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.

Community-based club brings service, socializing to Kwantlen

February 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

In a quiet room at Kwantlen’s Langley campus, on the fourth Thursday of January, a group off Rotaractors meet to brainstorm ways to help people less fortunate then themselves.

Rotaract Club, a youngsters version of the Rotary Club, meets twice a month to mimic their older, more experienced mentors.

Dave Zenko is the president of Langley’s Rotaract Club, as well as a graduate from Kwantlen’s business program.

He has a full-time job and a passion for Rotary. But to qualify to be part of the tight-knit Rotary family, you must be a prominent business person in the community, so Zenko started Langley’s Rotaract club for anyone between the ages of 18 and 30.

There are two types of Rotaract Clubs. One is a community-based club, which is what Zenko is in. The other is a college-based club. Zenko says the Langley Rotaract Club elected to be a community-based club because it has the capacity to run all year and has fewer restrictions on membership than the college-based club has.

Similar to the Rotary Club, the Rotaract Club isn’t all business and good deeds. Its members like to have some fun, too.

One of the two meetings each month is devoted to a social event, where members get together for theme nights, potlucks and parties.

Zenko says that each year the Rotaract Club, which has branches in most communities, has one international project and one community project that they work on throughout the year.

This year, the Langley Rotaract Club’s international project is to raise money to send 110 wheelchairs – a shipping container full – to developing countries. The club need to raise $116,500 for the project.

Zenko said that this project is especially close to him, “because it gives so much joy to the people in need.”

It is hoped fundraiser for this event will be held at the Fox and the Fiddle in Langley in the near future.

Langley students welcomed back

January 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Kari and Ashley of the KSA welcome students back to classes at the Langley campus. (Cori Alfreds photo)

Kari Michaels and Ashley Fehr of the KSA welcome students back to classes at the Langley campus. (Cori Alfreds photo)

The Langley campus had its Welcome Week Wednesday (Jan. 14) and it wasn’t nearly as busy as Richmond’s Welcome Week, held the day before, even though the Langley campus featured a band playing in the cafeteria.

There were about 10 tables of display, some were from Langley community groups such as Rotaract, and from Langley Township. The rest of the display tables were promoting services within Kwantlen, such as the Student Health Improvement Program and the Learning Centre.

Welcome Week at each of Kwantlen’s campuses is well under way and takes a bit more planning than suspected at first glance.

There are four Kwantlen campuses spread out across the Lower Mainland, each with different demographics and different needs.

According to Ashley Fehr, Kari Michaels and Vanessa Knight of the Kwantlen Student Association, Welcome Week is designed to address each campus’s individual needs.

Fehr says that the Langley campus is more conservative and religious so the KSA makes the welcome week activities a lot quieter than the other campuses.

She says that the Richmond campus is more hip-hop based and a lot of fun but “they don’t really like loud stuff.” Knight adds that the Richmond campus likes pool and poker tournaments rather than bands.

Michaels and Fehr say that the trade’s campus in Cloverdale is pretty much up for “whatever” and will do anything in any contest.

Fehr says that the Surrey campus is really busy so most of the students just walk by the Welcome Week activities, even though the campus is the largest.

All of the specifically designed Welcome Week days have the same purpose, to promote the KSA and local businesses in the areas, Fehr says.

She adds that welcome week this January is meant to raise awareness among the students for the 2009 KSA elections.

KSA lost $50,000 on Cram Jam; inexperience blamed

November 18, 2008 by · 13 Comments 

(Note: This article has been edited to correct Trevor Loke’s name, which was misspelled as Locke in the original.)

The Kwantlen Student Association is blaming inexperience for a $50,000 loss on this year’s Cram Jam.

The event was held Sept. 26 and attracted fewer than 900 people. Given that there were three well-known headliners – Daniel Wesley, Ten Second Epic and Sloan – the newly-elected Director of Events and Student Life, Vanessa Knight, thought that the concert would have been a lot more successful.

The original budget for Cram Jam was $100,000 but it ended up costing almost $120,000. Knight says that the concert “took on a life of its own” and the money needed to be spent. She says that the KSA, a non-profit organization, never expected to make money.

Knight didn’t become involved with Cram Jam until the beginning of August, when she was appointed to the position after Trevor Loke resigned as Director of Events and Student Life for the KSA.

“He came up with all of the ideas and had this big grand plan and he resigned,” Knight said.

Knight thinks that the huge loss was because of unexpected costs because “we didn’t know what we were doing.”

Loke had allotted around $5,000 for advertising and he says that he had set up a provisional deal with CFOX, which would have allowed Cram Jam to be advertised cheaply. He says that CFOX understood that the KSA didn’t have a lot of money to advertise; when he left the KSA the budget for advertising was still at $5,000.

The actual cost of advertising on CFOX ended up costing $29,000. Another unexpected cost was the bill for advertising in the Vancouver Metro, which was supposed to cost nothing but ended up costing $12,000. Knight blames Loke for not planning properly for the actual cost of advertising.

Loke responded: “When the trains do not run on time you don’t blame John A. Macdonald for building the railroad.”

About two weeks before the event was held, James Manear from Precision Entertainment, offered to kelp the KSA out and ended up saving the KSA some money, which helped to make sure the loss was only $50,000.

Loke said he started planning Cram jam before he even took office last year. He drew up the first budget and a number of provisional dates that showed how the concert would look.

However, Knight says that concrete planning for Cram Jam didn’t actually start until early June.

“We pretty much did the revised budget as we went along. It would have been done in like August,” said Knight.

Loke said that he originally proposed a $70,000 budget, but there was a debate between council members about the size of the event, the bands and the location. Loke increased the budget to $100,000, which was approved by the KSA council. Knight says that nobody went over the budget with an experienced eye until Manear came. He knew that there was something wrong right away, she said.

The budget called for ticket sales revenue of about $102,250, but the actual income was only $9,030. Knight speculates that this huge difference is because the KSA charged too much for tickets sold to the general public. She also thinks that holding the concert on the south side of the Fraser River was a bad idea, and that there wasn’t enough advertising during the summer because the KSA was waiting for students to get back into school and to buy tickets.

Loke, however, thinks that the KSA, after he left, should have picked a target audience, instead “they just poured money into media outlets.”

Loke said that his original idea for Cram Jam was to have a break-even event. He proposed cutting funding to all other events going on around that time, so if there was a loss “it would come out of the same line.”

The $50,000 loss will come out of the KSA’s capital reserve fund.

Related: Locke suggests politics played a role in Cram Jam deficit

A political agenda inside the KSA may have had something to do with the $50,000 Cram Jam loss.

Trevor Loke, previously the Director of Events and Student Life, said that before he left, he had lined up a few Canadian Federation of Students-aligned school that were going to help sponsor the event., but that some people within the KSA had problems with that association.

In March 2008, as Cram Jam was coming together, the KSA was embroiled in a campaign to convince Kwantlen students to opt out of CFS membership. Students voted to reject the KSA’s proposal. Loke, an avid critic of the CFS, said that there are no reasons why the KSA shouldn’t have worked with the schools as Cram Jam was not a political event.

Loke had gotten a few of the CFS-aligned schools on board with Cram Jam to help with advertising costs and ticket sales. Locke said he later found out that those schools were not only not part of the event, they hadn’t been contacted, either. Loke also says that there were other sponsors that the KSA was looking at, and after he left, they weren’t contacted either.

Vanessa Knight was appointed to Locke’s position after he resigned two months before Cram Jam was held. Knight says that a few CFS-aligned schools were supposed to sponsor Cram Jam in return for cheap tickets for their students but it didn’t end up happening. Knight said that Kwantlen didn’t sponsor Cram Jam because it thought it was a bad investment. However, the CFS did sponsor Cram Jam “but not nearly as much as we thought they would,” she said.

Related articles:

NEW: Cram Jam: The Video

The Chronicle’s Cram Jam coverage from late September

Two singers, two poets for second open mic event

November 10, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Johann Holesko sings at the second KSA-sponsored Open Mic Night at Surrey, held Nov. 5. (Cori Alfreds photo)

Johann Holekso sings at the second KSA-sponsored Open Mic Night at Surrey, held Nov. 5. (Cori Alfreds photo)

With less than a dozen people in attendance, four of which were performers, the second Open Mic Night finally got underway an hour later than advertised at Kwantlen’s Surrey campus on Nov. 5.

Despite the lack of audience, Johann Holekzo, one of the performers, thinks that “Open Mic Night is a good opportunity if you have some words or tunes on your mind.”

Holekzo thinks that the event can be beneficial to the audience as well. He says it’s live entertainment, which is something that he enjoys more so than listening to his stereo.

“The audience doesn’t have to pay attention to the musician and it’s a good place for people to socialize,” Holekzo said.

Kari Michaels is the main organizer for Open Mic Night, along with the newly-elected Director of Events and Student Life, Vanessa Knight.

Michaels originally planned to have Open Mic Nights every week; the Nov. 5 show was the first one since the opening event in September.

One of the biggest problems with the event is getting enough performers to come out and play, which is why the event is held once in a while instead of weekly.

To encourage performers, Michaels and Knight had pizza to hand out to audience members as well as performers on Nov 5. Michaels also decided to open up the night with poets as well as singers. Two poets, one of them Michaels, read from their works.

40 attend first-ever Green Wednesday

October 10, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Members of the audience for the first Green Wednesday, held at the Langley campus last week, mingle after the presentation of the documentary King Corn. (Cori Alfreds photo)

Members of the audience for the first Green Wednesday, held at the Langley campus last week, mingle after the presentation of the documentary King Corn. (Cori Alfreds photo)

Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Langley campus held the first official Green Wednesday this week, drawing 40 people, most of them residents in Langley.

The environmental movie King Corn was shown. It tells the story of two young men, fresh out of college, who move to Iowa, the “corn capital of the world.” The movie shows that basically everything western civilization eats is made out of corn: corn is fed to the animals we eat, as well as made into corn syrup, which sweetens everything from pop to spaghetti sauce.

The event was co-hosted by the Green Ideas Network; Doreen Dewell, a biology teacher in Whatcom County; and Kwantlen’s Kent Mullinix from the Sustainable Horticulture institute. When picking films for the series, Dewell wanted to have “films on edge rather than only informational.”

Dewell and her sister Joyce Roston are among the founders of the Green Ideas Network, which is a non-profit organization. The network is designed to teach local people about sustainability and raise awareness about environmental issues.

Dewelll says that she basically runs the series like an educational class. “What I do in class, I do in public,” she said. The Green Ideas Network is a fairly young organization, which started about three years ago with environment displays at local fairs mostly in Burnaby, Langley and Surrey.

Wednesday, after the hour-and-a-half movie, door prizes were given out and those on hand were offered refreshments and coffee.

Green Wednesdays are being held at the Langley campus on the second Wednesday of each month. Details of next month’s event are not yet available.

Green Wednesdays push sustainability, healthier living

September 23, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Kwantlen’s Langley campus will promote environmentally-conscious ideas in a new series called Green Wednesdays. Every second Wednesday of each month will be devoted to movies that deal with environmental issues, as well as presentations about sustainability and healthy living.

Gary Jones, horticulture instructor at Kwantlen, is putting on the event along with the Green Ideas Network. Jones says that the event is open to everyone because “we want what we do here to be relative to the community.”

Jones said that last semester, they put on a similar event called the Environment Around Us, which was held only three times in the spring. He said that they had a great turnout and, by the last event, they had 120 people show up.

This year, the Green Ideas Network approached Jones and said it wanted to get involved and include its movie picks in the itinerary. Jones, along with students from Kwantlen and the horticulture sector, set up the evening, bring in guest speakers and make sure that everything is running smoothly.

The Green Ideas network, consists of two women, Doreen Dosdwell and Joyce Rostron. It’s a non-profit society, based in Surrey. Jones said that Dewell and Roston share his goal for the environmental series, which is “to make people more aware of issues surrounding food security, community development landscape, housing development.”

Jones said that he hopes people will leave the series with an idea about issues such as sustainability, alternatives to oil and challenges to the food supply. He hopes that people will teach these issues to other members of their communities so people will “decide to do something, specifically, that they can implement themselves and make a change on a local level.”

The first Green Wednesday will be held Wednesday, Oct. 8 at the Langley campus auditorium. King of Corn, a movie about farmers finding out what happens to their crops in a “fast-food nation.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 for the general public and $4 for students.