Smith waiting for next season

November 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Gordon Smith won a provincial title in his first year as head coach. (Photo by Steven Maisey)

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.

Live broadcast: Eagles basketball

November 25, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Josh Saggau and Lucas Meneses-Skoda are broadcasting live from the Kwantlen Eagles basketball game on Friday, Nov. 26. If the feed isn’t available here, go to our UStream feed.

Infographic: Comparing the cost of an education

November 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Jeffrey Yip and Hayley Woodin have compiled information on the cost of getting a university education in B.C. and present it in the form of an interactive graphic (Flash is required). You can see a detailed breakdown of the separate costs that add up to the total, and compare the cost of a university education at Kwantlen with other post-secondary institutes in the province.

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Hello Africa: introducing field schools in Kenya and Ghana

November 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Jessie Horner and Joan Nesbitt

Jessie Horner (left) and Joan Nesbitt, both instructors in Kwantlen's criminology department introduced plans for field schools. (Photo by Paul Fleischanderl)

Hello, Africa, held at the Surrey campus Nov. 15, was about African music and food — and announcement of plans that could see Kwantlen students studying at field schools in Ghana and Kenya.

Criminology instructors Joan Nesbitt and Jessie Horner introduced plans for the field schools. “The field schools are an attempt to learn from one another in approach to become world citizens,” Nesbitt said.

Nesbitt and Horner went to Kenya last summer with Dr. Charles Quist-Adade as planning for a field school in Africa got under way. The current plans include an eight- to 10-week course for Kwantlen students in May 2012, worth between six and nine credits. The first two weeks would consist of preparation for Africa at Kwantlen. While in Africa, students would attend prospective partner schools Moi University in Eldoret, Kenyatta University near Nairobi or the University of Nairobi, all located in Kenya. The costs for participating in the field school in spring 2012 will be around $5,000 per student.

The reason for choosing Kenya as a destination is that there is already a relationship with Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology there. Also, the field school might be a case study in development and it is supported through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Horner and Nesbitt were concerned with the lack of Kenya or even African content that Kenyan criminology students study from. Horner and Nesbitt fear that without such a Kenya-based program, the schools run the risk of “re-colonizing” students with Western ideas and systems of thought.

The event’s keynote speaker was Prof. Kogila Moodley, professor of sociology at UBC who focusses on multiculturalism and race relations. In her speech, she compared Ghandi and Mandela and posed the idea that non-violent resistance may have been uniquely successful in Gandhi’s case.

Professor Kogila Moodley

The keynote speech was by UBC professor Kogila Moodley. (Photo by Paul Fleischanderl)

The event also featured the African percussion band Zion Dancers, poet Scruffmouth, music, singing as well as African food such as peanut curry soup, green curry stew with potatoes and spicy pitas with a red rooibos tea latte.

Kwantlen students who wish to participate in a field school, can attend one in July 2011. The Ghana field school experience is transferable for six credits at Kwantlen, and lasts for three weeks. For details and registration see Dr. Charles Quist-Adade, instructor in the sociology department.

Zion Dancers played traditional African music at the event, prompting the crowd to get up and join in the dancing. Photo by Jeff Groat

Slam poet Scruffmouth read some of his work at the event. Photo by Jeff Groat

BBA entrepreneurship students making a difference on DTES

November 22, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Charles Konopski distributing packages on Saturday, Nov. 13 in Vancouver's downtown eastside. (Photo courtesy of Students for Homeless.)

Four weeks ago, a group of fourth-year BBA entrepreneurship students — Harsh Thakkar, Charles Konopski, Kelly Saunders, and Amar Phull — started Students for Homeless, which has since raised close to $48,000 to help homeless people on the Lower Mainland.

The fundraiser was a project for an entrepreneurship practicum class, with a mandate to help the Vancouver downtown eastside homeless by making care packages to help stay warm and safe in winter.

“What we do, is we collect pledges of $15 and $25 and use those pledges to purchase supplies for care packages. The packages have socks, thermal blankets, a toque, gloves, first-aid supplies, a couple garbage bags, and a map of the homeless care facilities in Vancouver,” said Konopski, co-founder of Students for Homeless.

Pledges were collected over four weeks, and all of the supplies were purchased through a wholeseller. Members of the group also stood outside of Choices Market in White Rock to get the public involved through pledges.

“We tried to sell as many in person, and a lot of time people didn’t have a lot of cash on them, so we would direct them to our website, and sent them an email and a lot of people went home and donated through our website, which we were very happy about,” said Konopski.

The fundraiser had a target of raising enough funds for 200 packages. But with the help of personal and social networking, and an overwhelming positive response from peers and the general public, as well as a sponsorship from Coast Capital Savings, Students for Homeless had enough for 200 packages by the beginning of the third week, and ended their project with 244 packages to distribute to the homeless.

“We definitely got some really good reception from both our peers and the general public. A lot of people thought it was a really great idea. I guess a lot of issues with non-profits is that you donate your money and you don’t really know where it goes, whereas with this fundraiser, when you donate you are pledging a package for an individual,” said Konopski.

“This way people are able to help the homeless and make sure they get something to eat, and socks and things to stay warm. We had a lot of support.”

On Saturday, Nov. 13 the group distributed 200 packages on Vancouver’s downtown eastside. While the response from the public had been positive, the response from the homeless was the inspiration for the project.

“The best part is the way they responded when we gave them the packages,” said Harsh Thakkar. “They were just giving us blessings and were so happy. We were giving them to people who we saw didn’t have toques or dry socks, and they were getting soaked in the rain, and they were just really excited to receive the packages.”

With 44 packages left, which will be distributed in Surrey, the project has been deemed a monumental success.

“What learned is that as much as it is about making money, it is also about giving back to the community. And that’s what we learned the most. All we wanted back was the blessings and the happiness we saw in people’s faces, and that’s something we were really touched by,” said Thakkar.

For more information, check out

Vancouver Homeless gather at Food on the Corner to receive their care packages. (Photo courtesy of Students for Homeless.)

Japanese club shares traditional art forms for International Education Week

November 22, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Breena Kaye poses with her name written in Japanese calligraphy on Nov. 18 for International Education Week. (Photo by Sarah Casimong)

Jassneal Dass and Nina Ramsay demonstrated origami at the Japan table for International Education Week. (Photo by Sarah Casimong)

Dressed in traditional kimonos, members of Nihon Kwantlen Kurabu, otherwise known as Kwantlen’s Japanese Club, participated in International Education Week, with tables dedicated to Japanese calligraphy and origami, on Nov. 18.

Jassneal Dass, the Japanese club’s intercampus liaison, joined Nina Ramsay and other Japanese club students in creating origami.

“Personally, I’ve always had interest for [Japanese culture],” Dass said. “It started with video games first. Then anime on TV. Then I started learning more about the culture and it just became more interesting.

“I always wanted to learn the language because we didn’t have Japanese in high school. I was in French immersion so I was forced to learn French and I hated it. “

“[My Japanese] is pretty good,” Dass said. “I think I speak Japanese better than I speak Hindi, which is a good thing. I’ve been studying for three years. Some of my friends have been studying for seven years. They’re so much better than me.”

Dass admitted that Japanese calligraphy was challenging at first, but after writing out the characters hundreds of times, he has mastered the art.

He still, however, has yet to ace origami. The traditional Japanese art of paper folding is a traditional art form that dates back to the 17th century, according to House of Japan.

“I’m pretty terrible with art, so I’m not that great,” Dass admitted. “This is one of the first times I’m doing it. I’ve done it a few times in high school and elementary but I can’t even fold the paper correctly. I still need more practice on this.”

(Photo by Sarah Casimong)

(Photo by Sarah Casimong)

(Photo by Sarah Casimong)

“I’ve always been interested in Japanese culture and when I got into university I was like, ‘Oh, there’s a Japanese class. Heck yes, I’m there,’” said Breena Kaye, who demonstrated calligraphy at the Japan table. “It’s actually a lot of fun.”

She encourages people who are interested in Japanese culture to take a Japanese language class at Kwantlen.

“You live and breathe Japanese for a semester,” Kaye said. “You get to learn something different instead of sitting in a classroom getting to learn people talk for an hour and a half. You get to really interact with your teacher, you get to interact with each other and it’s a really good way to learn.”

The Japanese Club meets at both the Surrey and Richmond campuses. It delves into Japanese culture, anime and manga, as well as Japanese history and cuisine.

Meeting are held in Richmond on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. in room 1815 and in Surrey on Thursdays at 1 p.m. in room D326, Fir building.

For more information, visit the Japanese club’s Facebook page.

Best Buddies comes to Kwantlen

November 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Students and their buddies

Students from the University of Victoria participate in their school's Best Buddies chapter. (Photo provided by Best Buddies)

A nation-wide charitable organization called Best Buddies fosters strong friendships between high school and university students, and individuals with intellectual disabilities has come to Kwantlen’s Richmond and Surrey campuses.

Students are matched up by chapter presidents to community residents who share interests, personalities and schedules. And the rest is pretty much left up to participants.

“It’s up to the students to make and develop their friendship as they want,” said Amy Lynn Taylor, the Western Canada program manager and current chapter president for the Surrey campus.

“We hope they are meeting as frequently as they’d like to,” she said, adding that students and their buddies are encouraged meet a minimum of twice a month.

Depending on the pair, time between students and their buddies is spent doing what the average young adult does: shopping, dining, movie-going and chatting.

Ora Chen, Richmond chapter president, spends most of her time with her buddy Winnie shopping at Richmond Centre.

“Our relationship is very good; she thinks I’m really a good friend, and she’s really good in our friendship,” Chen said.

While the chapter presidents generally host four group meetings each school year, the program is mainly meant to provide a safe and encouraging way for students to get involved in the communities around Kwantlen, and meet and interact with people outside of school who don’t necessarily have the same opportunities as they do.

Both chapters work closely with Community Living British Columbia, an organization that works with adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

As Taylor explained, the community clients from CLBC genuinely appreciate being able to meet students, go out, have fun and spend time with people who enjoy spending time with them as well.

The Surrey and Richmond chapters are relatively new, and as there are currently more buddies than volunteers, both chapters are always seeking student participation.

Students can participate in either the Surrey or Richmond chapter for as long as they attend Kwantlen, or have the time to commit to the program. But even when schooling comes to an end, the friendships made between students and their buddies often don’t.

“In a lot of cases, they do continue to stay in touch,” Taylor said.

For more information on the program, visit, or seek out the Best Buddies booth at the Kwantlen volunteer expo being held at the Surrey campus Nov. 23 from noon-5 p.m., and at the same time on Nov. 24 at the Richmond campus.

New Dungeons & Dragons-inspired webseries Standard Action not just for geeks, says creator Joanna Gaskell

November 21, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Joanna Gaskell, left, as Edda and Edwin Perez, right, as Fernando in Standard Action episode 0. (Screenshot courtesy mightyjoanna productions and Phasefire films.)

[audio: webseries.mp3]

Joanna Gaskell, a Vancouver actor and self-professed geek, is the creator/writer/producer of the new webseries Standard Action, which takes place in a fantasy world not unlike that of Dungeons & Dragons. It centres around Edda, who is rather bloodthirsty; Fernando, a half-Halfling bard; Gwenevere, a vain sorcerer; and Martin, a cleanliness-obsessed Druid. All of the characters are outcasts, neither suited to their roles nor particularly powerful.

Gaskell has gathered a team of local independent film talent to create Standard Action. In this interview, she discusses her inspiration, her team and why she decided to create a series for the web.

Watch Standard Action episode 0 on YouTube here.

Passion for Dancin’

November 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Meirna Said teaches the Passion for Dancin' club at the Richmond campus on Thursday. (Photo by Meagan Gill)

Kwantlen students are showing they have a Passion for Dancin’.

Passion for Dancin’ is a new club at Kwantlen that allows students who like to dance the opportunity to learn a variety of cultural dances, including bellydancing, salsa, bachata and merengue.

Meirna Said created the club only about a month ago, although she has been seriously thinking about it since last year.

“What I got from [the club members] is that they wanted a workout and learning how to dance, and that’s what I want to give them. I want to give them fun, enjoyment and learning with it,” Said said.

The Dance Towards Peace Organization, which Said represents, was what inspired her to start the club. The organization “tries to promote peace through dancing. And especially through children. So we used to try to teach children how to dance. We used to go to the cancer hospitals…and teach them how to dance. And we found out it was great because with dancing you can do anything,” Said said.

Next week, club members will be learning how to dance salsa and they’ll be going to a salsa night somewhere in town during the week, to see first-hand what salsa dancing is like.

The club meets every Thursday night from 7 to 8 p.m. at the yoga studio on the Richmond campus. A fee of $30 is charged for the club for the whole semester, and goes towards the Breast Cancer society.

Meirna Said helps a student with her bellydancing on Thursday. (Photo by Meagan Gill)

Laura Davis (right) and Effie Psiharis learn to Bellydance on Thursday. (Photo by Meagan Gill)

Kwantlen’s first ever dodgeball tournament a success

November 20, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Marissa Dionne playing dodgeball

Marissa Dionne, of Team McCulloch, squares off against some of her teammates from the Kwantlen women's soccer team. Team McCulloch won the Movember Dodgeball Tournament. (Photo by Jeffrey Yip)

Students filled the Surrey campus gym ducking, diving and dodging their way to dodgeball fame on Friday night.

With more than 15 teams participating, Kwantlen’s Movember dodgeball tournament was unquestionably a huge success for the KSA and Kwantlen Recreation, who collaborated to host the event.

“Our goal initially, because we’ve never done one, was if we got eight to 10 teams we would have been happy and we got 15. We also got a lot of singles who came in and tried to pick up teams. It definitely exceeded our expectations,” said Eddie Lee, who coordinated the event.

“It’s one of those things that snowballs. You do as much as you can and some things are going to work and some things aren’t and you kind of just have to roll with it. Not everything you do or plan is going to work out the way you anticipated. This is one of those successes that hopefully we can build on.”

The KSA has not always had a lot of success promoting events — the Oct. 2 street hockey tournament was cancelled due to lack of interest — but the dodgeball tournament was an unbridled success.

“It was a lot of fun. We’re just happy to come out and play and support a cause,” said Amy Basi, winner of best female moustache.

Perhaps the best part of the day was that everyone was there for more than just dodgeball. Exact numbers for the fundraiser, for cancer research, will take some time to add up but organizers seemed happy with the donations made by students.

“We all knew it was for Movember, and we just came back from nationals, so we all said, ‘Let’s do this and see if we can raise some money,’ so that’s what we all came out for,” said Courtney McCulloch, who captained her team to victory in the championship.

The win for McCulloch’s team was no small victor,y either. Competition was fierce through round robin play and intensified once the knockout round began.

“It was a tough run. Eventually our team decided to settle down and took it for the win,” said McCulloch.

What has to be exciting for the KSA is the enthusiasm that the event brought. The Surrey gym was filled with participants and spectators and the crowd really seemed to be enjoying the event.

The KSA’s marketing coordinator, Nathan Griffiths, said they were excited for future events after the success of the dodgeball tournament and that it was good to see Kwantlen developing that university spirit. He also said that after interest shown in the event this year they could probably have 10 more teams next year.

Sean Mitchell playing dodgeball

Sean Mitchell , of the DeMOlishers, warms up before the start of the tournament with some throwing and catching. (Photo by Jeffrey Yip)

Hairy Lipped Eagles team stretching

From left to right, Nathan Griffiths, Tonya Myhedyn, Reese Motzek, Shawn Mitz and Chelsea Campbell, of the Hairy Lipped Eagles, get in some good stretching before the start of the Movember Dodgeball Tournament at the Kwantlen Surrey campus on Nov. 19.

Team McCulloch shows off their medals

The tournament's winners, Team McCulloch, captained by Courtney McCulloch (centre, back row). (Photo by Jeffrey Yip)

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