KSA council still hasn’t met since September

December 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The KSA council hasn't met for about three months, since September. (Photo by Hayley Woodin)

The Kwantlen Student Association council hasn’t met since September because they haven’t been able to meet quorum.

A sudden change in council chair that happened months ago left several council members unhappy because they were not consulted prior to the change.

Since then, some council members have been exercising their rights by not showing up for meetings.

Matt Todd, director of external affairs for the KSA executive board, said he has reason to believe council will be meeting soon.

The reason, he said, is that while some of the council members may still not be pleased about what happened, they felt as though they had made their point, and are now ready to move on.

But while part of council has been making their point, how has the lack of a student council this semester affected students?

The KSA doesn’t fall apart if council doesn’t meet, Todd said. It doesn’t rely on council to function on a day-to-day basis.

However, there are several items on the council’s agenda that have been postponed time and time again because they require council approval.

One of those items was the KSA budget approval to fund the 2011 Kwantlen Leadership Conference. If the event doesn’t receive the funding, it will ultimately have to be cancelled. But even then, there are provisions set up so that in the event council still doesn’t meet in January to pass the 2011 budget, it will essentially default to the same funding and expenditure decisions made in 2010.

And the KSA funded the Leadership Conference last year.

Other KSA projects that have been stalled include the official appointed of Melinda Bige to the role of Aboriginal Liaison. Bige assumed the position after the resignation of Roxanne Charles.

The KSA’s work on the multipass and developing a student health and transportation program have also been put on hold.

Pictures: Kwantlen without Faces

December 14, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

All students have to write exams, all students have to study. These pictures could show any student’s life. Welcome to an average day at Kwantlen.

Students' feet

Students' feet on the second floor of Kwantlen's Richmond campus on Dec. 7. (Photo by Paul Fleischanderl)

Keeping focus at Kwantlen's Surrey campus on Nov. 15. (Photo by Paul Fleischanderl)

collective studying

Collective studying at Richmond on Dec. 10. (Photo by Paul Fleischanderl)

Feet in hallway

A hallway at Kwantlen's Richmond campus on Dec. 8. (Photo by Paul Fleischanderl)

guy hiding behind laptop

Going missing behind a laptop on Dec. 10. (Photo by Paul Fleischanderl)

Skimming through notes.

Skimming through notes at Richmond on Dec. 10. (Photo by Paul Fleischanderl)

Studying in the atrium

Studying in the atrium of Kwantlen's Richmond campus on Dec. 8. (Photo by Paul Fleischanderl)

Losing focus at Kwantlen's Surrey campus on Nov. 15. (Photo by Paul Fleischanderl)

guy in library

Losing one's head in the library on Oct. 26. (Photo by Brittany Tiplady)

2nd floor empty

Abandoned second floor at Kwantlen's Richmond Campus on Dec. 6, 10:14 pm. (Photo by Paul Fleischanderl)

Winter driving: keeping it safe

December 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Driving in winter conditions can be challenging, but knowing some simple tips can help.

It’ time again for snowy roads, icy streets and frosty windshields.

For many Vancouverites, driving in winter conditions is not something that comes naturally, mainly because they haven’t had much practice.


BCAA, the British Columbia Automobile Association, has some tips on staying safe while driving this winter season.

First, if you are going to be driving in the snow, you should have snow tires. Make sure that they are all the same brand and make of tires as well, in order to get optimal performance from your vehicle.

Before you begin to drive, make sure that you have complete visibility. This means scraping ice off windows and de-fogging all of them.

Also, clear all snow off of your car before beginning to drive. Snow falling onto your windshield while you are driving can be dangerous if it blocks your vision.

During winter, windshields get dirtier from all of the dirt and debris on the roads. Keep your windshield washer fluid reservoir filled and get new windshield blades if the current ones are leaving streaks.

A useful tip is to not keep your rear-window defrost and heater on when not needed. They will gradually drain your car’s battery, and can actually cause it to die if the battery is already low and the car is idling.

When you start driving in the snow or on icy roads, be careful.

It may sound obvious, but do not drive your car faster than you can control it.

Also, be considerate of the other drivers around you. Let other drivers know when you are going to be changing lanes by signaling in advance, increase the space between you and the car in front of you, and brake gradually when coming to a stop.

If you are driving a standard transmission car, downshift to slow down rather than braking.

And if the roads are looking really ugly and hazardous, don’t drive if you don’t need to.

A full list of driving tips and winter car maintenance can be found at the BCAA website.

Kwantlen fashion students finalists in Télio design competition

December 11, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Fashion students pose with some of their work

Earl Mabaquiao (left), Kristin Yip and Laura Nickel pose with some of the work they have done for school. None of the three have begun the creation of their garment yet. (Photo by Josh Saggau)

For most students the semester is winding down, but for three of the fashion department’s top students, the work is just beginning.

Earl Mabaquiao, Kristin Yip and Laura Nickel have been named three of 25 finalists in the 2001 Télio Design Competition.

They now have just five days, once their schoolwork is done, to complete a garment they designed for the competition, which will be held in February. The competition, put on be Montreal-based textile company Télio, invites fashion students from across Canada to design and, now that they have been named finalists, create a garment, which will be presented to judges during Montreal Fashion Week.

“Part of the thing that’s also stressful about the competition is that we’re students, and part of the competition rules is that we can’t ask for help from anyone else, so we have to figure everything out on our own. We’ve all done these crazy designs, not thinking that were actually going to get in and now we have to make it on our own,” said Nickel.

But the trio is excited to showcase what they can do.

“It’s a pretty big deal for us, especially as students. It’s a great opportunity. I think one of the best opportunities as a student in Canada, to show at this event, because it’s a national competition and we have so many opportunities in winning the competition. Also, just in being place in those sort of circumstances, getting to talk with media, getting to talk with industry professionals, doing that networking, making those connections, and then also it’s a super-fun opportunity for most of us who don’t have the opportunity to travel, to have someone put us up in Montreal. Fly us out there and put us up and wine us and dine us. It’s really fun,” said Nickel.

Following the Montreal Fashion Week, Télio will announce five winners of scholarships totaling $10,000. The will be awarded based on the student’s ability to show creativity, use technical skills and capture the theme of the competition: Great Canadian North.

“I was inspired by the Aurora Borealis and its beauty. I wanted to take that beauty and take a still picture of it in the form of a garment,” said Yip.

Mabaquiao drew his inspiration for the weather of the north, while Nickel’s inspiration for her design came from the imperfections found in the north.

“There’s all these cracks and crevices and there’s such a rawness about it… These are the things we find so beautiful about the north,” said Nickel.

With the semester wrapping up and the university closing for winter break, the three finalist don’t have much time to complete their intricate designs before the competition. Because the fashion week and competition have been pushed up a month, the trio won’t have much time in the new year to complete their work.

“We don’t want to leave it ’til January,” said Yip.

Although the stress is clearly beginning to mount for them, with schoolwork to take care of before the start their garment, they have not lost their enthusiasm.

“At the end of the day, we are showing at Montreal Fashion Week, and to do that as students and someone else is giving us that opportunity, it’s great. It’s exciting but we just have to deliver because our names are attached to it,” said Mabaquiao.

The three garments designed by the winning trio for the TELIO competition.

Design sketches by the three finalist for the TÉLIO Design Competition. (Photo composite by Josh Saggau)

Kwantlen ambassadors collect coats and more for homeless

December 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Stephan Struve, a member of the President's Ambassadorial Team (PAT), serves up baked goods to hungry students on their way to and from class last week. Many of the baked good were made by PAT members. The bake sale was held in the rotunda at Kwantlen's Richmond campus. (Photo by Jeffrey Yip)

It might not be snowing right now, but the President’s Ambassadorial Team (PAT) hopes students will continue donating their old coats to help the homeless.

The PAT coat drive is collecting “gently-used” men’s and women’s coats, blankets, gloves, hats and new socks, with the donations going to “homeless shelters in the communities that Kwantlen serves.”

Clothing donation boxes, decorated with Christmas wrapping paper, can be found in any of the Kwantlen libraries.

“The [coat] drive was an initiative of one of the PAT members, Patricia Coburn. She and I talked about doing a Kwantlen gives back type thing,” said Shelley Coburn, a recent Kwantlen graduate, who now works for external relations for the president’s office.

PAT is a group of 16 outstanding students who work directly with the president and represent Kwantlen at different functions in the community.

As part of the coat drive, PAT held a bake sale at the Richmond campus on Dec. 8 and will hold another at the Surrey Campus on Dec. 9 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“With the money that we’re raising through the bake sale and other donations, we’re going and buying [more] new socks, new hats and new mittens,” Coburn said. “Social justice is something that is important to one of the PAT members and the whole team has pulled together and supported this initiative. It’s nice to give back to the community.”

Coburn believes the harsh winter weather in November made many students aware of the need to give. “People made the connection: ‘It’s very cold and I’m lucky, so I’ll donate,’” Coburn said. “We’ve seen a huge increase in the amount of clothing coming in towards the end of the coat drive.”

According to Coburn, PAT has collected about 16 “gigantic” garbage bags full of clothing so far. Officially, the coat drive ended on Friday, Dec. 10, but Coburn says the boxes will be in the libraries until early next week.

Baked goods from the PAT bake sale at the Richmond campus on Dec. 8. (Photo by Jeffrey Yip)

New drinking-driving laws: Students speak

December 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

New drinking and driving laws in B.C. have received a lot of media attention. Some say that random roadblocks are an infringement of our civil rights; others report that bars and restaurants have suffered a sharp decline in sales.

To find out what younger people are saying of the recent crackdown, Kwantlen students were asked what they think of the new drinking-driving laws and how their social drinking habits have changed because of them.

Anna Peregoudova, anthropology

“It’s obviously safer, but I work in the restaurant industry and I’ve noticed a lack of business. I haven’t been drinking much since school started, so I don’t think it’s affected me too badly.”

Nate Ferguson, psychology

“The new laws are good, because they’re trying to stop people from drinking and driving. I’m still tempted to go to the bar, have a couple of drinks and drive home. But ultimately, I’m not going to. It’s not worth it.”

Ashley Seller, general studies

“I think the punishments are too harsh. I don’t drink and drive, but I depend on friends for rides and I know they’re going out less. When we do go out, we get a cab home. It can be hard from down town though.”

Thomas Harskamp, sciences

“I don’t think they have particularly affected my social drinking habits. The lower limits have affected a lot of friends though. They’re not even willing to come out, have a couple drinks and drive home a few hours later, even after giving the alcohol a chance to metabolize.”

Brittney Taylor, psychology

“I think they’re ridiculous. For example, last weekend I had to wait an hour for a cab…transit is the biggest problem. I think they need to keep the trains running later.” Harskamp says the city needs to improve the transit system, from buses, to trains and taxis. “It also compounds a lot of the issues in the city with public transit. It’s not manageable to get home after a really late night.”

Nursing students helping immigrant women

December 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

(From left to right) Fourth-year nursing students Gillian Fantillo, Brianne Southcott, Krista Rohachuk-Smith and Kathryn Hull have worked to launch a new immigrant woman's clinic in Surrey as part of a school project. (Photo by Matt Law)

Nursing students in their fourth year at Kwantlen Polytechnic University are helping to lay the groundwork for a new women’s clinic in Surrey.

The goal of the clinic is to help educate immigrant women on sexual health and their rights in Canada.

“Basically, we are a link between the woman and primary health care,” said Krista Rohachuk-Smith, a nursing student at Kwantlen. “We do birth control counselling, [and providing information on] contraceptives, housing, abortion, domestic abuse is also something we do.”

The clinic started as a joint effort between the Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) and Kwantlen instructor Dr. Balbir Gurm.

Students began working on the clinic in January 2010, paving the way for the current group of four students to continue their work and launch the program.

Funding has been tight for the start-up organization and they have received much of their material by donation. Office space and resources were provided by PICS and the Kwantlen Student Association has provided tampons and condoms free of charge.

The clinic offers information and education on womans sexual health, rights and abuse. (Photo by Matt Law)

“We’re hoping that once our grand opening happens and some of the local politicians come out and see, they might want to start offering funding for us,” said Rohachuk-Smith.

The clinic offers both anonymous consultation over the phone and email and in-person appointments and drop-in visits. And the clinic is free and confidential.

In many cultures, there are stigmas around women’s sexual health issues that make it hard for immigrants to seek help and advice. Abuse and lack of knowledge leave many women helpless.

“You hear a lot of stories about women who don’t know that rape exists within a marriage. You have a right to say no, you have a right to go on birth control, you have the right of the woman to decide how many children you want in Canada,” said Rohachuk-Smith.

In some cultures, women are not allowed to use birth control and often are refused access to it by family and physicians.

“The thing that we were most shocked about is hearing stories about women going to a doctor or going to a pharmacist to get treatment or birth control and having that pharmacist or doctor call their husband. That was the most shocking because according to their scope of practice it is supposed to be confidential and they don’t have the right to do that, but it happens,” said Gillian Fantillo, also a nursing student at Kwantlen.

The clinic has a number of resources to help women in these situations, including lists of pharmacies that are not safe to use, connections with the RCMP and legal groups.

The clinic held its grant opening at its office in Surrey last week. Office hours are Thursdays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
For more information on the clinic, email womens.clinic@live.ca, or call 604-596-7525, ext. 243.

Kwantlen artists trying to make a name for themselves

December 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Andres Salaz (left) and Shelly Leroux man the Kwantlen Student Artist Collective's art sale last Wednesday. (Photo by Matt Law)

The Kwantlen Student Artist Collective has held its first art sale, last week on the Surrey campus, as a way to gain exposure for their group and raise funds for artists.

KSAC was started only two months ago in an attempt to make a name for students in Kwantlen’s Bachelor of Arts program.

“The whole thing is, we got sick of how apathetic everyone is in the fine arts department. So, we had the show last year in Cloverdale, it was okay, but we want more exposure,” said Andres Salaz, one of the founders of KSAC. “We want to be at the same level as Emily Carr now that we got the degree.”

Salaz began studying art at Kwantlen four years ago before switching to Emily Carr. After two years at Emily Carr, he returned to Kwantlen because he didn’t like the atmosphere.

“People were too snobby and cold. I remember I was in the photo room all the time and no one would talk to anybody and it was just like walking into a fridge,” he said

The goal of KSAC is to expose Kwantlen’s artists to the Vancouver art scene through shows and art exhibits.

“In art, all you need is exposure and be out there, and you have to make your own shows so the galleries get interested. That is why we started the collective, to raise money with the art sale and things like that,” said Salaz.

“Emily Carr gets it [exposure] because it has the name but no one knows about the bachelors in fine arts at Kwantlen. We just want to get the name out there.”

The Kwantlen Student Art Collective currently has 22 members and welcomes anyone to join.

New Cultural Studies course takes on the graphic novel

December 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Cultural Studies department is introducing its new course to be taught on Richmond campus in the spring semester. (Photo by Lucas Meneses-Skoda).

Kwantlen is introducing a new course and the Richmond campus has earned dibs.

Starting in the spring of 2011, CUST 3340 Graphic Novel as Cultural Product will be added to the Cultural Studies timetable in the hope that it will attract new, curious students to the department.

The course will study graphic novels as an expression of pop culture in today’s society. “Students will examine the unique manner in which comics communicate and be encouraged to analyze examples rigorously in both formal and narrative terms,” states the description of the course on the Kwantlen website.

Class work and assignments will include “ongoing forum posting, short formal analytic response papers and a creative term project suiting each student’s individual interests and talents.”

Nicely enough, CUST 3340 does not require too many prerequisites, as do some of the other 3000-level Cultural Studies classes, making it easily accessible for students. Pre-reqs are the completion of ENGL 1100, one of ENGL 1202, ENGL 1204, CRWR 1100, FINA 1100, FINA 1165 or FINA 1167, and another three credits from any 2000-level course or higher.

Students around the Richmond campus have said that although it may not be of direct interest to them, they can see it being a big hit with others.

“I wouldn’t personally take it because I don’t like graphic novels… I prefer reading a novel, but I think there are a lot of people that really would like to take it. A lot of my friends love graphic novels and stuff so I think they would enjoy it,” said Amanda Wood, who studies psychology.

The response from Kimberley Parker, a fashion design student, was similar. “It sounds like an interesting course… not necessarily something I would take, but I think probably there would be people who would be interested in it.”

Other posters have been placed over the Richmond campus to publicize what the Cultural Studies department has to offer. (Photo by: Lucas Meneses-Skoda).

There have also been posters promoting other Cultural Studies courses around the Richmond campus, such as German Culture through Film, which was last taught in the fall of 2009 and will also be available to students in the spring semester.

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