Cloverdale students support fitness centre for their campus

March 19, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

There is solid student support for a proposed fitness centre at the Cloverdale campus, but a final decision by Kwantlen administration probably won’t come anytime soon.

According to the results of a petition drive in September and October, Cloverdale students were overwhelmingly in favour of a fitness centre for their campus, which would be placed in a currently under-used facilities room roughly the size of the Surrey campus gym.

The KSA has had meetings with Kwantlen administration, which were described as positive by KSA External Affairs Director Derek Robertson.

Although the KSA would ideally like to see gyms on all four campuses, Cloverdale was considered for the fitness centre for a number of reasons, according to John O’Brian of the Cloverdale KSA. Cloverdale is primarily a trades campus, and the physical nature of most skilled trades also require students to be physically fit.

The Cloverdale campus also already has enough potential space, unlike Richmond and Langley, the other two campuses lacking a fitness centre. Richmond has “zero space” for expansion, according to O’Brian, while Langley has relatively few students and is currently undergoing a revitalization of its campus.

The KSA is waiting until that is finished before deciding on a fitness centre there.

Although students are strongly behind the proposed fitness centre, talks are continuing with the higher levels of administration. Robertson declined to predict when it might become a reality. “By giving a time frame, it would be complete speculation,” he said.

Slumdog Millionaire screening March 6

March 4, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Pakistani Students Association of Kwantlen will be screening the Academy Award-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire” for Kwantlen faculty and students only on Friday, March 6, in the Conference Centre  (Building G) at the Surrey Campus. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the movie starting at 6:30 p.m.

Opening the doors

March 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Kwantlen Polytechnic University put its Surrey campus and its programs on shows for two days (Feb. 27 and 28), allowing the community to take a look and potential students to sound our instructors in the full range of the university’s programs. Reporter Nick Major snapped some photos of the event.

Two masonry students show off their craft in the Trades tent at Kwantlen';s Big Big Open House.

Two masonry students show off their craft in the Trades tent at Kwantlen's Big Big Open House.

Nursing instructors demonstrate one of the robots used to train student nurses. The robots are designed to be as life-like as possible, with a simulated breath, pulse and bowel sounds.

Nursing instructors demonstrate one of the robots used to train student nurses. The robots are designed to be as life-like as possible, with a simulated breath, pulse and bowel sounds.

The Big Big Open House, held at Kwantlen's Surrey campus, was advertised with much fanfare.

The Big Big Open House, held at Kwantlen's Surrey campus, was advertised with much fanfare.

The School of Horticulture was giving away free organic cucumbers and lettuce during the Open House.

The School of Horticulture was giving away free organic cucumbers and lettuce during the Open House.

‘A Warrior’s Religion’ looks at Indo-Canadian gang life

March 2, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

On Sunday afternoon a handful of community leaders and curious onlookers gathered at the Rio Theatre on East Broadway for an advance screening of a documentary on Indo-Canadian gang violence.

“A Warrior’s Religion,” by local filmmaker Mani Amar, explores the growing problem of gang violence in Greater Vancouver’s Indo-Canadian community.

Amar spoke to relatives of gang victims, community leaders, Sikh temple elders, local MLAs and police officers, as well as former gang members who have left the lifestyle — including one man who was left blind and paralyzed after being shot in the face.

Amar produced the film almost entirely by himself over three years, financing it with $56,000 of his own money. He was on hand before and after the film to speak about his experiences documenting gang life, as well as to answer questions.

“A lot of people ask me why I’m doing this, and the simple reason is because someone had to,” he said.

In the audience was Eileen Mohan, mother of Chris Mohan, who was gunned down by gang members in 2007.

Mohan also appeared in the film, which consisted largely of interviews with people from different levels in society and different opinions on what to do about gang violence. Later, she spoke to the audience about her loss. “We will never be able to eliminate gangs…but with better education, we can control them.”

After her son died, Mohan said, she went from 115 to 95 pounds.

A short question-and-answer session followed the screening. The first audience question was about how no one in the film took responsibility for dealing with gangs. Amar explained that the lack of responsibility at any level of society was one of the underlying themes of the film.

Amar was also asked about any personal changes he went through while producing the documentary. “When it stopped being a documentary for me was when I interviewed Eileen Mohan,” he said. In one scene, Mohan held a bag which held the urn for her son’s ashes. “This is what a six-foot guy is reduced to…a case like this.”

Amar said it took him two weeks to edit the footage of her.

“A Warrior’s Religion” will have its public premiere screenings March 18 and 19 at the Bell Centre in Surrey.

Outstanding grad achieves success while raising eight children

February 22, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Cindy Parry

Cindy ParryIt's hard to tell what's more impressive about Kwantlen graduate Cindy Parry — that she recently won the President's Outstanding Graduate Award, or that she somehow managed to pull it off while raising eight children.

Kwantlen President David Atkinson presented Parry with the award at the annual convocation ceremony on Feb. 16 for her work in the Bachelor of Applied Psychology Honours program. Three days later, in an almost deserted Richmond campus cafeteria, Parry spoke about what drew her to psychology.

“I was in business for about 20 years, and I was pretty good at it, but one of the things that I found, that I really loved about business, was working with people,” she said. Parry was a regional trainer at Jenny Craig, training counsellors and sales staff. She left and started her own training company, but missed the hands-on work.

“As a manager, I found my staff kept coming to me saying things like, ‘Can you help me with this’, or they would tell me their life’s problems, and I would listen and give them advice, and then I sat back and thought, ‘Well, you know, if I’m going to give them all this advice, I should probably make sure the advice I’m giving them is good, that I’m not sending them down the wrong path’.”

Parry enrolled in Kwantlen and took a few psychology courses out of general interest. After the second course she decided to become a full-time student. She had found her life’s passion. “I absolutely loved it.”

Richmond was close to home for her, but what really endeared her were the instructors.

“They didn’t just read what was in the textbooks and send you away. They inspired,” she said.

Parry had studied business at SFU, and while she admits that it has wonderful professors, she felt removed from them, and disliked the large class sizes and lecture hall environment. “I was literally able to just sponge the information out of their brains and put what I wanted into mine & mdash; it was amazing.”

In the third year, Parry specialized in child and developmental psychology. Her ultimate goal is a PhD in clinical psychology, then research on foster children for the Ministry of Children and Families.

This is where her family life comes into play. In addition to being a full-time student, President of the Kwantlen Psychological Society and working for the ministry, Parry was also raising eight children at home.

She and her husband have five children together, as well as three full-time foster children and two respite children who live with the family occasionally.

How does she do it?

“I have the most amazing partner in the world, who pitches in and enables me to do what I do.” The younger kids have daycare, so she works her schedule around them. “We’re partners, so there are days when I cover him and there are days when he covers me. I try and schedule things so that most of my busy-ness is when the kids are in school and daycare.”

Parry has advice for student who are parents.

“We’re really good at taking care of everybody else, and as parents we’re not so good at taking care of ourselves, and I think that in the long run that can end up impacting the care that you’re able to give to your kids and your studies as well because you simply burn out.”

She said young parents should know their limits, and try to find a balance between their needs and their children’s needs.

Parry is modest about her own accomplishments.

“Yes, I know I have decent grades and I work very hard for them, but I don’t see what I do as anything special. What I do is just, what I do,” she said. “Of course I’m a mom — so? Whether you have one or you have eight really doesn’t make that big a difference. It’s just a bigger grocery bill.”

Kwantlen fashion show April 1

February 22, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The annual Kwantlen Polytechnic University fashion event, The Show, will be held April 1 at the River Rock Casino Show Theatre (8811 River Rd, Richmond). There will be matinees at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.; tickets $15 each. An evening show will be held at 7:30 p.m. with tickets for $30.

More info:

Tax Info for students

February 16, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

There will be an income tax information session for students on Wednesday, Feb. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Conference Centre at the Richmond campus.

Experts from Revenue Canada as well as several financial institutions will be on hand to answer any questions about the Canadian tax system and how it applies to students.

Upcoming Lecture on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

January 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Israeli activist Jeff Halper will be delivering a lecture on the situation of Palestinians in Gaza on Wednesday, Jan.28 at 10 a.m. at the Surrey Kwantlen campus. Professor Hapler is the co-ordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition, and is a critic of Israel’s policy towards Palestinians. His recent book is entitled “An Israeli in Palestine.”

The lecture will be held at 10 a.m. in room D128.

Kwantlen open house

January 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Kwantlen Polytechnic University will showcase all 135 of its programs at the Big Big Open House, on the Surrey campus on Friday, Feb. 27 and Saturday, Feb. 28, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

The open house will feature campus tours, information displays, workshops, games, food and prizes. More information is available by emailing

‘First mourn, then work for change’

December 6, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

A red rose is laid in memory of one of the victims of the Ecole Polytechnic slayings in 1989. (Nick Major photo)

A red rose is laid in memory of one of the victims of the Ecole Polytechnic slayings in 1989. (Nick Major photo)

It was 19 years ago today, but it could easily have been yesterday.

Saturday, Dec. 6, marks the 19th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, when 14 women were gunned down at the Ecole Polytechnique engineering school in Montreal. Since the early 1990s, that day has been commemorated across the country as National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Friday, members of the Kwantlen Faculty Association and women’s legal support group West Coast LEAF held a small memorial service in the rotunda of the Richmond campus. Shereen Hassan, chair of the Status of Women Committee of the KFA, began the memorial by calling on everyone to reflect on the continuing issue of violence against women-not just the Montreal Massacre, but also the women missing over the years from the Downtown Eastside.

Hasaan stood behind a table with 14 small tea-light candles and roses, each representing one of the women killed in the Montreal Massacre.   

“The Kwantlen Faculty Association’s message at these memorials is ‘First Mourn, then Work for Change,’” Hassan read to the small crowd, as she then encouraged those present to consider volunteering at places such as a women’s group and transition house or women’s centre, or to support charities that help battered women.

Hasaan was joined by Deanna Ogle and Amanda Macgregor, members of the women’s legal support group WestCoast LEAF, during the candle-lighting ceremony.

The 14 roses on display outnumbered the small audience, however. Only eight people stopped to take part in the ceremony, with most holding two roses each.

Similar memorials were held simultaneously at the Surrey and Langley campuses, and Thursday at the Cloverdale campus.

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