Lack of funding shuts down Eagles baseball program

February 27, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

After a disappointing 2009-’10 season, the Kwantlen Eagles baseball program has folded this season.

“The baseball program operated as a club team, therefore it was a self-sustaining program. Although the university provided funds to assist the team in completing its final year, the club was unable to sustain itself financially,” athletics director Elise Le Brun wrote in an email.

The difference between a club team and a varsity team — the basketball and soccer teams are varsity teams — is funding. The baseball team was essentially paying its own way to play. While Kwantlen did contribute some funds to assist the team, it far less than the funding received by Kwantlen’s basketball program.

“The first year I was there, we got a little bit [of funding] and then the second we got even less. It was ridiculous. We almost couldn’t even finish our season the second year because we had no money,” said last season’s catcher Colton Mace.

The program also suffered as a club team in its recruitment of players and the team had just 15 players on its roster last season.

“You get no money, no nothing. You have to pay money out. You’re not going to get a lot of people playing that way,” said Mace.

With plenty of other Premier-level baseball teams, such as the Langley Blaze, in the Lower Mainlaind it was hard to convince athletes to come to Kwantlen.

While both the Eagles and Blaze are self-funded organizations, since 2001, the Blaze have had 26 players drafted by Major League teams. The Eagles have had just two: shortstop Lee Darracott and pitcher Chirs Lemay, both in 2004.

The Eagles did have some success in the early years of the program, including a Canadian College Baseball Conference Championship in 2003, but funding and recruitment difficulties eventually caught up with the team last season. They finished the ’09-’10 season with a 4-20 record and didn’t have a single player hit better than .275 for the season.

Le Brun wrote that “the club was unable to sustain itself financially. Therefore, the club administration made the decision to discontinue its support of the team in April 2010.”

Mace saw the decision a little differently.

“Rob [Webster], the coach, was supposed to get paid but because the school didn’t support it he had to get another job and he just didn’t have time for it. And there were no more guys that wanted to play.”

KSA providing Jitterbeans despite high levels of caffeine

February 14, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Jitterbean breakdown

A detail look at some of the ingredients found in the Jitterbeans. (Infographic by Hayley Woodin.)

Life as a student can be exhausting; homework and studying are enough to keep even the best students up all hours of the night.

But the KSA has your back. They’ve got Jitterbeans. The chocolate-coated espresso beans are now available, by the handful for just a dollar, in vending machines on campus.

Jitterbeans, made by Osmanium Candy Company, are usually sold in either 40 gram or 17 gram boxes but the KSA wants to make sure Jitterbeans are popular at Kwantlen before selling them on a large scale.

“Right now, it’s just the vending machines but if people like them and everything is okay we might look at other areas,” said KSA marketing coordinator Nathan Griffiths.

There could be a problem with large-scale selling of the beans though. Each 40 gram box of Jitterbeans contains roughly 600 mg of caffeine.

“That’s a lot of caffeine. Normally we wouldn’t stock a product like this for that reason but Jitterbeans has been so open and honest about the sheer quantity of caffeine that we thought that students were well informed… and could make the best decisions for themselves,” said Griffiths.

The Jitterbeans posters hanging on bulletin boards throughout the campus say the 600 mg of caffeine per box is equal to six cups of coffee or seven and a half cans of Redbull. They also have a disclaimer at the bottom warning students against eating more than one box per day.

Registered dietitian Natalie Brown echoed the Jitterbeans warning saying that even one box is probably too much. She said Health Canada recommends no more than 400 mg of caffeine per day and that it should be spread out over the course of the day.

“When we have a lot of caffeine at once, it can cause a lot of different things. The acute symptoms are it can cause nausea, vomiting, heart complications, gastro-intestinal upset and then, as well, when you consume a huge amount like that, 600 mg, all at one time, it’s really hard on your system. You could potentially cause yourself to have a heart arrhythmia. [People] actually could have heart attacks from having too much caffeine at one time so it’s very dangerous,” said Brown.

She also said that mixing Jitterbeans with alcohol would be even more dangerous. The high level of caffeine would make a person feel less drunk. She said that could lead to excessive drinking, and possible alcohol poisoning, or someone getting behind the wheel of a vehicle without realizing they are intoxicated.

“The alcohol in your blood is still the same but you’re not feeling the effects of it because of the caffeine keeping you stimulated. It’s a very dangerous combination to be dealing with.”

Jitterbean caffeine levels

A comparison of the amount of caffeine found in Jitterbeans to other high-caffeine products. (Infographic by Hayley Woodin.)

Kwantlen fashion students finalists in Télio design competition

December 11, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Fashion students pose with some of their work

Earl Mabaquiao (left), Kristin Yip and Laura Nickel pose with some of the work they have done for school. None of the three have begun the creation of their garment yet. (Photo by Josh Saggau)

For most students the semester is winding down, but for three of the fashion department’s top students, the work is just beginning.

Earl Mabaquiao, Kristin Yip and Laura Nickel have been named three of 25 finalists in the 2001 Télio Design Competition.

They now have just five days, once their schoolwork is done, to complete a garment they designed for the competition, which will be held in February. The competition, put on be Montreal-based textile company Télio, invites fashion students from across Canada to design and, now that they have been named finalists, create a garment, which will be presented to judges during Montreal Fashion Week.

“Part of the thing that’s also stressful about the competition is that we’re students, and part of the competition rules is that we can’t ask for help from anyone else, so we have to figure everything out on our own. We’ve all done these crazy designs, not thinking that were actually going to get in and now we have to make it on our own,” said Nickel.

But the trio is excited to showcase what they can do.

“It’s a pretty big deal for us, especially as students. It’s a great opportunity. I think one of the best opportunities as a student in Canada, to show at this event, because it’s a national competition and we have so many opportunities in winning the competition. Also, just in being place in those sort of circumstances, getting to talk with media, getting to talk with industry professionals, doing that networking, making those connections, and then also it’s a super-fun opportunity for most of us who don’t have the opportunity to travel, to have someone put us up in Montreal. Fly us out there and put us up and wine us and dine us. It’s really fun,” said Nickel.

Following the Montreal Fashion Week, Télio will announce five winners of scholarships totaling $10,000. The will be awarded based on the student’s ability to show creativity, use technical skills and capture the theme of the competition: Great Canadian North.

“I was inspired by the Aurora Borealis and its beauty. I wanted to take that beauty and take a still picture of it in the form of a garment,” said Yip.

Mabaquiao drew his inspiration for the weather of the north, while Nickel’s inspiration for her design came from the imperfections found in the north.

“There’s all these cracks and crevices and there’s such a rawness about it… These are the things we find so beautiful about the north,” said Nickel.

With the semester wrapping up and the university closing for winter break, the three finalist don’t have much time to complete their intricate designs before the competition. Because the fashion week and competition have been pushed up a month, the trio won’t have much time in the new year to complete their work.

“We don’t want to leave it ’til January,” said Yip.

Although the stress is clearly beginning to mount for them, with schoolwork to take care of before the start their garment, they have not lost their enthusiasm.

“At the end of the day, we are showing at Montreal Fashion Week, and to do that as students and someone else is giving us that opportunity, it’s great. It’s exciting but we just have to deliver because our names are attached to it,” said Mabaquiao.

The three garments designed by the winning trio for the TELIO competition.

Design sketches by the three finalist for the TÉLIO Design Competition. (Photo composite by Josh Saggau)

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.

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)

Kwantlen scores low in student ratings

November 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Jacqueline Ho on her computer at (Photo by Josh Saggau)

When it comes time to select classes for the next semester, it can be hard to know what each class is going to be like. To help, students have

The site, which was started in 1999, has compiled over 11 million student-based rankings of teachers at more than 6,000 schools in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland and Wales to help students find the kind of professor they are looking for.

“It helps students to know more about their instructors. We hope to find an instructor that works for us. I think that it’s beneficial for students,” said Sandy Wong, a Kwantlen human resource student.

The site asks students to rate current and past teachers on easiness, helpfulness and clarity, so that future students can get a feel for the type of teacher they are going to have even before they step into the classroom.

“I know some students check it before they enrol in class to see who the professor is and it kind of sways if they are going to enrol in that class,” said Caitlin Penberthy, an environmental protection program student.

Kwantlen’s average ratings on the site are quite low compared to other universities in the Lower Mainland. While SFU, UBC and UFV have average ratings of 3.24, 3.29 and 3.54, Kwantlen is averaging just 2.7.

“It’s subjective. If you don’t get a good mark, then obviously you’re going to be upset and write something that’s not so great. I would hope that if teachers look at it, they would understand it’s subjective,” said Penberthy.

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)

Video: Kwantlen students paying more to park

September 25, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Translink’s parking tax increase has raised the price students have to pay to park at Kwantlen campuses. Josh Saggau and Hayley Woodin explain what it means for students and talk to students to see how it’s affecting them.

Eagles aim for second straight provincial title

September 18, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

(Photo by Josh Saggau)

Nicole Gibbons watches her shot during a scrimmage at practice on Sept. 15. (Photo by Josh Saggau)

“There’s an expectation,” says Gordon Smith, the new head coach of the Kwantlen Eagles women’s soccer team.

As a new season gets under way for the team there are high expectations. Last season, the team used penalty shootouts to power their way to a provincial title and a bronze medal finish at the nationals, the first national medal of any kind for Kwantlen.

But with only seven players from that championship team returning, it isn’t going to be easy and youth will be the highlight of the new squad.

The biggest hole for the Eagles to fill will be the 24×8-foot net at their end of the field. Last year’s starting goalkeeper, Amelia Ng, was the not only the team’s MVP, but also the provincial tournament’s MVP for her performance in the playoffs.

Filling Ng’s net will be new rookie recruit, Melina Gomez.

“I love it. Mo’s [Monivoi Vataiki] a good keeper, so I’m excited to be starting. I just have to keep practising hard and hopefully I’ll keep the starting position.”

Smith said they have challenged the other keepers to battle hard for the starting role but Gomez should continue to start for now.

Gomez looks to be just one part of the new youth movement for the team, which has 10 rookies on the roster. But, like any good team, the Eagles will rely heavily on their veterans to guide the team. That starts with their captain, defender Brittany McNeill, who looks to play an even larger role with the team this year.

“The returning players have a great work ethic and a great attitude and they want to win,” said Assistant Coach Joan McEachern, who has been with the team since 2003.

Both McEachern and Smith are confident of the team’s chances of success this year but are quick to point out that it will be no easy task, as there are a lot of good teams in the province.

“I was just thinking about that the other day: Who has repeated in the last four years? No one. It speaks volumes to the parity in the league,” said McEachern.

The last team to repeat as provincial champs was the Langara Falcons in ’06-’07. After becoming the first Kwantlen team to win a national medal, the Eagles are confident going into the ’10-’11 season.

“I think that everyone’s goal is to get to Nationals again… and see if we can catch lightning in a bottle again,” said Smith.

Seventeen days of Canadian patriotism

March 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games were a shining, golden success in every sense of the word.

They may have started off with their share of problems but a strong finish by Canadian athletes, especially the men’s hockey team, has given Canadians across the country something to be proud of.

We always knew we loved our country, but it was never more apparent than the 17 days that the Olympics were in Vancouver.

The lasting affect of the games has permeated the core of all Canadians.

It wasn’t just Alexandre Bilodeau winning Canada’s first gold medal on home soil.

It wasn’t just Joannie Rochette’s courageous performance just days after the passing of her mother.

It wasn’t just the Canadian men’s hockey team winning gold over the United States.

It was all those things and more.

The city of Vancouver, and the country as a whole, was alive with Canadian patriotism for 17 days and I was lucky enough to be part of it for a few of them.

Sunday’s hockey win may have been the crowning moment of the games.

Hockey is part of our national identity and winning the gold meant so much to us.

Sitting in a restaurant downtown Sunday, as Sidney Crosby scored the overtime winner and the streets flooded with Canadian fans, was surreal.

It wasn’t limited to downtown, either.

It stretched from sea to sea, Vancouver, British Columbia to Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, and united a nation.

Whatever your opinion was before the Olympics began, they have no doubt changed.

I hope, the Olympics have started a trend where Canadians can show the same kind of patriotism that Americans do all the time, rather than hiding it away bashfully for fear of being likened to the United States.

Thanks world for coming, but we would like some time alone with our gold medals now.