Cafeteria-protesting Friends 4 Food missing in action

December 14, 2010 by  

It started with a bang and went out with a whimper.

Friends 4 Food, the Kwantlen club that attracted attention from local media and students for its vocal protest of Kwantlen’s new food service provider Sodexo, has quietly disappeared.

Friends 4 Food had clashed with both Kwantlen Polytechnic administrators and the Fraser Health Authority over serving free vegan stew in the Surrey campus courtyard.

Though still listed as an active club on the Kwantlen Student Association’s website, the group has not served any more meals on campus since early October. The Friends 4 Food website is no longer available online and their Facebook group hasn’t been updated since Oct. 4.

The disappearance of the group may be part of a wider trend: When it comes to extracurricular clubs on campus, Kwantlen students have been traditionally slow to get involved.

Nursing student Amy Lange organizes the Kwantlen chapter of University Christian Ministries. She says that her group would like to be more active on campus but that they’ve struggled against the commuter campus dynamic.

“[Kwantlen students] just come to school for school, they study, and they go home,” said Lange. “They’re not looking to get involved in any extracurricular school activities, so to run a club means you’re constantly trying to work against that.”

Kari Michaels, the founder of Kwantlen’s Animal Rights Collective, also understands the frustration of starting a club on campus.

“It’s pretty tough, especially if you aren’t as well connected. Having 10 people sign a form isn’t that difficult, but finding 10 people who will want to attend your meeting is another issue,” said Michaels.

“I think that’s where the real stumbling block comes with student clubs is. There’s a lot of people who want to support your ideas. It’s just getting the real committed people to get involved is a lot harder.”

There are 24 clubs and four recognized groups currently listed as active on the Kwantlen Student Association website.

The Kwantlen Student Association website lists another 23 clubs and recognized groups that are either inactive or have been dissolved. Among the defunct groups are the Anime Club, the Mahjong Club, the Muslim Student Association, the Young Liberals of Canada, and Campus for Christ.

How to Start an Official Kwantlen Club

If you’re tired of complaining about the nonexistent campus culture at Kwantlen you can follow these steps to become the master of your own social life and start your own club.

(1) Decide what kind of club you want to start. What interests you? Clubs fall into four categories: social, cultural, athletic or academic. Check out the KSA website for a list of all current clubs to make sure that your ideal club doesn’t already exist.

(2) There are a few basic requirements to start a club: You must be a Kwantlen student, your group must be open to any student who wants to join, and you must have a minimum of 10 members.

(3) Fill out the KSA clubs package forms and hand them in for approval. Your application will be evaluated and, if all goes well, your club will become official in one or two weeks.

(4) So you’re official: now what? As an official club you are able to book space on campus for your meetings or events, you can also request help from KSA staff and officials and apply for funding.


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