Volume 09 // Issue 10
News KPU, KSA Submit Sexual Assault and Misconduct Policies
February 14 2017
Culture An Interview with Organizing for People Power
Opinion All Political Gifts Come with Strings Attached
“Making space for communities that require it” -with Jillian Christmas
find us online / runnermag.ca / @runnermag / facebook.com/runnerMAG / INSTAGRAM.com/RUNNERMAG
02 Table of contents
News|KPU, KSA Submit Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policies
Within a week of each other both Kwantlen Polytechnic University and the Kwantlen Student Association submitted copies of their sexual assault and misconduct policies. While KPU’s is still in draft form, the KSA’s policy has already been approved at Council.
Coordinating Editor Tristan Johnston email@example.com
MORE NEWS|KSA Legal Fees Increased for CFS Lawsuit
Three years into a legal battle with the Canadian Federation of Students in B.C., the Kwantlen Student Association has increased their legal fees to $250,000.
Connor Doyle firstname.lastname@example.org
Danielle George email@example.com
Features|Participate in Black History Month
“Folks who have been traditionally marginalized and oppressed have a way of celebrating, and they have a way of fortifying and coming together,” she performance poet Jillian Christmas.
Scott McLelland firstname.lastname@example.org
Tommy Nguyen email@example.com
CULTURE |KPIRG Teams with Organizing for People Power
Alyssa Laube firstname.lastname@example.org
“It’s an organization that is aimed at uniting sections of our society that are very disempowered, to find their strength and unity together, and demand fundamental changes to this society, starting locally in Newton,” says Tom Warren, about Organizing for People Power.
Joseph Keller email@example.com
Operations Manager Scott Boux firstname.lastname@example.org 778.565.3801
Opinions |Blackstock Says No to Bribe from INAC
Renowned Indigenous children’s advocate Cindy Blackstock knows well enough not to fall for an obvious bribe, even if it’s offered by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). Daman Beatty @Beatler
KPU Study Abroad @KPUStudyAbroad “together we voice our unwavering support to those of the Muslim faith alongside whom we work, learn and teach every day.” - KPU President
KPU’s DigitaLENS Program Challenges Stereotypical Images of Surrey’s Youth http://ow.ly/2aDi308GtN1 @KwantlenU #SurreyBC via @sry604
Mark_Hamilton @gmarkham Made up stuff = fake news. Stuff you disagree with = not fake news.
Student Publication Fee Opt-Outs available in person Jan 16 - Feb 20. Student ID & Proof of registration and payment required. PIPS Office: Arbutus 3710, Surrey Campus. Hours: 10 - 5 Monday to Friday. Phone: 778-565-3801 Email: email@example.com Arbutus 3710/3720 12666 72 Ave. Surrey, B.C, V3W 2M8 778.565.3801 www.runnermag.ca Vol. 09, Issue no. 10 February 14 2017 ISSN# 1916 8241
Contributors Neil Bassan Justin Bige Calvin Borghardt Keith Harris Braden Klassen
Nicole Kwit Nat Mussell Rosaura Ojeda Mel Pomerleau
Cover Jillian Christmas was born and raised in Markham, Ontario. She currently lives in Vancouver, BC., where she serves as co-director of Versəs Festival of Words. She has won Grand Poetry-Slam Championship titles at both the Vancouver BedRocc poetry-slam (2011), as well as the Vancouver Poetry Slam (2012). An enthusiastic organizer within the Canadian poetry community, Jillian has developed and executed programs in partnership with Toronto Poetry Project, Wordplay, Brendan McLeod’s Travelling Slam and the CULTCH Mentorship, and facilitated spoken word workshops for youth and adults across the country.
She is the founder of Toronto’s acclaimed Peace Pipe Poetry Sessions on Bloor, former Artistic director of the East Van Culture Awards, as well as past and present Volunteer coordinator for Hullabaloo: Youth Spoken Word Festival. She is the former Secretary and current Member at Large for Spoken Word Canada. As her most recent personal, artistic endeavour; Jillian tours the west coast, experimenting with music/ poetry fusion, collaborating with the likes of The Recipe, C. R. Avery, and powerhouse vocalist Chelsea D. E. Johnson.“
The Runner is student-owned and operated by Kwantlen Polytechnic University students, published under the Polytechnic Ink Publishing Society. The Runner recognises that our work, both in and out of the office, takes place on unceded Coast and Strait Salish territories, specifically the shared traditional territories of the Kwantlen, Katzie, Semiahmoo, Sto:lo and Tsawwassen First Nations. Our name is inspired by the hun’qumi’num meaning of Kwantlen, which is tireless hunters or tireless runners. Just as Kwantlen is adaptable and changing so is The Runner.
From The Editors
What’s Happening this week
Student government needs dissenters
This year’s KDocs promises a host of documentary films related to important themes such as social and climate justice. 13 films will be shown altogether, many of which will be accompanied by keynotes speakers.
See KDocs website for details.
Feb 21 Star Wars Trivia
While cooperation is good for democracy, so is healthy disagreement. The KSA at their best will have both. (Tommy Nguyen)
Tristan Johnston |Coordinating Editor Like all good democracies, the Kwantlen Student Association needs to have dissent in order to stay healthy. No matter what the intentions of Council or the exec team are, be they bad or good, the body works best when there’s healthy disagreement. I worry the next KSA Council might be missing this key component. Though we don’t know the election results as of print time, it’s a fair assumption that many members of the new Council will be previously experienced. This is good, in the sense that most of Council has an understanding of what the limits of the KSA are, and what they’re capable of as voting members. However, this also means that since their capacity to work within the system are higher, so are our ex-
pectations of their abilities. If everyone knows how the system works, and what the KSA is capable of, it means that the councilors should not only be more realistic, but also more effective in bringing their ideas into reality. I worry that some of the new councilors will be taken aback by the nature of their new roles, and instead of speaking up when there’s a problem, might go along with the wills of the more experienced members, who have their own agendas. And with fewer seats being filled on council, the power of the experienced councillors is actually increased. 11 of the 25 seats will remain vacant until, potentially, a by-election sees some of them filled part-way through the term. We need to remember that these new candidates represent entire constituencies. There are a few thousand students who attend KPU, and some of those democratic slices only have
one person representing them on council. I should be clear that this isn’t always the case. When I went to KSA Council last month as a PIPS board member to discuss our referendum, there was a wide range of tough questions, along with agreement and disagreement on whether or not they should support our referendum. There were even calls for official neutrality. This level of discourse was a good thing, as it meant our initiative’s potential to help KPU students was being weighed against the concerns of invested councillors. However, the KSA will view a non-KSA initiative like ours in a different way from their own, internal initiatives. That is to say, the feelings of fellow KSA councilors will not be hurt by having issues with our referendum. If a councillor in a position of influence proposes something, the concern is that other, less influential
councillors, will hesitate to oppose or even criticize the motion for fear of losing favour. Though he’s not on with the KSA anymore, one councilor I appreciated was Simon Massey. He wasn’t a contrarian by any means, he simply spoke his opinion at Council, and sometimes people disagreed with him. Much the same way that as long as the Liberals are in power, the press will be able to reliably get dissent from the NDP and Conservatives. The KSA at its best will be a bunch of people in a room taking the time to exhaust every little issue they could have with a resolution, and the more impactful, the longer they should argue. There should be counter-arguments, even from people who agree with a motion. The KSA at its worst will be a bunch of bodies in a room raising their hands when asked.
What planet does Yoda hide out on? What does “Vader” mean in German? Who shot first?! If you can answer any or all of these questions, try your hand at the Star Wars trivia night in the Grassroots Cafe. 5 - 7, Grassroots, free.
21 - 24
“We Are Love” Week
KPU’s Pause for a Cause Club wants to bring love and positivity to KPU. They will be holding a number of events from bake sales to card-making for children in the hospital.
See their Facebook event for more details.
Black History Month Symposium KPU and the KSA are jointly hosting a Black History Month symposium on the Surrey campus. The event will include a panel discussion, fashion show, performances, DJ’s and free food! 12 - 5, KPU Surrey Gymnasium, free.
KSA Breaks Record for Emergency Aid Funding
Fundraising results in $1800 surplus
Joseph Keller | Web Editor Last year’s fundraising efforts in 2016 by the Kwantlen Student Association for the Student Society Emergency Aid Fund and Student Educational Enhancement Fund have not only met their intended target, but surpassed it by nearly $2,000. The KSA runs fundraising events throughout the year to fill the $3,500 fund, and their efforts last year have now resulted in a $1,800 surplus. KSA VP Student Life Natasha Lopes says that the additional funds will be put towards the 2017 fundraising efforts. The Student Educational Enhancement Fund is set up for to give KPU students a resource for extracurricular learning. Students can apply for this fund if they are attending conferences, workshops, or any other learning experience that students complete on top of their schoolwork at KPU. The Student Society Emergency Aid Fund is a provincially mandated fund set up to assist students that run into financial hardship. This fund is not meant to go towards tuition or the cost of textbooks, but can instead cover a range of financial hardship from medical issues to transportation problems that would otherwise get in the way of a student’s ability to attend classes “This fund was created to eliminate barriers to education, especially to students who are having difficulties,” says Lopes. The raising of money for these student assistance funds happens throughout the year and takes many different forms. In years past, fundraising has been done through Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day events. Lopes says that for this year she looked to KPU clubs for help with fundraising efforts. One club that answered Lopes’ call was the Kwantlen Gaming Guild, who donated some of their event proceeds to the fund. The KSA also hosted events such as movie marathons, which Lopes says brought in between $100 to $200 per event. The key to the successful fundraising push, according to Lopes, was starting early in the year and maintaining a constant stream of frequent fundraising events. “The fund is there for you when things are going going bad, when things are going rough.” says Lopes.
KPU, KSA Submit Copies of Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policies KSA policy officially approved by Council, KPU’s policy still in draft form Alyssa Laube | Associate Editor British Columbia’s sexual violence and misconduct policy, Bill 23, was passed during May of 2016, requiring all provincial post-secondary institutions to create a policy to address and prevent sexual violence and misconduct on-campus. In response, KPU has posted the first draft of its own policy online for members of the university’s community to review and comment on. The document was published at blogs.kpu.ca on Jan. 31 and will be online and open to comments until Mar. 14. Less than a week earlier, the Kwantlen Student Association approved its own, unrelated sexual violence and misconduct policy at a meeting of Council, and plans to meet with university representatives in the near future to further discuss its published draft. KPU’s Policy KPU is not the first institution to meet the requirements of Bill 23. Nearly all major universities across B.C. are well into the consultation process of policymaking. For instance, SFU’s policy has been available to the public online since January, and UBC has already published their second draft. KPU’s policy was put together by the President’s Advisory Committee on Sexual Violence and Misconduct, which studied other policies around the country, gathered community feedback, and used a provincial document called Preventing and Responding to Sexual Misconduct at British Columbia Post-Secondary Institutions: A Guide for Developing Policies and Actions as a framework for its composition. During that process, KPU staff also met with members of the Kwantlen Student Association to gain constructive criticism and alternative perspectives. There are six sections of the policy draft: context and purpose, scope and limits, statement of policy principles, definitions, related policies and legislation, and related procedures. The first section outlines demands made by Bill 23, followed by a statement that the KPU policy “supports our commitment to establishing a safe and respectful learning and working environment for all members of the University community, in accordance with the Act.” The scope and limits section of the document explains that the policy applies to students, employees, contractors, administrators, and board members, and confirms that KPU will teach all university members how to report or respond to cases of sexual violence and misconduct.
A list of sexual assault education resources and questions for a focus group at the sexual assault policy consultation on Nov. 1, 2016. (Alyssa Laube)
The policy principles section is the most influential part the document. There are seven terms within that section, with each outlining KPU’s newly defined responsibilities. First, the document states that the institution “has a duty to create a safe and supportive learning and working environment for all members of the University community,” meaning that sexual violence and misconduct will not be tolerated on campus, and that those who experience it will be welcome to come forward and report the incident in an inclusive environment. Those who identify as victims or survivors of sexual violence and misconduct will be supported by the university, and the policy recognizes that all parties involved have the right to privacy. KPU also vows to respond as quickly as possible to reports, “invest in ongoing sexual violence education, awareness and prevention programming (e.g. consent, bystander intervention, and/or societal issues),” and review the policy at least once every three years—or when the Minister of Advanced Education requests it— with consultation from students. Only one definition is written in the draft itself. According to the document, which refers to Bill 23, “Sexual Violence and Misconduct are broad terms that describe nonconsensual violence, either physical or psychological, carried out through sexual means or by targeting sexuality. Sexual Violence and Misconduct can take different forms including, but not limited to: sexual assault; sexual exploitation; sexual harassment; stalking; indecent exposure; voyeurism; the attempt to commit an act of sexual misconduct; and the threat to commit an act of sexual misconduct.” The list of related policies, legislation, and procedures can be found on the document, posted to KPU’s policy blog.
VP Student Life and Women’s Representative Natasha Lopes finally saw a student-centric policy regarding sexual assault and misconduct approved by Council on Jan. 27. Lopes took the initiative of pushing for the policy after she was elected to the KSA Executive Committee last year. She used skills gained from being women’s representative, president of KPU feminist club Women Organizing Opportunities for Women, and vice-president student life to create it, while also consulting with other student unions, policy-makers, and support groups that have worked on similar projects. “It wasn’t just academic research. It was going out and seeing what the world looks like,” says Lopes. “It was seeing what the community needed from a policy like this, and I think it will hold the student association to continue to do work on this topic.” The policy is designed to create a safe and inclusive environment on-campus, put support structures in place to prevent and address sexual violence, and educate members of the university community on consent culture, self-defence, and similar topics. It resolves that the KSA must run a yearly consent campaign on campus, vow to be there for any students who seek out help, and stay up-todate with the policy and preventative measures at KPU. “I did this so that the next generation of students didn’t have to face what I face, or if they face sexualized violence or sexual assault, that they
could rely on the student union for some type of support,” says Lopes, who is an open survivor of sexual violence. “This has been therapy for me. Also, for me, it was a lot of re-traumatization and remembering what had happened in the past. Now I can go free. It’s a very, very, very happy moment.” An important aspect of the policy is that it is educational. How to define sexual violence and misconduct is sometimes unclear or subjective, and by providing all of the relevant definitions in the policy, Lopes hopes to address that “it comes in so many different forms, and it happens to so many different people.” “A lot of people don’t realize that sexual violence and misconduct is more than just rape. It’s more than just harassment. It’s manipulation and sexual exploitation, human trafficking. It’s so many things, and I think it’s something students should pay attention to, to see what the KSA is going to do,” says Lopes. Unlike the draft released by the University, the KSA’s policy only refers to students. Domestic and international students are included in its terms and resolutions, whereas KPU’s covers all members of the community, from students to staff and board members. “School should be your home. School should be a place where you feel safe, not scared,” says Lopes. “That’s what I think students should take away from this.”
The KSA’s Policy After months of research, KSA
Natasha Lopes in a phone call, after a WOOW meeting at Grassroots Cafe. (Alyssa Laube)
KSA Legal Fees Increased for CFS Lawsuit
“Regular preparations” lead to $250,000 allocated for legal spending
Alyssa Laube | Associate Editor Three years into a legal battle with the Canadian Federation of Students in B.C., the Kwantlen Student Association has increased their legal fees to $250,000. The dispute between the two organizations began years ago, after KPU students signed a petition requesting that the CFS conduct a membership referendum on-campus. The referendum would then allow KPU students to vote on whether or not they want to remain members of the Federation, meaning that they could opt out of paying fees to the Federation, and delegates from the KSA would no longer have to attend their conferences. When the CFS refused to provide that referendum to students, the KSA took legal action. “Because the registrar at KPU said that enough signatures were reached, we took the position that our students should have gotten a referendum,” says KSA President Alex McGowan. “So on behalf of the 1300 students who signed that petition, the KSA is seeking to support those students and get that referendum—to
Supporters of the Canadian Federation of Students march in support of student solidarity. The Kwantlen Student Association has tried several times to leave the Federation, but has not yet had legal authority to do so. (The Runner file photo).
get the courts to order that. The money that we’re spending on this could very well be offset by no more CFS fees if that comes to pass.” The case remains open, and has recently seen a spike in activity with the Association’s fee increase. In the KSA’s 2016 budget, $100,000 was allotted for legal expenses, but by the end of the year that figure had ballooned to $256,739, based on their unaudited financial statements. This year, at a Jan. 27 meeting, KSA Council passed a motion to increase
the legal budget to $250,000 to cover upcoming expenses. McGowan says this money is going towards “regular preparations.” “Our lawyers had to do a lot of unexpected preparation, and that ended up getting dumped on the fiscal year, so it wasn’t included in the budget,” says McGowan. “It was regular preparations that had to be done earlier than expected, because the pace at which these things move isn’t always easy to plan around.” Despite the increase in legal
spending, McGowan is hopeful that the money the KSA is spending now may be offset by the fact that they may no longer have to pay CFS fees if their plans come to fruition. The KSA’s legal fees cover their retainer for lawyers at firms Borins & Co. and Harper-Grey, as well as “any lawsuits and legal matters that [they] might be engaged in from time to time,” according to McGowan. This isn’t the first time that the KSA and CFS have gone head-tohead in court. In 2015, the Associa-
tion lost a case against the Federation, when the former sued the latter for changing a bylaw to state that only student associations—rather than students themselves—are members of the CFS. The KSA argued that the bylaw amendment was grounds for membership termination, and that, as the only members of the CFS, the KSA could vote to leave without a referendum the student body. They lost that case within the year. Five years earlier, the KSA won a case against the CFS in B.C.’s Supreme Court. When the CFS-BC Executive Committee refused to recognize the then-director of the CFS-BC, Ex-KSA Director of External Affairs Derek Robertson, for speaking out against the Federation, British Columbian students paying fees to the CFS without a representative. In response, the KSA took them to court to get Robertson recognized as a director and won. As for the case currently ongoing, McGowan has no predictions for the outcome. “It’s uncertain to say that there will be any development in the near future, but there could be,” he says. “There’s a lot of different ways that it could go.”
KSA Constituency Reps Frequently Left Vacant on Council International, aboriginal, queer, and students of colour rep. positions will all be left unfilled next term Braden Klassen| Contributor In the past several years, the Kwantlen Student Association’s constituency representative positions—meant to represent groups which traditionally face systematic barriers in accessing post-secondary education— have been left vacant with a higher frequency than the faculty or campus rep. positions. Now, with no candidates having run in the recent KSA election for International Students, Aboriginal Students, Queer Students, or Students of Colour Representative, all four of those positions will remain empty for the coming year-long term. “In past years, those positions were often quite competitive positions,” says KSA President and VP External Alex McGowan, who also serves on Council as an Arts Rep. “I know some students see the faculty positions as being potentially easier competition, so they’ll go for those instead.” McGowan believes the lack of candidates for the four vacant constituency representative positions is due in part to potential councilors “shying away” from the duties of those positions. “Those positions have more clearly defined portfolios, and so there’s some work involved in be-
Justin Bige (left), Kayla England (middle), and Ryot “R” Jey (right), have all faced challenges in their work as constituency representatives. (File photos)
ing a facilitator of those on-campus groups,” he says. “That itself can be quite intimidating.” “I’d say that it’s different every year with every different council,” says Justin Bige, who served as the KSA Aboriginal Students Representative over two consecutive terms, from 2014 to 2016. He believes that the variations in KSA culture from year-to-year have had an effect on how much of a say constituent reps have during council meetings. “There’s a thing you can do— ‘call a question’—and if it works, it cuts the discussion and everybody has to vote. It was used a lot in my first term from 2014 to 2015,” says Bige. “But in my second term I found
that it was a little less like that, and there was a lot more encouragement of discussion, and the culture that year was more like, ‘We should talk about this until we can’t talk about it anymore.’” Bige decided not to return for a third term. “The amount of time that I took to organise and be a part of council kind of took away my ability to put all of my focus into my classes,” he says. “I was needing a break from serving in a leadership position, and at times it was just really difficult for my mental health. To be honest, the boardroom meeting kind of culture isn’t exactly the most positive thing if you’re dealing with any mental health issues, so
I think that’s what influenced my decision in wanting to be able to make that breathing room.” Ryot “R” Jey took the Queer Students Representative position in 2016, but resigned from it about halfway through his term. “It was really intimidating, and stress-inducing, and anxiety-inducing for me to have to be in front of all of these people who know a lot more about how the process works than I do,” says Jey. “You don’t want to screw up, you know?” Jey left the position in November of 2016, citing mental health concerns as the cause. “When I sent in my resignation to Jeremy [McElroy, KSA General
Manager] and the [KSA Executive Committee], Jeremy responded in saying that there are resources and options available,” says Jey. “There is counselling and peer support groups on campus. You know, the door is always open for me to come back kind of thing.” Kayla England was the Queer Students Representative in 2015, but she also stepped down partway through her term. She ran for Mature students representative in the 2016 by-election and is running again for the 2017 term. “With faculty reps, there’s four of you, and there’s more people to share the workload,” says England. “Whereas constituency reps, there’s one of you and you’re representing an entire portion of the KPU population—not just at one campus, but at all four. ” Due to the low number of council members that will make up the KSA Council following this year’s election, a by-election will likely be held during the fall 2017 semester, where each of the four constituency positions now left vacant will have a chance to be filled. Until then, students identifying as either international, aboriginal, LGBTQ+, or a student of colour can submit their concerns and inquiries to the student association at firstname.lastname@example.org.
KSA to Propose Three-Year Plan, Continuation of Honorariums, and New Internal Committee At Upcoming Annual General Meeting Proposals will be discussed at Council meeting on Feb 17 before AGM at the end of March Alyssa Laube | Associate Editor The Kwantlen Student Association is striving to make several changes to their bylaws during their 2017 annual general meeting, tentatively scheduled for March 30. In order to alter the bylaws, at least 200 students must be present at the meeting. KSA bylaws have not been changed since 2011, largely due to the inability to gather enough people at the meeting in order to reach quorum. Because of how long it has been since the last development, there is a long list of both major and minor amendments that councillors would like to see passed. Three important alterations have already been suggested, although none have currently been approved by Council. A Three-Year Strategic Plan One of the propositions being made is drafting a three-year strategic plan for the Kwantlen Student Association. In order to organize the KSA more efficiently in the future, members of council are hoping to create a strategic plan starting in 2017 and ending in 2020. This contrasts to the expiring plan, which lasted for five years and was largely ignored, according to KSA President and VP External Alex McGowan. “A strategic plan should be very central to all key decisions that are being made. It should be a guiding document for future councils, staff people, and executives, but it hasn’t been the case with that [five year] strategic plan,” says McGowan. “Our goal last year was to create a threeyear plan that would essentially be the KSA’s first strategic plan, because we’d do it with extensive consultation with staff, students, and councillors to develop something that our organization believes in, and something that informs new councillors every year and helps them set our priorities and helps us measure our success.” McGowan attributes the lack of importance placed on the previous strategic plan to the fact that there was not unanimous buy-in to the document. Because consultation was not done properly, members of the student association did not feel that it was relevant to their work, and functioned independently of it. The three-year plan would include a mission, a vision, and values, as well as a set of goal areas “where [they] want to see improvement or continue development on” until 2020. It will be used as a framework for councillors and committees to create their own one-year plans as well. “I’m very excited to have a document that very clearly articulates where we expect the KSA to be, what sort of goals we have, what we think the current strengths are, and how we can improve it. Students can see that
A meeting of the KSA Executive Committee on Feb. 2, 2017. (Tommy Nguyen)
and hold us to that,” says McGowan. “Having a plan like this is really important to empower councillors and students who get involved with the KSA to see what the big picture is and to have input on it.” Honorariums for Directors Another item on the agenda is being able to pay councillors and committee members in accordance with Bill 24, also known as the Societies Act, as compared to the previously active Society Act. Technically, the Societies Act does not allow for directors—including councillors and committee members—to be compensated by means of honorarium for attending meetings unless explicitly permitted in a society’s bylaws. The honorarium the KSA provides is small, at $50 per meeting for each member that attends, but often compensates for time that could otherwise be spent at work or school. Without being able to change their bylaws at the AGM, KSA councillors will feel the conflict of having to dedicate an entire day to student politics without pay. Executives, as “officers” of the KSA, will still be able to receive pay for their services. “The result [of not changing the bylaw] would be, in 2018, we would have to stop paying councillors,” says McGowan. “The current rationale for paying an honorarium to councillors is that it makes council accessible. We want to make sure that council is not just a place for people who have the money to be able to forgo work, so we want to provide some level of compensation for people’s time.” The Internal Committee The final motion being made by Council is to abolish both the Governance and Appointments Committees and merge them into one collective. This new group would tentatively be called the Internal Committee, and would cover all of the responsibilities
of those that came before it. McGowan describes the governance committee’s role as “reviewing, updating, and suggesting improvements for bylaws and regulations.” As it stands, there are seven council members, a chairperson that acts as the speaker of council, and one student at large on the Governance Committee. The new committee would have a similar size and constitution, with the addition of one executive. According to McGowan, that executive would either be the president of the KSA or “someone else chosen by the executive committee.” The Governance Committee makes decisions by majority vote, so a single member would not have the ability to approve or veto a change. Although some council members have demonstrated concern about the addition of an executive on a committee that handles governance and appointments, McGowan says that the primary cause for its creation is to make each of the existing committees more efficient. The KSA executive team has noticed that both the Appointments and Governance Committees have “bursts” of work, rather than a steady flow, and figured that by combining them, the Association would be more productive.
“Then we found that there are other things that can be done that we don’t have any committee responsibility for that should be the responsibility of the group,” says McGowan. “Things like our strategic plan, which is the responsibility of the Executive Committee.” Professional development, orientation, training, and activity planning could also be a duty of the new Internal Committee. “This is a bit of an innovative solution to create one committee that’s responsible for all these tasks, and it would fit within the time frame, because the appointments committee and governance committee are usually busy at different times of the year anyways,” says McGowan. “They both look at the internal workings and operation of council and the KSA.” He adds that it’s common for universities to have internal committees such as the one being proposed, and that executives often attend Governance and Appointments Committee meetings for support anyway. Simon Massey, former councillor and Arts Representative for the KSA, is opposed to the creation of the internal committee. While he acknowledges that the governance committee is not an oversight com-
mittee in itself, he feels that, “in the past, Governance has been the only committee ever used to hold [the executive team] accountable, and that becomes a bit of a problem if you have the President, who’s the chair of the executive committee, setting the agenda for what is now governance in the Internal Committee.” “It’s going to be that much harder for councillors to bring up their concerns,” says Massey. He is also doubtful that the makeup of the proposed Internal Committee would be conducive to transparency and diversity due to its small size, heavy workload, and lack of students at large. “It’s a very small group of people who are choosing which student members get to participate in Council through committees and also directing outreach,” says Massey. “I feel, with more committees and student members on those committees, you bring a more diverse group of people into the KSA as opposed to a very narrow, focused one.” Massey is further opposed to the Internal Committee because it wouldn’t be chaired by the Speaker of Council, as governance is now. He feels that having the Speaker as chair is “a fantastic thing because Council has the ability to hire a Speaker who’s very knowledgeable about policy and the Society Act.” He also appreciates the Speaker’s impartiality. McGowan notes that the Internal Committee is still in the development stage. “Council still has not deliberated on it, and I know a lot of discussions have not been had,” he says. “Right now it’s just a proposal, so I don’t want to say either way that it’s good or bad, but it would definitely be a change.” If all of the above regulation and bylaw changes are made, students will be looking at a reformed Kwantlen Student Association come spring. However, failure to retain a crowd of 200 at the annual general meeting will render the bylaws static until possibly a special general meeting is held in September.
KSA Hopefuls Address Student Concerns at All-Candidates Forum Candidates made their case before students went to the polls Alyssa Laube | Associate Editor In advance of the Kwantlen Student Association general election, The Runner held an all-candidates forum on Thursday, Feb 2. to give candidates an opportunity to show their students why they are the right people to represent them at council. The three-hour forum was moderated by The Runner’s Coordinating Editor Tristan Johnston and Managing Editor Conor Doyle. The forum, which took place in the conference centre on the KPU Surrey campus, played out somewhat like a political debate. Moderators asked questions to all participating candidates from a given category— campus representatives, faculty representatives, and student representatives—with each candidate given a chance to respond. Candidates Tanvir Singh, Katherine Sounder, Kimberly McMartin, Rawan Ali, Jay Reedy John Shkurtaj, Natasha Farris, Murdoch De Mooy, David Piraquive, Zahid Dossa, and Kayla England participated in the forum. Aside from the candidates and The Runner organisers, the forum was attended by a handful of students interested in finding out more about
The Runner staff checking on filming equipment during intermission. (Tommy Nguyen)
their potential representatives, as well as several current KSA councillors who aren’t running for re-election. The full list of candidates along with interviews with each candidate can be found in The Runner’s previous issue or on the The Runner website. After a brief opening statement by Johnston, the candidates for Campus Representatives—Tanvir Singh for Surrey Rep and Katherine Souder for Cloverdale Rep, both of whom are running unopposed in for the prospective position. Both candidates were asked what their respective campuses need from their representatives. Singh responded by placing importance on the KSA’s ongoing efforts to include club space, while Souder rec-
ognized that the Cloverdale campus has lacked representation in the past and said that she would be the voice that students at the campus currently lack. Next up were the constituency candidates. These are the candidates who, if elected, will represent students in various demographic groups such as students with disabilities and mature students. Questions to these candidate generally centred on the unique needs of their potential constituents, and how candidates plan to address these issues. Lastly, the faculty candidates their made their cases. These are candidates who will represent students in the various faculties—business, arts, and science and horticulture. All
business candidates mentioned that engagement through business-specific clubs is key for their constituents. Arts representative candidates put a focus on the ongoing issue of a lack of arts courses availability, with David Piraquive floating the idea of lobbying the university for a “pre-waiting list” that would allow students unable to get into key courses one semester to gain priority access the following semester. A recurring theme among all faculty rep candidates was a recognised need for candidates to be consistently available to hear from the students they represent. The KSA general election took place on Feb. 7 and 8, with an additional voting day added on Feb 10 due to an early poll closer because of weather conditions on Feb 8. The KSA sees millions of dollars in funds coming from fees paid by KPU students and is responsible for many of the services offered to students, meaning that the results of this election will have a considerable impact on the student experience at KPU. “Every single one of these people that are running are great. I’ve seen the work they’ve been doing and I love the energy,” said arts representative candidate Murdoch De Mooy at the debate. “Vote for me or vote for them. Just vote.”
Vigil Held to Honour Victims of Quebec City Mosque Attack
Speakers include KPU students, faculty, and members of the Muslim community Joseph Keller | Web Editor Three days after the tragedy that occurred in Quebec on Jan. 29, the KPU community came together to memorialize the victims while rejecting the hateful rhetoric that lead to the act of violence. Students, staff, and other community members packed into the conference centre on KPU’s Surrey campus for the solemn, hour-long vigil. Several students and faculty members had a chance to speak before a moment of silence was observed, candles were lit, and flowers were laid at the podium in honor of the victims. The vigil was planned by the University along with the Kwantlen Student Association in response to the events that took place in the Quebec City suburb of Sainte-Foy. Just before 8pm that Sunday night, a lone gunman walked into the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City as evening prayers were taking place and opened fire, killing six men and injuring seventeen others. The shooter was known to have held white nationalist sympathies and extremist right-wing views and is now in police custody awaiting trial. “I think the students needed such an event to make them feel safe and
Kwantlen Polytechnic University and the Kwantlen Student Association jointly held a vigil to honour the victims of the Quebec City shooting on Feb. 1, 2017. (Joseph Keller)
included, especially students from the Muslim community,” says KSA VP Finance and Operations Rawan Ramini, who spoke at the vigil on behalf of the KSA. “They needed something like that to show them that the university cares about them and that the KSA cares about and supports them.” The vigil was lead by KPU President and Vice-Chancellor Alan Davis, who opened the proceedings with a few words and introduced each of the speakers. Speakers included psychology
professor Farhad Dastur and members of the KPU Muslim Students Association. Kevin Kelly of the Kwantlen First Nation and his son Michael Kelly Gabriel also said some words before performing two First Nations songs. Kevin Kelly spoke of the importance of Muslim Canadians being able to celebrate their cultural and religious traditions openly and freely just as Kelly himself is able to do as a member of the Kwantlen First Nation. As a Canadian Muslim and a representative of KPU students, Ramini
took the opportunity to speak about her story of coming to Canada. She spoke of going to to the immigration office and being told “welcome home” as she was handed her Canadian passport. “I decided to share that today with everyone because this is the Canada that I know and this is the Canada that my family and I chose to come to,” says Ramini. “The people are what makes a country and we came here not for the country itself but for people who celebrate and embrace differences.”
What’s KPU Reading? This Year It’s The Parcel Reading series turns to Anosh Irani’s story of transgender sex work Calvin Borghardt| Contributor For its second year, KPU Reads has brought the community at Kwantlen Polytechnic University together to read an engrossing novel. While last year’s readers were united by Aislinn Hunter’s The World Before Us, which was set in London, this year they travel across the world to Bombay for Anosh Irani’s darkly reflective novel, The Parcel. The Parcel is the story of Madhu, a eunuch who identifies herself as a hijra—a transgender person who was assigned male at birth, but is now recognized as a third gender. Madhu has spent most of her life in a close-knit clan of transgender sex workers in Kamathipura, the notorious red-light district of Bombay. The first KPU Reads event of the new year saw Irani read from the prologue of his novel in the Surrey campus library on Jan. 30. Afterwards, Aislinn Hunter joined Irani for a discussion of his work. “Most people know [the hijra] in a very superficial way. No one really bothers to explore that world and I didn’t do it consciously. I just became more and more fascinated,” Irani said, during their discussion. “If you want to see what the mainstream has suppressed, you have to look into the shadows and eventually that is a reflection of us. That’s how I started looking at Madhu.” Irani explained that he begins writing characters by looking for both their strength and their “wounds”. “Human beings operate from wounds. We are rather reactive beings,” he said. “We think we operate out of awareness and consciousness, but somewhere there’s a deep wound. For me in fiction, it’s about finding… the most acute pain, and in the novel that pain [becomes] more and more acute until finally there is some redemption or not.” In addition to The Parcel, Irani has written and published three other critically acclaimed novels including The Cripple and His Talismans, The Song of Kahunsha, and Dahanu Road. His work has been translated into eleven languages. For those interested in following Madhu on her journey, KPU Reads will return for a second reading of The Parcel on March 28.
Collaboration Between KPU and Tech Consortium to Encourage Sustainable Research The partnership will provide benefits for local businesses and KPU students
Alyssa Laube | Associate Editor Small businesses in the Fraser Valley and those in KPU’s Institute for Sustainable Horticulture can look forward to future collaboration between the institute and the sumas Regional consortium for high SRTec Tech. The Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech is designed to create more jobs and innovation in the field of technology. It is constituted by local politicians, industry partners, and educational institutions such as KPU, and helps those looking to start a business in technology to accomplish their goals. KPU’s Institute for Sustainable Horticulture is an academic body focused on environmentally friendly horticulture, silviculture forestry, and urban landscapes. Its Bio-Controls Research Group, which functions on the Langley campus, studies microbial insect pathogens made to get rid of crop pests without the harmful effects of many pesticides. The two parties have agreed, through a letter of intent, to work together on future projects. They became aware of each other’s presence after SRTec came to KPU while look-
Amy Huang and Andre Felicio removing the cover (Remay) from a raised bed containing Kale plants. The plants were treated with a native insect called the baculovirus which is non-toxic to everything except this species. (Submitted)
ing for a place to conduct research about growth trials for an agricultural amendment product. Through that meeting, they discovered that the two organizations were in contact with many of the same people, and decided to build their network together. “We thought, ‘Maybe we should make it more efficient and get together to talk about it once in a while,’ to discuss the kind of things we’ve been doing and who’s coming in, and do that with good confidentiality. That’s
how the LOI came about,” says Dr. Deborah Henderson, director of the Institute. “Basically, it says that [KPU and SRTec] are going to meet twice a year and try to help these companies with all of the resources that are available. And there are different resources available to us than there are to the business incubator.” In practice, this connection between SRTec and KPU will give local businesses interested in agriculture a place to conduct their research and
horticulture students an opportunity to become a technological entrepreneur, if they so desire. “SRTec really supports the business side of small businesses and we support the research and development side when it has to do with agriculture or sustainable language,” says Henderson. “If students want to start a small business, they would be welcome to join them and take advantage of those opportunities, and students will always be in the projects that we
conduct.” There is already a project underway as a result of the LOI. Henderson is preparing to send a research proposal to NSERC for the development of a company’s agricultural venture. That company was introduced to KPU by SRTec. “[The company] is blending biochar with compost, and we’re looking at how to optimize the use of that biochar because it has benefits for plants and the environment and the compost,” says Henderson. If approved, the research will begin in six weeks and go on for six months, all within the Institute’s greenhouse. There, an entire class of KPU horticulture students will help with and observe the project. Three jobs will be created through the research as well—two part-time positions for students, and one full-time position for a recent graduate from the university’s horticulture program. “I think that what we’ve got going at Kwantlen is pretty special,” says Henderson. “What [an SRTec representative] told me the first time I met him was, ‘Of all the small places a company can go for help doing research and development in the Fraser Valley, ours is about the best,’ which is pretty nice praise.”
KPU’s Environmental Protection Technology Program Receives Official Accreditation Accreditation means greater access to employment opportunities for students
Braden Klassen| Contributor Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Environmental Protection Technology (EPT) program was granted an official accreditation from the Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC) on Jan. 12. The TAC is a national not-forprofit body that consults with, audits, and oversees the accreditation of engineering technology and applied science programs across Canada. Students who graduate from an accredited program are given access to important industry organizations like the Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of BC Foundation, which provides graduates with greater employment opportunities. “It’s very important because it’s a form of quality control,” says Paul Richard, who chairs the EPT at KPU, and was involved with the submission for accreditation from the TAC. “[The TAC is] somebody who’s totally independent, who takes a look at what we do and what we claim to deliver in terms of outcomes and says ‘yea’ or ‘nay’.” “It forces the program to remain
current, to deliver the practical stuff that’s expected in the workplace, as seen by the accreditation body,” he says. In order to be granted the accreditation, a program must be judged by its ability to meet a number of criteria set by the TAC in a given discipline category which, in the EPT’s case, is Environmental Engineering. For example, the program being audited must demonstrate that it can meet its prescribed learning outcomes, that students can successfully identify lab errors, and that they can plan and carry out an independent research project. To display this, a variety of student work was submitted anonymously to the TAC exhibiting a range of performance, from exemplary to just barely passing. “One thing that surprised me,” says Richard, “was the degree to which the accreditors were able to look at the program from the outside and make some positive criticism. They could see opportunities that we may have missed because we are too close to the day-to-day delivery.” The TAC auditors suggested that the EPT should create a clear and comprehensive grading rubric that students would have access to, and
Chairman Paul Richard (middle) and Dean Betty Worobec (right) receive accreditation for KPU’s Environmental Protection Technology Program. (KPU/Flickr)
this has since been implemented into the program. The TAC also inspected the labs and school facilities, as well as other things that reflect on the quality of KPU overall, such as the computer labs and the libraries. “Not having accreditation means that it’s easier for a program to become a bit stale and to be less relevant,” says Richard. “The flipside of that, obviously, is that with accreditation, we’re given the confidence that we’re in the right place, we’re going
in the right direction.” The TAC accreditation lasts for five years, and stands for that duration unless any major changes are made to the program. The TAC’s audit also happened to take place over the same period of time as the EPT’s own five-year internal review. “There’s an interesting amount of juggling in between the two,” says Richard. “Some of the things that I found in the program review that were missing the boat a bit was
because I was looking at the boxes from the accreditors that I couldn’t tick off.” Besides the minor TAC suggestions that have already been implemented, the EPT is not going to undergo any big changes any time soon. “It’s not like the accreditation dictates what we do,” says Richard, “we’ll still keep the core of what we’ve always wanted to do, but it’s a nice form of signage towards improvement.”
Anti-Fascist Rally Responds to Nazi Propaganda
Demonstration held after discovery of posters displaying swastikas and racist phrases Braden Klassen| Contributor An anti-fascism rally was held in front of the New Westminster Skytrain station on Sunday, Jan. 29. The rally was staged in response to two pro-Nazi flyers that were found posted at bus stops near the station, as well as the circulation of Ku Klux Klan flyers in Abbotsford and Chilliwack and racist posters found on people’s doorsteps in Richmond. The rally was organized by The Coalition Against Bigotry, an organization created and directed by Imtiaz Popat, who led about 100 protesters in a peaceful march from New Westminster Station to Columbia Station after delivering an opening address condemning the recent increases in activity related to neo-Nazism. In a Georgia Straight article published on Jan. 29, Popat was quoted as saying, “We want to build a coalition against this kind of hate that is against women, against people of colour, against gays and lesbians, because this is what they are about.” The march was preceded by a police escort and lasted for about 30 minutes, during which protesters, some clad in face-masks in order to protect their identities, displayed
Coalition Against Bigotry Pacific leads the anti-fascist rally in New Westminster on January 29, 2017. (Braden Klassen)
homemade signs and chanted, “Heyhey, ho-ho, neo-Nazis got to go.” Ari Mansell and Jacob Gold were two protesters that marched together during the event. “We’re just making sure everyone is safe and is able to demonstrate safely. We’re speaking out against the
Nazism that’s been demonstrated in New Westminster and Vancouver and Surrey and Richmond,” says Mansell. “It’s not cool here in Canada, at all.” “This is my first rally in my entire life,” says Gold, “and I wanted to come and show support.” “I come from Jewish descent and
being against Nazism is something that I’m very passionate about,” he continues. “There are too [many] people on this planet who say they want to make a difference, but then don’t go out and do it, and at the last second when everything is going bad they say, ‘Why didn’t someone make
a difference?’ I’m one of those people who wants to make a difference in the moment.” Both Mansell and Gold wore facemasks and declined to have their photograph taken, saying they were concerned about being targeted by members of neo-Nazi affiliated groups, specifically mentioning the Aryan Brotherhood and the Soldiers of Odin. “Basically, we’ve been seeing lots of neo-Nazi propaganda pop up all around—posters, all that fun stuff,” says Art, another mask-wearing demonstrator who chose not to reveal his last name. “Today was really just about a group of people, minorities and all of that, standing up against them and saying that what they’re doing is wrong and that they won’t be able to suppress us.” During the march, Art displayed a banner representing the Vancouver Antifa, an organization that organises rallies intended to oppose fascism and bigotry. “These are people that I support fully,” he says. “As a young queer person who has been around skinheads a surprising amount of my life, I know that they are horrible people, and I will do anything to stand up against them.”
Consultations Continue on Surrey’s LRT Project Light rail transit’s benefits and drawbacks still being debated by residents Alyssa Laube | Associate Editor When the City of Surrey proposed a light rail transit system as its solution to the municipality’s inefficient transportation network seven years ago, it likely didn’t expect to receive such a passionate response. Citizens from the Fraser Valley to North Vancouver have come out of the woodwork to make their voices heard regarding what transiting in Surrey ought to look like, whether they are radically pro-Skytrain, pro-LRT, or planted firmly on the fence. The project was first proposed in 2010, with public consultation by TransLink and the city beginning in March. In 2015, TransLink provided funding for the design work, and the Mayor’s Council and TransLink’s Board of Directors approved the first phase of its 10-year vision for Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation—which gave the green light to pre-construction and consultation on the Surrey light rail—only a few months ago. Phase two would ensure initiation of light rail construction within the year. If it is built, Surrey’s light rail transit network will put electric trains on the street, in a lane that travels alongside cars, cyclists, and pedestrians. It will have two routes: one
that runs from Surrey through Newton and out to Guildford, and another which runs from Surrey to Langley covering 27 kilometres and 19 stops. The most common concerns about LRT are its speed and safety. Because it runs on the streets, passengers share the same grievances and risks as drivers, such as potential accidents and being stalled by traffic lights. Common praises of the system are its low construction cost and ability to directly connect town centres, particularly in remote areas that would be hard to reach by Skytrain. Because LRT did turn out to be a contentious issue, consultations and related events are still being organized. One such occasion was held on Jan. 26 at the Newton Cultural Centre in Surrey. Surprisingly, most of the folks there seemed to have a relatively neutral stance on light rail transit. Many went to the open house hoping to learn more about the issue. “I wanted to network with Newton residents, and have questions as well, and to hear their comments. I don’t want to hear explanations. I’ve seen explanations,” says Philip Aguirre, executive director of the Newton Business Improvement Association.“I am pro-rapid transit, one way or the other. Rapid transit builds communities and we need to connect the systems, and it’s going to be a
Two citizens discuss the merits of implementing light rail transit in Surrey at the light rail transit project open house, based in the Newton Cultural Centre, on Jan. 26. (Alyssa Laube)
massive wind for Newton because it’s a terminus station ... More density to the town centre means more congress in the town centre.” Surrey resident Ben Penner, who is also concerned about the capacity of the trains and efficiency of the existing Skytrain, is also open to both proposed transit systems. “In Vancouver, you see gridlock, right? Why? Because there’s not enough lanes of traffic. So if you put this transit in here and you don’t add a traffic lane, what’s going to happen?
You’re still going to have the same amount of traffic except worse, because it’ll be stopped for the trains,” says Penner. “It’s a good idea, but it’s just the way of presenting it. I just don’t understand what the net benefit is going to be.” “Years from now, Surrey will be bigger than Vancouver. It’s the fastest-growing metropolitan area outside of Greater Vancouver, so I really would like to see how Surrey is going to tackle its traffic problem,” says Patrick Cheng, East Vancouver resi-
dent. “To be fair, I think each system has pros and cons, and we can take the best of both—that is the best of the LRT system and the best of the Skytrain system—and incorporate it together. The Fraser Highway would be ideal for the Skytrain. From Whalley to Guilford and Whalley to Newton maybe should be LRT.” Consultations regarding lightrail transit will contunue until a decision is maybe by Translink and the Mayor’s Council.
Participate in Blac Written by Alyssa Laube Associate Editor
ck History Month art & Layout by Danielle George Production Manager
Vancouver once had a predominantly black community tucked into the southwestern corner of Strathcona. Colloquially referred to as Hogan’s Alley, the area was home to black families, businesses, and churches—as well as those constituted by other marginalized members of society, most of whom were immigrants—in the early years of the twentieth century. To the dismay of many who loved and lived in the community, it was almost entirely demolished in order to make room for the Georgia Viaduct in 1967. Now that viaduct, too, is being destroyed. There is just over a block left of Hogan’s Alley, where visitors will find proof of the culture that once boomed and bustled there, such as the vivid Jimi Hendrix Shrine. The Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project was created in 2002, and is “dedicated to keeping the black history of Vancouver alive and part of the present,” as written on its website. Several other groups and individuals have committed their time and effort to sustaining the memory of the community, and informative tours are held there routinely. Today, the black community in Vancouver continues to thrive, but is spread evenly over the city and Fraser Valley. Slam poet and activist Jillian Christmas is a highly active member of that community and regularly organizes events that celebrate black talent and creativity. Last year she was made the Vancouver Poetry House’s Slam Master for her talent at hosting slam events, and has won several awards for her performances. “For me, all of that work ties into Black History Month and into my work with exploring my own history and interrogating how it is that I and my family and ancestors came to be here,” says Christmas. “Folks who have been traditionally marginalized and oppressed have a way of celebrating, and they have a way of fortifying and coming together,” she continues. “It’s hard won …but there is beautiful art and beautiful music, and all of these expressions that essentially say to me, ‘You can’t erase me. I’m here whether you want me to be or not, and I’m going to be as beautiful as I want to
be.’” This year, Christmas is focusing her February schedule around “gathering and creating art” in her community at a time when “the world is feeling a little dangerous for a lot of people.” With the Trump presidency looming to the South and plenty of issues to tackle at home, she reinforces that “it’s important to create space where people can speak about their experiences and build art together, and do something that enriches our lives and puts back into those places where people are feeling depleted, tired, and at a loss for hope.” “The great impression about Vancouver in general across the country … is that there are no black people in Vancouver, and that there is no black community there, or black history, even,” says Christmas. “That is not true, and that’s a part of the whole erasure—the idea that they never existed at all. I think that the ramifications of that is that there is no home for black people in Vancouver.” There are a host of events planned for Black History Month across the Lower Mainland this year, and a number of them take place here at KPU. Together, Students of Colour Representative Zahid Dossa and VP Student Life Natasha Lopes chose to screen films from the National Film Board of Canada’s list entitled “The Black Community in Canada: A Rich History” in the Grassroots Cafe on Feb. 8 and 9. Though the Feb. 9 date had to be rescheduled due to weather conditions… “I’m really excited for it” Dossa told The Runner prior to the first day of the screenings. “I think that instead of showing one long movie from four to seven … this way, showing them throughout the day makes it more accessible to students.” On the subject of participating in Black History Month events, Dossa continues, “Looking at what’s going on now in the world, looking at the civil liberties and rights south of the border, people being marginalized and oppressed over there, why not now more than ever look back on what has happened so we can learn from the past? We can embrace everybody’s contributions to Canada as well.”
The Kwantlen Student Association is also organizing a symposium to commemorate Black History Month on Feb. 24, from 12:00pm to 4:00pm. It will begin with a TED-style talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who will speak about cultural identity and diversity, followed by a panel discussion on a wide array of topics. Some of the subjects to be discussed include human rights, police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement, the global sociological imagination and struggle for justice, and African women, innovation, culture, and technology. The speakers who will lead the discussion are experts and activists from the community, and will answer questions from the audience chosen by the moderator. After the panel discussion will come an African fashion show and dance performance. Traditional African music and free food will be available at the event, which is open to anyone. Off-campus, there are countless ways to take part in the Black History Month festivities. On Feb. 18, Black Lives Matter Vancouver will be hosting “Black Space 2.0: Art Night” which aims “to bring together the Black community for a night of art as a form of healing,” at 1523 East Pender. On the same day, the Surrey Museum on 56A Avenue will be filled with African Marimba band, as well as gospel, country, ragtime, jazz, and hip hop music. Surrey City Hall will host an event on Feb. 17 and 18, which will feature poetry, storytelling, and traditional African music, as a part of The African Heritage Festival of Music and Dance. Some specific genres that attendees can expect to find there are hip hop, salsa, reggae, samba, soca, afrobeat, dancehall, kizomba, merengue, zouk, and more. Then, on Feb. 23, a similar event will take place, with award-winning poet Neal Hall making an appearance alongside the Mayor of Surrey, Councillors, MLAs and MPs. There will be live African drumming and dancing and performances by the Story-Powering Our Youths Group at City Hall that evening as well. On Feb. 19, there will be a community event deemed “Afro Hair Savoir Faire”—which will include a film screening, slideshow, historical debrief-
ing, and care tutorials about black hair— in the heart of Granville Island. Aside from the event in Grassroots, there will be other screenings in the city as well. Vancity Theatre is running a series of films about black history and talent all throughout February until early March, as a part of the Vancouver International Film Festival. The Academy Award nominated documentary, I Am Not Your Negro, will be premiered there starting Feb 24, and invites viewers to watch Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers interact on screen. The Vancouver Public Library will be screening films and hosting panel discussions in tandem on Feb. 15 and 24. Finally, on the 26th, The National Congress of Black Women Foundation will hold the Black History Month Closing Gala Reception at PAL Theatre from 5:00pm to 9:00pm. Jazz and blues singer Dee Daniels, traditional African musician Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa, spoken word poet Kevan “Scruffmouth” Cameron, and others will perform before the evening draws to a close. It will be a night for dancing, singing, rejoicing, and remembering. Black History Month officially ends on the first day of March. Whether you’re a part of the black community or not, February is a month full of wonderful possibilities for learning, sharing, and immersing oneself in a vibrant culture. Look back on the memory of Hogan’s Alley. Read and watch accounts of the time between now and then, paying attention to both struggles and achievements of black Canadians throughout the ages. Feel proud of the community that is here today, and consider what you can do to bring it closer together. “You can always put your money where your mouth is,” says Christmas, about what people can do to help support Black History Month. “If people want to engage, a really nice way to do that is to make space for communities that require it. If that’s during Black History Month or any month of the year, making a donation to Black Lives Matter, making a donation to any grassroots organization that is providing a space for people of colour and other marginalized folks, will repair some of the damage that is done by oppression and colonization.”
KPIRG Teams with Organizing for People Power Community-based organization comes to KPU to ask, “You down with OPP?” Alyssa Laube | Associate Editor “It’s an organization that is aimed at uniting sections of our society that are very disempowered, to find their strength and unity together, and demand fundamental changes to this society, starting locally in Newton,” says Tom Warren, about Organizing for People Power. Warren is a member of OPP, the community group talking to citizens in The Fraser Valley about the injustices faced by the working class and marginulized groups in order to find solutions. Recently, OPP has been on the streets, engaging with commuters at bus loops, and knocking on apartment doors to learn about what local people would like to change in their area. By keeping their ears to the ground, OPP members have identified some of the Fraser Valley’s most common issues as workplace misconduct, police violence and criminalization, unsatisfactory transit, unaffordable housing, being a working parent, and bigotry. Some of these opinions were heard at OPP discussions, such as the one held at KPU on Jan. 7. As a collaboration between OPP and the Kwantlen Public Interest Research Group, the discussion on Jan. 7 brought students and community members around the Surrey campus
together to talk about grassroots organizing for reform and revolution, the Black Panther Party, learning from the Philippine Revolution, and Surrey-specific concerns. The connection between KPIRG and OPP developed through members’ personal connections and flourished because the two organizations share justice-based values. KPIRG Director of Campus Life Lincey Amora started going to their meetings
in the fall of 2016 and continues to. Meetings are not regular, so anyone who attends them must stay in touch with the rest of the membership for details. “The people are great—the OPP members, they’re very warm and inviting,” says Amora. “They’re just very knowledgeable on issues that I care about, but they know more about them. I was just keen to know more about what can be done in our com-
munity and how to raise awareness on different struggles in the community, like homelessness and housing justice and worker’s rights.” She says that an average OPP meeting would revolve around “collecting and exchanging ideas,” and brainstorming potential action. “We’re trying to figure out what are the most prominent issues so we can begin to organize community members around finding community
solutions to these problems,” says Victoria Chen, another member of OPP. “Alone, as individuals, we can’t meaningfully change the world in the way that we need it to. It’s only by working together and building off of each other that we can figure out what the best solution is to our collective problems in a collective way.” “It could be pooling of resources and helping one another directly. It could also involve pressure against politicians. It could involve picketing a bad work site,” says Warren. “It could involve a whole range of things tactically.” Both KPIRG and OPP are hoping to collaborate again in the future, but no events are currently scheduled for Organizing for People Power. Anyone interested in getting involved with OPP can send an email to email@example.com. “We are similar, but it’s nice because we do have differences,” says Amora, about KPIRG’s ties to OPP. “Like, KPIRG is KPU-based and we focus on the campus for our students. OPP is community-based and focuses more outward. They both focus on community of course, but they’re still different and we can bring different things when we work together.”
Business Students “Give the Gift of Light” Under company Shaseux, proceeds from care products fund charity in Africa Alyssa Laube | Associate Editor
As a sustainable, local, and charitable company, a group of KPU business students are proud to call Shaseux their brainchild. The project that began as a necessary part of a student group’s practicum has become something much larger, producing thousands of dollars of revenue, some of which went towards student scholarships, while the rest was donated to SolarAid, a company which brings solar lamps to families without electricity in Africa. Shaseux offers two products: bath bombs and soy candles. The bath bombs are moulded by hand and contain only baking soda, epsom salt, citric acid, cornstarch, coconut oil, and witch hazel. The candles, which are made of pure soybean oil, are biodegradable, kosher-certified, and cruelty-free. They contain no paraffin, beeswax, pesticides, herbicides, toxins, colourants, dyes, or genetically modified material. Each of the four fragrances crafted by the Shaseux team is designed to represent different areas of The Fraser Valley and Vancouver. The scent Aura is soothing and sweet, with notes of milk, oats, and honey. It’s what you might inhale inside
Shaseux’s bath bombs and soy candles are available for purchase on their website. (Courtesy of Shaseux)
a spa in Whistler. Lux is classy and extravagant—like a penthouse suite in Yaletown—and smells decadent, like blackberries and vanilla. Soleo is warm and rejuvenating, with notes of bonsai, citrus, and ginger, like lying on one of the North shore’s beaches. And Surge is the wild child, smelling sharply of butterfly orchids, to symbolize the bustling streets of the city centre. It was designed to be a more traditionally male fragrance. The team decided to sell these
products because they feel that making small, daily efforts towards mental and physical health is essential to the well-being of university students. “It’s so hard to turn off the productivity switch as a student, so spontaneous self-care came from that notion of reminding ourselves, as well as everybody who hears about Shaseux, that it’s okay to do that spontaneously,” says Shaseux Co-Founder Joseph Watson-MacKay. “You don’t have to wait until you have two weeks of va-
cation one time a year … that’s what we want to move away from.” When it came to agreeing on donating their proceeds and wages to charity—in addition to KPU student scholarships, as the course requires— SolarAid emerged as a fitting and ethical choice. Because of Shaseux’s tagline, ‘Give the gift of light,’ it made sense to donate to a charity that provides solar-powered lighting for African communities that struggle without electricity.
Shaseux started on Jan. 25 with a $200 budget. One week later they had sold out all 95 candles they made and raised $2000. Bath bombs have not been produced or offered yet, and the company has not launched its social media. They will be displaying and selling their products at markets around the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver over the upcoming weeks, and are over halfway to meeting their target revenue goal despite being only one eighth of the way through their practicum. “We have considered potentially continuing this business even after we finish,” says Watson-MacKay. “It’s been really satisfying to come to this point in our programs and business educations where everything that we’ve learned on paper, everything that we’ve done in theory, everything we’ve been tested on, we now have to apply to running a business.” “We’ve built this from the ground up. It’s sort of like our little baby. We’ve very passionate about everything,” adds Co-Founder Ada Tsang. She continues, “Currently, we only have plans to stick to these two products, but introduce certain bundles and sets, for things like Valentine’s Day.”
Solitary beehives will soon be buzzing on-campus Students look to save the bees both in and out of the classroom Calvin Borghardt| Contributor In response to predictions that bees may face extinction due to a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder, the KSA Special Committee of Environmental Sustainability is working to create beehives on KPU’s Surrey campus. Unlike most bees, however, the ones in these hives will prefer a little privacy. “We have lots of [bees] that burrow into the ground and lay their eggs [there], or burrow into wood and have little holes,” says Murdoch de Mooy, former chairperson of the Special Committee of Environmental Sustainability. “They take mud and make it into a little wall and they just fill up their hole; egg, wall, egg, wall, and that’s it.” Solitary bees don’t live together in colonies, or even need a queen. Instead, they burrow individually into hives that can be constructed out of wood by KPU students, or purchased from a woodworking store. De Mooy got the idea for a solitary beehive at KPU while attending the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s conference in Baltimore. “Bees are having horrible population problems,” says de Mooy. “It’s been one of those things that has con-
stantly been a threat. When I found out about solitary bees, they don’t pollinate any less than colonies. They just travel more. But no one ever thinks about them. There’s something we could do that’s very small scaled but we could make a big impact.” John Gibeau is the instructor of KPU’s commercial beekeeping program, and while the program focuses mainly on bee colonies, he shares de Mooy’s concern about the population problems bees are facing. “Over the past 10 years, there has been a shortage of bees each season to satisfy the demand for blueberry pollination in the Lower Mainland,” Gibeau said in an article from the KPU Newsroom back in June. “There is also a high demand for ‘locally’ produced honey all around North America. Consumers want local bee products but beekeepers can’t currently meet consumer demands. According to KPU Newsroom’s report, it was this shortage and the corresponding demand for bees that prompted KPU to launch B.C.’s first commercial beekeeping program back in 2016. Students learn the skills required to manage up to 300 bee colonies during the 11 months of this program. The program is conducted in three sessions that mirror the annual beekeeping cycle in British Columbia. Students study honeybee biology
and integrated pest management from January to May, and are privy to the trades skills involved in beekeeping: carpentry, forklift operation and welding. Over the summer, students participate in either a full-time paid internship with an established commercial beekeeper in Western Canada, or in a part-time work term with KPU and the Honeybee Centre. Students learn the skills needed to operate their own
business from September to December. KPU is not the only one trying to protect Canada’s bee population. According to their website, SumOfUs is “a community of people from around the world committed to curbing the growing power of corporations.” They’ve created a petition to gather signatures to “save the bees. For good.” Their goal is to send 100K mes-
sages to Health Canada and Health Minister Jane Philpott asking her to ban the bee-killing neonic pesticide imidacloprid, which is one of the most widely used bee-killing pesticides in the world. This is not unprompted as Health Canada announced that they will be taking public comments on the issue until Feb. 21, 2017.
KSA Hires New Policy and Affairs Coordinator Nicki Simpson will be the first to fill the position in six months
Alyssa Laube | Associate Editor After nearly six months with the position remaining vacant, the Kwantlen Student Association has hired a new policy and political affairs coordinator, Nicki Simpson. The last policy and political affairs coordinator left in August of 2016 after finding another job closer to home, and from August until January, nobody was hired to take his place. “That’s the role that works most closely with me, and so it was sort of a lot of me picking up the slack,” says KSA President Alex McGowan about working without a policy and political affairs coordinator at his side. “We’re very excited to have [Simpson] on board and to have another person working in this very important area, especially as we approach the provincial election.” Now, when a policy is proposed by a committee, it is Simpson’s job to act as a support, whether that means researching, editing, or writing the policy before it goes to the KSA council. The KSA chose to hire her because of her history with campaigning and government relations, as well as her understanding of what it’s like to be a student, and her identity as “someone who would fit in with
Simpson stands outside of the Grassroots Cafe on Feb. 1, 2017. (Alyssa Laube) the workplace culture that we have and someone who can learn and grow in the position.” “It seemed like the kind of thing that I do anyways,” says Simpson. “I like doing research and a lot of the research to support campaigns, and
lobbying and working on rights for students.” Aside from doing related assignments in school, Simpson has gained experience by working in Toronto for a professor on research and public engagement initiatives, interning at
Amnesty International, and contributing to a campaign for the University of Victoria’s Green Party club. Although she has only been hired for a few weeks, Simpson has already contributed to the KSA’s first sexual violence and misconduct pol-
icy, which was approved on Jan. 31. She is currently going over all of the KSA’s existing policies as well, including several on the website that are expired. “I’m trying to decide which of the policies we would like to revisit or maybe expand upon. There are some shorter ones that I think will be very useful, especially if I’m here to help put some more research into it and get really well-developed policies,” says Simpson. She cites turnover as the reason why several KSA policies have expired. Because the councillors that created them have since left student government—and there was no structure in-place to ensure that they were discussed before abandonment—they became irrelevant and unused. To prevent this from happening again, she is planning on designing a system for the KSA that will ensure that policies are not left to expire, but are either renewed or eliminated. Simpson will also be involved in the KSA’s provincial election campaign, which will aim to get students to vote in May. While that may involve doing research and entering data, Simpson will mostly act as an organizer and volunteer.
The Great White Terror
Xenophobia has caused Canadians to turn a blind eye to domestic hate groups Braden Klassen| Contributor
In 2015, The Toronto Star obtained declassified CSIS files indicating that white-supremacist ideologies were linked to more “lone-wolf” acts of terrorism than any other hate group or terrorist organization in Canada. Yet the public’s awareness of these groups was obscured by sensationalized narratives of Al Qaeda or ISIS-driven radicalization, and it wasn’t until the appalling murders of six innocent people in a mosque in Quebec that many Canadians were reminded that a person’s capacity for hateful violence has nothing to do with their background or religious identity. The disease of xenophobia turned Canadians’ attention away from the dangers of domestic white supremacist collectives, and that same disease provided the motivation behind this attack. The “us vs. them” mentality is an unfortunate by-product of evolutionary psychology. As a means to sustaining their own survival, our
prehistoric ancestors began to form communities in order to work together to stay alive. Over the course of the next few millennia the tendency toward tribalism was strengthened via natural selection, and as our ancestors’ dependency on group solidarity became further ingrained into their psyche, it made the trait more likely to passed down through our genes. Our ancestors’ wariness of anyone unlike themselves has come to be a second nature to us, and it’s coupled with our inborn competitiveness, our species’ craving for group solidarity. Under the right circumstances, something as innocuous as one’s loyalty towards a specific sports team or clothing brand can be steered towards something much more sinister, such as participating in gang activity or political zealotry. Hate-groups use group solidarity as a way to perpetuate and justify their extreme views, and can manipulate people into committing violent acts. There is a five-stage psychological model, Moghaddam’s “Staircase to Terrorism” that details an individual’s path toward justifying terrorist activity. The first floor consists of a
person being unhappy with their situation in life, and looking for a way to improve it. If they don’t find any options they move to the second floor, where they look for someone or some group to blame for their frustration and anger. Once they have found a target and can justify acting in violence they reach the third floor, where they become vulnerable to organizations like hate-groups that offer them an identity and a sense of moral purpose. On the fourth floor, the group solidifies the “us vs. them” mentality and isolates its members from people outside of the organization. If an individual reaches the fifth floor, they are likely to commit an act of terror when given the opportunity. It is exceedingly rare that a person will ascend all the way to the top, but being subjected to hateful ideologies certainly increases the chances. Canada’s hate-speech laws aren’t enough to permanently dismantle some of the more verminous white-supremacist groups like The Ku Klux Klan, Blood and Honor, or The Church of the Creator, and recent happenings across the Lower Mainland show that their ideologues are
becoming more publicly active. This needs to stop before it gets out of hand. Racism is born out of ignorance and cowardice, and I’d like to think that as a society, we’ve grown out of the dark ages of tribalism. The world is beset by so many problems
and people can’t agree on what to do, but arbitrarily hating people that you perceive as different has never solved anything, and it never will.
Blackstock Says No to Bribe from INAC There’s no such thing as just a gift Justin Bige Renowned Indigenous children’s advocate Cindy Blackstock knows well enough not to fall for an obvious bribe, even if it’s offered by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). A $149,000 donation by INAC was rejected by The First Nations Child and Family Services Society (FNCFSP) when it failed to meet the society’s “ethical screening.” “We don’t accept funds from groups that are harming children or who are violating Indigenous rights,” Blackstock told APTN National News on Jan. 22. “Their conduct falls outside of our ethical screen to receive funds from donors.” This kind of decision making is familiar for students at KPU. In 2015, Trans Mountain agreed to donate $300,000 to KPU over 20 years— with an additional $40,000 towards KPU’s Environmental Protection
Lab building—if the Kinder Morgan pipelines expansion program was approved. This “donation” also gave Trans Mountain exclusive naming rights on the EPT lab. Blackstock, alongside the Assembly of First Nations, spent 10 years on a case filed with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Just one year prior to this donation rejection, they ruled that Canada discriminates against First Nations children by regularly underfunding programs and services in comparison to non-Indigenous children. This especially happens on reserves. Despite this ruling, INAC has twice failed to rectify the situation, and the tribunal issued non-compliance orders both times. This discrimination is so ingrained that the department has opted to disobey the courts rather than fully commit to properly funding First Nations children. In fact, they dispute this by saying they
have committed over $600 million of funding over five years, though that funding plan was in place before the tribunal made its ruling a year ago. Blackstock has clarified by explaining that the bare minimum to deal with current conditions for First Nations children would require $200 million up front, which INAC has failed to produce. Rather than follow the court orders, INAC attempted to bribe FNCFSS with its $149,000 donation, and in a strong principled response, they rejected this donation. As exemplified with the KPU/ Kinder Morgan agreement and INAC’s attempted donation, there’s always strings attached. Over the course of that summer in 2015, the unified pressure led by the Kwantlen First Nation, alongside the Kwantlen Student Association, Kwantlen Public Interest Research Group, Pipe-Up Network, and the dedicated faculty and community members of KPU eventually caused the university to cut those strings. The pressure’s epicentre was Kwantlen First Nation’s status as an official intervenor in the National Energy Board process, which the university sought to respect as a name-holder of Kwantlen. Had the university used a similar ethical screening process, the whole situation may have been avoided from the get-go. Now is a time where principled stands against outside interests influencing education, particularly post-secondary education, are greatly needed. Luckily, the end-re-
Cindy Blackstock speaks at the Truth & Reconciliation Commission in Edmonton on March 28, 2014. (United Church/Flickr) sult was the same, with the agreement being rescinded. The Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion was approved on Nov. 26, 2016 by Justin Trudeau’s federal government. Had the Memorandum of Understanding with KPU gone forward, their say on Environmental Protection Technology’s curriculum would undoubtedly proven nefarious, and now there is a large, unified voice across Metro Vancouver saying that this pipeline does not have community’s consent. Like the underfunding of Indigenous children on reserves, many First Nations are put at risk with the
expansion of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline. The federal government is at the root of both issues. Tactics used by the federal government and corporations rely on buying legitimacy from communities and organizations fighting for environmental and Indigenous rights. This will only continue to become clearer as children’s advocates, environmentalists and Indigenous people firmly stand to protect and secure their livelihoods for the next seven generations. Only with a shared understanding that no gift comes without obligations, will we be prepared to resist.
TransLink is Finally Addressing their Outdated Fare Structure If you feel the fare isn’t fair, you can help them overhaul the system Braden Klassen| Contributor The South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority— known to most by their brand name TransLink—has provided a myriad of indispensable transit-related services for the population of the Metro Vancouver area. However, in the years since its formation, the transit governing organization has made only a small number of changes to their fare-collection structure. There are still a few elements left over from times gone by that do not seem to make a whole lot of sense. Now, thankfully, they’re starting to look into it. In accordance with phase two of their four-phase fare restructuring campaign, TransLink has posted an online survey asking people in Metro Vancouver to weigh in with their opinions. “It’s good to take a full look at it, but it’s a big change and we want to make sure we do it right,” says Chris Bryan, the senior media relations manager at TransLink. “We’re taking
our time. The total review is almost two years, and we’re in phase two right now, so we’re really looking to get a lot of feedback from customers.” You can say what you’d like about TransLink, but you’d have to admit that they do have an encouraging record of public consultation when it comes to implementing any changes to their system, whether it’s through using rider surveys to alter and plan new bus routes, or subjecting their budget increase initiatives to a municipal referendum like the one in 2015. “We haven’t taken a real look at the fare-system for about 30 years,” says Bryan. “So this is the first time we’ve done a real comprehensive look at it since about 1984. Lots of things have changed over the years; the city has grown by more than a million residents, and the way we travel around the city has changed.” Phase one of their plan involved asking customers what they thought about changing the fare system and how people would like it to work afterward. According to Bryan, people
voted to have their travel fares become distance-based to avoid some of the unfairness of the zone system. The farther you travel, the more you
pay. It’s that simple. “Some people have complained that it feels unfair if you live next to a zone boundary or you travel a very
short distance across two zones and you have to pay for that, but you can travel a heck of a distance in a single zone and not have to pay as much,” says Bryan. For example, residents of Langley can take a bus all the way to Lougheed Town Centre in Burnaby and only pay one zone, but people taking a SkyTrain from Patterson station to Joyce-Collingwood station, which are only a few blocks apart from one another, have to pay the two zone fare. Residents of the Lower Mainland have also advocated for a change to the issuing of fares based on the time of day, where people would be charged more for riding at peak hours and would be given discounts for riding at less busy times. This sounds like a good idea, but it might give TransLink the ability to increase prices across the board while setting the “discounts” close to the regular fare we have right now. You can still have your voice be heard by visiting TransLink’s online survey. Other than that, all we can do is wait and see which changes phase four, due in 2018, will bring about.
Deceitful, Divisive, Dollar-Bound: Politics as Usual in B.C. Depth of Christy Clark’s pockets made it difficult for her supporters to justify their support Neil Bassan | Contributor Even if you’re generally apathetic about provincial politics in B.C., there is still a good chance that you’re heard “stipend”, “turned down”, and “Christy Clark” being thrown around in the news lately. You would not be incorrect to say that those phrases do seem curiously incompatible when used together. Believe it or not, the Premier of British Columbia, Christina Joan Clark, did, in fact, announce that she would turn down a $50,000 top-up from her Liberal Party. It seems that, for Clark, one salary will do just fine. Amid the rising cost of living in a province where close to a quarter of all people earn less than $15 an hour, you would not be alone in having your eyes glaze over upon reading the words “fifty-thousand dollars”. When most people in the province live paycheque to paycheque, it is difficult to
imagine receiving an allowance—or “stipend”—worth more than what the average person earns in an entire year. Let us now turn to the British Columbian occurrence that has been outlawed in most other provinces: the limitless cash-for-access, private fundraisers which act as donation hauls for Clark’s Liberals. This includes the recent $5,000-per-plate dinner at the Mission Hill Winery in Kelowna. Who would (and could) even attend such an event? The premier refused to reveal the answer. If we are left in the dark with respect to which private interest groups fund our political parties, how can transparency ever be maintained in politics? Is our collective confidence in democracy not undermined, as The Province’s Mike Smyth says it is, when our premier prioritizes fundraising over, say, housing affordability, or the quality of jobs being developed?
Consider, as well, that the Liberals racked up nearly $13-million in donations last year, much of it coming from corporate and union donations. This just begs the question: how poorly calibrated must our moral intuitions be if we are even tempted to reward Clark for “turning down” $50,000? The premier earns a taxpayer-funded salary of nearly $200,000 a year—and this comes in addition to the nearly $60,000 she receives for travel, and her $1,200 “living allowance,”. Who knows how much she truly rakes in? As British Columbia has absolutely no limit on political donations, it is no surprise that the moral corruption of the politics in our province is the subject of writing the world over. The New York Times, for instance, recently named our province the “Wild West” of Canadian political cash, as politics and business interests in B.C. remain mixed in an ethically-problematic stew.
Christy Clark is among our province’s elite. Seeing as how she has greatly benefited, financially and otherwise, from large donors, it is time that we recognized her as such. In light of this, we should not expect the values of integrity or honesty to mean much of anything to her. She is a mere cog in the self-perpetuating political money monster that toys with voters’ emotions and puts on an ingratiating face just as an election approaches. Wielding political influence in B.C. has been intentionally (and in the whole of our nation, nearly uniquely) relegated to only the most well-off citizens. Our ruling political class, in other words, is a cruel and self-sustaining entity fundamentally ignorant of what concerns average people. As long as only a select few actually have direct and meaningful access to twisting Clark’s arm, politics in B.C. shall remain divisive.
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Artist Spotlight: Jericho Dressing up & gearing up band’s first record Alyssa Laube | Associate Editor Pasang Galay of Jericho plays dress up on stage. That was how I first saw the band—with Galay in full costume— from the floor of The Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver. Boldly posed in a bright purple suit and enormous fake afro, he and the rest of the band were nearly impossible to ignore. Minutes later, they sorted through a bin of funny hats, asking for feedback from the audience on which Galay should choose to adorn himself with before launching into another song. It was a spectacle, but one that was relatively short-lived, as Jericho’s shift towards being “less gimmicky” began not too long after that evening at The Rickshaw. “Pasang and I once had a conversation about how, when you’re watching a performance, the more entertaining stuff will have some shock value, and I think Pasang embodies that a bit with the outfits,” says Nigel Ching, cellist for Jericho. “You look up and he’s putting on a hat—it’s just sort of out of the ordinary.” “And it’s contrasted to the style of music we play, because the music is more serious and kind of darker, and then we stop playing and it’s like, ‘Oh, here’s another goofy hat!’ You
know? But at the most recent show, I tried to subdue it,” adds Galay. The band’s departure from silliness towards seriousness came about after they were critiqued for their comedic approach to live performance, although it’s doubtful that they’re ditching the dress up altogether. For the time being, Jericho is focusing on the release of their first comprehensive record, set to be put out sometime before the summer. Written by Galay, Ching, guitarist and vocalist Luke Tancredi, pianist Liam Doherty, and drummer Eli Teed, the EP is the product of years of Jericho’s work. Although currently unnamed, the EP has been recorded and is waiting to be mixed before release. It will be available online and at shows, along with the accompanying merchandise, and will offer a critical look at vanity and priorities in the 21st century. “An easy way to put it is what people think is important, and how something like getting likes on Instagram—some people might think that’s important, but really it’s not beneficial in any wider scheme,” Galay explains. “It’s just instant gratification.” “I Do Well”, one of two singles on the band’s website, is perhaps the best indicator of what can be expected of Jericho’s EP. Galay’s throaty bari-
Jericho performs at the Rickshaw Theatre on May 3, 2016. (Submitted) tone is offset against Tancredi’s light falsetto and Ching’s graceful cello in the track. Rhythmic and dramatic, Jericho blends classical inspiration with a jam band’s laid-back energy. Featuring low, swinging bass lines and head-bopping guitar leads, both “I Do Well” and Jericho’s other released single, “How Do You Know”, demonstrate intelligent songwriting, although they lack the professional
production that they deserve. The soon-to-be-released EP will change the latter. “They’re the same songs we’ve been playing for two years, but I think it’s a huge improvement to our sound, in terms of how we play together and how it’s recorded,” says Tancredi. “[Releasing a record] is like having a baby. You cherish it. You give it your all. Your life’s in it. Now it’s ready,
and it’s like, ‘Best of luck!’” Ching continues, “I want it to be an experience, and I want people to be present while they’re listening to it—to go on the rollercoaster ride and not just listen to it absent-minded while multi-tasking. That’s what’s ideal. And with that, if you’re presently listening to it, it’ll act as an escape, to detach.”
ESAAK Wants You To Know It’s Easy Being Green
KPU club dedicated to educating students and the community about sustainable lifestyles Mel Pomerleau| Contributor Students looking to get more involved around campus, while also doing their part to live a more sustainable lifestyle, can join the Environmental Sustainability Academic Association of Kwantlen (ESAAK). ESAAK strives to educate students and the community through informal conversation, to help shift the way people view the environment and sustainability. “We’re coming at it from three different angles: education, engagement and action,” says Munir Dossa, Treasurer of ESAAK. An open dialogue is one of the key components of the club. Whether that’s through informal chat at club meetings or through engaging in discussion via the ESAAK Facebook group. Dossa believes that the best way for ESAAK to work towards community understanding is by “having a dialogue with [students], letting them showcase how they stay sustainable and environmentally conscious, and engaging with them and giving them ideas and letting them research certain aspects.” “Our action plan is more focused on education and changing the psy-
Munir Dossa, Treasurer for the Environmental Sustainability Academic Association of Kwantlen, hopes to educate and engage members of the KPU community about how to live sustainably. (Mel Pomerleau) chology of how people think about
on Jan. 31. The documentary was A
communities, and the surrounding
the B.C. provincial government try-
prolific salmon habitats in Canada.
sustainability and the environment,” ESAAK hosted a documentary
screening with the Policy Studies de-
partment on the Richmond campus
Last Stand for Lelu, which is about ing to greenlight an LNG terminal on the island of Lelu. This project would
devastate the land, the neighbouring
wildlife, including one of the most Events like this are an opportuni-
ty to educate students and the public
on topics that don’t always receive
much attention through mainstream media. A key aspect of ESAAK’s philosophy is “ trying to get the community to change how [they] think about certain things,” such as the importance of sustainability and being environmentally conscious. “Having conversations with students and engaging with students informally can be really powerful,” says Dossa. “And just realizing that it’s not the big things you have to focus on. You don’t have to buy an electric car. There are a hundred little things you can do that are easier.” Dossa and his brother Zahid, who is ESAAK’s vice president, carpool together as much as possible. The two even coordinated their school schedule one semester to facilitate carpooling. “KPU has carpooling spots, not a lot of people know about them, or use them. We’ve been trying to tell everybody about that as much as we can,” says Dossa. “Other small things people can do is time how long you take in the shower. That’s something really easy and we don’t all need to take 20-30 minute showers everyday.” For more information email esaa. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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”Saskatoon” is a myth propagated by the You’ve always felt safer in darkened rooms, always visit www.sudokuwiki.org Saskatchewan government and I DARE you to prove less alone when underground. Always more alive me wrong. when working with the dead.
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Leo Jul 24 - Aug 23 You bolt out of bed, dripping with sweat, the words “surf rock Cthulhu” forever emblazoned in your mind.
Virgo Aug 24 - Sept 23
Libra Sept 24 - Oct 23
Scorpio Oct 24 - Nov 22
A song will mysteriously cut out just as you start listening to it, leaving you to wonder if the singer who got knocked down will ever get up again.
Everything is always so much of the time...
Honestly, the stars are a little hungover right now, so why don’t you go ask the tea leaves if they think today is a good day to think about future travel plans.