Thursday, November 23, 2017

Club of the Month: Science In Action Club

Every month we (try to, yes sometimes it just doesn’t end up happening, we’re sorry, please forgive us) feature a KSA club and highlight the fun/cool things that make their club different from the others. It’s a chance to get a little inside information, and see what events and meetings they have coming up.

Our November Club of the Month is the new Science in Action Club!


The Science in Action Club was established in Fall 2017. This club was initially two independent clubs under the KSA (Biology Club and Health Science in Action Club). Both clubs decided to merge after their successful collaborative effort to host the first ever Health and Wellness Convention. Science in Action Club aims to provide a platform for students to apply theatrical knowledge learned in class thus enhancing their education while increasing student network.


At the core, the Science in Action club’s mission is to emphasize health, enhance student learning through collaboration with various organization and like-minded individuals.

They have a monthly Healthy Talk Series, approved by the Faculty of Science, that includes relevant health topics supported by current research, conducted by members.The Science in Action Club also has a monthly Speaker Series, inviting guests from various fields to discuss current research, discoveries, and provide relevant information for students.
The Science in Action Club meets every month. This month’s meeting is on November 17, 2017.

For more information, please email kpuscienceinaction@gmail.com.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Movember At The KSA


KSA Logo - Moustachified.jpg
We’re nearing the end of November, and if you’ve been wondering why you’ve been seeing a hairier campus than usual we’d like to shed some light on the situation. Over the last decade and a half, a mo’vement has sprouted on the upper lip of men worldwide. The origins of this movement lie in Melbourne, Australia - where, in 2003, couple of brucies (men) met at their local boozer (bar) to shout (buy) a couple of butchers (drinks) and yabber (talk)* about how out of style moustaches had become. They decided, on a lark, to bring the ‘stache back, and like all good jokes, they decided to take it a little too far. Thus, they invited 30 of their mates to do their best Tom Selleck impersonation and become Mo-Bros. The challenge was simple - every Bruce would pay a 10 Didgeridollar entry fee and compete for the best moustache by the end of the month (which just so happened to be November). The proceeds of this entry went towards the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

*Editor’s Note: Yes, we know Australian slang is confusing.




The following year the concept was formalized and they were able to find more than 450 men willing to participate. As the tradition (and moustaches) grew, the Movember Foundation was created and a men’s health awareness campaign was launched. The campaign addresses 4 key issues that have been identified as key risk factors in the early death of men: prostate & testicular cancer, mental health, and physical inactivity. By 2007 the Movember movement had made its way across the world with more than 130,000 participants and over $21.5 million Didgeridollars raised - that’s around $21 million Beaver Bucks! At the time of this post there have been over 5 million participants, nearly 16 million donations, and over $80 million raised for various charities.

This year Canada has the third largest Movember registrants worldwide - losing out to the original moustachioed mavericks in Australia, and those pesky Americans. At the KSA we’re getting involved in two ways:

  1. You can catch us at KPU rec’s Movember 17 Dodgeball Tournament.
  2. To help contribute to the cause, the Kwantlen Student Association has signed onto the Movember Foundation and needs your help to raise some coinage.

Below is a smattering of the ‘staches that the KSA has produced this Movember, ranked of course (this is a blog after all):

The Duster
Tanvir.jpg
Sported by Tanvir Singh, President of the KSA. The Duster is on its way to becoming a great stache, but it needs a little more time before it’s ready for the spotlight.
Verdict: 2.25 High Schooler’s First Lip Hairs/5

The Half-Way to Handlebar
Munir.jpg
You may mistake Munir Dossa’s (the KSA’s current Students of Colour Representative) stache for a beard, but you’d be mistaken. With just enough room to sneak by and qualify as a lip toupee However the lack of commitment on the curl has us hesitant to call this moustache great.
Verdict: 3 Gastown Hipsters/5

The Subtle Stubble Upgrade
Matt.jpg
On the other side of the stache/beard divide is Matt Hunt, KSA events coordinator. There is certainly a moustache there - don’t get us wrong. We just can’t rightfully call this a valid contribution to the Movember effort.
Verdict: 1 Midlife Crisis Beard/5

The Woodsman
Jeremy.jpg
As with the Subtle Stubble Upgrade, Jeremy McElroy, KSA General Manager, has a beard and not a moustache. However there’s no denying that there’s a great stache there just waiting to be uncovered. There are rumours that if the KSA is able to raise enough money, we may just get to see what his chin looks like. Until then, the best we can do is rate him just above the Subtle Stubble Upgrade.
Verdict: 2 Okay Lumberjacks/5

The Wizened Selleck
The Mighty Stache.jpg
The GSTM, or “Greatest Stache of Them All™” is sported by Adam Rhodes, GrassRoots Cafe manager. Rumour has it that he’s been growing it since before Tom Selleck had even contemplated whiskers. We wouldn’t ask him about it though, this isn’t the kind of ‘stache that you question.
Verdict: 5 Magnum PI’s/5

Bonus: The Minimalist
Ono.jpg
Jay Reedy, Vice-President Student Life, (and author of this post) once attempted to grow a moustache. After 2 weeks this was his progress. Note the adherence to minimalism, the esoteric eccentrism of daring to call this a moustache. Truly this is a stache for an underappreciated, and misunderstood Mo-Bro.

Verdict: 0.5 Disappointing Genes/5

- Jay Reedy (VP Student Life)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

KSA Spotlight: Konny

Konny – Member Services Coordinator
There are some pretty amazing people on our staff and because we do a lot of the 'behind the scenes' work, students don't always get to know who we actually are. Every month we'll feature a staff member (and occasionally Council member) so you can actually put a face to the name/event/project. This month, I invite you to meet Konny!

Here are a few things about Konny…

1. How did you come to work for the KSA?
I was originally a student member of some committees at the KSA.

I was scouring Craigslist ads, trying to find a position that would allow me to work around an incredibly hectic 4-class schedule. I saw a job posting on http://kusa.ca/ and decided to go for it. I felt I had the experience and relevant client care skills necessary, and I guess my interview went okay!


2. Position title & summary of your job:
I am currently the Member Services Coordinator for all four campuses at Kwantlen University at the KSA. Essentially, I coordinate the member services and assist management with ensuring everything is running as it should be. Aside from working at Member Services on a daily basis, I help organize food bank logistics, design signage, set the schedule for Member Services staff members and send a lot of emails with GIFs in them. I just find GIFs make everything slightly more palatable. I kind of wish a GIF could be provided with this answer. I will work on making that happen.

3. What is your favourite thing about working here?
I think the best thing about working for your alma mater or your student association is that I'm finally able to give back to an institution that has given me so much in the capacity that I best can (I sincerely love you, KPU -- thank you). I enjoy being able to help someone in a pinch or resolving somebody's frustrating experience --whether it be not knowing where your classroom is or how to properly open those goshdarn combination locks we sell. There's also the people -- so many people I work with (both at the KSA & KPU) are absolutely wonderful!

4. Best activity to do on the weekend?
Going for a run early in the morning -- when I can drag my butt out of bed. Sweat before breakfast. It keeps you young.

5. What is something that makes you unique?
I don't really think I'm all that unique, even though like everyone else, I often yearn to be. I am good at the things I do and I'm a quick learner because I've been lucky to develop my perceptive skills and imagination by those who have helped and mentored me along the way! I can draw pretty well, and I know my way around pretty much anything technical. I love learning, and if I could get paid to do so I totally would. Seriously -- any takers? Will learn for food.

I've also been known to run a 5K in under 25 minutes. Which is something I don't think anyone else at the KSA outside of Matt Hunt can do. I hate you for that, Matt. You have guitar and piano. Let me have running.

I can speak like 4 languages (English, French, Russian, American Sign Language). My French is the rustiest. Seven if you count programming languages </(cough) nerd>.

6. Favourite Food?
Matzoh ball soup or my mum's recipe for eggplant spread (we call it 'caviar' in Russian). Also: real caviar. I see you judging me. Honestly, anything in the world of Russian cuisine is my jam.

7. Best KSA Memory:
To be honest, I've had many lovely memories at the KSA. Also a few not so great memories (it comes with the territory of working in proximity to the realities of student politics).... please vote. I'd have to say my favourite memories have all been made at START (http://kusa.ca/START) and ActiveKSA (http://kusa.ca/activeKSA) events where I get to goof around and get to know all sorts of students from so many walks of life! I find the more I learn of others, the more I learn about myself -- so that's always been something I enjoy thinking about.

- Konny

Want to do more with the KSA? Volunteer with our START Program, Peer Support or the KSA Street Team. Looking to do more as a student? Consider attending a committee meeting or running in election next Spring. Want to work for us? Check out our job postings here.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Waking Up Early And Creating Routines

I get up at 4:30am every single weekday. Does that seem crazy to you? It seemed impossible to me. However, for my mental health it was a necessary step and now it’s my routine. Want to know how to do it, or how to create a routine? Tune into my story and find out!


Two years ago I went through a series of unfortunate events in my life. I felt like I had lost control of who I was and what was important to me. This led me on a journey to find ways to release my stress and learn new things about myself. Talking with my mom one day she suggested joining a local gym. My initial thought was that I had no time to dedicate going to the gym and building a routine for myself.


Reluctantly I joined a gym and once I realized I had to pay that same amount month after month I knew I wanted to get the best bang for my buck. However, I work a Monday-Friday day job and while that gives me the luxury of having nights and weekends off under no circumstance did I want to interfere with that. After work I would dread having to change into my workout gear, drive to the gym, fight to find a parking spot and then fight to find a machine that wasn’t drenched in sweat. Weekends were a GIANT NO because I loved my weekends and the thought of committing to something every weekend wasn’t practical for me. I like to camp, hike and use my weekends for outdoor fun.


So that left me with one option….MORNINGS….


Now, by nature I am an early riser, as a kid I got up at 6am most days. However 4:30am seemed nuts. I wanted the gym to be a part of my day without ruining the routine I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked having breakfast at home before work, I liked to shower at home in my own space. I found out my gym opens at 5am on weekdays. I started getting up at 5:30am. That way I would be at the gym by 6am, workout until 7am, go home, shower, have breakfast and get ready for work. I found the 1 hour at the gym didn’t suffice. I talk way too much and wasn’t putting the work in. So each week I would set my alarm 5-10 minutes earlier. Doing the gradual time change, as opposed to drastically changing it, helped my body adjust to the routine. That went on until I finally got to the elusive 4:30am. At 4:30am the world is quiet and it can be easy to want to stay in bed, but it’s the best time to get up.

I discovered that the people who go the gym at 5am are always in a good mood. I found that to be because they start every day challenging themselves. When you start the day on the right foot it propels you to thrive throughout the rest of your day.


Two years later and I still get up at 4:30am on weekdays. I am the happiest I have ever been. The gym became so much of a routine that I now volunteer twice a week teaching Circuit Classes. I’m not suggesting you be crazy like me but if I can make it work, even at 4:30am, you can too.

- Alicia (Kwantlen Health Plan Administer)

Looking to set up a routine for yourself? The KPU Fitness centres are free for students and we have monthly student passes to Steve Nash Gyms for as low as $5 a month. Switching gears, are you struggling or concerned with your own mental health? Check out the new MyWellness program(Also free) at mywellness.com

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Best Dog Spotting Locations (When you don’t have a dog)

If you’re like me, you may have a mild obsession with the furry friends we humans call dogs. Dogs are great companions. They make you laugh, they comfort you when you’re sad, they’re great listeners, and they just look so darn cute. Maybe you are one of the blessed people out there that can say they have their own dog, but maybe you’re like me and for whatever reason (cost, time, etc) you love dogs, but can’t have one of your own at the moment.

That’s where dog spotting comes in. There are certain places that you can go where you’re almost guaranteed to see a dog, or a group of dogs, so you can get the cuteness fix you need.



Crescent Beach
While any dog park is generally a good place to run into furry friends, the Crescent Beach area is especially great. They have two separate areas where dogs can run and play off-leash (one dog park and one dog beach). Unlike nearby White Rock Beach, dogs are welcomed on the Crescent Beach trails and public walkway. This makes the Crescent Beach area, what I consider to be one of the best places to spot dogs in Surrey. Live closer to Vancouver? Kitsilano Beach is a great area, similar to Crescent Beach!



Dog Mountain (And hiking in general)
Dog Mountain is a short, low incline trail on Seymour Mountain in North Vancouver. As the name would suggest, the features of the trail make it a great destination for hikers with dogs. Therefore it’s also a great place to spot some good, friendly dogs out in nature. While not all mountains have ‘DOG’ specifically in their name, Lower Mainland hiking trails in general are great places to spot dogs. Just be sure to check the trail information before you leave as there are some trails in the area that don’t allow dogs.



PetSmart
Bad weather, but still want to spot some doggos? PetSmart is another great place! Whenever humans want to get a something new for their dog, they 9 times out of 10 bring the dog along with them. PetSmart also offers grooming and training services, so they may be in the store for their important dog appointments.



Instagram
We don’t all have the time (or desire) to go out specifically to spot dogs. Have no fear! Instagram (and yeah, the internet in general) is a great place to spot some dogs virtually. There are hashtags #DogsOfInstagram #MyDogIsTheCutest you can search, and dog accounts you can follow (I recommend Moooseybaby, Aspenthemountainpup, and Ifitwags. You don’t follow fifteen personal dog accounts? Oh … okay, just me.


Instagram: @Sviacat

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (At certain times of the year!)
Last but not least … yeah, you read that right … you can spot (and cuddle and love) dogs at KPU! While KPU does have a pretty specific pet policy that would deter students and staff from bringing their dog to campus each and every day, at certain times of the year we hold an event where Therapy Dogs are brought on campus. This month we’re doing just that! On November 21st in Richmond (Active KSA Studio from 11am - 1pm) and November 22nd in Surrey (Surrey Conference Centre 11am - 2pm), we’ll be bringing therapy dogs to campus! The therapy dogs are a part of our Stress Relief Holiday Send-Off event. This event will have a number of different de-stress (& fun) activities students can participate during this busy time of the semester.



To all you dog lovers out there, thanks for reading! See you Nov. 21st & 22nd -- let’s cuddle some friendly doggos!

-- Kendell

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Council Recap: October 27th, 2017

The last meeting of the Kwantlen Student Association was held on the Langley campus.  It was the first meeting for the new councillors elected in the by-election.
Here are the FIVE things you NEED to know from this week's’ Council:

#5
General Manager Jeremy McElroy promised to shave his beard in a “reverse” Movember if enough money was raised.  Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men's suicide. McElroy mentioned that with the number of students and staff at KPU, if everyone donated $.50, it would not take long to raise a large amount of money.
#4
As the meeting adjourned just before 1 pm, many members of Council decided to pay a visit to KPU’s Brewing program, and sample the beer they had available for tasting.  The Brewing program is open for tasting on Fridays from 1 to 5 pm.  The KSA often features KPU Brewing program beers on tap in the Grassroots cafe.

#3
During his report, Vice President, Student Life, Jay Reedy, reviewed some of the ideas for events that were collected at Welcome Week on all four campuses.  He highlighted one of his personal favourites, pug raves.  He is not sure that he will be able to throw a pug rave during his term, but hopes to attend one one day.

#2
The Speaker of Council, Titus Gregory, gave his ruling that Joseph Thorpe will continue to hold the position of Queer Representative on Council.  Thorpe was appointed to the position at the AGM last spring, and the wording of his appointment was that he fill the position until it was filled in by a by-election.  No candidates ran for the position of Queer Representative in the by-election, and so it was not filled.  

Of the other representatives appointed at the AGM, Munir Dossa successfully ran for the Students of Colour Representative position and will continue to sit on Council.  The positions of Richmond Representative, Langley Representative, Design Representative, Science and Horticulture Representative, Aboriginal Representative and International Representative have been filled by new councillors.  

#1
The three new councillors who were in attendance at Council swore their oaths of office.  Emily Haugen, Damanpreet Garcha and Bilan Hassan swore and signed their oaths, which state:
In view of the trust that the students of Kwantlen Polytechnic University have vested in me, as well as my own personal sense of honour and duty, do solemnly affirm to fulfill my responsibilities as a Councilor of the Kwantlen Student Association. I will do everything in my power to uphold and respect the Constitution,
Bylaws, Regulations, and Policies of the Kwantlen Student Association. I am aware that my primary reporting responsibility is to Council, and that Council has the authority to reprimand me if I fail to perform my duties in a satisfactory manner. If a conflict of interest arises in which I, as a Councilor, have the opportunity to exercise an official power or duty in ways that can lead to personal gain or advantage of any kind, I will relinquish my right to participate in the decision-making process. I will engage in open and honest debate in a process where I am guided by truth and fairness. I will never purposely misrepresent facts in dealing with constituents, other representatives, and the Kwantlen community in an effort to achieve my goals. In executing my office, I will seek out and voice effectively the interests and concerns of the student body, so as to offer the student body a vehicle through which to address issues and improve the quality of life at Kwantlen for all students.

The full minutes of this meeting, and all other KSA Council and Committee meetings, are available after approval on kusa.ca/committees.

- Kelsey (KSA Records Coordinator & Archivist)

Check back each week post-Council for Kelsey's list of 'The FIVE things you NEED to know from Council.'


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Haunted University Bathroom

We all know that things that go bump in the night aren’t real. Or, are they?

For the KSA’s special Halloween blog post, we’ll be investigating the (allegedly) haunted women’s washroom on Surrey campus across from the KSA office. Paranormal enthusiasts Tia and Nicola chat with John Rupert, the resident dark arts English instructor, about demons and Ouija boards before doing their own investigating.

Join KPU’s very own paranormal investigators in their quest to speak with ghosts…if you dare.



- Nicola & Tia