Where have all the computers gone?

October 26, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

When Kwantlen journalism students came back to school in September, 26 four-year-old Apple computers had been replaced in their lab, as well as six in a production rooms reserved specifically for students in the program.

Students didn’t only want to know why the computers had been replaced, they wanted to know where the old computers went, and whether they could get their hands on them.

The answer is maybe.

Juilien Phillips, Graphic Design and Marketing systems supervisor, who worked closely with the Journalism program, told The Chronicle that all of the university’s computers need to be upgraded to newer versions every four years. “[The older computers] would not be able to manage the software we put on them [this year],” he added.

Some computers get distributed throughout the university, where even older versions need upgrades, and the other are put into storage.

That’s where Scott Gowen,, Kwantlen’s Director of Supply and Business Service, comes in. When the computers are put into storage, Gowen is notified. He then liaises between Kwantlen’s IET Department and the B.C. Government’s Asset Investment Recovery (AIR).

Because Kwantlen has a policy that prevents sale of surplus equipment to faculty, staff and students, the unneeded computers have to go to B.C. AIR, or are donated to Afretech, Gowen said. Afretech is an organization based in Delta that was started by two Kwantlen instructors. Its purpose is to collect surplus supplies from places that no longer needed them,  including Kwantlen, and donate them to schools in rural Africa.

Gowen is letting students in on a little secret.

“This November ,another shipment of Mac computers will be sent to B.C. AIR where they will be available for purchase by any member of the public, including Kwantlen employees and students,” he wrote.

The company, which deals with a cash-and-carry program as well as online-auctioning, is offering a “special back-to-school deal on laptops and computers.” The surplus equipment is available at  B.C. AIR warehouses (located in Surrey, Victoria, and Prince George) or through their online auctions.

Information on cash and carry sales and auctions are available at the B.C. AIR website.

Diwali comes to Kwantlen

October 21, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Rina Bali and Nicole Joe dress in traditional indian garb to celebrate Diwali. (Kristi Jut photo)

Rina Bali and Nicole Joe dress in traditional indian garb to celebrate Diwali. (Kristi Jut photo)

Kwantlen’s Richmond campus held the Diwali festival in the rotunda on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Diwali, which is most commonly known as the festival of lights, is celebrated by several Indian religions. It is usually colourful and sometimes incorporates fireworks and gift-giving.

KSA members and Human Resources students Nicole Joe and Rina Bali were just two of several volunteers giving out free samosas and bundi, a dough and sugar based Indian candy at the Richmond celebration.

“For some calendars [Diwali] also starts out a new year,” said Bali.

But why is it important for Kwantlen, specifically, to hold a Diwali celebration? “It’s a good way to increase ethnic diversity on campus,” said Bali, “and it creates awareness [about Diwali].”

Bundi is a dough and sugar based sweet from India (Kristi Jut photo)

Bundi is a dough and sugar based sweet from India (Kristi Jut photo)

First poetic readings of semester show lively creative writing scene

October 2, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Chris Hutchinson reads from his latest book "Other People's Lives," at the Surrey campus on Monday, Sept. 26. (Kristi Jut photo)

Chris Hutchinson reads from his latest book "Other People's Lives," at the Surrey campus on Monday, Sept. 26. (Kristi Jut photo)

There’s much ado about the creative writing program at Kwantlen.

Though the first live poetry reading of the semester was attended by a modest group of 20-some students, the small crowd was lively and inquisitive on Monday, Sept. 28.

The reading featured noted B.C. poets Marguerite Pigeon and Chris Hutchinson, who came to speak with the students about the nature of writing.

Each read from their latest published works, featuring vastly different poetic styles, yet both agreed on the writing process as natural and instinctual.

Hutchinson, wearing a mustard-yellow sweater and wool cap, read from his poetry anthology “other people’s lives,” with a Ginsberg-esque drone and ‘60s-‘70s beat tonality.

“My process is very intuitive, I never know where a poem is going to take me,” he said.

Pigeon’s book “Inventory,” on the other hand, explored her relationships with inanimate objects, personifying, beautifully, their attributes.

The students had much to ask the established writers about the writing process, including their inspirations and their roadblocks.

“Resist!” Hutchinson laughed, addressing situations when being told the correct way to formulate poems.

But can creative writing really be taught? Kwantlen students wanted to know.

“It’s a funny thing to have writing in school because it puts two things that are at odds together,” Pigeon said. “It’s built like that [because] it pushes people through learning whether they like it or not and they come out a little more structured. But at the same time writing is not about following any structure, it’s very intuitive.”

So where is the creative writing program going?

“The program is going towards integrating with the interdisciplinary arts,” said creative writing professor Matthew Rader. The program, which has already grown by over one-third in enrolment this year, has several possible outcomes.

“[Learning writing is important] because writing to start with is the primary negotiator in all disciplines and [excellence] is achieved by imagination in that skill,” said Rader.

Pigeon assured students that all people are writers, whether it be filling out surveys, chatting on facebook or sitting down to write some fiction.

Still, when it came to serious writing, some students said that they couldn’t help but be defensive about their work.

“The more you write,” Pigeon offered, “the less you care that one thing you wrote was bad.”

Pigeon said she wanted to write her entire life, but didn’t think it would be realistic, so she was “a journalist instead.”

“If you believe in writing,” she said, “it will save you.” That is the sentiment that Rader wanted to get across by having live readings in school.

“[I want] to show aspiring writers that professional writers exist,” he said. “There’s a chance that these people are like us and they’re right here.”

According to Rader, there are five different possible futures for the creative writing students at Kwantlen, but at the moment it’s important for “people in university to be engaged in the community.”

To keep in touch with the writing program at Kwantlen, follow them on Twitter or attend these readings:

  • Oct. 22: Jan Conn, 1 p.m., Room D224, Surrey
  • Oct. 28: Marilyn Simonds, 6 p.m., Room D144, Surrey
  • Nov. 3: Sachiko Murakami, 2 p.m., Room D224, Surrey
  • Dec. 29: Elizabeth Bachinsky/Open Mic, Time and location TBA

Cupcake sales support cancer charity

September 29, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Jessica Ford (left) and Nicole Joe (right) sold cupcakes and brownies in support of breast cancer on Tuesday. (Kristi Jut photo)

Jessica Ford (left) and Nicole Joe (right) sold cupcakes and brownies in support of breast cancer on Tuesday. (Kristi Jut photo)

Kwantlen’s annual Cupcakes for Charity event has cooked up a fresh batch of donations for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

A table of sugary treats and origami roses was set up in the Richmond campus rotunda on Tuesday. Human Resources Management student Nicole Joe, who ran the bake sale, noted its success.

“Brownies sold out within an hour,” said Joe. “We didn’t expect them to be gone that fast.”

Joe said there is a history of breast cancer on her mother’s side of the family and also has an uncle battling lung cancer. Because her uncle doesn’t smoke and is generally healthy, she said she thinks that the cancer naturally occurred, which lends to her compassion on the issue.

Jessica Ford of Kwantlen’s START volunteer program was also selling treats.

“My aunt has breast cancer […] she’s in line for a new breast,” said Ford.

With Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the two women decided to contribute their personal experiences to the cause. They sold a variety of homemade goodies, including origami flowers, brownies and, of course, cupcakes Joe also had a portfolio of her paper plants, which she said sold better than expected.

For a minimum 50-cent donation for the cupcakes and $2 for the origami roses, supporters also received a pink breast cancer ribbon.

After only two hours, the table saw its fair share of support.

“Cupcakes are going really well—people buy trays of six, people buy more than one…,” said Joe.

Though the event took place on the Richmond campus, a charity sale may pop up on the Surrey campus as well.

Article by Kristi Jut and Jacob Zinn.

Just a couple of the treats for sale by donation. (Kristi Jut photo)

Just a couple of the treats for sale by donation. (Kristi Jut photo)

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