Page 1

[incontext] communication

issue 9  fall 2009

12 Valuable


14 get a






professionals volunteers friends & fun the

cmnsu communication student union

Find us on Facebook

community 10 Microblogs:

through brevity?

a cmnsu publication


know now

what you’ll

learn later



contributors Masthead Editor-in-Chief & Creative Director JOCelYN WaGNeR

Associate Editor

NiKaO DOs saNTOs

Copy Editor CaRiNe lee

CaRiNe lee talks to herself. She flushes public toilets with her feet and refuses to enter bathrooms without any footwear even at the beach because of obvious hygiene concerns, but did so the other weekend.

NiKaO DOs saNTOs, of course,

wears her seatbelt in the car. What type of grannydriver would she be if she didn’t? One who enjoys watching cricket and can wiggle her ears. [5,8]

MiCHaela PONTelliNi enjoys

pickles only on rare occasions and feels there is nothing worse than going to floss one’s teeth only to discover the canister empty. [7] KaRRa BaRRON

fancies a soy chai tea latte and notices how her lips always seem to become drier whenever she leaves the lip balm at home. [13]

Cheers to everyone who responded to this ad last March!


RaVeN sTeeN

has been confused while in coffee shops as Julianne Moore, Drew Barrymore and Nicole Kidman. Her superstition of choice is chronic disbelief. [6] sHaNNON WOOD

was going to be named Collette. Her favourite holiday is the one she gets paid not to work and if the bus driver is efficient, she’ll be at the Burnaby campus in 30 minutes. [12] JOCelYN WaGNeR

thinks answering “Tea or coffee?” is like choosing a favourite amongst one’s offspring (it’s just not right). She has been heard to laugh like Lisa Simpson. [14]

GeNeVieVe MCaleVY is

especially talented at believing that nobody can see her on the dance floor. She also believes in karma. [7] NaNCY CHaN is

told her impressions of other people are really good and you’ll sometimes hear her switching to a different accent. She never has enough socks. [12] COuRTNeY NOVOTNY is

classically trained in ballet and tap dance and believes all will be well, touch wood. She’ll have a Lady Grey tea, please. [15]



feaTuRes 6

COluMNs 5

Community in context by Raven Steen A critical perspective on the subjectivity of community.

Hark, first year students! by Nikao Dos Santos Some retrospective advice for folks new to university.



PostSecret: CMNS style Communication students anonymously divulge their true thoughts about university, peers, and society.

Career meets community by Nancy Chan Ditch the offer for an office-based co-op placement and get outside with Community Relations.


Community through brevity by Nikao Dos Santos From Wordpress to Twitter, do bite-sized messages enhance social cohesion? 15

iN ReVieW


Masthead and Contributors 4

Editor’s note



Volunteering made easy by Shannon Wood Be a kid again and enhance your employability with Big Brothers.

CMNSU does CBC by Courtney Novotny Record-breaking numbers of Communication students came out for an insightful tour of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Vancouver.




CMNSU in review A summary of events which the CMNSU successfully organized this past year for its peers.

Make your Communication degree more marketable by Jocelyn Wagner Use electives to enhance your employability.

Entrepreneurship: My greatest love of all by Karra Barron A keen Communication student finds her fix for start-up businesses through Venture Connection at SFU Surrey.




iN BRief

Rough draft by Genevieve McAlevy


Pillow talk by Michaela Pontellini

5 3


insight] Art credits

editor’s note “I quote others only in order the better to express myself”

by Nikao Dos Santos

“Construed community” collage, Jocelyn Wagner


13 “My Kool-Aid and candy stand” photo, shrinkingshirley (Flickr)

14 “MJ tribute” photo, Brendan Ross

Your peer always, Jocelyn Wagner Editor-in-Chief & Creative Director

15 “CBC station sign” photo, Courtney Novotny

Back cover “World – Political” graphic, Dent’s Canadian School Atlas (1961) Typography credits The following original typefaces have been gratefully used free of charge, as sourced from

5 “FFF Tusj” by Magnus Cederholm

8 “Marcelle” by StereoType

10 “James Fajardo” by James Paul Fajardo

14 “BorisBlackBoxx” by Manfred Klein

Back cover “Stereofidelic” by Larabie Fonts; “Harlow Solid Italic” (source unknown)

First year students:



organize a directed study with one of the publishing professors. But I didn’t do everything in this issue myself. Without the volunteered hours of our editors, the creative thoughts of our contributors, and the on-going support of the CMNSU Executive, this issue (and my degree) would not be complete. Thank you, friends. It is my hope that future Communication keeners will continue to re-design InContext and receive academic credit for it. If you feel like this might be you, feel free to contact me for details or advice on how to set up a directed study ( As those who have taken CMNS 473 know, design is a lot of work for just a few credits. But if you’re as jaded as I am of writing paper after paper for no audience but your seen-it-all-before professors, the long hours and final product of a design publication are worth it.

Hark! ou’ve finished your provincial exams. You did well enough to be offered a place in SFU’s Communication program. You were savvy enough to navigate the AQ and . . . That’s as far as you’ve gotten. Not to fear though. This article contains the pearls of wisdom from senior Communication students who have walked the hallways before you. Hopefully you can leave this issue of InContext with some peace of mind with the tips below. Either that or it will leave you fearful, wailing at the academic advisor’s door, begging to switch to a program that better suits your needs. Having unscientifically surveyed a dozen graduating students without the university’s consent, common trends of advice can be identified:

“Sialia arctica” graphic,




“Profile sketch” rendered drawing, Jocelyn Wagner

Michel de Montaigne

eading into an essay with a quote is my antidote to the student writer’s block. If it weren’t for others’ better-articulated thoughts, much of my own ideas would remain unexpressed. This is how I feel about the role of InContext. As the truest form of peer review, InContext aims to be the voice of all critical-thinking and creative students who share a sense of humour and irony about our situation. It is, with our best efforts, analytical and witty. It is accessible to all SFU Communication students, both as a source of insight and as a venue for getting published. It is also a valuable way to help create a community — a Communication community that is connected, supportive and self-reflective. Hence the chosen theme for this issue: Community. This issue also marks the first time the design of InContext has been taken on as a directed study. Like many keen students before me, I wanted to try my hand at publishing InContext and was willing to volunteer my summer towards it. But then I decided to complete my final semester over the summer and was in need of two more credits to graduate. It made sense to

Your guide to a smart and smooth undergraduate experience

Front cover “At the British Museum” photo, Tony Stubbings (; edited by Jocelyn Wagner


Research SFU. Make sure it is the right

place for you; not just because you think post-secondary education is the next logical choice or your aunty came here during the hippy heydays.


Make peace with the fact that you

will likely change your major. It happens. So be smart with the classes that you take in your first year. Let them be part of the general requirements that can be applied to any degree.


Making friends and connections at

university is imperative. Not just for your sanity, but also because these are people who could connect you to your future career. Learn to play nice during tutorials and attend CMNSU events. Be as proactive and smart about your social life as you have your education.


Volunteer, gain skills, and get

relevant work experience. Never again in your life will you have this amount of time to improve yourself, with as many educated people to help you get where you

want. Plus, when you begin job hunting, employers want to know if you care for a cause beyond yourself and if you are willing to go the extra mile.


Talking about extra miles:

Remember to exercise. It helps with sanity and the freshman fifteen.


Have an idea of what you want to do

with your degree but make allowances for change. Going straight to grad school might seem great now. But after years of spewing out essays for your Bachelors, you may want a break. More than that, you may want — nay, need — to take classes that teach you practical skills beyond writing A+ essays. Find out what practical classes are out there, get the prerequisites, and enroll.


Go to your advisor and make a rough

four-year plan for your classes. It doesn’t matter if it changes, you can revise it. It will give an idea of where you are going.


Stop procrastinating.


Avoid student

debt if possible.

It is the devil. Apply for all scholarships and bursaries. Work hard and save in the summer. If you choose to use student aid as a personal piggy-bank, you will be reminded of your student days every time the government harvests your pay check for the next two decades.


Some of the best

lessons happen outside of the classroom.  [ ] 5


inbrief] community in context

Rough Draft

by Raven Steen

by Genevieve McAlevy

Pillow Talk

by Michaela Pontellini

Community: what is it?


he stuff social networks are made of; the fabric of neighborhoods, what towns and cities are built on; the basic form of social and human organization. Some believe community is something we humans cannot live without. Most of us take it for granted. Do you know what community is? Have you ever in your life felt community? Can you tangibly define it if you had to? What determines whether a person is belonging or not belonging? When do you know you are a member of a community? Can it be defined? And who is to say your definition of community is any more compelling or accurate than it is defined by the buddysitting-next-to-you? Yet “community” must be defined. It is being defined all around us, all the time. Many social services, government agencies, institutions and neighborhoods are dependent upon, and are shaped by, various definitions of community. Technically, community is something that has no definitive boundaries beyond what is subjectively stated – this entire planet is one giant biospheric community. The crisis of our time is ultimately fragmentation of a world that is an integral whole. We set our clocks, iPods and televisions by the sense of alienation spawned by fragmentation. In the urban, we are walking and talking, weaving our way through all manner of “community.” How many of us are blind to it? Would we not know if we were in someone else’s community

We set our clocks, iPods and televisions by the sense of alienation spawned by fragmentation. 6

even if we were standing in a puddle of it? Or mistakenly think we are part of community because we share the same language, skin colour, clothing style, politics or musical taste? Now, for a moment, consider the heart-wrenching sting of exclusion. Of feeling left out, peripheral, invisible, or silenced. Consider how those moments mangle your sense of self and belonging, instill a sense of fear, maybe even compel you to seek conformity while excluding nonconformists. In the social sciences we talk of culture, religion, regionalism, race, gender, et cetera, like these are cohesive “communities.” Does belonging to a mildly heterogeneous group make you part of a community? How do you become a member of a community anyway? Is it something worked for or brought about because of shared values, or by birthright? Can your community also be the ecosystem you belong to? Or is it something far more finite and illusive? At this very moment: •  boundaries of nationalism are shaking, borders are becoming   net-like containers through which capital flows freely; •  the nature of our human relationship to the earth is   changing; and •  we are all meandering closer and closer to a “global village.” The definitions and borders of our time are shape shifting; humanity has to not only consider what comes next, but negotiate the very real tender closeness of all our relations. My plea to you (as a critical thinker) is this: Think meaningfully about your definitions of community. Think expansively and inclusively outside of what you know and understand. Being conscious today of (y)our defined community will have very real implications for the world unfolding tomorrow.  [ ]

Peaceful silence rests upon my pillow Satin fabrics sigh their stories Long winded regret detailing guilt Of living such cushioned lives While there remain those starved Craving the affection, attention, adoration Once showered upon them like solar    storms Ripped from the comfort and stagnant    warmth Of supposed ever lasting love By simple statements Spilling from my lips like sand Of the desert life had become.

I define myself lightly, Using only a pencil I shall never be permanent; I will grow and shrink and rearrange, For every day I spend on Earth Brings a possibility for change I will fill myself in with color, Leaving black and white aside, Blend the shades of light and dark To illuminate self-pride The eraser marks are visible Where I’ve drawn and then re-drawn, So all can see my mistakes — my scars, Where I’ve faded and where I’ve shone My past cannot define me, But what I’ve learned from it can, Those whom I love the most, Have each a pencil in their hand For they all hold a vision of me That is separate from the rest, And stays unique from what I see, For there is no version that is best.

CMNStudent BLOG ROLL Love love baby Mandy Candy does relationships and love. Another Sam Chan: The Student Blogger Everything from social media to job hunting, cool gadgets and gripes about the Canucks. And then some.

INTERWEB OF HAPPINESS Design Sponge Get your fix for handmade design and crafting with this delicious site. Stuff White People Like The tongue-in-cheek blog about “everything left-wing, upper-middle-class Caucasians enjoy.” Stuff Unemployed People Like The not-so-tongue-cheek blog about everything that left-wing, former uppermiddle-class Caucasians enjoy. It’s “funemployment” with attitude. Love, Sex, Attraction and . . . Science The author of Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes? discusses the science of love and attraction. Chocolate and Zucchini A yummy French food blog. Value of an Arts Degree valueof AnArtsDegree.html A helpful list provided by the university to give you confidence in your future accreditation.




ommunication courses at SFU offer a significant degree of liberty to assert one’s opinion – assuming it is academically rationalized. So when our TAs accuse us of poor referencing or when we want to be truly critical of our personal political economy, we create PostSecrets.




cmns style




community brevity through

Community? Maybe. Meaningful? Now that really depends. The microblog format has a tendency to lend itself to community created content: People seem to be quite willing to tell their most mortifying sagas to complete strangers in a seemingly anonymous circle of trust. So, yes, officially you have an “online community.”

But what is community without context, or more importantly what is community without a meaning that has repercussions beyond our non-digital life? When images, videos and eye-witness reports from the post-Iranian election started to flood Twitter and pressured the mainstream media to cover events – it was as if Twitter had finally reached its

Go tweet about it.

by Nikao Dos Santos


hat would make a really good blog entry.” Such a

thought often crosses my mind when some interesting event occurs. Heck, these are the days when activities only need register a notch above mediocre as to warrant digital publishing. But I am not alone with my hobby. greets me daily with an update of the tens of million of words collectively published by the blogs they host. That’s hundreds of thousands of blogs, not unlike my own, happily churning out regular content to their niche audiences. There is something undeniably attractive about sharing your thoughts with an invisible audience and stealing a few moments of eyeball-time from another blogger. More so, if there was ever a space to scour information about obscure hobbies, rant political perspectives, and divulge private –


The rise of microblogs and their questionable ability to strengthen society yet, impersonal updates – does the blogosphere ever have your back. Despite the popularity of the blog format, its original concept is regularly undergoing alteration as it becomes a melting pot of new media – just take a look at Facebook. Understandably, deeply personal and lengthy blogs are not everyone’s cup of tea. They take time, effort and sometimes an excessive amount of emotion to produce (and a similar amount of endurance to read). Here is where the microblog enters. It carries the appeal of a haiku, where potent brevity is the key to success. was the most recent winner in the microblog category for the Bloggies (the Oscars of blogs). The originator of the idea and site’s moderator, Ryan McMichael, explained in a radio interview that the site’s purpose is for people to tell a powerful story in one sentence.

He considered the most successful stories to be those that depict a poignant tale within limited grammatical confines, but more than this, they leave the reader wanting to know more. Regular blogs usually have the distinctive voice of one writer, or a team of writers sharing a common perspective. In addition, the commenting capabilities of most blogs allow for objections and various interjections from people from various walks of life across the globe. It is easy to see why this medium has been considered a utopian opportunity to reach the potential of a more democratized web. Some surmise that blogging will change the face and profession of journalism forever. But can the same be said about the microblog? Does it offer us a greater opportunity to hold meaningful discussions about, and within, the community?

It started to feel like making an

Microblogs stand the possibility of being an impressive social catalyst. At the same time, they ride the wave of the masses’ whims and suffer the possibility of overloading – to the point where we are flooded with data and left with very little information. It would appear that the microblog’s brevity is potent enough to sabotage its own success.  [ ]

“tweets” were actually

impact on larger social issues, instead of delivering the inconsequential

micro ‑observations of daily life. An example of this is the PostSecret blog, where people around the world send in their anonymous and visually-striking postcards depicting their deepest secrets. The site considers itself a cathartic space, free from judgment and allowing people to experience the liberation of sharing secrets. More so, it is an avid supporter of getting people the psychological help they need, offering links to resources and numbers for suicide hotlines. On the opposite end of the “caring and sharing” spectrum is the immensely popular It features daily updates of some of the most cringe worthy microblog tales. If you ever thought your life sucked, you haven’t read these stories. It is the stuff of melodrama high school film scripts. It is the place where you go to laugh at your fellow humans’ misfortunes and be thankful you are not in their position.

greater purpose. It was fascinating to read the blogs of mega-media journalists as they scrounged around for an excuse as to why their channels were not covering the social dissent. It started to feel like “tweets” were actually making an impact on larger social issues, instead of delivering the inconsequential micro-observations of daily life. When it comes to collective movements, I do not question the positive nature of these miniature updates. But I can’t help wonder what we lose when we break down a collective social issue into pieces so small that they can’t fit into this sentence? These updates may deliver a punch of powerful emotionalism which in turn may spur reader outrage. However, as a segment on its own, it does little to convey the complexity of a national, political and societal situation. Twitter

Brevity online? fml Facebook



Career meets community by Nancy Chan Entering my first co-op work term in the summer of 2008, I was a little fish in a big sea. Knowing nothing about football, how did I think I was going to manage a job with the BC Lions? All I knew was that I wanted a great co-op experience while being able to get involved in things inside and outside of the office. So it began my four months as a Community Relations Student Associate. What does it mean to be in Community Relations? Well, in my position, it meant getting involved in the community through a number of programs focused on reading, minor football, and physical activity. A bulk of my time was spent making school visits, ensuring an event ran smoothly, and going out to minor football teams to take measurements in a summer-long skills competition called Punt, Pass, and Kick. A portion of my time was spent lugging around football equipment, and a large part was planning events in a close-knit three-person department. Being a smaller organization of about 30 or so employees, it was great to see all the departments and athletes work together in making a community event a success. Throughout the experience I realized just how important community outreach was to an organization and society. Some say that it’s all a ploy to strengthen corporate image and increase sales, but I really believe that the people working in Community Relations have a heart to improve our society. Behind what some call the corporate stigma, lays a passion to do something good. I suppose you can call me idealistic and maybe even a little naïve, but I approached my career decision with the statement, “I want to change the world!” Yet I was 12


not sure if I wanted to get into marketing, advertising, or public relations. After my work-term with the BC Lions, I realized that I can work for a wellknown company and still play a part in improving our society. Co-op has allowed me to explore which career routes I want to take, and after my first work-term, Community Relations is something I’d like to pursue. [ ]

Volunteering made easy by Shannon Wood The student life is a busy one. Classes, midterms, and work, often leave little time for anything else. Yet community involvement is a must for scholarships and many bursaries. And in today’s competitive job market volunteer experience could give you a necessary edge when competing for employment. So I decided to do some research. Could there be a volunteer opportunity that gives students valuable experience without requiring a major time commitment? I quickly found an answer: the Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver. The first thing that usually comes to mind when people hear Big Brothers is ‘clothing drive.’ However, they’re actually a mentoring agency that matches men and women 18 and older with kids ages 7-12 who could benefit from a positive

role model in their life. Andrew Scott, a second year communication student, volunteers with the In-School Mentoring Program and shared his thoughts on the program with me. Mentors visit their Little Buddies at their elementary school during school hours, creating an easy volunteer experience that Andrew enjoys –”Sometimes going and playing on the jungle gym for an hour can be the best thing to improve your productivity in the library.” Although initially worried about making a time commitment, Andrew enjoys taking a one hour study-break for his Little Buddy, reminding me that a volunteer position is not like a job. “If we normally meet at 11 on Wednesdays and I get scheduled for an exam, we just meet the next day instead.” So how does it work? According to Andrew “Big Brothers does a great job of finding out who you are as a person and finding a Little Buddy who matches your personality.” The In-School Mentoring program is open to men and women. What do you do? Free your Little Buddy from an hour of class each week to bake cookies, create finger-paint masterpieces, or to have free reign of the playground. The Big Brother program is open to men. You spend time watching movies, hiking, or even playing video games with your Little Brother for 2–4 hours a week. Both programs are friendship-based so volunteers aren’t expected to be a tutors or psychologists - It’s just hanging out, being a kid again. To me, volunteering with Big Brothers seems like more than a rewarding way to beef up a resume – “It’s interesting to find a common thread between yourself and someone in a completely different stage in their life; it gives you some great perspective.” To find out more about volunteering with Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver, visit their website at: [ ]


My Greatest Love of All    by Karra Barron


here seems to be this misconception that “entrepreneur” is a title achieved only by those who study the ins and outs of business. Fortunately, I am one of those who believe that the only criteria to be good at anything is the willingness to learn – and that includes starting and running your own company. I have been a serial entrepreneur since the age of six. My first business was running a Kool-Aid stand at my family’s annual summer garage sale. I am proud to say I filled up my piggy bank with a lot of nickels and dimes from that business. Since then, I’ve run a few more ventures that were small enough to operate by

myself and easy enough to self-produce all the products. In high school, I took a much needed break from entrepreneurship. It was like any long-term relationship: I had grown a little tired of it and was ready to see what else was out there. Five years would pass before I even thought about starting up another business.

It was love at first sight when I started my Communications degree at SFU. It introduced me to so many cool new friends and taught me interesting things I had never thought about before. It seemed like Communications had become “The One” in terms of my career goals and I was definitely enjoying it. Years went by and I was suddenly smacked in the face by the realization that I would be graduating in a year. In twelve months, I would be forced to work in a cramped, grey cubicle with another girl who talked too much about macrobiotic diets. Fifty-two weeks until I would have a boss who would sooner walk all over me than praise me for any great work I had done. The very thought of possibly having to wear an itchy blazer and pencil skirt every day kept me awake at night. Suddenly, I was thinking again about my old flame – entrepreneurship. In my final year at SFU, I discovered Venture Connection, a new organization at SFU that focuses on helping students turn their passions and business dreams into real companies. Whatever stage you are at with your business, Venture Connection can provide you with the resources you need to be the Entrepreneur Queen (or King) of the world. Two really great things that I found helpful were Mentor Meet and Venture

Meet-up. I chanced upon Mentor Meet when I was on a food run between classes and saw this young man sitting at a table in the AQ. There was a sign next to him that described him as one of Venture Connection’s experienced entrepreneurs and was waiting for anyone with a cool business idea to sit down and chat with him about it. So I sat. Within a few minutes, he had given me some really great advice and next steps to take. That’s all there is to Mentor Meet. No appointments. No suits and ties. Just you, your ideas and the help of an experienced entrepreneur. It was nice talking about entrepreneurship again, but I was not ready to get back into that relationship just yet. I felt like some kind of group date was necessary. Venture Meet-up was exactly that: a community where SFU students interested in entrepreneurship discuss their ideas in a really chill way. Meet-up gave us a place to throw out our business ideas and brainstorm ways to make them successful. These meetings also help me find great business partners. If you are like me and were kind of into entrepreneurship before but are not really sure how to get back together with it, do not be discouraged. The relationship does not end just because you decided to take a break and have a life. All it takes to be an entrepreneur is a great idea, passion and a willingness to learn – from both your successes and your mistakes. As for me, I am almost done my Communications degree and I already have a few new business ideas in mind. I credit Venture Connection for not only helping me rekindle my love for entrepreneurship, but also showing me that you definitely do not have to study business to get down to business. For more information on Mentor Meet and Venture Meet-up, check them out at  [  ] 13



rotting along the well-treaded education-to-career (read: postsecondary) path, no one told me that a regular university degree was not enough alone to land me my dream career. Or a job in general. Indeed, university students today are finding it more challenging to secure worthwhile employment with a solely theoretical-based resume. Entry-level Communication workers require complete Curriculum Vitae (CV) – practical skills and experience included. So what can Communication students who are already midway through their bachelor’s degree at SFU do to gain transferable skills in addition to our highlyrefined ability to communicate effectively? Well, there’s always Co-operative Education, volunteering, or investing more money in specific training courses. But may I suggest sniffing out elective courses while you are at SFU? A degree in Communication allows for 60 credits in non-CMNS courses – there is a lot of room to fill your tool belt within this $20,000 degree. Do not spend a penny more than you must and use these flexible credits to your advantage.


make your communication degree more by Jocelyn marketable Wagner Here is a sample of interesting and practical courses: BUS 343 Introduction to Marketing:

Learning terms and figures from a textbook is not the highlight of this course. If you want real experience working in a team (with a range of work ethics) to create and present a realistic marketing plan, this is for you. This course is recommended for everyone. Knowing how products are marketed is good consumer knowledge too. GEOG 255 Geographical Information Science I: Do you know how much

communication is involved in mapping, planning, and geography in general? Design theory is put into practice in this course. You will learn how to create maps with software used by professionals. GIS skills are great for those going into planning or any local government jobs. Bonus: Geography students are keeners and always have great socials. CMNS 473 Publication Design and Print Production: Not

a course outside of CMNS, but 14

a stellar practical course. Learn the fundamentals of Photoshop and the tricks of InDesign. Learn how to design for your audience, your medium and, most importantly, your client. You will have three pieces for your portfolio by the end of this hands-on class conducted by creative and practicing professionals. SCD 401 and 403 Social Enterprise and Leadership in Sustainable Community Development: These are the upper-

level courses for a 19-credit certificate program that can be credited towards your Bachelors. Write a real grant proposal for a real non-profit organization. Conduct primary research for local agencies. Develop a business plan with all the resources and practical tools necessary to get financial assistance, permits, registration and employees for your potential launch. Weekly guest speakers, a seminar format and group-work galore, this certificate program is super for potential community developers or anyone who foresees themselves working in the community. There are potentially dozens more electives in the SFU calendar. Do a bit of research, talk to other Communication students, think about what you would like to do after your blissful time in the haven of university and enroll! These courses likely demand more work, but the stuff you learn will quite possibly get you farther than just writing another paper.  [ ]

CMNSU CMNSU does CBC by Courtney Novotny


uring the Spring 2009 semester, the Communication Student Union (CMNSU) and former CMNS co‑op student, Tiffany Chong, led 40 students on a thorough and informative tour of the Vancouver Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Ian Hanomansing answered questions and described his professional journey to his current position with the CBC. With an hour before her forecast deadline, meteorologist Claire Martin revealed her ‘green screen’ secrets while students experienced being on camera behind the news desk. BC Almanac’s Mark Forsythe detailed the differences he experienced working in public and private media. Radio 3 host, Lisa Christiansen, discussed her daily schedule, interactive new media features, the station’s global audience and her relationship with them, and the key to interviewing bands – “to know a lot about them . . . everybody wants to know you know about them.” To round out the tour, students were led behind the scenes to the archives and music library, where over 100,000 records and CDs are stored. The CBC archivists talked about the process of migrating content to digital format and the struggle with managing music resources between LPs, CDS, mp3s, etc. [ ]

Club Days

Swing by the CMNSU table every semester for free swag and a chance to purchase the trendy McLuhan t-shirt! Elections and Bi‑Elections

All executive positions were filled and some new ones created. And there’s always room for more so look out for notice of the first Fall 2009 meeting. CMNSU Mentorship Program

The goal of this program is to pair new students with senior students as a helpful guide through their first semester at SFU.

in review


he Communication Student Union had a very productive year thanks to an energetic and dedicated crew. From Fall 2008 to Summer 2009, here’s a quick look at what happened. Send us your ideas for future events at Third Annual Communication Symposium

Hosted by Communication Co-op and the CMNSU, over 50 students attended this event to learn about what they can do with their degree, enjoy some wine and cheese, and network with industry professionals. Media Democracy Day

Volunteers were recruited for this one-day conference focusing on how media shapes our world and democracy. Careers in Communication

In February we sponsored this

annual event hosted by the School of Communication and the Co-op program. Over 80 students attended the event held at the Vancouver Convention Centre to ask communication professionals about their career paths. Re-Facing Facebook

Our first social event of Spring 2009 at the Highland Pub on Burnaby campus. Out of Context

Our semesterly professor–student mingling event at Steamworks was very successful. CBC Field-trip

So popular we took

two groups on tour through the Vancouver station. Look out for future CBC tours! CMNSU Pens

Practical and popular – a new batch was ordered and can be found for free in the CMNSU common room (K8668). CMNSU Blog

Faculty Rep, Megan Lau, and Membership Coordinator, Andrea Blendl, revamped the website for improved userfriendliness and storage of past InContext articles, meeting minutes, photos, etc., can be found at 15


Offering Canadian Communication students inspiration, advice and laughter.