Get ready to sweat

January 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Bootcamp is a scary term. Visions of an army sergeant yelling in my face flash through my mind. My muscles burn at the mere thought of the intensity it suggests.

Last week on the Surrey campus, fitness trainer Emily Taylor put on a free bootcamp session for those interested in signing up for a six-week program. My prediction about intensity was dead on, but the army sergeant turned out to be a peppy fitness trainer who is motivating, not terrifying.

The work-out began with a few laps, followed by lunges up and down the length of the gym. Ten minutes in and I was already sweating.

About halfway through the work-out, I revisited an old feeling from my cross-country running days back in Grade 7. The I-can’t-go-on-I’m-going-to-die feeling. Sweat was dripping from my forehead, and I’m pretty sure I was a bright shade of pink that is unnatural. But Taylor pushed us on.

I particularly enjoyed some of the new exercises that she introduced. One was a partner exercise in which we used an extremely stretchy plastic rope. Partners both go inside the rope, facing the same direction, approximately three feet from one another. The person in the back does a squat, and holds the rope behind them taught, grounding the person in front. The person in front then takes two large steps forward, touches the ground, jumps up in the air, then takes two steps back and repeats. Switch positions. Hard to imagine? Just as hard to do.

We also did intervals at various stations, a minute at each. They included step intervals, jump rope and more. And for abs, I found a new fun workout that a friend and I could do at home – without the horrible exercise that is the crunch. The exercise involved both partners lying on their backs, feet facing one another and linking those feet. With a weighted ball in one person’s hand, in unison, both partners sit up, pass the ball to the other person, and go back down to the floor. Crunches with a friendly twist.

The workout ended with lunges across the gym, and doing “monkey jumps” at each side. Monkey jumps require you to hold a weighted ball. With feet shoulder-length apart, you squat and, keeping your arms locked straight, swing your “monkey-arms” up jump and repeat. My legs were burning and almost buckled nearing the end of the exercise.

Aafter some wind-down stretches, it was over and I was thankful, yet felt surprisingly rejuvenated and energetic. I learned a few new exercises and was pushed harder than I ever would have pushed myself on my own.

I was expecting to only recommend this class to those who can handle high-intensity workouts. As it turns out, Taylor is perceptive to the needs of each person in the class, and it is safe to say that anyone could take this class, regardless of fitness level.

But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.

• • •

Those who want to sign up; contact Taylor at (604) 599-2307 or email her at You can also visit the program website for more info.

Prices are to be announced and the classes don’t officially begin until next week. They will take place on Tuesday and Thursday, from 4:30-5:30 p.m., in the gym on the Surrey campus.

Upcoming Lecture on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

January 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Israeli activist Jeff Halper will be delivering a lecture on the situation of Palestinians in Gaza on Wednesday, Jan.28 at 10 a.m. at the Surrey Kwantlen campus. Professor Hapler is the co-ordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition, and is a critic of Israel’s policy towards Palestinians. His recent book is entitled “An Israeli in Palestine.”

The lecture will be held at 10 a.m. in room D128.

Two singers, two poets for second open mic event

November 10, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Johann Holesko sings at the second KSA-sponsored Open Mic Night at Surrey, held Nov. 5. (Cori Alfreds photo)

Johann Holekso sings at the second KSA-sponsored Open Mic Night at Surrey, held Nov. 5. (Cori Alfreds photo)

With less than a dozen people in attendance, four of which were performers, the second Open Mic Night finally got underway an hour later than advertised at Kwantlen’s Surrey campus on Nov. 5.

Despite the lack of audience, Johann Holekzo, one of the performers, thinks that “Open Mic Night is a good opportunity if you have some words or tunes on your mind.”

Holekzo thinks that the event can be beneficial to the audience as well. He says it’s live entertainment, which is something that he enjoys more so than listening to his stereo.

“The audience doesn’t have to pay attention to the musician and it’s a good place for people to socialize,” Holekzo said.

Kari Michaels is the main organizer for Open Mic Night, along with the newly-elected Director of Events and Student Life, Vanessa Knight.

Michaels originally planned to have Open Mic Nights every week; the Nov. 5 show was the first one since the opening event in September.

One of the biggest problems with the event is getting enough performers to come out and play, which is why the event is held once in a while instead of weekly.

To encourage performers, Michaels and Knight had pizza to hand out to audience members as well as performers on Nov 5. Michaels also decided to open up the night with poets as well as singers. Two poets, one of them Michaels, read from their works.

Atrium tiles at Surrey campus a thank-you from potters

October 31, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Ceramic tiles made by the Fraser Valley Potter’s Guild, Kwantlen staff, alumni and students are currently on display in the atrium at the Surrey campus, waiting to be mounted in the library.

David Lloyd, ceramics instructor and vice-president of Fraser Valley Potters’ Guild, was in charge of the project, which saw between 40 and 50 volunteers create 500 tiles.

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According to Lloyd, the Fraser Valley Potters’ Guild, largely made up of Kwantlen students and alumni, donated clay and resources to Kwantlen Polytechnic University as a “thank-you” for allowing them to meet in the ceramics lab since the group was formed in the early ’70s.

Lloyd said it “took hundreds of hours of work,” from May until September, to complete the tiles. They kept going until they “used up all the clay and resources.”

Students and staff designed 30 tiles and made molds from the originals.

“Caring for molds is a whole piece of work in itself,” said Llyod. “So, we did most of the mold-making in May and April and started pressing the tiles through June into July. Then everything else became firing and glazing.”

The tiles are displayed temporarily on the floor of the atrium until they can be mounted in the library once renovations are complete.

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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