing a Blaze exhibition game at 8 p.m.

It is coach Gary Pawluk’s and assistant coach Ivan Adrian’s first season coaching the women.

“It’s been a terrific situation so far and hopefully it will continue,” said Pawluk in a phone interview.

The women have played some competitive teams in the off-season, said Pawluk. “Competition in the league is strong and getting the girls to compete is always a challenge.”

Pawluk has been coaching basketball for three decades, and is enjoying the challenges of coaching a new team.“We’ve got a good blend as far as personnel wise,” he said and one of the challenges is to “get that team work and team chemistry to get to the point where we are growing and developing and getting better.”

The women’s team has 13 players, five of them rookies and eight returning players.

The men’s team is also looking forward to the season.

Hugh Lynn has been the assistant coach of the men’s team for four years, along with head coach Bernie Love, who has been coaching for seven. Gino Missana and Kevin Van Buskirk are first-year assistant coaches.

Lynn said he would like the team to come together with a “winning, positive attitude and realistic expectations.” 

He would like the team, who he said was in the lower half of the league, to try and “move up the ladder,” so they can “make the play offs and do the best that we can.”

He said the first week and a half of practices have shown some pleasant surprises, such as returning forward Mike Davis and new-to-the-team guard Omid Davini, who is “looking awful good awful early.”

Davis, who is returning to the team after taking time off to travel, said so far the team has great chemistry.

“We are a young team…we are fairly new to each other still, and I think over time it will come together really well, there might be some growing pains, but we’ll be okay.”

Only three of the 13 players on the team are returning players.

Davis says he is looking forward to playing Capilano College. “They play a fast-paced game and it’s a lot of fun to play that way,” and that he would like the Eagles to make the playoffs.

The season will culminate with provincial championships, Feb. 26-28, 2009, at Capilano College for both the men and women.

Opening up the mic to student music-makers

September 16, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Daryl Markiewicz strums his guitar and sings an acoustic melody. (Cori Alfreds photo)

Daryl Markiewicz strums his guitar and sings an acoustic melody. (Cori Alfreds photo)

Wednesday afternoon the Grass Roots Café on the Kwantlen Surrey Campus became a brief oasis of music, but if you blinked you would have almost missed it.

This is Open Mic Night – a weekly event still in its pilot stage after being launched at the end of July (see details in accompanying story below). Every Wednesday, anyone with a musical bent can stand up in front of the big-screen TV and let the speakers carry their sound to whoever happens to be listening at the time.

Erika Young, a second-year marketing student, has been a regular at Open Mic Night since July. She was the first to perform Wednesday, smiling nervously as the opening notes of Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why” played over the sound system. That nervousness disappeared when she started singing. Despite her strong performance, a small group talking on one side of the room and the hiss of the coffee machines threatened at times to drown her out. She ended with a 1950s jazz song by Etta James, and finished to little applause from the audience.

Darryl Markiewicz, still in a black tank top and olive khakis, having come from sculpting a guitar in ceramics class, quickly went through several unintroduced songs, accompanying himself on his blue guitar, and took a few moments at the end to banter with Kari Michaels, Surrey Council Support Specialist and the organizer of Open Mic Night.

The roughly half-hour event was most notable for how low-key, relaxed and informal it was. Sitting in the cluttered KSA office before Young arrived, surrounded by Welcome Week gift bags, Michaels revealed some of the challenges that would be familiar to anyone who’s ever tried to organize a student event. One example: the sound equipment had to be trucked in from Langley at the last minute.

“Right now it’s kind of in the baby stages and we’re just getting people out to play,” Michaels said. Nonetheless, she is encouraged by the “good response” to her Facebook group, and optimistic about its future, possibly expanding into a poetry night or philosophy café. 

By Cori Alfreds

Erika Young sings to a Norah Jones track at Kwantlen’s Open Mic Night at the Rainforest Café on the Surrey Campus. (Cori Alfreds photo)

Erika Young sings to a Norah Jones track at Kwantlen’s Open Mic Night at the Grass Roots Café on the Surrey Campus. (Cori Alfreds photo)

The chalkboard outside the Grass Roots Café reads “Open Mic Night, 4 p.m.” It’s 4:45 p.m. and the equipment is just being set up. Only a few seats are filled and most people are surfing the web or doing homework. So far only one person has asked about the event.

Nineteen-year-old Kari Michaels, co-coordinator of the event, apologizes for the delay and says they have been swamped with preparations for welcome week.

Michaels wants to get Open Mic Night established before she moves to Langara College to pursue a degree in Peace and Conflict. She hopes that future KSA members will keep it going and make it as popular as she would like it to be.

The event is only being held at the Surrey campus, where it started at the end of summer semester 2008. Michaels has created a Facebook group that now has 59 members. While many of the members are musicians who are interested in playing, not many of them have fully committed yet.

Michaels says that anyone who wants to play is welcome “but we give preference to Kwantlen students.” She says that right now, it’s an event for solo acts, as loud bands could annoy students.

She hopes to expand the event to two nights a week, and to other Kwantlen campuses. Michaels would like to see the Langley campus one day hold sessions on a weekly or monthly event, because that’s where the college’s music program is based. She doesn’t see it happening anytime soon, though, because there isn’t enough available space. 

Open mic nights, she says, are a great way to “use lounge space for regular activities to engage students and show them that it’s a good place to hang out.” The event also gives musicians the chance to network, talk music and even make plans for forming bands or duets.

With a pub night in the works for the Grass Roots Café, Michaels thinks open mic night has the potential to become a big event for Kwantlen students. A pub night could help generate fans for the musicians and bring out more musicians.

Once the show finally gets underway it’s worth the wait. The musicians are great, and although there is a small audience, it enjoys the performances. With a few more musicians and a bigger audience, Open Mic Night could become a Kwantlen tradition. 

Open Mic Nights are held every Wednesday.

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