That controversial referendum

February 7, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Chronicle reporters Stu Gallacher and Brittany Tiplady team up for a satirical look at last week’s multipass referendum on Kwantlen’s Richmond campus. Election results are expected this week.

Dominos Pizza promotion to send a child to UK soccer camp

January 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The KSA is hosting a Domino’s pizza promotion on Monday, Jan. 31, which is
designed to help send the child of a Kwantlen student to soccer camp.

“This promotion is being conducted in conjunction with Kwantlen student Rae-lynn Dicks, who is also the mother of a 12-year-old boy. We are trying to send her son to a UK soccer school, to be scouted by the UK premier soccer league,” said Colin Pearson, member services coordinator for the KSA.

“The trip is $5,000, so we are trying to raise just enough to cover transaction costs.”

Joshua has shown a talent for soccer, and the opportunity to train at this camp would heighten his chances for a soccer career.

Students can help Joshua and his mom by purchasing a Domino’s Pizza Value book, at the KSA members services office, for $10.50. Coupons in the book are valid anywhere in the Lower Mainland until Nov. 30.

The promotion will be continue until the beginning of March.

All was atwitter at Canadian University Press conference

January 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The National Canadian University Press (CUP) conference in Montreal was an opportunity for eager university students to mingle, but face-to-face socializing took a back burner to social media.

The 73rd annual CUP conference took place Jan. 12-16 in Montreal. Editorial staff from The Runner, Kwantlen’s independent newspaper, attended the conference along with approximately 300 student journalists, editors and designers from around the country.

Twitter not only was valuable addition to the conference, but a tool for 300 students to communicate instantaneously, showing the prominent voice Twitter has in the world of new media.

“It was cool to see what other people were thinking about specific things. In particular, there were a lot of people tweeting during a few of the keynote presentations, which kind of lightened the load on a couple of fairly snore-heavy speeches,” said Brad Michelson, the culture editor at UVic’s newspaper, The Martlet.

“Then again, it was cool to see what people’s plans were and to hear about restaurants, bars in town. It was just a cool social tool.”

The convenience of being able to speak to the person next to you, while keeping up with rest of the conference updates through Twitter, enhanced the Nash (a short form of “national”) experience and emphasized the importance of journalists receiving and using information from multiple sources.

“Aside from a tool for research, Twitter is also really useful for promoting one’s publication and work. Social media has been a blessing and a curse for media as a whole, but I prefer to think that it’s helping develop new media and evolving how media works,” said Michelson.

At each keynote, seminar and social event, iPhones and Blackberries were put to use while students documented each of the highs and lows.

“Twitter, in particular, allowed people to interact socially during times where they normally wouldn’t be, like speeches, and seminars. People could make commentaries, discuss opinions and share their general thoughts and impressions. I really enjoyed that kind of sub-culture, part of the conference,” said Michelson.

Twitter at Nash became the easiest way to find fellow students with similar interests.

Andrew Bates tweeted: “I’ve been getting follows and wondering ‘what, I wasn’t following these people already?’ This is almost entirely because of #nash73.”

“Great to meet (now connected) to so many smart journos. Thanks for your time. Loved meeting you all,” tweeted Wilf Dinnick.

Students continually refreshed the #nash73 feed in order to review a constant stream of updates on everything from seminars to critiques of the catering to hangover complaints.

“It was pretty entertaining to read through the #nash73 hash-tag throughout the conference. Everything from commentary on presentations or keynotes to seeing what other conference people were up to. It was definitely an source of entertainment that actually enhanced my experience there,” said Michelson.

“Last night’s drunken tweets are the best breakfast reading ever #nash73,” tweeted Sarah Petz.

Tweets sent throughout the four days became a significant part of the conference experience, even allowing for some competitive (and comical) tension between publications.

Colin Sharpe tweeted, “The day I remove the #nash73 column from TweetDeck will be a very sad one.”

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.)

Video: What is your Lucky Charm?

November 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Kwantlen students and others were asked what they use as their lucky charm, whether for midterms, final exams or daily life. A video by Brittany Tiplady and Paul Fleischanderl.

Kwantlen student turns the tables on stereotypes

November 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

At the age of 18, most are struggling to a decide whether to enter post-secondary school or to continue living off the bank of mom and dad.

But, at 18, Raedel Campbell has already graduated from high school, is well into her first semester at Kwantlen, and has given birth to a child.

“It was February 2009 and I was in school, so I was young. Grade 11 I found out, actually,” said Campbell. “With my parents, at first, it was a bit of a fight, but they realized I am pretty stubborn because I wanted to keep the baby. So they decided not to stress me out, because that’s bad for the baby, and became totally supportive, and were totally excited to be grandparents.”

The pregnancy did not stop Campbell from completing high school in the most normal fashion possible. “I did get to go to grad, I have my diploma. It was all on time so I am not behind at all,” she said.

Campbell is now attending university, working and attempting to maintain a social life, all the while raising one-year-old Hayley.

“I have been [at Kwantlen] since September, and I am in the arts program, but I am just taking some electives toward a social services diploma that I will be transferring to UFV to complete, hopefully next year,” said Campbell. “I have four courses right now: Creative writing, English, anthropology, and communications, and it’s tough to handle for sure.”

Campbell’s experience with young motherhood has steered her career aspirations.

“I want to be a family support worker, and eventually work up my way and try to help out young moms, cause I’ve been through it. That’s what has inspired me,” she said. “I wanted to be a chef for a really long time, and after I had my baby, and went to a young parents group, I realized I wanted to help other young moms. I know I am someone they could relate to. And I want to be a really good mom, I want to have more kids, so I would need a good career to do that.”

“Teen moms” carry a negative stereotype, especially in the eyes of judgmental teens in high school hallways. But Campbell has fought to sustain a positive disposition and confidence in her decision.

“When I was first pregnant I’d get stared at, and people would be like, ‘Oh, what’s she thinking?’ I would get very upset about it. But then I realized I am not a normal young mom. A lot of them don’t go to school, and I know I am doing everything I can to provide a good life for my daughter. I am going to work, I am going to school, and I graduated on time. So I just kinda laugh, because they can put any stereotype on me, but I know it’s not true,” she said.

Content with the direction that her life has taken, Campbell says she wouldn’t change a thing.

”I’ve been pretty happy with everything. I think it’s the best thing to have happened to me. The father and I are actually back together and engaged. So things have gotten better between us.

We weren’t together for the entire pregnancy, and as hard as things were, it was the best for both of us not to be together,” she said.

With movies such as Juno, and TV shows such as “The Life of an American Teenager,” teen pregnancy has been brought into homes as a reality, but there’s also a stigma of what it means to be a teen mom. Campbell, with unwavering confidence, has taken it on herself to overcome all of that.

Her advice for other young moms and dads, enduring her same struggle is simple: “Keep your head up. Keep pushing because you can’t let other people get you down. Keep your dreams intact.“

Social media: a status update

October 3, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

The halls of Kwantlen have no lack of social-media-frenzied students.

Somehow, between living and breathing, eating and sleeping, another aspect of life necessary to survival was added to the human race. Survival is no longer the primal simplicity that is lost in history textbooks, but an evolution of not only technology, but communication.

Have you noticed that people do not speak anymore? A person-to-person conversation is not kept between the lips, but thereafter spread by fingers tapping furiously on keyboards, cell phones, smart phones, iPads and — gasp — perhaps in a telephone call.

Words are spread through cyberspace, made public on Facebook and Twitter. Friday night plans are advertised on your Facebook status, and kept updated on your Twitter, and the photo taken by your iPhone is no longer a moment captured just for you, but uploaded onto the Internet so that your friends can “like” and comment and re-tweet, so that you can feel connected. Or, perhaps so that others can be jealous, or more appropriately, envious.

Cell phones aren’t just for convenient and portable communication, they’re plastic, micro-chipped, universal lifelines. iPhones, and Blackberries are an added bionic body part attached to peoples’ hands, sitting in purses or backpacks, pockets-buzzing, beeping, and ringing. Because even when you’re alone, you’re really nowhere near isolation, because that piece of plastic in your hand has the entire world compacted inside.

Blackberry Messenger isn’t an easier way to stay connected. Who are we kidding? It’s another reason to add stress, gossip and anxiety to your already caffeine-reliant life (which will also reflect on your Twitter update), because when your boyfriend reads your bbm but doesn’t answer, yet he’s on Facebook chat (which means he has to have checked his phone right?), you’re going to text your best friend, and most likely stare at that checkmark on your screen, and wait until that vibration gives you the answer you’ve been holding your breath for.

Love is no longer shown through rosy cheeks, nervous tongues and wide eyes. Love is now a plastic keyboard and human attention to a text message. And heaven forbid your crush posts photos with someone of the opposite sex, making sexy, eat-your-heart-out faces for the camera. Intimacy has somehow made a viral change from personal connection to words from keyboards, and sent flying through Internet waves, so in a matter of hours, maybe minutes, your circle of friends — and possibly a few foes — are made aware of your newest endeavor, your latest secret and what you’re having for lunch.

Maybe this sounds exaggerated. Maybe you’re one of those who chooses to stray from the addictions of social networking, and keep your business in simplistic proportions. It doesn’t matter because, everyone else around you isn’t.

Here lies the question: are we living?

If you have to have your smart phone beside you at all times, Facebook open on your laptop and your Twitter stream constantly scanned, I’d say you aren’t. You aren’t breathing air, you’re breathing cyber fumes, shared by the majority of the world’s population,.

Before we all know it, we’ll all be dead before the next status update.

Video: Casey Printers engages Kwantlen on leadership

September 29, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Casey Printers, BC Lions quarterback and an entrepreneur, gave a speech for 20 people on leadership at Kwantlen Surrey Campus on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

Kwantlen Department of Student Leadership & Development and Athletics co-sponsored the event, as part of Kwantlen’s Give Back Week. Printers give an engaging talk about the qualities needed to become a successful leader in school, business, sports and life.

Credit card change inconveniences students

September 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Kwantlen students are no longer able to pay domestic student registration fees and tuition with credit cards.

That may been old news, as the change was announced on July 14 and came into effect on Aug. 3, but the effect the new policy had on Kwantlen students isn’t.

According to the university website, “The change is aimed at reducing operational costs without cutting services or programs for students. In fact, $250,000 expected from the savings will be put towards additional scholarships and bursaries for students this year.”

But the inconvenience of the payment change has increased the number of annoyed Kwantlen students.

“I was super last minute paying my tuition, and I had no idea we couldn’t pay with credit cards anymore, so my dad and I had to rush to the bank to pay cash at the campus before it closed,” said Florencia Caula, a second-year Fashion marketing student.

“I guess it was my fault for not having checked, but it also threw me off that Kwantlen didn’t accept certain debit cards any more, either. The point is, people rarely have cash to pay tuition; we’re students,” she said.

Lisa Niskasari, also a Fashion marketing student had the same experience.

“I heard about the credit card change on the news, but I didn’t know they weren’t allowing credit union’s either. So I had to do the same thing as Florencia and pay with a cheque at the registrar, on the cusp of the registration deadline.

“I get that they want to put the money towards scholarship and bursary, but honestly I wouldn’t have known that had I not looked into it after I nearly lost my spot this semester. Thankfully I can still use credit for books,” Caula said.

According to Robert Hensley from the Kwantlen registrar’s office, the payment change did not have a negative impact on fall registration; in fact registration numbers were up 3.3 per cent.

“We only had a small number of formal complaints from students about the payment change,” said Hensley. “The only change was an increase of students paying with debit and cheque.”

Patriotism brought out by Olympic pride

March 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I guess it would be accurate to say that I did not “believe.”

Prior to the arrival of the Olympics in Vancouver, those two weeks seemed offer nothing but time off from school and headline controversy after controversy.

However, the patriotism and enthusiasm for the games intoxicated the streets of Vancouver, and soon left every television set in Canadian homes was blasting the events of the Winter Olympics.

Prior to the infectious excitement, the cynic in me grumbled about the approaching Olympics, VANOC and the focus the games took away from our city’s rising issues.

I am not an overly-vocal sports fan, or even a very patriotic Canadian. I don’t have a Canada flag on my house or on my car. Truth to be told, I have never even had the interest to travel in my own country.

I don’t think I was alone in this.

But, as soon as the Olympic Winter Games sparked its first flame, practically in my own backyard, I couldn’t help but reach for the remote and religiously follow the events of the games.

Cheering for Canada on my couch, and even shedding a tear when Joannie Rochette won the bronze for figure skating, I felt a substantial swell of pride to be Canadian.

The overwhelming excitement has led me to come to the conclusion about what the games are really about: getting people to believe in the success of our country and our athletes.

As a viewer, the Olympic hype was no longer hyperbolized, but it was accentuated in heart-warming footage of a medal-winning Canadian athlete, finally achieving a life goal.

The Games brought thousands of people into the Vancouver’s streets to cheer for our team, and our athletes, infectiously spreading enthusiasm, and gratitude for Canada.

Canadians are renowned for being subtly patriotic.

But the experience, I think, of having such a successful games, held in the beautiful city of Vancouver, brought out the pride in our country in even the most reluctant.