Cloverdale hosting Skills Canada competition

February 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Kwantlen’s Cloverdale campus is set to host the regional Skills Canada competition on March 7, where over 200 students will compete from the Richmond, Langley, Surrey and Delta school districts.

The competition allows high school students to explore interests in trades and technology fields in over 15 categories. Some categories that will be featured are carpentry, fashion design and robotics.

Students will be given details of the task in their event when they arrive at he Cloverdale campus March 7. For example, students participating in the fashion design category know ahead of time that they have to make a skirt in six hours, but they get the specific directions on the day, explained Nancy Toth, consultant for career programs for the Richmond school district, who is organizing the event.

“Half of the students don’t usually finish,” she added, illustrating the difficulty of the challenges. “It’s usually very intense.”

Some of the competitors attend Kwantlen, through a program that allows high school students to take classes at Kwantlen and receive credit from Kwantlen and credit from their high school, she said.

As a result of that program, there are many high school students on-campus at Kwantlen, taking part in programs such as automotive, carpentry and welding, she added.

This is the first time Kwantlen has offered to host the event, and Toth thinks it’s a good fit.

“I think it really highlights the profile of Kwantlen. It will bring a lot of families and students to the campus who have never been there before, and it’s a beautiful campus. To highlight these programs, many of which are taught at this campus, is good promotion.”

The day begins at 9 a.m. and competition deadline is at 4 p.m., followed by a medal presentation ceremony at 5 p.m.

Those who win gold medals will qualify to compete at the provincial level in the 15th Annual BC Skills Competition, which will take place on April 22 at the Tradex, Trade and Exhibition Centre in Abbotsford.

Outstanding grad achieves success while raising eight children

February 22, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Cindy Parry

Cindy ParryIt's hard to tell what's more impressive about Kwantlen graduate Cindy Parry — that she recently won the President's Outstanding Graduate Award, or that she somehow managed to pull it off while raising eight children.

Kwantlen President David Atkinson presented Parry with the award at the annual convocation ceremony on Feb. 16 for her work in the Bachelor of Applied Psychology Honours program. Three days later, in an almost deserted Richmond campus cafeteria, Parry spoke about what drew her to psychology.

“I was in business for about 20 years, and I was pretty good at it, but one of the things that I found, that I really loved about business, was working with people,” she said. Parry was a regional trainer at Jenny Craig, training counsellors and sales staff. She left and started her own training company, but missed the hands-on work.

“As a manager, I found my staff kept coming to me saying things like, ‘Can you help me with this’, or they would tell me their life’s problems, and I would listen and give them advice, and then I sat back and thought, ‘Well, you know, if I’m going to give them all this advice, I should probably make sure the advice I’m giving them is good, that I’m not sending them down the wrong path’.”

Parry enrolled in Kwantlen and took a few psychology courses out of general interest. After the second course she decided to become a full-time student. She had found her life’s passion. “I absolutely loved it.”

Richmond was close to home for her, but what really endeared her were the instructors.

“They didn’t just read what was in the textbooks and send you away. They inspired,” she said.

Parry had studied business at SFU, and while she admits that it has wonderful professors, she felt removed from them, and disliked the large class sizes and lecture hall environment. “I was literally able to just sponge the information out of their brains and put what I wanted into mine & mdash; it was amazing.”

In the third year, Parry specialized in child and developmental psychology. Her ultimate goal is a PhD in clinical psychology, then research on foster children for the Ministry of Children and Families.

This is where her family life comes into play. In addition to being a full-time student, President of the Kwantlen Psychological Society and working for the ministry, Parry was also raising eight children at home.

She and her husband have five children together, as well as three full-time foster children and two respite children who live with the family occasionally.

How does she do it?

“I have the most amazing partner in the world, who pitches in and enables me to do what I do.” The younger kids have daycare, so she works her schedule around them. “We’re partners, so there are days when I cover him and there are days when he covers me. I try and schedule things so that most of my busy-ness is when the kids are in school and daycare.”

Parry has advice for student who are parents.

“We’re really good at taking care of everybody else, and as parents we’re not so good at taking care of ourselves, and I think that in the long run that can end up impacting the care that you’re able to give to your kids and your studies as well because you simply burn out.”

She said young parents should know their limits, and try to find a balance between their needs and their children’s needs.

Parry is modest about her own accomplishments.

“Yes, I know I have decent grades and I work very hard for them, but I don’t see what I do as anything special. What I do is just, what I do,” she said. “Of course I’m a mom — so? Whether you have one or you have eight really doesn’t make that big a difference. It’s just a bigger grocery bill.”

Kwantlen fashion show April 1

February 22, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The annual Kwantlen Polytechnic University fashion event, The Show, will be held April 1 at the River Rock Casino Show Theatre (8811 River Rd, Richmond). There will be matinees at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.; tickets $15 each. An evening show will be held at 7:30 p.m. with tickets for $30.

More info:

Former Kwantlen student organizes gang violence protest rally

February 18, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

As a result of recent gang violence in the Lower Mainland that has been making headlines across Canada, Trevor Loke and Paul Hillsdon are taking action with a rally for peace on Sunday, Feb. 22 at Central City Plaza.

The idea to organize a rally came about when Loke, formerly a Kwantlen student, and Hillsdon were looking for events in the Surrey area that were against gang violence. When they couldn’t find anything, they thought a rally was a good place to start.

The main idea behind this rally is to bring the Surrey community together to show that it will not be divided on the issue of violence. “We will come together, we will show the strength of our spirit and we will accomplish things,” said Loke.

Loke, a Newton residen,t thinks that the media has portrayed Surrey as an unsafe place. “Surrey is a really great place,” said Loke. “It’s not a place where people need to be living in fear.”

Loke is a candidate for the Green Party in the provincial Surrey-Newton riding.

It’s important for students to show up for the rally, he said, because they are the next generation.

The rally will be held at 1 p.m. on Feb. 22 across the street from Surrey Central Sky Train Station. Participants are asked to take banners, posters and noise-maker’s to show support as they march together to Holland Park.

Loke expects more than a couple hundred people to show up to the rally, which is organized along with the RCMP, the City of Surrey and all major political parties.

Student’s whereabouts still a mystery

February 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Sahil Sharma before he went missing

Sahil Sharma before he went missing

It has been almost three months since international Kwantlen student from India, Sahil Sharma’s disappearance and police still have no leads.

Before his disappearance Sharma was taking classes at the university, with a focus on Information Technology (IT).

After attending classes at the Surrey campus on Nov. 13 he never returned home, and authorities say he has “simply vanished.”

“We did everything,” said Sgt. Roger Morrow of the Surrey RCMP. “We did DNA, we did bank accounts, we did email, you name it – we did it. Nothing to lead to where he could’ve gone or where he is.”

In attempts to find Sharma, his parents have come to Canada with hopes that more publicity will reveal new information and help to locate their son.

On the morning of Jan. 29, Mr. and Mrs. Sharma were at the Surrey Detachment of the RCMP and met with various media outlets, asking the public to come forward with any information that may assist them in locating their son.

Since meeting with media, the Surrey RCMP received five tips from the public. Each of the tips were people stating that they saw him in different locations in the Lower Mainland. But all of the tips have proved to be of no value, confirmed Morrow.

Morrow said that police are remaining hopefully, adding that there is “hope is there for the family. But we’ve come up dry again.”

“I think the only follow-up further in the media will be finding him, one format or another.”

Anyone with any tips or information is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP.

Tax Info for students

February 16, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

There will be an income tax information session for students on Wednesday, Feb. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Conference Centre at the Richmond campus.

Experts from Revenue Canada as well as several financial institutions will be on hand to answer any questions about the Canadian tax system and how it applies to students.

Langley cupcake sales aids heart fund

February 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Jennifer Campbell shares a laugh while selling cupcakes at the Langley campus. (Cori Alfreds photo)

Jennifer Campbell shares a laugh while selling cupcakes at the Langley campus. (Cori Alfreds photo)

KSA’s Langley campus representative, Jennifer Campbell, embraced Valentine’s day and made 600 cupcakes in 10 hours for a fundraiser.

“We wanted to do something for Valentine’s day and then we decided to make it a fundraiser for a charity,” she said.

All of the money raised will go to the Heart and Stroke Foundation and it will be matched by Kwantlen. The cupcakes were sold for a minimum donation of $1.

By Wednesday afternoon Campbell had raised about $175. She said that they still had “tons of cupcakes” left and if they don’t sell all of them by Friday they will probably give them to local homeless shelters.

Love, hate on V-day

February 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

KSA Richmond campus director Reena Bali and Nicole Joe hand out free brownies and cupcakes to students passing through the rotunda on Valentine's Day. (Joseph Gloria photo)

KSA Richmond campus director Reena Bali and Nicole Joe hand out free brownies and cupcakes to students passing through the rotunda on Valentine's Day. (Joseph Gloria photo)

Rows of free cupcakes and stacks of brownies were plentiful at Kwanlen’s “Love and Hate V-day.”

Reena Bali, 22, the Richmond campus director as of April 1, organized the event held on Feb.12 in the rotunda of the Richmond campus.

The sugar-laden event launched the 30-hour famine, which Bali will be organizing for the first time.

Bali said they chose to have the cupcakes, which were topped with a swirl of icing, pastel confetti and a jelly hearts, because they are very “valentine-y.” As for the two-bite brownies, “everyone loves brownies,” she said.

Bali also handed out free Valentine's Day cards during the KSA's Love and Hate V-Day. (Joseph Gloria photo)

Bali also handed out free Valentine's Day cards during the KSA's Love and Hate V-Day. (Joseph Gloria photo)

Although “free” signs sat beside the treats, those satisfying their sweet tooth could make a donation to World Vision.

World Vision is the organization behind the 30-hour famine.

Bali remembers doing the famine in high school. “I’m pretty sure a lot of students had a lot of fun times doing it in high school so I said why not do it here, its for a good cause.”

She said she is in the process of asking Kwantlen to hold the 30-hour famine sleepover at the school, in either the rotunda or the KSA lounge. If not, the famine will be held at one of Richmond’s community centers

Famine participants will drink juice and water, play games and raise money for 30 hours, according to Bali.

She said she doesn’t know how many people will participate, but the number isn’t that important.

“Even if we have 15 people signed up, I’m still going to go for it, because 15 is better than zero.”

Valentine’s Day cards, addressed to B.C. university and college students from the KSA, were also on hand at Love and Hate V-Day.

“I’m thinking of you this Valentine’s Day as I search for a committed partner to ensure my education is affordable and of high-quality,” wrote the KSA in the red folded cards.

As for the love and hate inspired name, Bali said she was just trying to cover all of the bases in naming of the event so no one would be offended, which she said “happens.”

Green Wednesday fish farm doc a great, educational experience

February 15, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Shauna MacKinnon answers questions at the latest Green Wednesday event in Langley. (Zoë Tarlow photo)

Shauna MacKinnon answers questions at the latest Green Wednesday event in Langley. (Zoë Tarlow photo)

Farming the Seas offers a lot of information in very little time, but makes an important claim: Aquaculture is dangerous is so many ways.

Farming the Seas, a 55-minute documentary shown at the latest Green Wednesday at the Langley campus, that begins in B.C. and then takes the viewer to Norway, Scotland, China and Thailand, where they have seen the disastrous affects of aquaculture.

Aquaculture began with good intentions as a solution to overfishing, which caused the salmon population to drop.

At first fish-farming seemed like a brilliant idea. Millions of salmon are raised besides other sea-life, but within a caged net that floats in the sea. One aboriginal in the film referred to them as “floating hotels” for salmon.

But one of the greatest problems with fish-farming is disease. The fish get sockeye disease (a viral infection) and sea lice, which spread quickly throughout the population trapped within the net.

Farming the Seas shows numerous clips of millions of fish being thrown away, because of these diseases.

Since these fish grow in the same waters as wild salmon, these diseases affect other wildlife as well. In B.C and Washington alone, nearly 1 million salmon have escaped from their farm, spreading the disease throughout the ocean.

This problem does not just affect the fish population, it affects what we eat. The treatment for these diseases is antibiotics, which contain pesticides that are fed orally.

The audience gasped when it saw a one-year-old farmed salmon compared to a one-year-old wild salmon. The farmed salmon was triple the size of wild salmon, because of the hormones the fish are given to make them grow faster, therefore making it on the fish market quicker.

This mass-production not only affects the livelihood of fishermen, but other marine life, such as whales, turtles, bears and seals who depend on them for food. As the wild salmon’s population continues to decline, this means little food for the animals higher on the food chain.

Farming the Seas spares us the horror of other documentaries when they show us a cute cub who’s starving. Thankfully, in this film, viewers are shown clips of a bear snacking on wild salmon, and seals dancing in the ocean while clouds of fish disperse in unison, creating a miraculous vision.

Other issues addressed in the film include the extinction of blue fin tuna and the repercussions of farming shrimp.

Farming the Seas is an information overload, Bbut information that we should be loaded up with. Experts such as David Suzuki, Sylvia A. Eerie and UBC professors are featured throughout the documentary.

And the documentary is not just about doom. It shows solutions to the problem, that as a society we need to address.

Since there is so much information to process in less than an hour, it made a huge difference to be watching Farming the Seas with people who wanted to converse about the issues.

Green Wednesday’s at Kwantlen’s Langley campus is about education. The room was packed with people who watch the weekly films to gain knowledge. But what separates this from sitting on a cozy couch at home or surfing the internet, is that these people want to talk about it.

At the end of the documentary, Shauna MacKinnon, a campaigner for Living Ocean Society, was there for a Q&A. People raised their hand to ask questions that were not addressed in the film, or to get more understanding about what the film brought up and the positive and negative advances in the fishing industry since the film was made in 2004.

Not everyone’s idea of fun is watching a documentary called Farming the Seas, jam-packed with information about aquaculture, then diving into a deep discussion concerning what kind of fish you consume. But if it is, you’re going to have a blast.

Students speak: Did you vote?

February 12, 2009 by · 1 Comment 


Emily Bickley, 20
General Studies

“I’m not going to vote because I don’t know what the issues are, and its better to not vote than vote in ignornance and mess everything up.”


Katherine Lee, 19
Graphic Design for Marketing

“I didn’t really know about doesn’t really interest me.”


Steven Kwok, 20
Business Diploma

“I didn’t know about the election today.”

Ali Razapanju, 21
Business Administration

“I think its important for every student to vote in the student elections…they should have a good feel of whose representing them and know their ideas and what they’re on about.”

Next Page »