Live coverage: Kwantlen Eagles basketball

October 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Lucas Meneses-Skoda and Steve Maisey provide live play-by-play of Friday’s basketball game between the Kwantlen Eagles mens team and the Northwest Indian College, starting at 7 p.m.

Food bank offers help for struggling students

October 21, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Nathan Griffiths of the KUSA says

Nathan Griffiths, of the KUSA, explains that food donations for the student food bank are often so low the association has to purchase food so that there is enough. (Photo by Matt Law)

With increasing costs for students, Kwantlen University’s food bank is playing an increasingly important role.

In September, the jobless rate in B.C. rose 0.2 per cent according to B.C. Stats, which put the jobless rate at 7.5 per cent, 0.5 percent below the national average of eight per cent. Youth in B.C. (ages 15-24), face an even higher unemployment rate of 14.4 per cent.

“There is kind of an untold story and sad truth about student hunger. Students unfortunately are paying more in tuition than they ever have before and often earning less than they did before,” said Nathan Griffiths, marketing & communications coordinator for the Kwantlen University Student Association.

The KUSA has been running the current form of the food bank for roughly one year and offers discreet support for students in need.

“We look for any non-perishable food items and there’s drop-off and pick-up locations around campuses, generally next to the KUSA offices,” said Griffiths.

Students are free to drop off or pick up food from these locations as needed. It is an open system that anyone can make use of.

“As with any food bank, unfortunately the need outweighs the supply. So the KUSA, through the student health improvement program, buys additional food to ensure that there’s always food in the food basket,” Griffiths said.

The KUSA also offers a program for students who have a more serious need for financial assistance.

“We have an auxiliary program for students who need even more food. There are about a dozen students on this program, where we leave a larger basket in an undisclosed locker for them and they can pick it up if they need. That’s for if there is an identified serious problem,” said Griffiths

The counselling department will identify students who are in need of this support and connect them with the program.

“Nobody needs to know they are using the food bank program; it is completely anonymous,” said Griffiths.

Movember: Hairy Lipped Eagles grow hair because they care

October 19, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

As winter approaches and the temperature outside plummets, people begin searching for ways to keep a little warmer without cranking the thermostat up and spending their hard-earned money.

Some choose to wear more layers. Others share body heat. Some even try the warm-clothes-right-out-of-the-dryer method.

But for men, there is always one tried-and-true solution: facial hair.

What better time for some facial hair than November: not only do you get the extra warmth, but it coincides with Movember, a prostate cancer awareness campaign.

While the Movember idea isn’t new, there are few people who know the reason behind it. The idea is for men to raise awareness of the risk of prostate cancer by growing moustaches and raising money for prostate cancer research through donations.

In order to gain more publicity for the cause, the KSA has put together its own Movember team, led by team captain, Chelsea Campbell — the KSA’s club and events coordinator — and KSA marketing and communications coordinator, Nathan Griffiths.

So far promotion for the team has been limited but should pick up following the Oct. 28 Halloween costume contest.

“We are looking for donations to come in over the month of November,” said Griffiths. “We’re going to try to pick a comparable school and beat them [in total donations].”

So far the KSA’s team, aptly named the “Hairy Lipped Eagles,” has 13 members and has only $50 worth of donations but they are looking for more support.

There will be a Movember dodgeball tournament held on Nov. 19 between 2 and 7 p.m. The KSA is looking to get at least six teams of three for the event, with a minimum $30 donation per team, said Griffiths.

As well as the tournament, the KSA and the GrassRoots will donate all Nov. 25 sales from people with a moustache, real or fake, to Kwantlen’s Movember team.

“There’s also our Facebook campaign, trying to get people to update their profile picture every day as their moustache grows in,” said Griffiths.

If you would like to join or donate to the KSA’s Movember team you can do so at the Kwantlen team site.

Nathan Griffiths of the KSA shows off his pre-Movember moustache. (Photo by Matt Law)

Prayer room opens on Surrey campus

October 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Surrey Kwantlen students looking to practise their faith now have an answer to their prayers, after the September opening of an on-campus dedicated prayer and meditation room.

The Centre for Student Life and Community quietly opened the prayer and meditation room in the learning centre in the Surrey campus library on Tuesday, Sept. 21. The initiative was created after the university received requests from students of different religious faiths seeking accommodation.

“Having the space available allows students of multiple backgrounds and faiths to be able to come in and make use of the space,” said Jody Gordon, the associate vice-president of students. The room has been made available seven days a week for use by students, staff and faculty as a space for quiet prayer and meditation, and can be booked in advance or used on a drop-in basis.

“But it’s not exclusive to those who may come looking for the space for religious purposes. It is also considered a secular space where someone may just need to the use the space to relax and let the stress go, that they’re often experiencing as students,” said Gordon.

The semiprivate and modestly-furnished room is used by an average of 10 to 12 people a day and the demand is already growing, according to Gordon. A student faith group on campus has also asked to use the space for its meetings.

She says that so far most of the requests for space have come from the Surrey and Richmond campuses, but she is expecting to offer similar a service on all the Kwantlen campuses as the space becomes available.

She said the department of Student Life will monitor the success of the pilot room with an eye to seeking improvements and meeting demand. “It’s a first and . . . modest attempt at trying to dedicate some space to quiet prayer and meditation,” said Gordon. “If this is something our community really wants to see us continue to have, then we want to continue to commit the resources to it.”

Amy Lange, a student representative for Kwantlen University Christian Ministries, has looked into using the room for her group’s weekly meetings, but discovered that the room can only accommodate six students and is too small for the group.

“While these changes are good, there is still a ways to go,” said Lange in an e-mail interview.

Students interested in using the space can call 604-599-2900 for more information.

How Facebook has affected dating

October 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Meagan Gill, Miranda Gathercole and Sarah Casimong explore how Facebook has changed the dating world for university students, as part of a continuing series on life in the age of social media.

Audio: Kwantlen Chronicle podcast, volume two

October 18, 2010 by · 1 Comment 


Talysa Dhahan and Brian Russell discuss parking at the Surrey campus, and listen to what students have to say about the situation, as well as covering the CIBC Run for the Cure, which took place on Oct. 3.

Dancing with the students

October 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Bustin' a Move

(Photo by Paul Fleischanderl)

Students who think they can dance can put their skills to the test at classes of Group Groove in Kwantlen’s Blossoming Lotus Studio.

Group Groove is an upbeat, one-hour session that gets your body movin’ and booty shakin’. In 60 minutes, you practice disco, salsa, hip-hop, cha cha and a unique variety of interpretive movements.

“They’re all merged together. I’ve learned a few moves from the disco era and Latin era. It’s cool because I never thought I’d learn those things,” said Leandro Sublay, 18, who studies foundations in design.

“It’s kind of like jazzersize. It’s a cardio workout. You do the steps to do the cardio, not to do it perfect,” said Kaila Butler, 20, who also studies foundations in design.

Dancing can be great for letting loose, or a whole lot of fun if you just want to shake a leg. There’s a vital source of energy to be tapped in the motion of dance, and Group Groove shows you don’t need to be hammered in a club to get jiggy with it.

“It allows me to release my energy and opens up a totally new style of exercise,” said Sublay.

“I always knew dance was very physically enduring, and it really enforces that. You come out and your arms and legs are sore,” said Butler.

There’s no shortage of enthusiasm either. It’s smiles and laughter when you’re ridin’, slidin’, whippin’a and dippin’ to high tempo beats in a positive atmosphere.

“It’s lots of fun and I laugh pretty much through the whole thing,” said Butler.

“I dabble in choreography, so the class gives me inspiration to think of new moves and bring a fresh new flavour to the hip-hop scene,” said Sublay.

Classes are held on Monday and Thursday from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. They cost $25 to $35 depending on your medical coverage. For more information, contact the KSA.

Opinion: Increasing minimum wage makes sense

October 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s time to raise the minimum wage in B.C. — the province’s students have it hard enough.

Last month, Carole James, leader of the provincial NDP and the official opposition, raised the notion of increasing the minimum wage from $8 an hour to $10. Such a raise would take the province from having the lowest minimum wage in Canada to having one of the highest. (The minimum wage in B.C. hasn’t been increased since 2001.)

It’s important to note that Metro Vancouver has one of the highest costs of living in the country, meaning that the dollars spent on rent, groceries and utilities don’t go nearly as far as money being spent in other major Canadian cities.

None of this is lost on Canadian students. Tuition costs continue to climb (up about four per cent this year), as most full-time students continue to work part-time or take out student loans in order to support themselves. It is a common sight to see three, four or five students crammed into a small apartment or suite in any neighbourhood in Metro Vancouver, sharing the rent in one of the most expensive markets in the country.

Of course, one of the biggest arguments against increasing the minimum wage is the fact that the rise in operating costs will hit smaller businesses hardest. Opponents to the increase claim this would result in fewer jobs in the province, and in effect, make circumstances worse than they already are.

The only problem with this argument is that it is an all-too-common refrain of right-wing think tanks such as the Fraser Institute, backed up with questionable data and liberal interpretations of Statistics Canada reports.

That’s not to say that there will never be adverse effects of an increase to the minimum wage, but the effects of keeping it at a Canada-wide low of $8 are adverse enough.

Given the fact that, according to Stats Can, 59 per cent of minimum wage workers are 15 to 24 years old — a large portion of whom are students and are the future cultural, political and business leaders of the country — it is time to consider this as a sound economic investment in our future.

In fact, Ontario pays the highest minimum wage in Canada at $10.25 per hour, but remains as one of the top economic performers in the country.

It’s time to keep up with the times and raise the minimum wage in this province.

The new age of breakups

October 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Social media, such as Facebook, is affecting many aspects of our lives, such as how we breakup. (Photo by Jocelyn Gollner)

By Jocelyn Gollner and Amanda Punshon

In today’s age of social networking, sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become such a part of our lives that they even affect our break-ups.

“I hear very often that [people] meet on eHarmony or someplace like that. And so how they come together is kind of based on this artificial information that they have about each other,” said Bruce Bailey, a counsellor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. “Instead of connecting, they just kind of… miss… just a bit at the beginning, and then they never really quite figure out how to build [a relationship.]“

Bailey said one of the main reasons that couples have trouble connecting is a lack of face-to-face contact. Tweeting and emailing replace actual conversations, and it’s harder to forge an attachment.

Without that initial connection, the relationship can start to fall apart, and once it does, people often choose to end things using social networking.

“Before the social media that we have, people would either call or break up in person. Maybe it’s a reflection of my age, but I’m a little surprised that people can text one another and break up that way,” Bailey said.

He said that despite the volume of communication that goes on via social networking, “the sense that I have, and this isn’t the least bit scientific, is that social media has left us completely exposed to the whole world.”

‘It’s like a pack of wolves

Alicia Con, a Kwantlen student, agreed.

“If you put it on Facebook it’s like a pack of wolves,” she said. “You’re basically setting yourself up for that. If you’re a more social person, and then once you break up, everyone’s like ‘Oh what happened, what happened, what happened?’ I think, just from previous experience, I’ve just learned not to put stuff like that up on Facebook. Because even if you take your status down, people are like ‘Oh are you dating someone?’ So it’s kind of giving people the opportunity to be really nosy.”

Peter Chow-White, assistant professor in the School of Communication at SFU, however, said that social media is often used in “finding out information about partners who may not be behaving monogamously.”

It’s a trend that Kwantlen counsellors and students have noticed as well.

“I find that young women will monitor the computer activity of their boyfriend,” Bailey said. “That’s a real issue — the whole ‘I don’t trust him. What should I do?’ And she’s not quite sure whom he’s talking to…[women] don’t like that.”

“If a girl or a guy sees a picture on Facebook or something of their boyfriend or their girlfriend with someone else, it could lead to a breakup,” said Amit Aujla, a Kwantlen student.

A cautuon against Facebook-creeping

It’s not just people who are dating who monitor each others’ online profiles. Exes are often just as nosy.

“One of my favourite comments from one of my students is that ‘my boyfriend and I broke up and then I saw that he friended his ex-girlfriend and I totally lost my…’ you know, fill in the blank,” said Chow-White.

Bailey cautioned against this so-called “Facebook creeping,” saying that while it mirrors what some older women do — namely, hiring a private investigator to make sure their partner isn’t lying — it’s “a little less valid, because a private investigator is trained and simply gets the information that they come across…an awful lot on Facebook is not true, necessarily, so checking him out is not necessarily checking him out.”

If you can’t seem to restrain yourself from creeping on your ex, there are online sites to help. is a way for people to curb their Facebook-creeping habits. They enter their exes name, Facebook and Twitter account info and the URL of their blog, and then they can’t access any of their online information.

Another on-line site full of social media info and advice is The self-proclaimed “Unofficial Facebook Resource,” provides satirical tips to help you “protect your emotional well-being.”

Tips include taking note of all your exes new friends (“this will provide you with more stalker material to draw false conclusions from,”) posting photos with members of the opposite sex (“by posting photos with others, you demonstrate that the relationship meant nothing to you [even though it clearly did],”) and applying new privacy settings (“while you may want your ex to see photos of you with a cute new romantic interest, you probably don’t want them to see the photos of the drunken stupor you got into last night.”)

Kwantlen, Simply Computing team up to bring new store to Surrey campus

October 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Photo by Max Hirtz

Kwantlen is about to become a little more Mac-friendly, with an Apple retailer will begin operating out of Kwantlen Surrey’s bookstore at the end of October.

Students and staff will be able to take advantage of educational discounts on Apple products as well as software by Adobe and Microsoft, offered by Simply Computing

Kwantlen students have mixed opinions on whether the store will be useful.

“I don’t know if I’d ever use it,” said Andy Sheppard, a Kwantlen psychology student.

Rahil Faruqi, a Kwantlen student who is taking a double minor in English and philosophy, is a Mac user who welcomes the new addition.

“There aren’t many stores that focus mainly on Macs,” he said. “Seems okay. I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be.”

Anish Koirala, an accounting student, also agrees that it could benefit a lot of students.

“I don’t really use Mac as much, but I can assume somebody else would. I think it’s a good thing,” he says.

Simply Computing, which has several retail stores in the Lower Mainland, is, according to its website, the “largest Apple specialty dealer in British Columbia. The store, which will occupy a small portion of the bookstore’s space, will also provide hardware upgrade and rental services.

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