Thursday, August 10, 2017

GrassRoots Café Secret Menu Items & Tricks!

Maybe you’ve heard of the KSA GrassRoots Café. Maybe you haven’t. Either way this blog post is sure to give you the inside scoop on secret menu items and ordering tips.
Haven’t heard of the KSA GrassRoots Café? It’s the KSA student café located on the KPU Surrey campus. The person serving you coffee, they’re a student. The individual who dished out your mac n’cheese, they are too – all the staff behind the counter are students. The café serves up meat and veggie dining options throughout the week along with a license to serve alcohol. If this isn’t your first semester on the Surrey Campus, I’m willing to bet you’ve stopped by before / after / between classes. If that’s the case you may have a regular order and have tried a brownie (or two). This post is goes past the ‘regular’. We’ve received feedback from KSA staff and regular customers to highlight a few unknown menu items & ordering tips at GrassRoots Café. Call it a not-so-secret secret menu if you like …
GrassRoots BBQ
Patio BBQs
If you stick around campus for the Summer semester, you may be lucky enough to witness a GrassRoots Patio BBQ. Every Thursday, starting in June, the Café pulls out a BBQ and grills up burgers (meat and veggie) on the outdoor patio. The BBQ is only open during the lunch hours, but it’s the perfect way to enjoy a little bit of Summer between class. The burger will set you back $6.50 but who doesn’t love a little #patioseason lunch.  

Beer & Nachos

Pub Food
GrassRoots Café recently added finger food appetizers & beer on tap to the menu. Let me repeat that … BEER ON TAP (and KPU Beer at that). This means that during a hockey game, political debate or open mic night, you can enjoy wings, nachos, mozzarella sticks & spring rolls with some local KPU Beer.

Vegan Brownie from GrassRoots Café
Vegans Welcome Here
Another insider tip: You can make almost everything vegan. Tofu & Daiya cheese are always on hand at the Café and soy-based chicken is usually available as well. The café has some items that are vegan by nature (Spring rolls, Brownies, Granola Bars, Samosa Wrap, Mediterranean Wrap, Rice Stir Fry) but the majority of remaining menu items can be made vegan too – you just have to ask! Order a Mexicali Wrap vegan (no sour cream, sub for daiya cheese, sub for soy-based chicken). Feeling a quesadilla (they’ll make those vegan too!). Nachos, another crowd favorite, can be made vegan as well. Coming for a coffee? The café has both soy and almond milk. The GrassRoots Café staff are amazing at accommodating vegan, gluten free and other dietary needs or preferences, all you have to do is ask.
Save Your Money
If you’re looking to save money, we have some good news for you. As a KPU student you get 5% off your order at the KSA GrassRoots Café. More than that, if you bring a re-usable cup or mug for your coffee, you get another $0.25 off!
Taco Tuesday
Every Tuesday the GrassRoots Café offers a Taco Tuesday special. You can get burritos or opt out of the wrap and go for a burrito bowl. Tacos not your favourite thing? You can ask for the bean chilli they use for burritos to be put on a hot dog (meat or veggie) – next thing you know, you’ve got yourself a chilli dog!
Special Request: Tater Tot Nachos! 
Staff Pick: Tater Tots!
Looking for the all time staff favourite order at GrassRoots Café? Our staff have spoken and it’s TATER TOTS. Yes the café does tater tots, all day and in different ways. You can have tater tots with your breakfast sandwich in the morning, by themselves as a snack, or loaded like nachos! Don’t forget to take advantage of the different sauces GrassRoots has on hand. There’s the classic Ketchup, but another solid option is dipping them into Sweet Chilli sauce. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.
Do you have a favourite order or trick at GrassRoots? Let us know by tagging @KSAGrassRoots on social media!  

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Summer Hiking 101

August is the perfect time to go hiking in BC, the days aren’t as hot as July, the bug season has slowed down, snow will be clear on most of the day hiking routes, and the trails are the least muddy they’ll be all year. Plus, with the long summer days you have so many options for where you can go hiking because daylight is on your side. 

Whether you want to climb high peaks, chase waterfalls, or find the perfect quiet spot, the Lower Mainland has a trail for every type of hiker. But before you grab your camera and head out the door for your hiking adventure, there are a few things you might want to make sure you have before you go ...

Jug Island - Active KSA Hike

Before you go, take some time and plan your hiking route because missed turns or trail heads happens. Look at a map and get an idea of how the trail is going to look. Either take a physical copy of the map or save it to your phone (or GPS). Lots of trails are in areas where there is no service so you won’t be able to rely on Google Maps to help you out all the time. Also make sure you tell someone (who is not coming with you) where you’re going and when you should be back.

Always make sure to bring enough water for the warm summer months.  It can be even warmer in the mountains, and being without water can lead to dehydration. Snacks such as high protein granola bars and trail mix are light to carry but help out a lot when you get hungry. Also, if the worst happens and you get lost, you don’t want to spend a night with no food or water.

Rice Lake - Active KSA Hike

In the summer, it’s best to dress in layers of lighter clothing so that you can adjust to the temperature of the day. The biggest thing people forget is that in the evening it can still cool down a fair bit, especially in the mountains. 

Sunscreen is important to help avoid sun burns. There is a lot of talk about which SPF is the best to use, however in my personal experience, using SPF 30 and reapplying regularly is the best practice. Don’t forget your sunglasses, and bring a hat to help avoid possible sun or heat stroke. 

Lighthouse Park & Crystal Falls - Active KSA Hikes

5. GEAR 
There are a few essential gear items that you should always have with you when you go hiking: flashlight or headlamp, first aid kit, fire starting tools (waterproof matches or lighter), a repair kit and tools, and an emergency shelter.

There is a lot of wildlife on the Lower Mainland hiking trails, and you may come across some of the bigger animals such as bears and cougars. Make sure you read up about what to do when you encounter larger wildlife. Also, packing a whistle and/or bear bangers is a good idea for any encounters.

Buntzen Lake - Active KSA Hike

Having Search and Rescue’s number is like having car insurance, you have it for the worst-case situation, but you hope you never need it. If you get lost, or if someone is injured, calling Search and Rescue is the best way to get help. It is FREE to call Search and Rescue for help in BC!

The hiking areas in the Lower Mainland have some stunning views that people come from around the world to see. Make sure you bring your camera to snap that amazing shot that will be perfect for your next Instagram post.

Killarney Lake & Lynn Canyon - Active KSA Hikes

And most importantly, have a great time, enjoy nature, and leave no trace behind so that the beauty we get to enjoy is preserved for years.

If you aren’t quite ready to get hiking on your own yet, come join me with Active KSA. We have two hikes coming up this August. Check them out at

I hope you have as much fun hiking as I do. Hope to see you on the trails!

- Tonya

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Who Are We?

Before we dive into all the ‘real’ posts, it might be helpful to give you more information on who we are. As contributors to the blog and as an organization.


Just in case you ended up here all the sudden, without warning, and are a little confused on who we are ... The KSA (Kwantlen Student Association) is a student run and student funded organization that exists to support Kwantlen students. Say student one more time, right? But that’s why we’re here. We’ve created programs and services that help make your life as a KPU student easier, we advocate for the issues that affect you most and we host events so you can have a good time when you're not in class. Essentially, we find out where there are gaps in your student experience and attempt to fill them in.

The KSA is made up of a student council (which you vote for), 4 student executives and staff that support the programs and initiatives. You’ll see us at campus events, read our posters on the bulletin boards and probably eat some of the free food we hand out. Overall, we’re here to support you and build #KPUcampuslife.

Want more information? Interested in our financial documents? Want to see an extensive list of the departments and services we provide? Our website is the best place to find all that information. Copy and paste, bookmark or write it down:

The (Regular) Writers
We have a lot to say. Really, we do. There are a bunch of us here at the KSA that have tips/tricks/advice/experiences/information we want to share with you. Let us be your spirit guides (ok, that was weird, you’re right). Anyways, we have some cool stuff to say and we’d love for you to give our little blog a read.

But who are we? Meet the KSA Staff that will be contributing to the blog regularly. Drumroll please…

Kendell Kitt - Clubs & Outreach Coordinator
As the KSA's Clubs & Outreach Coordinator, Kendell leads the KSA Street Team, supports Kwantlen Clubs and posts content across all @KSAcouncil social media accounts (follow us). Outside of work, you’ll find her eating yummy vegan food, planning her next trip, or binge watching Greys Anatomy.

Tonya Myhedyn - Active KSA Coordinator
Tonya is our Active KSA Coordinator. She works on providing healthy and active living events and programming. Most of the time Tonya can be found on the Richmond campus planning weekly adventures and resources for students. When she's not at work, Tonya is likely at a dance studio, riding her bike, or reading a book. A serious wine enthusiast, Tonya also has a love for birds (especially cockatoos)! 

Mairi Lester - Sustainability Coordinator
As the KSA's Sustainability Coordinator, eco-friendly initiatives like food waste, Kwantlen St. Market and the Westerman campus garden are Mairi's (rasberry) jam. Known for her witty vegetable puns and great book recommendations, Mairi's often diving into a new knitting project or volunteering with Girl Guides of Canada. 

John O'Brian - Advocacy Coordinator
(Student Rights)
John is the KSA's Advocacy Coordinator. He's the one that you can go to if you ever find yourself in a sticky situation with the university and need advice, help or support. A social justice warrior, when he's not working in the Student Rights Centre he's likely to be making obscure references or building fully automated luxury space communism.

Nicki Simpson - Policy & Political Affairs Coordinator
Nicki is the Policy and Political Affairs Coordinator at the KSA. She works with elected students and other staff to help run campaigns, research and write policies, and lobby different levels of government for initiatives that support students. When Nicki isn't at the office, she's watching way too much Netflix or adventuring in the forest.

Josephine Wong - Marketing & Communications Coordinator (Blog Design & Tech Support)
A design wiz, Josephine is our behind the scenes support. In addition to designing KSA posters, ordering marketing materials and coding our website, she's the go-to person whenever you have a question. Bacon lover, night owl and gamer, Josephine is rarely seen without an energy drink in hand.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Welcome To The KSA Blog!


If you’re reading this it means you have found your way to the new KSA blog. Maybe you already follow us on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, but this blog will be a bit different. Rather than being limited by a word count or lost in algorithms, this blog is a chance for the KSA to dig a bit deeper into the topics we know and love. It’s a chance for us to go into detail, share helpful insights and keep you up to date with all the exciting #KPUcampuslife events we have going on.

So take a look around, read the posts that sound interesting to you and leave the ones that don’t.

If you have any questions, comments or ideas about the blog please don’t hesitate to let us know!