Green Wednesdays are more than a free movie ticket

January 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This Wednesday, Jan.1, Kwantlen's School of Horticulture will host its first Green Wednesday of 2010. (Justin Langille photo)

This Wednesday, Jan.1, Kwantlen's School of Horticulture will host its first Green Wednesday of 2010. (Justin Langille photo)

Film screenings and discussion forums on contemporary issues are a common part of university culture, but Gary Jones thinks his evening series of documentary films and speakers at Kwantlen’s Langley campus is more than just a clichéd fixture of campus life.

For the last two years, Jones, chair of Production Horticulture at Kwantlen’s Langley campus, has been organizing a monthly evening of films and discussion on sustainable agriculture, called Green Wednesdays.

Beginning in October and ending in March, the event happens on the second Wednesday of every month in one of the labs that Jones teaches in at the Langley campus.

Jones began the event as a government-funded speaker series in the fall of 2008, but government funding was eventually curtailed, forcing him to look elsewhere for material to inspire discussion.

Luckily, people involved in the Green Ideas Network, a Burnaby-based environmental advocacy organization, were looking for a new venue for to the Surrey Environmental Film Festival. Jones linked up with the network, and began hosting evenings of film, discussion and networking around an array of environmental issues.

So far this year, Jones and his students have shown features dealing with peak oil, energy use and climate change, all films that highlight the need for people to consider more sustainable lifestyles. This Wednesday, Jones, his students and some members of the Langley community will gather to watch Good Food, a 2008 film about the resurgence of small-scale, family-run farming initiatives in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

Participation in setting up and promoting the evening has become required coursework for students in Jones’ Sustainable Horticulture class. Students help organize the event and do assignments based on the films being shown.

“It’s a good way for the students to get involved and to make connections out there with the organic community and the public who turn out,” said Jones.

Jones is enthusiastic about the potential for exposing people to the broader issues that affect the environment. He is aware that the evening has an outreach potential, in that it brings people to the campus who might not otherwise.

“One of my desires for the Green Wednesdays was to use it as a link between the community and the school, so people in Langley or Surrey or wherever could come on to the campus when they might otherwise not do so,” said Jones.

“The evenings are bringing new information to the students, but they’re also getting the students to share their information with the public. It’s a good way of extending the education to the wider community,” said Jones.

Kwantlen’s Genocide Film Series club aims to educate

November 4, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Kwantlen’s Genocide Film Series club, an initiative of psychology professor Rajiv Jhangiani, hosts films on genocide twice a week in the Surrey Campus conference rooms.

The Oct. 28 showing of “The Killing Fields,” a Roland Joffe film about the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia from the mid-to-late ‘70s, drew only two students.

(The film, a drama depicting the horror of the genocide, followed the stories of real-life journalists Sydney Schanberg  of the New York Times and Cambodian Dith Pran. Pran wound up in the hands of the Khmer Rouge, and the film follows his experience through torture, oppression and slavery until his eventual escape from Cambodia.)

Robin Elson, a student of Jhangiani’s Psychology of Genocide class, Robin Elson was there to oversee the film.

“There are usually about 25 per cent more students here than this,” joked Elson.

A reason that not many people show up could be that students, other than the students in Psychology of Genocide, don’t know about it. “Other than that, I imagine that it’s a scheduling issue,” said Elson.

“Rajiv made the club for use of the facilities […] it’s for [the class] to give a historical context and knowledge of the events [of genocide].” They then discuss the films in class, though attending the films isn’t mandatory.

Though the club is aimed at students in Jhangiani’s class, anyone is welcome to attend, including non-Kwantlen students. There is a different film shown each week, on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays, for the rest of the fall semester. According to Elson, some films are helpful while others are not.

“Some of the movies are changed to be more palatable,” he said, explaining that the changes often show inaccuracies to. “World War Two [often] gets butchered.”

But Elson says showing the films is overall positive. “It’s with the aims of educating people,” he said “and to make [these events] stop.”

The following films will be shown at the Surrey campus, all beginning at 7 p.m.

  • Defiance: Nov.3 (Rm. D328) and Nov. 4 (G1205C Conference Centre C)
  • The Devil Came of Horseback: Nov. 10 (Rm. D328)
  • The Reader: Nov. 17 and 18 (Rm. D328)
  • Schindler’s List: Nov, 24 (G1205A Conference Centre A) and Nov. 25 (G1205C Conference Centre C)
  • Ararat: Dec. 1 (Rm. D328) and Dec. 2 (G1205A Conference Centre A)
  • Darfur Now: Dec. 8 and 9 (G1205A Conference Centre A)