The Kwantlen Student Association by-election will kick off Monday in Cloverdale, with 17 students vying for 22 positions. The by-election will also be held in Surrey Tuesday, Richmond Wednesday and Langley Thursday, with polling open from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Because of the lack of nominations this year, nine uncontested positions will be decided by a straight yes-or-no vote and an additional three will be left empty. There were no nominations for the women’s liaison, the First Nations student representative or the Newton-Cloverdale campus council position.
All candidates were asked to provide a 100-word statement on why they are best fit for the position. They are included below (courtesy of the KSA).
Director of Events and Student Life (vote for one)
- Vanessa Knight: In the three short months that I was Acting Director of Event, I really only had time to carry out the plans already layed out by my predecessor. I would like to hold more age-appropriate events for Kwantlen Students, such as club nights, polar tournaments and Banghra nights, as well as awareness and cause-oriented events like SEXPO, Love Your Body Week and an Environmental Fair. Iâ€™m also interested in the influence I would have as a member of Council, and helping in decisions regarding the U-Pass and KSA policy. Most of all I would like to help build a functional and exciting student life for Kwantlen.
- Ritesh Maisuria: I would like to run for the position of Vice President of Events and Student Life, because I feel I would be able to improve the quality of events thrown and be able to better publicise them. This includes pub/club nights, fundraisers and on-campus events. I would like to help bring up student morale on all the campuses, giving students something more look forward to besides just their classes.
- Meirna Said: I would like to get most of the students involved in creating and suggesting events they would like to see happening in their university. Iâ€™ve had experience putting successful events outside the KSA and I volunteered helping the KSA with their events. Iâ€™m very passionate about creating a student life within our university. If youâ€™d like to see a better change in events and student life, vote for me and give me a chance to create change.
Surrey Campus Representative (vote for up to four)
- Harmon (Sean) Bassi: I have always had a strong interest towards political structure teams. When I think of student council, I think of a team containing healthy bright people who come together and produce a various amount of activities that ensure every student at the school leaves with good memories. Having someone leaves with good memories is something I would enjoy being responsible of and will do anything in power to ensure this certain goal.
- Will Davies: I am running for Campus Council Representative, primarily, because I want to work. I found out about the position through searching for work on campus and I believe this willingness to work will come through as a Campus Council Representative. If elected, I would not shy away from putting in the extra hours in order to represent the Surrey campus.
- Harman Mann: I’m running for Surrey Campus Rep, so I can represent students and fulfill there desires with activities they enjoy doing. Also through events to keep our campus more lively and, most important, make it fun for my student friends at Kwantlen. I think I make a good Campus Rep because Iâ€™m well-organized, intelligent and easy-going.
- Kari Michaels: Iâ€™m a second year student and Iâ€™m pretty awesome. I have been working as staff on the Surrey Campus Council for the past 6 months. In that time Iâ€™ve attended Council meetings, planned the Fall Welcome Event, movie festivals in the lounge and helped with other events. As a student, Iâ€™ve attended meetings of the Student Issues and Action Committee, the Events and Communications Committee and the Pride Commission. Iâ€™m actively involved in KSA activities and itâ€™s important that students have that representation. Vote for me, I do stuff!
- Harshil Pala: I believe that the KSA plays an amazing role in student life at the Surrey Campus. However, many students are not taking advantage of the services offered by the association, nor are they participating in the various events that are organized for them. My goal is to find out what it will take to better student life and involvement at the Surrey Campus. Also, I will fight to give students a voice in the planning process of anything in which they are affected.
Surrey Campus Officer (yes/no vote)
- Bhupinder Mandair: I have always been the type of person that wants to help people in any way possible. I come from a politically active background and understand the issues that face our age demographic. There are numerous challenges facing students especially in times of economic uncertainty. Issues that are important to me including decreasing tuition & textbook fees as well as ensuring equal opportunities for all students. I believe this is an excellent opportunity to make a direct and immediate difference.
- Jonathan Yaniv: Currently I am volunteering on/off with the KSA as student. I helped out quite a bit with the referendum to leave the Canadian Federation of Students. Just recently, I volunteered to sell tickets for the amazing event CramJam III. As a campus officer, I will be able to help out with events, help make events rock. The next event that I hope to help with is SHAFT. As an officer, I have more say in what the students want. I have a voice for the students. Right now, I have a voice for only myself. With me as campus officer, your voice will be heard!
Langley Campus Officer (yes/no vote)
- Jared Busse: As a first-year student, I share the feeling of other first-years, a little overwhelmed. Getting involved in the KSA, after getting settled into the university life, was one of my top goals. Involvement is key in university to enjoy the full experience, and I wish to make sure everyone gets involved. Expanding one’s horizons is imperative today. I want to help myself and others to do just that. Please vote for involvement, for Jared Busse as Campus Council Officer.
- Rachel Vanags: Running as an officer, I believe that I can speak for students, offer them help, and offer better representation during Council and within the school.
- Ashley White: I would like to make students more aware of the services provided to them by the KSA, and assist the campus representatives and director in providing these services. I would also like to serve as a way for the students to be heard by presenting their issues, concerns and wishes to the Campus Council. I have often heard students say that they don’t know how to gain access to services or give input, and I would like to make them more aware of how to do these things. I can assist both planning and running KSA campus event.
Richmond Campus Representative (yes/no vote)
- Andrew Kochhar: As a Richmond Rep I believe I can make a change on the Richmond Campus and help students with their day-to-day questions and concerns. I also believe I can help throw events and make the KSA a more student-friendly environment.
Students With Disabilities Liaison (yes/no vote)
- Ken McIntyre: Raising the profile of the issues that affect students with disabilities is an ongoing process. I enjoy connecting with the campus community and want to continue to be a strong voice for students with disabilities at Kwantlen. Kwantlen offers good services to students with disabilities and I want to keep it that way. If elected I will continue to provide feedback to Kwantlen on behalf of students with disabilities to continue to improve the services the school and the KSA offer.
Students of Colour Liaison (yes/no vote)
- Keshanth Sivayogampillai: As a student in Canada for 10 years, I have witnessed discrimination on many levels, and it is my hope that as your Student of Colour Liaison, I can aid those of you who have faced these issues first-hand. In my position, I will offer support and do everything in my power to resolve any conflicts related to race discrimination.
Mature Students Liaison (yes/no vote)
- Robert Kovacic: I am not running simply to make promises I canâ€™t follow through with, and Iâ€™m definitely not going to give things away so that youâ€™ll vote for me. If elected to the post of Mature Liaison, I will serve my members as they were my own flesh and blood by being understanding, honest and empathetic.
“Emily” is a 24-year-old Kwantlen student and single mother of two small children, and at an Oct. 15 meeting her life story was used to give a human face to the issue of university funding cutbacks.
At the meeting of the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, two representatives from the Kwantlen Faculty Association used Emily’s story, as well as warnings about the current financial crisis, to appeal for restoration of post-secondary funding, which was cut 2.6 per cent in the March provincial budget.Vice-president Maureen Shaw, who is also an English instructor, appeared with secretary-treasurer and chemistry instructor Suzanne Pearce to share a Kwantlen counsellor’s story about Emily. She entered Kwantlen’s Special Education Teacher’s Assistant Program at the age of 19, already with a one-year-old child, and quickly became a star student, earning a GPA of 3.5 and serving as a student assistant.
Two years later, however, her marriage fell apart. Her husband and family abandoned her, and with all her family and financial supports gone, her student loans couldn’t cover rent, car expenses and daycare, driving her into debt.
Nt wanting to quit school altogether, Emily tried distance education but ran into more challenges, including a serious car accident and her son’s illness, beforeÂ eventually recovering and rebuilding.
The biggest obstacle students face to completing their education, according to Shaw and Pearce, is financial. Restoration of the 2.6 per cent of funding that was cut was one of five recommendations they presented to the committee. The other four were restoring real per-student funding to 2001 levels, committing to reducing tuition fees over the next five years, providing funding for Kwantlen’s elevation to university status and bringing back the student grant program.
“It’ll be awhile before we know how the recommendations are received,” said Shaw. Every fall, the provincial government puts out a priority paper outlining the main areas for government funding in the upcoming provincial budget. Groups such as the Kwantlen Faculty Association, as well as the public, are invited to submit briefs at committee hearings, to try to influence, and make recommendations for, priorities for government funding. According to Shaw, the committees are primarily made up of Liberal MLAs.
New Kwantlen president David Atkinson was the first speaker at the Oct. 15 meeting. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 24, after which the committee will issue its final report, on Nov. 15.
“There’s a lot of demands on the government dollars,” said Shaw, but added that if they hear from enough people that it’s a concern, the government might decide to act.
The Kwantlen eagles men’s basketball team, in anticipation of the latest college season, has been sharpening its skills in tournaments. Reporter/photographer Sandy Buemann was at Douglas College Saturday, Oct. 18, as the Eagles took on Camosun College (they lost, 75-59) and brought back these images.
Full-on body-checks, fouls galore and a neck-and-neck race on the scoreboard made for an intense final game for the Kwantlen Eagles, who bested the Vancouver University Island Mariners 92-86, at the Douglas College basketball tournament that ran from Oct.17-19.
Eagle’s head coach Bernie Love was more than pleased. “This is the first time we’ve actually played basketball all year,” he said. “We came up, we scored. We haven’t scored more than 73 points and we scored 92 today.”
Trying to pinpoint problem areas in previous games, Love watched the team’s game tapes and finally came to a conclusion. “Today we shot the basketball — rest of the weekend we would never shot it. We’d be wide open … we were turnin’ the ball over carelessly.”<
Love commends his players for putting their full effort into Sunday’s game. “All the guys played well,” said Love. “Today, Omid (Davani) was fantastic. He had 28 points; he had nine rebounds; he had four assists.”
Davani began to emerge from the blur of red jerseys when he took his third free-throw at the end of the second qurater, which helped bumped the Eagles (who had been lagging a few points behind since the end of the first period), past VIU by a score of 39-34.
The Mariners lagged by a steady 10 points until the final quarter when, at two and a half minutes left, with a score of 88-76, the Eagles started to rack up fouls and the Mariners cashed in effortless free-throws.
With 47 seconds left on the clock, the Mariners had closed the gap considerably and VIU’s Jacob Thom smoothly stole ball from Davani and sank it, closing the score to 89-86 Eagles.
With frequent glances at the score clock, and needless passes, the Eagles were visibly biding their time, as the clock fell under half a minute.
Davani was awarded three free-throw shots, virtually in a row, bringing their score up by three points. The Mariners then took control, and as both teams flew down the court, Kwantlen’s Brighton Gbarazia managed to wrench the ball free from his opponent. With four seconds left, his coach and team members yelled for him to hold onto it as the game slowed to a stop and the timer buzzed.
The Eagles, who are in a tight three-way race for the final playoff spot, fell 3-1 at home to the previously winless Heat in what may have been a must-win game.
â€œThis was the worst performance of the season, bar none,â€ said Kwantlen Coach Vincent Alvano. â€œIâ€™ve seen in it so many times. This is the typical high school mentality where you play your heart out against a better team, and when it comes to a team you feel is beneath you, you stop competing.â€
Kwantlen fell behind early when UBC-Oâ€™s Austin Ross curled a free kick into the top left corner of the goal, swinging the momentum to the Heat. UBC-O continued to press the Kwantlen defense, and in the 39th minute forward Lars Seitzinger was fouled near the goal, resulting in a penalty kick that put the Heat up 2-0.
Early in the second half, fresh substitute Sasa Plavsic wired a long free kick off the bottom of the crossbar and into the net, sparking an offensive resurgence, and pulling the Eagles back within striking distance.
Despite their renewed vigor, Kwantlen failed to convert any of their many opportunities into points, and as the clock ticked their desperation began to show.
In the 87th minute, after a possible hand ball went uncalled directly in front of the head referee, the Eagles stood frozen as Heat midfielder Tom Brook easily put the nail in the coffin on the resulting 3-on-2 rush.
â€œThose are the type of games that get coaches fired, or make a coach resign, because you feel so responsible that you cannot motivate your kids against a team you should be able to dominate,â€ Alvano said. â€œThis is the team that held Capilano to a 1-1 tie in the first half, and 0-0 against Douglas, and we fall behind 2-0 against a team that hasnâ€™t even won a game.â€
Despite the loss, Kwantlen still has a chance at the playoffs because Langara lost its match to second-ranked Douglas College, and VIU lost to top-ranked Capilano.
If the 15-point Eagles win on Sunday, and 16-point Langara loses or ties, Kwantlen will squeak into the playoffs because they hold the tiebreaker over 15-point VIU.
Kwantlenâ€™s final game of the regular season is a 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, rematch against UBC-O at Tamanawis Field in Surrey.
Six health services groups met in the downstairs rotunda at the Kwantlen Richmond campus on Thursday, Oct, 9, as part of the Mental Illness Awareness Week, Oct. 5-11.
The displays focused on giving students a better understanding of mental illness and raising awareness in the community.
“We are here to expose the services we provide,” said Teresa Vozza, a registered clinical counsellor at Touchstone Family Association.
Most of the agencies and associations that were at the campus are Richmond-based, and provide counselling for individuals suffering from mental illnesses and support groups for families with mentally ill relatives.
“It’s been a very beneficial day for a lot of people,” said Jim Young, 54. “Our aim is to help as many people as possible, and I think we are reaching that goal.” Young is a part-time staffer at Vancouver Coastal Health.
Organizations involved include the Mood Disorders Association of British Columbia, the Chinese Mental Wellness Association of Canada (CMWAC), Vancouver Coastal Health, Chimo Crisis Services and Touchstone Family Association. Also available were a series of UBC research studies on mental health disorders, primarily focusing on bi-polar disorder.
Richmond Kwantlen Campus might not have the sports and recreational facilities most campuses around the country enjoy, but with the introduction of a new plasma TV and already existing pool table and other attractions, at least some students are making good use of the KSA student lounge.
Brandon Cobb, a specialist for member services at the KSA, said there are lot of students using the lounge this semester.
â€œStudents are always asking me to put the television on a sports channel, so they can see their favorite teams play,â€ he said.
â€œI saw the Canucks whip Detroit last night. It was awesome,â€ said Sean Greenman, a philosophy major and a regular at the lounge. â€A bunch of us gathered here and it was pretty sweet.â€
Nick Ho, a criminology major, is excited about the coming basketball season.
â€œI will watch most of the games here with my friends. It is kind of nice because you donâ€™t have to run home to see the games, plus I get to watch with most of my friends,â€ he said.
According to Amanda Luong, the lounge is a great place to hang out with classmates, since the Richmond campus has no other recreational and entertainment facilities where students can gather.
â€œI watched the Canucks game the other night here. It was really great,â€ the 20-year-old undergraduate said.
Kwantlen students are one step closer to getting U-Passes.
The Kwantlen Student Association has reached a tentative agreement with Translink for a $19-a-month pass. The KSA now wants to collaborate with other universities in Greater Vancouver to present Translink with a more unified plan, after which they hope to put it to a referendum for students in the spring. If successful, the U-Pass should be implemented by next fall.
“What we’re doing right now is talking to the institutions, trying to come up with a unified plan because all the U-Passes that have happened in the past have come about because of students from the university collaborating and coming as one application for a U-Pass,” said Derek Robertson, Director of External Affairs for the KSA.
A U-Pass is a transit pass valid for unlimited bus and Skytrain travel for one semester, as well as a $2 discount on West Coast Express tickets. The U-Pass has been available to students at UBC and Simon Fraser University since 2003, and Langara students since May 2008, according to the Translink website. Translink is currently negotiating with the student associations of seven other institutions, including Kwantlen.
The KSA has been involved in off-and-on negotiations with Translink since 2003. The KSA began by collaborating with other student unions but soon left the table because Kwantlen was expected to subsidize the U-Pass for smaller schools.
“Weâ€™re not elected to pretty much shaft the students of Kwantlen because students at the VCC or Emily Carr or schools like that get a cheaper U-Pass,” Robertson said. “So we said no, and then there was the period when RAF (Reduce All Fees) was in power, which they didn’t do anything for the U-Pass, and then it started up again in the last year. So, it had hurdles, and that’s why it took so long.”
Kwantlen also has a relatively low transit ridership rate, currently an average of 18% of students attending the four campuses. Translink operates under a revenue-neutral model, according to Robertson, which means it will lose money as more students take advantage of the heavily-subsidized transit services provided by a U-Pass.
“If they take $19 a month from Kwantlen and only 18 per cent of students use it, they’re still making money off it, but what they donâ€™t see is that if you implement a U-Pass then ridership goes up,” he said, adding that when SFU implemented the U-Pass, transit ridership doubled within two years.
A Translink representative was not available for comment.
The release of Kwantlen’s first student-run newspaper has been delayed after DJ Lam, who first dreamed up the idea, was injured and left paralyzed from the neck down over the summer. After hiring an assistant and working hard since then, Lam now anticipates the first issue of the paper will be published January 2009. Â
Students having been paying for the student newspapers, at the rate of 75 cents per credit, per semester, since September.
Lam has spent the months since his injury, “crunching through numbers, putting together plans, getting a lease signed to get office space, trying to space on campus at first, and trying to put this together the best I could.
“Some of it, to be honest, would have been done a little bit sooner, but I did break my neck and I’m a quadriplegic now, so I’m half paralyzed.Â
“A lot of the work now involves just finishing up the work that we started in the summer.”
A society has been created, called Polytechnic Ink, and while a name for the paper is still being considered, the same name may be on the table.
“Built into the rules of the society, are that there have to be nine contributors, no matter what,” said Lam. “Those nine contributors are generally people that have contributed three or more stories, photos or any kind of content, within the last calendar year. In this case that will obviously be waived because everyone will be new. But amongst those contributors, they will elect amongst themselves, the first set of editors.”
Lam confirmed that staff members on the paper will be paid a salary. Contributors who have work featured on the front page, or provide the top news piece, or graphics used for the head of a section, will also receive compensation.
The new advertising director, Matt Huff, is on campuses raising awareness and talking to students. He will be recruiting the first group of contributors and, Lam said, right now is the best time to get on board.
If you can’t find Huff on your campus and want to get involved, you can contact him at by email.
The society has leased office space near, but not on, the Surrey campus. Though on-campus space was desired, none could be found. The off-campus space does have its advantages, Lam said, such as the ability to run production late into the night after campus hours. For students, this is important as production work has to fit around around class schedules.Â
Other major details have been worked out. Lam has confirmed that the publication will begin as a bi-weekly. he hopes it will eventually become a weekly, as long as “the quality can be maintained and we can put out a paper that is nice and fat, enjoyable to read and has content that makes it worth publishing.
“Quality over quantity is what its going to be at first.”
There are many advantages for students who get involved, said Lam, such as learning how to write, having an opportunity to express themselves, getting involved with the student issues, learning to edit and produce a paper, and even things like the opportunity to sell advertising, for which students will receive a commission.Â
“We want everyone to have a chance to get involved and so we need to put the message out there and say, ‘Come, see, come play a part in your campus community and learn how to edit, write, do graphic design, be published, do photography, do all those wonderful things.’
Lam looks forward to giving students, “something that’s theirs, written by their peers, and produced and photographed by their peers, that has to do with information that’s valuable to them, in their hands.”
Students will be given, as promised, an opportunity to opt-out of the newspaper fee they are currently paying to the KSA.Â
“But come January, I can guarantee people that this is something that they won’t want to opt-out of. At the end of the day, for the average student it will come out to around $6.25 per student, or damn close to it, and really, if it helps them connect in a way, or helps them realize the idea that they can have campus community and this is a tool to do it, then it’s probably better than some of the other fees they paid for other things this semester.”
(Editor’s note: The Kwantlen Chronicle, while it is produced by students, is not a student-run newspaper. The Chronicle is produced by second-year journalism students as part of their coursework. It is an independent online and print newspaper, and not connected with the university administration or any other body on campus.)
Jinhee Park took up violin lessons at a time when most of her peers were putting their musical instruments away and heading off to college or work.
Park was 19 when she began playing the violin and now, at 26, she is taking music courses at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, has recently learned the viola, and has started a string ensemble with a group of her classmates.
Arioso Strings was formed in January as a way to have some fun while playing the quartet music that Park had been collecting. The other members of Arioso Strings are Paul Luongo (violin), Stephanie Lowe (violin and vocals), and Eva Ying (cello).
Â The quartetâ€™s member’s other musical talents include piano, harp, guitar, ukulele and drums.
Â Since January, Arioso Strings have performed at over 20 events, many of which have been Kwantlen-related.
They are surprised by how well everything has fallen into place, said Park.
â€œItâ€™s pretty neat, because if we play one event and all the faculty members are there, then they ask who we are, and whenever they have events, they hire us.â€
Â The quartetâ€™s latest performance was a dinner reception at Kwantlenâ€™s inauguration ceremony, held at the Richmond campus on Oct. 3. Hours before Arioso Stringâ€™s music began to waft throughout the universityâ€™s hallways, the group clustered into a small room to practice their instruments. None of them appeared nervous, and Park admited that they love performing.
That easy-going attitude coincides with the original idea behind the ensemble.
â€œWe just did it because we love music,â€ said Park. â€œWe just thought, like, â€˜Oh this might be fun.â€™â€
With regards to Arioso Stringsâ€™ hopes for the future, Park doesnâ€™t anticipate anything too grand.
â€œI think as long as we have fun playing together, you know occasionally get together â€¦thatâ€™s our hope.â€