A group of Kwantlen students are preparing to launch the largest student publication in Canada. By the end of January, Kwantlen campuses will bear the fruits of their labour, a free newsmagazine titled The Runner.
According to advertising manager Mat Huff, The Runner will be a general interest publication covering the news, views, and opinions of the Kwantlen community.
Funded, owned, and operated by students, The Runner will publish less frequently than a normal newspaper, but will be heftier than most, hence the term newsmagazine.
Huff and The Runnerâ€™s growing staff are actively seeking students who are interested in writing, photography, editing, illustration, design and sales to â€œget in on the ground floorâ€ and join their team in putting out the inaugural issue.
All contributors to The Runner are paid, and students can also sell ads at a 30-per-cent commission. Any level of commitment is welcome, and elected editors will be paid to work at least 20 hours per week.
Start-up funding for the newsmagazine flows from an annual $6 fee paid by all Kwantlen students, but just in case there are any objections, Huff assures that â€œthere is an opt-out available.â€
According to a pamphlet about The Runner scattered around Kwantlenâ€™s campuses, finances and publishing are handled by Polytechnic Ink, a â€œnon-profit student publishing society.â€
Billed as â€œpart of a complete university,â€ The Runner will be a member of the Canadian University Press, a national cooperative of student newspapers that also operates a news wire connecting all of its member papers.
Huff and The Runnerâ€™s staff will be holding information sessions starting next semester, but for more information they can currently be reached at 778-565-3801 or by email.
It was 19 years ago today, but it could easily have been yesterday.
Saturday, Dec. 6, marks the 19th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, when 14 women were gunned down at the Ecole Polytechnique engineering school in Montreal. Since the early 1990s, that day has been commemorated across the country as National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
Friday, members of the Kwantlen Faculty Association and women’s legal support group West Coast LEAF held a small memorial service in the rotunda of the Richmond campus. Shereen Hassan, chair of the Status of WomenÂ Committee of the KFA, began the memorial by calling on everyone to reflect on the continuing issue of violence against women-not just the Montreal Massacre, but also the women missing over the years from theÂ DowntownÂ Eastside.
Hasaan stood behind a table withÂ 14 small tea-light candles and roses, each representing one of the women killed in the Montreal Massacre. Â Â
“The Kwantlen Faculty Association’s message at these memorials is ‘First Mourn, then Work for Change,’”Â Hassan read to the small crowd, as she then encouraged those present to consider volunteering at places such as a women’s group and transition house or women’s centre, or to support charities that help battered women.
Hasaan was joined by Deanna Ogle and Amanda Macgregor, members of the women’s legal support group WestCoast LEAF, during the candle-lighting ceremony.
The 14 roses on display outnumbered the small audience, however. Only eight people stopped to take part in the ceremony, with most holding two roses each.
Similar memorials were held simultaneously at the Surrey and Langley campuses, and Thursday at the Cloverdale campus.
Students may have been hoping for a free breakfast of sausage, eggs and stacks of pancakes early last Thursday, as members of the KSA set up tables for an early-risers’ breakfast in the rotunda of the Richmond campus.
However, it became readily apparent that the KSA intended the breakfast for on-the-go students preparing for final exams. Coffee, quarter-slices of assorted muffins and half granola bars were served on ready-to-snatch napkins as 19-year-old Meirna Said and other KSA members readied petitions that called for more student space on campus. The goal for the breakfast was to get the attention of students and have them sign the petition, explained Said.
“In Richmond, what we’re looking at the spaces next to the KSA lounge, specifically the meeting rooms not being used frequently and other rooms in the campus that aren’t being used to its full potential,” said Reena Bali, Richmond campus representative. “The main goal for the petition is for the Richmond campus to have more social space and lounges for individual faculties and departments, and for more improvements made to existing lounges.”
Bali does recognize the limited space in the campus, however she points out that many of the meeting rooms on campus aren’t being frequented enough. “We want to sit down with the president and have the chance to talk to him about making those spaces into lounges for students and faculty members as well,” said Bali.
Thursday morning’s breakfast, though, failed to garner the attention Said had hoped for, with many students overlooking the snack-sized portions of food. However, the KSA did receive 108 signatures on the petition during the breakfast alone.
“We wanteded to see what kind of response the petition would have on students, so we kind of introduced it quietly during the breakfast,” said Bali. “Because right now, I don’t want to harass students into signing the petition during exam week.”
Both Bali and Richmond campus director Kareem Elmassry will be putting out the petition officially during Welcome Week in the beginning of the Spring Semester in the new year.
Kwantlen’s Fashion Design program put on an stylish display Dec. 4, in and around the Richmond Kwantlen rotunda.
The rotunda and a second-floor corridor were full of bright colors and unique designs, and the students who created them. The goal of the display was to allow other students to view the fourth-year students’ portfolios, and to promote the Fashion Design program.
Fourth-year students Niki Chung, Carolyn Chow and Janis Brunke were also fundraising for the new Julie Hobart “SOS” scholarship by selling “wing” necklaces. The necklaces were designed by a Kwantlen grad and local designer of “Mimi & Marge.” Necklaces remain on sale for $50. The proceeds will go towards the scholarship and the Fashion Design program.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Political Science department is taking on the federal government crisis.
Parliament has just been prorogued and a coaltion stands poised to unseat the government, when Parliament resumes in January. Members of the political science department will make presentations and hold a discussion session on the situation on Monday, Dec. 8, from 11 a.m.â€“1 p.m. in room 1205A of Building G on the Surrey campus.
Kwantlen students were given a free massage on Kwantlenâ€™s Richmond campus, Tuesday, Dec. 2.
The Student Health Improvement Program (SHIP), in association with the Kwantlen Student Association, organized the event. The motive behind the free massages was to offer more services to the students and to connect with local colleges, Vancouver Career College and with PCU College of Holistic Medicine.
“It was a win-win situation,” said Eddie Lee, Student Health Improvement Program coordinator. “They (PCU students) were able to practice some of their skills with the general public.â€
Lee said this was also a benefit to Kwantlen students who were in need of stress relief before exams.
The SHIP program also offers subsidized gym pass discounts at Langley and Vancouver community centers, a food co-op program offered at each Kwantlen campus and nicotine replacement subsidy, as part of the Health and Dental plan, for students who wish to quit smoking.
The SHIP program also had some success with a series of fitness classes in yoga and “krunch fitness” at both the Surrey and Richmond campuses during last semester.
Public Relations student at Kwanlten’s Rochmond campus held bake sales Tuesday and WednesdayÂ to raise money for the Cinderella Project.
As part of their Events Planning course with instructor Amelia Kennedy-Maki, students have formed small groups to brainstorm ways to raise funds for sponsorships and a gala event.
The Cinderella Project will supports kids who have risen above the challenges they faced during high school and persevered to succeed academically.
Students who will be honoured at the event have experienced a number of challenge. including poverty, health problems and family issues.
“It’s a way to recognize their hard work,” said Jenn Currie, a second-year PR student. Currie said that details are still up in the air, but is hoped to be a “jazz and wine event” in February at the False Creek Yacht Club.
PR students faced some competition Tuesday with another bake sale (for a separate cause; see photo and caption) also going on.
“We had a bad spot in the cafeteria and there was another bake sale going on,” said Bryn Silver. Silver said one of their previous bake sales had gone very well and hoped to find similar support for Wednesday’s sale.
The â€œElves Wantedâ€ posters were hung on Kwantlenâ€™s Richmond campus bulletin boards with care, in hopes that busy students would have a moment to spare.
And two Kwantlen elves did turn up to help the Richmond Sunset Rotary Club decorate Christmas trees at Richmond City Hall last week for the eighth annual Winter Wonderland put on by the club. Sarah Ramli, 18, who is studying criminology at Kwantlen, was one of them. The other remains anonymous.
Ramli says she is broadening her horizons, as she usually decorates a Christmas tree at the city hall in Delta home, where she lives, because, â€œI just love to volunteer and itâ€™s Christmas too, so you canâ€™t beat it.â€
Last week, Ramli she dragged her boyfriend to Richmond city hall where they decorated a tree of red, green and gold. Ramli said it didnâ€™t take too much time out of their schedules, and she hopes someone will get the benefit of their work. Money raised when the trees are auctioned goes to the Richmond Womenâ€™s Resource Centre or the Christmas Fund.
â€œYou just feel good about doing something and it’s like you are actually helping a greater good and thereâ€™s just that satisfaction from doing something that you just can’t describe,â€ she said.
This is the first year only seven of the Christmas trees are up for auction, according to Linda Coyle, president of the Rotary club, because there was a lack of sponsors this year. â€œI think the economy has a lot to do with it,â€ said Coyle.
Kwantlen chose not to sponsor a tree this year, but has done so in the past. â€œI was really disappointed that Kwantlen didnâ€™t sponsor a tree, because I thought it would have been a great profile,â€ Coyle said.
She says it was the first year Kwantlen students individually came to help, which was fantastic.
Winter Wonderland kicked off at Richmondâ€™s City Hall on Nov. 29, with a lighting of the cityâ€™s big Christmas tree by the mayor. Free concerts will be held every Saturday from now until Christmas and those who attend are asked to take and donate a non-perishable food item.