On Saturday, March 5, Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Surrey campus hosted the Global Walk for the missing girls. The walk was to inform the Kwantlen community about female foeticide and infanticide. The event was hosted by a pair of Kwantlen students, Garima Kaur and Lucky Gill.
Going into college, Erin Millar thought she was going to be a music teacher.
Now, the Capilano graduate has written The Canadian Campus Companion, a guidebook on going onto post-secondary education in Canada.
The freelance journalist was president of Canadian University Press (CUP) during her time as an editor at the Capilano Courier.
“I really enjoyed [writing] and found my real calling [in journalism],” Millar said.
Millar, who generally writes feature stories, was the first person in her family that attended a post-secondary institution, and she said she learned a lot about the university lifestyle when she moved away from home.
”I remember I moved from Penticton to Vancouver for the first time when I was 18 years old, like everybody else does. It was really challenging. I didn’t know how to do anything. Cap doesn’t have residence, so I had to move into my own place,” Millar said.
“I didn’t even know enough about registering to realize that I had to register myself for English 100. I just sort of assumed I’d show up and I would go to my classes and my program was very set because I was in a very specific program. I didn’t even get all the classes I needed in my first year because I didn’t really realize the process,” Millar said.
Millar co-wrote the book with Ben Coli, her husband, whom she met in Thailand while doing freelance journalism.
“[Coli] went to business school at U of C and worked for a couple years as a property tax consultant and realized that what he really wanted to do was write,” Millar said. “I think we both kind of came at it from other sides, and I think that message is very much in the book to keep your ears open and follow what you really enjoy and it doesn’t necessarily have to be what you expect.”
Millar and Coli got the book deal two days before their April wedding. They started writing the book late, and their deadline was set for Sept. 30 so they could have it on shelves for this spring.
“I feel like the book is a lot better having written it together,” Millar said.
She said that there aren’t many university guidebooks for Canadian institutions and that her book, The Canadian Campus Companion, is the most in-depth university guidebook in the country.
After graduating, Millar found that her passion for writing and journalism was more tempting than a career as a music teacher. She was hired to work full-time by McLean’s Magazine helping with the on-campus website and the university rankings.
Even though she didn’t follow through with her original dream to teach music, Millar keeps her alto saxophone and piano close to her. Millar and her sister are part of a cover band that has been together for seven years.
On March 5, history was made for Kwantlen’s athletic department after two Eagles secured the school’s first national banner.
Ashley Jang was half of the mixed doubles badminton team that came back from Sackville, New Brunswick with the gold medal, and she had to go through a lot of pain so Kwantlen could raise their third banner in two years.
“Before every match, I spent an hour warming up and re-taping my knee and putting on a lot of lotion and ice. I tried my best to play as hard as I could, but I was really restricted,” Jang said.
The second-year biology student hurt her knee during the provincial championships, where Jang and her teammate, Jensen Ly, finished in second place.
The national championship took place two weeks after the provincials, and it gave Jang little time to prepare.
“I hadn’t played any real games since provincials, so I was really scared about my knee because I didn’t think that I would be able to play without injuring it,” Jang said. “It would hurt to straighten my leg. The next week I went to a lot of physiotherapy and I went to a Chinese doctor so I would heal faster.”
The injury haunted her for the entire two weeks, and she still had to deal with it in Sackville.
“When I would do really fast movements, I would get sharp pains in my knee. I taped my knee really tight so it would be secure in one position,” Jang said.
Jang found that her knee was causing her mobility problems, and it led to Kwantlen losing its first match to the pair representing St. Clair College, Johnny Tran and Julie Schell.
But after the defeat, Jang decided she wouldn’t let the pain get the best of her.
“I was really close to giving up, but after we lost that match, I thought that I would try my best in the next game because I didn’t care anymore. I wanted to win the banner for Kwantlen,” Jang said.
The Richmond native and her teammate were set to play their fellow B.C. team in the next match. Jenny Aronson and Bryan Cassels, representing Vancouver Island University, stole the gold from Jang and Ly at the provincials.
However, the outcome of this match was different as Kwantlen defeated the BCCAA badminton mixed doubles champions in straight sets. It was at that point when Jang really thought they could go all the way.
“After that [win], I was pretty confident that we had a really good chance at winning,” Jang said.
The Kwantlen duo won their next four games to set up the championship final against the tournament favourites from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Sinead Cheah and Joey Vandervet.
The Eagles pair beat NAIT in straight sets, and won the last set by a nine-point margin.
“I felt really happy and relieved. Jensen and I really went through a lot of difficult times, like provincials. He basically had to play singles against everyone, and I was in so much pain just standing there,” Jang said. “I went through a lot of pain just so we could get to nationals and hopefully win. I’m really happy that it all paid off.”
Cat Yelizarov spent her past summer as few other university student did: working in the stress-filled environment of a newsroom.
The fourth-year GDMA (Graphic Design for Marketing) student at Kwantlen spent the summer completed her internship at the Globe and Mail newspaper in Toronto.
Yelizarov went into her internship with only a little journalism experience, from working with The Runner, the student-run newspaper at Kwantlen.
Yelizarov said going to Toronto by herself to work as an intern was difficult and scary.
“It was different because I came with no journalism background, so I had no experience and I was really scared, and every day I thought I was going to get fired because I thought I sucked,” Yelizarov said.
In Toronto, Yelizarov was thrown straight into designing for the Globe and Mail. She was given two days of training and then she was designing section fronts.
What made her experience even more stressful was the Globe and Mail was in the process of redesigning the newspaper while she was there. Yelizarov was in charge of designing multiple section fronts each day, as more experienced designers were helping out with the redesign or on vacation.
Yelizarov ended up designing a front for every section of the Globe and Mail during her time there, except for the Report on Business section. She said her time there was stressful, but still thinks school is more pressure packed then working.
“I think it’s way more stressful being in school than working for a national newspaper. There is way more pressure,” Yelizarov said. “It’s weird because you’re responsible for designing, and the [printing] plates cost so much, like $1,000 per front, and if you fuck it up that’s like thousands of dollars down the drain because they have to fix it.”
But at university, she said that the pressure of getting good grades and peer pressure is worse.
Working under pressure is something Yelizarov thinks she does well, and that helped her keep focused, even with daily deadlines — and when mistakes were made.
“I spelled the person’s name wrong for a Saturday front which is horrible. So horrible,” Yelizarov said.
Dealing with mistakes and the pressure of deadlines wasn’t even the most challenging thing Yelizarov faced during her time at the Globe and Mail. It was some of the people she had to deal with.
The Globe and Mail is unionized and she says that while many people she worked with were cooperative and good-natured, others were there because of the pay and were bitter.
“You have to deal with people that would duck when they see the section editor because they didn’t want to talk to them. They would avoid them. You have a deadline at four and you’re avoiding the section editor, so it was complete chaos,” Yelizarov said.
With graduation and a wedding coming up, and the need to find a job, Yelizarov looks to be just as stressed as she was last summer. But after her experience at the Globe and Mail, she feels like she can accomplish anything.
Dr. Charles Quist-Adade is a lot more than an average sociology professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He is also the founder of CANAFRE, the Canada-Africa Foundation for Rural Education and president of the Ghana Canada Association of British Columbia.
But it is how he is incorporating his students into his foundation which has taken drawn attention at Kwantlen.
Quist-Adade is a Ghanaian-Canadian who is heavily devoted to his community. In many of his courses, he provides students with an opportunity to make a change in society by raising funds for the Aklowa Scholarship Project. The goal of the project is to improve education in rural Ghana where more than 70 per cent of the youth live in village communities.
The scholarship provides primary school children who are in need with a backpack containing two sets of school uniforms, a pair of sandals, 24 exercise books, pens, pencils and a dictionary. The scholarships also pay for the child’s school fees and lunch for a year.
“It [the scholarship] is to help deprived students who cannot complete education because of lack of funds,” said Quist-Adade. “We give them kind of a lifeline to complete their education.”
Quist-Adade is from a rural community in Ghana and he knows how far each donation can go.
He received a diploma in journalism from the Ghana Institute of Journalism before being funded to study for his master’s degree and PhD in journalism and sociology in St. Petersburg, Russia.
“I thought that I should help realize the educational dreams of children in rural Ghana,” said Quist-Adade.
He allows his students to raise funds in any way they choose, with a target of $750 per group.
Jasman Virdi, a student in Quist-Adade’s social justice class, was part of a group that held a club night.
“In the end, we sold out. In total, we raised $1,080,” Virdi said.
Quist-Adade appreciates the effort put in by his students as he continues to improve education in his homeland.
“I want to thank my students for the enthusiasm, sacrifice and effort they put into fundraising,” said Quist-Adade. “By the time it is finished, I think we will have raised about $2,000.”
For more information on the foundation, or to donate, visit the project’s website.
The Kwantlen women’s soccer team has come back from the CCAA national championships without a medal.
The Eagles finished fifth in the six-team tournament after losing 3-2 to the hosts, NAIT, in extra time and then losing 2-1 to Humber the following day.
Despite finishing the regular season seven points behind the UBC Okanagan Heat, the team still managed to win the provincials, after they beat Langara 2-0 in the final and went through the tournament without conceding a goal.
The Eagles claimed a berth in the national championships by winning the provincial tournament they hosted.
The club picked up a bronze medal in the national tournament last year, and was looking to build on that with their new head coach, Gordon Smith.
Smith and his team arrived on the field a day early to scout NAIT, who teed off against Humber, knowing that his team would have to win all of their matches if they wanted the championship.
“We had scouted NAIT the day before, and one of their players scored off of a great free kick. We were aware of that and she did the exact same thing against us. That was a bit disappointing. But the girls fought back really hard,” said the head coach.
The following day, the women had to play Humber, but fell short and lost 2-1.
With two losses on the board, Smith’s team would have to play for fifth place.
They beat Holland in their last match and finished fifth in Edmonton.
Forward Shanay Sangha was named on the tournament all-star team, scoring twice in Kwantlen’s three matches.
Smith believes that his first year in charge is a base which he can expand on for next season.
“Having not seen the players before, and it being my first year, it took a while to get to know their strengths and where they best fit on the field. I think going into next year, I will be ahead of the game in terms of playing them in the right spots and using their abilities better.”
The women’s team will raise their provincial banner in the gym at Surrey Campus before the women’s basketball team tips off against Camosun Chargers on Friday, Nov. 26.
The Kwantlen Eagles qualified for the BCCAA final after winning their previous matches against Quest University and Vancouver Island University.
The women’s team were set to play local rivals Langara for the provincial title with the winner advancing to nationals.
Langara beat Thompson Rivers University and UBC Okanagan before playing the Eagles in the final.
Despite only picking up a single point this season, Kwantlen men’s soccer coach, Ajit Braich, says that there are a lot of positives his team can take away after his first year in charge.
The Eagles finished at the bottom of their division with a -34 goal difference. But Braich, who has spent over 25 years coaching professionally, has his eyes and mind on the future.
“It was a difficult season. I didn’t realize we’d lose by as many goals, but we are such a young team. However, with the signs that we left on the field, with other schools, the coaching staff and the athletic directors, is that we are on the right road and we are trying to build a program over two or three years,” said Braich.
With majority of the roster consisting of first-year students, the men’s team was labelled inexperienced. The average age of the team was just over 19 years, and the team was in the midst of a shift.
“It was just a matter of these young players growing up from a youth mentality to an adult mentality player-wise. That was the biggest thing. I think every game they got better and went further with that transition,” said Braich.
However, the head coach is scouting for some experience to add some depth into his squad.
“We’re looking to recruit better players and experienced players out there who aren’t getting playing time with other schools. I’m hoping we’ve painted a picture were people want to come to Kwantlen. That was my intent. We want to bring some players back, but we don’t want to stop recruiting,” said Braich.
The main cause of concern this season was the Eagles back line, which conceded 51 goals over the 12-game season.
“We are going to definitely recruit two or three defenders. That was one of our drawbacks. We didn’t have defenders in depth. So I had to stick with what I had. That is a priority,” said Braich.
With the 2010 BCCAA Provincial Championship being hosted by Kwantlen, the men’s coach said it was a shame they couldn’t make the cut.
“They could have showcased their abilities in front of a home crowd. So that was disappointing, knowing that we were at home. But having said that, it was almost a brand new year for us. We had very little to build on from last year,” said Braich.
“The primary goal now is to start looking to get those Ws by hard work and not just ability. It’s not just ability that will get those. We’ve got to learn how to grind results or keep results and next year’s goal could be that we make the provincials.”
Both of the Kwantlen soccer teams played their final home games of the season, against the Capilano Blues, on Oct. 17 at Newton Athletic Park.
Just like last year, the men’s team couldn’t wait for a dreadful season to end, while the women’s team was set to play in the provincial championships, which are being co-hosted between Kwantlen, Capilano and Langara.
Going into the match, the women hadn’t lost in three games, and were hoping to extend that run.
They were also sitting in second place; four points behind UBCO.
On the other hand, the men’s team was struggling before the match, only picking up one point so far this season.
They had only scored seven goals in nine matches going into this encounter with Capilano, including a streak where the team went over 450 minutes without scoring.