Student newspaper scheduled to hit newsstands in January

October 15, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

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.  

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. 

“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. 

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. 

“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. 

“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.)

Richmond crosswalk scares students

October 3, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

A pedestrian light and a left-turn signal that come on at the same time has some students, including Nicky Forshaw, worried about safety at an intersection near the Richmond Kwantlen campus. (Amy Reid photo)

A pedestrian light and a left-turn signal that come on at the same time has some students, including Nicky Forshaw, worried about safety at an intersection near the Richmond Kwantlen campus. (Amy Reid photo)

Richmond Kwantlen students who have had, or seen, close encounters with cars are unhappy with a crosswalk at the intersection of Garden City Road and Lansdowne Road, but the city’s traffic department has received few complaints or suggestions from residents.

At the intersection, which is half-a-block from Kwantlen, the pedestrian walk light and the left-turn light for traffic turning north onto Garden City Road, come on at the same. Two lanes of left-turning traffic approach pedestrians as they cross.

Students must cross the busy intersection to get to a bus stop. Frequently-used buses that stop there include the 301-Newton Exchance – which connects the Richmond campus to the Surrey campus – and the 407 Bridgeport bus.

Alexa Kulak, a first-year student at Kwantlen in general studies, considers this a dangerous crosswalk because the two lights come on at the same time.

“Another thing that adds to this problem is the speed limit on Garden City road,” she said. “It’s 60. People seem to think they can just drive at highway speeds and not look out for pedestrians.”

Many people are speeding through the intersection and have to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting pedestrians, she said. She uses this crosswalk when she gets off the 407 bus, and recalled a time when her mother nearly hit a pedestrian there.

Another student nearly was hit recently.

“A lady almost ran over me, she was in such a hurry. She stopped right in front of me and nearly hit me!” recalled a wide-eyed Kanwal Rashid, a science major at Kwantlen. She said there isn’t enough time for pedestrians to walk across and she finds it scary.

Amanda Punshon, a full-time student at Kwantlen taking general studies, said the crosswalk makes her uncomfortable, and she rides the 301 bus five days a week. “People don’t always stop for you. You have to kind of duck and dodge. It’s not fun.”

Nicky Forshaw, a student in the IDDS program at Kwantlen, takes the 301 bus every day during the week. She thinks that anything would be better than the current set up, suggesting a delay in the walk light.

The city is considering changing phasing so the pedestrian light doesn’t conflict with the left-turning signal. However, this could delay traffic and must be looked at carefully, said Victor Wei, the director of transportation for Richmond.

A remedy also being considered is increasing the size of the yield-to-pedestrian sign, which the city can do quite easily, Wei added.

Wei recognizes that the intersection is “challenging because you are having to walk straight into oncoming traffic.” But he says the city does not consider this a dangerous intersection.

The city does not receive many complaints regarding this intersection, but they are, “open-minded,” said Wei.

“If any of the users of this crosswalk, including the students from Kwantlen have any ideas of how to improve it, we are more than happy to hear them and consider them.”

He encourages students to contact Richmond’s traffic operation department with concerns and suggestions.

Federal candidates come to campuses this week

September 26, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

Kwantlen welcomes federal election candidates to campuses next week in Surrey, Langley and Richmond.

All-candidates’ meetings, which kick-off on Monday, are an opportunity for students and residents to listen to and ask questions about each party’s ideas and platforms in the riding that includes each campus.

These free events are part of a series called Hear the Candidates, Make Up Your Own Mind, organized by Kwantlen’s criminology department. The department has asked the candidates to speak about criminal justice issues, but they will also touch on a wide range of issues such as health care, education and the economy.

The meetings will be “town hall” style and are intended to encourage dialogue between the candidates and residents. The idea behind the meetings is to provide students, faculty and people in the community with a chance to get to know their candidates.

The election forums:

• Surrey campus (Newton-North Delta riding) at 7 p.m. Monday in the conference centre.

• Richmond campus (Richmond riding) at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the conference centre.

• Langley campus (Langley riding) at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the auditorium.

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.”

New year, new president

September 10, 2008 by · 3 Comments 

Kwantlen students are attending a university and welcoming a new president they begin the fall semester. Dr. David W. Atkinson replaced Skip Triplett, who had served as president for Kwantlen since 1999, in July.

He brings to Kwantlen Polytechnic University an abundance of experience in working with universities, as well as new ideas for the institution.

A new name – Kwantlen Polytechnic University – and, in David Atkinson, a new president.

A new name – Kwantlen Polytechnic University – and, in David Atkinson, a new president.

“One of our ambitions should be co-op education across the curriculum, so that if you’re an English major or a history major that you have a co-op placement. You actually go out in the work world and you see how it works and you take some of those skills and you see whether or not you can apply them. That is my concept,” Atkinson said during an interview last week.
In his own words: 3’48″ audio of David Atkinson

In the first edition of his newsletter, which will be released every two months, he focussed on program development, university governance, campus development and senior reorganization.

“At this stage in my career, am I ready to take an institution like this and forge it into a university, so when I leave in five or six years time it is established and it’s ready and nobody questions it. Am I really up to this?” he asked rhetorically during the interview.

He is. “The real challenge is controlling expectations, because you can’t do it all overnight.”

Atkinson is in the process of establishing a university senate, “which is the way in which a university does business.”

“There’s no senate here and people have no concept of what a senate is. It just baffles me,” he said.

Atkinson joined Kwantlen University College in July, with more than 30 years of experience in higher education. He studied at the University of Calgary, where he received his BA, MA and PhD in English Literature. Later, Atkinson found himself at the University of Lethbridge where he joined senior administration and stayed for 15 years.

He was later named Professor of English and Religious Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. He then went on to be both president and vice-chancellor of Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont., where he is an honorary member of the Board of governors, then to Carleton University in Ottawa.

“The most important thing about Kwantlen, the most important thing about any university, is the quality of its programs. And so, to establish ourselves as a university, not only do we need to determine what kinds of programs we want here, which will distinguish us, because I think what we don’t want to be, is another wannabe.”

Atkinson’s newsletter, which outlines some of the changes taking place at Kwantlen, can be read at

Pubs nights first step toward Kwantlen campus pub

September 10, 2008 by · 12 Comments 

The fall semester brings Kwantlen students a new status as a university, a new president and along with that, approval for a pub night.

The Kwantlen Student Association approached the school’s new president, Dr. David W. Atkinson, about creating a pub on campus soon after he arrived last July, said Nathan Griffiths, Director of Operations for the KSA. Atkinson was on-board with the idea and suggested starting with a pub night, as opposed to a fully licensed pub. Although the KSA is interested in creating pub nights on all campuses, Surrey is the only campus that currently has space to do so, Griffiths said.

Pub nights will be held Fridays in the Grassroots Lounge on the Surrey campus. “There are still finer details to work out with administration,” said Griffiths, adding that the KSA plans to focus on this project after CramJam is finished.

Griffiths says that the KSA has a “gentleman’s agreement” with Atkinson to aim to have a fully-licensed pub in one year.

“Campus pubs are typically a hub of campus culture,” said Griffiths. “Now that we are a university, its important that we foster bringing students together, bringing students and professors together.”

Added Atkinson: “We’ll take another look at it at the end of the semester and I am absolutely convinced it will have been a success. We will look at doing more in the spring.”

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