Published by the University Neighbourhoods Association Volume 7, Issue 1
JANUARY 18, 2016
UNA Community Connection Night: Diversity Enriches Lives of UNA Residents
UNA Asks Residents to Comment on Draft Budget 2016-2017 Alarm is expressed about impact of Vancouver property assessments on the UBC Services Levy on campus
Campus residents at Community Connection Night event at The Old Barn Community Centre. Left to right: Florence Luo, Natalie Jatskevich and Arushi Raina. Please see story on Page 6.
Safety of U Hill Elementary Crosswalk to be Reviewed by Government Government is pressed for urgent review of Chancellor Road/Hamber Road crossing by MLA David Eby The provincial government has agreed to review the safety of a road crossing used primarily by students walking or biking to and from University Hill Elementary School in the University Endowment Lands. In a December 9 letter to David Eby, NDP MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey, a manager with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) states, “We will be undertaking a detailed safety review of this intersection to determine if further improvements are warranted. It is anticipated this review will be complete early in the New Year.” Mr. Eby had contacted the government in a bid to get the safety review underway on December 8. In a letter, he wrote, “I have been contacted by a constituent who is concerned about the state of the pedestrian crossing and intersection at the corner of Chancellor Road and Hamber Road in the UEL.”
Mr. Eby says he met the constituent at the intersection and discussed the safety issue with him there. As a result of this discussion, the MLA concluded his constituent was correct in saying that “the intersection does not meet minimum safety standards given that the primary users are elementary school children.” In his letter to government, Mr. Eby describes his constituent as “a parent regularly involved in the University Hill Elementary Bike Bus program where he and other parents escort large groups of young children through this intersection.” According to the MLA, the constituent had noted a host of safety problems with the intersection when escorting these large groups of children. • No island in the middle of the intersection so that slow-crossing children, caught mid-intersection, remain safe through the light cycle. • The north side of the intersection has no pedestrian crossing lines marked for vehicles turning right (from southbound on Hamber to westbound on Chancellor). CROSSWALK continued on Page 8
Residents Expect to Meet VSB over School Noise Mechanical noise from Norma Rose Point School is ruining lives; residents are looking forward to meeting with VSB
The Vancouver School Board (VSB) is expected to meet with residents of the University Endowment Lands who say that constant noise from a mechanical heat pump atop Norma Rose Point School is ruining lives. The school board has tentatively set the date for meeting residents, the Community Advisory Council (CAC) and UEL administration on January 18 at 6 pm at the U Hill Community Space in the University Marketplace complex.
NOISE continued on Page 3
An online budget consultation for campus residents to provide comments on the UNA 2016-2017 operating budget concludes Friday, January 22. The UNA seeks public input on drafting the operating budget at a time when alarm is expressed about the negative impact of soaring houses prices in Vancouver on the UBC Services Levy on campus. “The recent release of the annual property assessments from BC Assessments is alarming,” Executive Director Jan Fialkowski states in a January report to the Board of UNA Directors. “The increase is so large (almost $33 Billion in the City of Vancouver alone) that it is expected that the City of Vancouver will likely decrease its 2016 mill rate,” Ms. Fialkowski says. “The result for UBC will be an additional decrease in the Services Levy in 2016 which will negatively impact the UNA’s operating budget in 2016-2017 and for the foreseeable future.” When UBC decided that it wanted to develop a lease-hold residential community in the 1990’s, the Provincial Government required that UBC ensure that campus residents agree in their leases to pay the same total mill rate (after accounting for rural tax) as is paid in Vancouver. In this lease, UBC provides the taxation formula: residential properties on campus are assessed by BC Assessment just as is done in Vancouver and elsewhere in the Province. The total tax burden of individual residences is determined by multiplying assessments by the mill rate established by Vancouver. From that figure, is deducted the amount of rural tax that the Province requires UBC residents to pay because UBC campus is classified as a rural area. The balance, called the Services Levy, is paid to UBC. In a January 8 report to directors, Ying Zhou, Treasurer and acting UNA Chair, said staff refined the proposed budget for 2016-2017 and presented draft 2 for the consideration of the Finance and Audit Standing Committee at its meeting on January 7, 2016.
BUDGET continued on Page 2
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT JANUARY 18, 2016
UNA Child Care Needs Survey is Underway Survey runs from January 11–31; residents are encouraged to participate at planning.ubc.ca/ childcare
A new immigrant from China, Kitty Yang has been living in Wesbrook Place for five years. When her son was six months old, she applied for child care at UBC. Like other parents across the Lower Mainland, she had to spend a lot of time waiting for an available space. By the time Kitty did get an offer at UBC, she was already driving Kenny off campus every day to a facility near Granville and 70th. It was 15 minutes each way, but her son—who was three by then—was happy there. “I feel disappointed,” says Kitty. “I love living on campus, but my son doesn’t have the chance to go to child care here.” She enjoys so much about living in Wesbrook Place—the forest, the green spaces, the sense of community—but wishes she didn’t have to leave it every day. As the UBC neighbourhoods grow, oth-
ers may have similar experiences to Kitty’s. A new program is working to better understand child care demands, but needs the help of residents in assessing child care needs in campus neighbourhoods. A Commitment to Quality Child Care There are now about 4,400 households in campus neighbourhoods, and roughly half of those have no affiliation with UBC, says Jane Beach, a child care consultant who, with her colleague Barry Forer, developed a survey for the UNA neighbourhoods. Called the UNA Child Care Needs Survey, it is running from January 11-31, 2016 and can be accessed online at planning.ubc.ca/childcare. “At the moment, most of those 2,000plus families don’t have priority access to UBC Child Care Services. There are currently 25 spaces with priority for residents of the UNA neighbourhoods—other than that, they have lower priority for access than those who work or study at UBC.” The UNA is committed to providing quality child care on campus for residents who live in Hampton, Chancellor, East Campus, Hawthorn and Wesbrook neighbourhoods as well as future neighbour-
Chancellor Place Community Garden Public Consultation Date: Tuesday February 02, 2016 Time: 6:30pm-8:00pm Location: St Andrew’s Hall Chapel (6040 Iona Drive, Vancouver, BC V6T 2E8) Do you live in Chancellor Place? This event is an opportunity for us to hear from you and for us to share information on proposed community garden in Chancellor Place. Plans will be displayed for the community garden expansion project. It will include 3 proposed garden designs and additional drawings. Representatives from the UNA office will be available to provide information and respond to inquiries about this project. For more information about UNA Community Gardens, please check out www.myuna.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online UNA Car Sharing Public Consultation Dates: February 22 – March 04, 2016 The UNA has committed to promote sustainable transportation option to reduce automobile dependency within our community. The UNA will use a balanced approach to improve sustainability while minimizing impact on local on-street parking space. We want to know what you think. This online public consultation will include maps of proposed car sharing parking spaces in Hawthorn Place, Hampton Place and Wesbrook Place.
For more information about this Online Car Sharing Public Consultation, please visit www.myuna.ca or email email@example.com.
Story time at Owl Daycare on UBC campus. Photo credit Albert Normandin.
hoods. Once developed, neighbourhood child care services would be separate from UBC Child Care and tailored to fit the needs of residents. As such, the survey is looking for feedback from UNA residents on their present and future child care needs and preferences, and whether they are on any waiting lists. It also asks what arrangements residents are currently using: having a parent or relative stay at home to look after children; going off campus, like Kitty; or using other child care solutions. “There is little information about how many children live in the neighbourhoods or what kind of child care programs the residents are using, which is one reason we are conducting this survey,” Ms. Beach says. “Having this information is the first step in providing long-term child care facilities for the campus neighbourhoods.” Replacing a Patchwork of Services “We don’t have a child care system in Canada—what we have is a patchwork of services,” explains Ms. Beach. “It’s hard for parents to find a suitable, affordable space, regardless of where you live. Child care is very expensive, even for people who are eligible for a provincial subsidy. It’s a problem around the country, not just at UBC.” The primary target group for the survey is people with children, women who are pregnant or who are planning on having children in the next few years. That said, the UNA is hoping residents without children will fill it out too, so they can better understand the needs of the entire population living in the neighbourhoods. “The information collected through the
survey will help inform plans for future child care in the neighbourhoods as well as child care run by UBC,” Ms. Beach explains. “We know there is a significant need. UBC Child Care has waitlists, there is very high demand whether families have affiliation with UBC or not. In order to get an accurate picture of child care needs, we hope residents will take a few minutes to complete the survey.” Child care in the neighborhoods will be provided by a third party not-profit organization, such as the YMCA. “Research shows that, in general, non-profit organizations provide higher quality care than for-profit organizations,” Ms. Beach explains. “Typically they hire more qualified staff, pay better wages and provide better working conditions, resulting in lower turnover and higher quality child care.” Kitty Wang had to wait quite some time before she heard back from UBC Child Care Services. The hope is that this survey will allow the UNA and the University to better understand the child care and early child development needs of residents of campus neighbourhoods, so that parents like Kitty will have more options to choose from in the future. The UNA encourages all residents of Chancellor, East Campus, Hampton, Hawthorn and Wesbrook to complete the survey, whether they currently use child care or not. At this time, Acadia Park Student Family Housing and the UEL are not part of the study area. Households who complete the survey are eligible to win a prize, including an iPad mini or one of four $50 Save-On-Foods gift cards.
BUDGET continued from Page 1
increase to offset the high assessments. The final budget and summary of the public consultation will be presented to the standing committee at its February meeting. The 2016-2017 operating budget must be approved by the Board at its February 7 meeting to meet the UNA’s obligations in the 2015 Neighbours’ Agreement. Residents may review the draft of this budget at www.myuna.ca/2016/01/ online-budget-consultation-2016-2017/
“Challenges from the decrease in the 2016 Neighbours Levy will affect the overall budget,” Ms. Zhou said. “It should be anticipated that the Services Levy collected in 2016 may be lower than what is indicated currently in the budget given the high property assessments recently released for the Lower Mainland.” The City of Vancouver, which has not announced its mill rate yet, is likely to decrease its previously stated property tax
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT JANUARY 18, 2016
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UNA Board Governance: Rules for Tie Votes Clarified UNA Board will continue to explore issue on opening up standing committee meetings to public Richard Alexander UNA Board Chair
Following the December issue’s letter to the editor on Board governance, I would like to provide some comments on UNA
Board governance in particular. In its decision making, the UNA Board seeks consensus amongst the members. This means that proposals are discussed and members are generally willing to modify the proposal, so that it is acceptable to everyone. However, from time to time, matters arise where the board is divided and when the proposal is put to a vote, the proposal may be defeated or result in a tie vote. Under Roberts Rules of Order, a tie vote means the proposal is defeated. However, as with many other boards, the UNA Chair is allowed, by its Constitu-
tion and Bylaws, a second or casting vote to break the tie. However, the Chair is not obligated to vote a second time and may abstain. Given the desire for the UNA directors to achieve consensus, the Chair’s casting vote is meant to be used to remedy occasional tie votes on routine matters rather than tilt the balance on an important issue where there is significant disagreement. The Chair’s casting vote had the simple effect of returning the proposal for further discussion. This is responsible Board governance and consistent with best practices.
In summary: • Tie vote – proposal fails • Tie vote and Chair abstains from a second vote – proposal fails • Tie vote and Chair votes against – proposal returns for further review. For the specific proposal on opening up UNA standing committee meetings to the public, three reasonable directors voted for and three reasonable members voted against. This is how the UNA and other Boards work. The UNA Board will continue to explore this issue through a broader discussion on Board governance and renewal.
Writing Letters to Politicians Can Make a Difference David Eby Member of the Legislative Assembly of BC, Vancouver-Point Grey, Official Opposition Spokesperson for Housing, Liquor, Gaming, Tourism and BC Pavilion Corporation As someone elected to represent the interests and concerns of more than 40,000 people spread out over about seven square kilometers, I find it impossible to know about all of the challenges and issues faced by all of the people I represent. Something that’s a really obvious problem to one of my constituents may not be something I’m aware of, or even have heard anything about. That’s why writing letters and e-mails or making phone calls to politicians like me can make a big difference. When Joel Skrepnek (who gave me permission to tell you about his request to my office) was escorting kids to school under our community Bike Bus program, he noticed that the intersection at the corner of Hamber Road and Chancellor Boulevard near U Hill Elementary School was woefully under-maintained and dangerous for the young students who cross there every day.
NOISE continued from Page 1 Residents—with assistance from the CAC—have sought a meeting with the school board for a year. In October, the CAC—whose seven members are elected by residents—agreed unanimously to consider legal action if the VSB failed to meet to discuss the noise problem at Norma Rose Point School. The school board hired an acoustics
Instead of ignoring the problem, Mr. Skrepnek wrote me an e-mail. I met him at the intersection and together we discussed the issue and took pictures. With a referral from the University Endowment Land administrator Jonn Braman, I was able to contact key people in the Ministry of Transportation who have agreed to do a review of this dangerous intersection and make any necessary changes. I’m very grateful that Mr. Skrepnek contacted me, and that our office was able to use his help to get the ball rolling. Now we just need to make sure that this Ministry review results in the urgent changes that are needed before a young child is injured. Just like Mr. Skrepnek, the constituent who contacted me about dangerously cracked, sloped and shifting sidewalks along University Boulevard is now seeing action from the Ministry of Transportation to fix them. The constituent who contacted me about immigration concerns has been connected to key federal support through our partnership with Joyce Murray’s office. The constituent who wrote an e-mail to me about property tax reform inspired some extended conversations with UBC experts on the issue and informed my advocacy for our community. The constituent who contacted me about a high school project she was working on got the information she needed to get the grade she wanted.
engineer in May, 2015 to measure noise emanating from the heat pump on the roof of the school. The engineer reported back that when rated according to City of Vancouver Noise Control Bylaw 6555, noise measurements taken during the day were compliant with the law but those taken at night were not compliant. In a brief interview following the October CAC meeting, a resident who lives adjacent to Norma Rose Point School ex-
David Eby, Member of the Legislative Assembly, Vancouver-Point Grey, meets with constituents at Darcy’s Café in Point Grey in December 2015. Writing letters to politicians can make a big difference: letting me know about problems you see in our community, policies and laws you’d like to see changed or anything else you need help with, can help focus my attention on what’s really important in our neighbourhoods. If you’ve got a concern or you’ve got a recommendation about something you’d
like to see happen in our province or our local community, please send me an email at email@example.com or send me a letter the old fashioned way at 2909 West Broadway, Vancouver, V8V 1X4. You can also call me at 604.660.1297 or drop by our office Tuesday through Friday, or on Mondays by appointment. I hope to hear from you soon!
plained that while industrial noise from the new school building no longer comes at night, it still does through the day. “It comes from 7 am to 5 pm,” the resident said, adding that when in operation, the heat pump “roars like an engine.” According to CAC President Dave Forsyth, the Vancouver School Board does not feel it is exceeding the noise limit mandated by the UEL Noise Control Bylaw during the day. The CAC does not
agree. “The UEL Noise Bylaw is being infringed upon,” Mr. Forsyth said. Meanwhile, “the noise is affecting people’s lives…there are health issues..,” Mr. Forsyth said. The Campus Resident understands that the heat pump atop Norma Rose Point School is temporarily shut down until such time as the Vancouver School Board and residents have an opportunity to meet and discuss the matter.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT JANUARY 18, 2016
Lunar New Year Celebration Saturday February 6, 2016 2-4pm Wesbrook Community Centre Lion Dance
Korean Fan Dance
Abacus Competition Chinese Tie Making
Monkey King Mascot
Chinese Fortune Telling Riddles
Red Envelopes + more!
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT JANUARY 18, 2016
Taking Stock of Years of Service on UNA Board “My expectations for what I could change clearly exceeded the limitations of the UNA-UBC structure” Charles Menzies Hawthorn Place resident, UNA Director It feels like so long ago when two other residents and I were first elected directors of the UNA in 2012. I recall the excitement we felt on winning election: we really thought that we would make a change. I can only speak for myself but it would seem to me we accomplished none of the goals we started with. Our slate claimed we would bring more effective community representation into the UNA. One small idea was that we would open up more of the decisionmaking processes of the UNA to public scrutiny. All these years later, we are no closer to a more open democratic process then when we started the process. I can take some solace that the Board finally held a vote on opening up two of our standing committees to public observation. But the motion failed. As I reflect back, my biggest regret is that I believed the spin. That is, I actually believed the UNA had the potential to be a real municipal-like agency. Even as I thought it better to have an independent municipality, I believed folks would say the UNA had the potential to act as a democratic body. I am no longer burdened with that false consciousness today. There are some positive aspects of the
UNA. I get a chance to get to know some folks I would not normally meet. It’s nice to get to know neighbours this way. For the five elected directors we get a special experience of meeting residents from different social worlds. This is, for me, the most positive aspect of the UNA experience. At least twice a month, I meet with and learn from my neighbours first hand as we debate community centre policies, discuss volunteer programs and try to figure out which division of UBC can best answer residents’ questions. Though much of what we do takes place behind closed doors, let me assure you it is a very rewarding experience and a privilege to get a chance to better understand the many social world views that comprise our residential community. Recognizing limits and managing expectations is something that one hopes comes with age. When I began this journey, my expectations for what I could change clearly exceeded the limitations of the UNA-UBC structure. The UNA is a creation of UBC. Certain responsibilities have been delegated to the UNA. But the UNA is not and can never really become an effective representative body with real governance capacity. As will likely become more and more apparent in the near future, the UNA has no real control. About half our taxes go to the province directly through rural property taxes—very little of which is controlled or used locally. The calculation for the Services Levy is outside the control of the UNA—it’s bench-marked to Vancouver’s tax rate. Major municipal services are not actually controlled by the UNA but are either part of Vancouver (fire protection), the Province (policing and roads), UBC (most community ame-
nities) and Metro (waste management rules, water, parks). I suspect that at some time in the future this area will be part of the City of Vancouver. The decision won’t have come through the UNA: it will be UBC, the
Province and Vancouver that will make that deal. Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the writer alone and are not to be inferred to represent UNA or UBC policy.
UNA Directors Oppose Decision to Restrict Surface Parking to Users of New Community Centre Users of Wesbrook Community Centre are instructed to park underground; shoppers are given exclusive use of surface parking
The installation of new parking signs in Wesbrook Village by UBC Properties Trust has brought a sharp rebuke from directors of the University Neighbourhoods Association. At their January 12 meeting at the new Wesbrook Place Community Centre, directors voted unanimously in favour of a motion by Resident Director Charles Menzies to oppose the decision of UBC Properties Trust to restrict surface parking on the Berton Avenue parking lot to users of the community centre. The new signs indicate this parking lot
is designated for use only by shoppers at stores in the Village. The signs in the parking lot instruct users of the Wesbrook Community Centre to park underground. Following the board meeting, UNA Executive Director Jan Fialkowski said the UNA Board wishes to meet with UBC Properties Trust to discuss the decision to change the parking rule. Ms. Fialkowski explained that the original concept for the recently-opened Wesbrook Community Centre was to build parking space under the building. When the project was initiated, however, it was clear that parking underground was above what the budget could bear. Consequently, a decision was made to eliminate additional underground parking for the community centre with the UNA assured that users of the community centre could park both on the existing surface lot and underground.
KERRISDALE CHOIR CONCERT January 31, Sunday at 2 pm Come and enjoy a musical performance. Please join the choir at St. John’s Shaughnessy, Anglican Church, 1490 Nanton Ave at Granville St. Vancouver, for our winter concert. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door or from a choir member at the Kerrisdale Community Centre. Brock House-Kerrisdale Choir is a 58-member choir directed by Elsie Stephen. We are a four voice choir whose musical repertoire includes a variety of classical, gospel, jazz and folk songs. Members of the choir, which performs two concerts a year (January and June), are age 55 yrs and older. For more information, contact Diana Bragg: 604-224-3897
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT JANUARY 18, 2016
UNA Community Connection Night: Diversity Enriches Lives of UNA Residents Speakers at UNA Community Connection Night call for “more channels of communication among different cultural groups on campus” and for “being more aware, open and accepting of other cultures” Qiuning Wang UNA Volunteer and Community Engagement Coordinator
A recent Community Connection Night event welcomed three speakers and a dozen residents to talk about how different cultural experiences have affected their lives. The speakers were: Natalie Jatskevich, UBC graduate student in the fields of Early Childhood Education and Ukranian Institute graduate in Pedagogy, Social and Political Psychology. She was born in Ukraine, lived in the United Sates, became UBC campus resident in 2002. Arushi Raina, moved to Wesbrook in 2014, lived in seven countries, including South Africa, Nigeria and the United States. She works as a consultant for public sector clients in healthcare and city planning. Her first book, When Morning Comes, is set to come out in the summer of 2016. Florence Luo, Design Director of Twinklebelle Design Inc. and a UBC lecturer. Trained as an engineer in China and
USA, lived and worked in USA, became a campus resident in 2004. Florence is Chair of the UNA Multicultural Committee. Although each speaker comes from a different cultural origin, and the approaches they take to adapt to other cultures are different, one common aspect they share is that the disturbing experiences they had at the beginning have become enriching later on in their lives. To share their views in the discussion, we prepared the following notes in the form of questions and answers. Q: Natalie, you moved onto UBC campus 13 years ago as an immigrant from Ukraine. How much has your life been transformed in this diverse community, and how do you become more adapted to different cultures? A: Even though I have always felt welcomed in Canada, it took me years to feel at home. Despite my Caucasian look, I felt ‘foreign’ and very reluctant to reach out because of my accent and bumpy English as well as my lack of knowledge about the nuances of living in a multicultural society. To overcome these obstacles, I decided to do two things: to use every opportunity to talk to a person in English for at least ten minutes every day and to read a local newspaper every day. This continuous interaction with people and learning about our community life helped me get out of my shell. I got to know more people, built connections with them and developed friendships. Now, I have friends from many cultures, although sometimes I still struggle with reading people’s emotions, intentions
and meanings. But I know that the best way to develop mutual understanding is through open, friendly and supportive communication. I truly enjoy living in a neighborhood where every member has something different to contribute. Canada is such an accommodating society with endless opportunities to learn about other cultures and draw beautiful things from them. Q: Arushi, without a language barrier, has it become easier to adapt? You talked about ‘blend-in’ as a good strategy, but also mentioned that ‘blend-out’ is sometime necessary to deal with assumptions. Why is that? A: It’s definitely been easier to adapt without a language barrier, and I often recognize how lucky I am for having grown up in English speaking countries. Bopping around as a child and a teenager, I learned to ‘blend in’, pick up the trends, the mannerisms, the words people used to explain their favorite shows and to insult each other. This made it easier for me to start relating to the people around me, but more importantly, for them to relate to me. Over time, though, I have learned the importance of sometimes being comfortable with highlighting your difference. We’re living in a diverse environment with people coming from all over the world, and sometimes acknowledging that I too am different, enables other people to feel comfortable to join a conversation or share their own experiences. And that’s what makes interacting with people worthwhile. Q: Florence, you mentioned that intercultural competency is an important ca-
pacity to build within the UNA community. Why is that? A: Cross-cultural competence refers to one’s ability to communicate and work with people of other cultures. I became aware of it when I worked for the US branch of a Dutch corporation. Many of my American colleagues found it frustrating working with our Dutch colleagues. I guess that most of them were not used to working with people overseas. The chance of one needing to work with colleagues from around the world is greater than ever before, therefore this ability becomes more essential. Obviously, the UNA community is very diverse. As a long-time resident, I’ve seen conflicts from time to time, some are racially/culturally divided. We need more channels of communication among different cultural groups on campus. As individuals, we can start by being more aware, open and accepting of other cultures.
Attendees at UNA’s Community Connection Night at The Old Barn Community Centre.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT JANUARY 18, 2016
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT JANUARY 18, 2016
CROSSWALK continued from Page 1 • The northwest corner of the intersection has no staging area for pedestrians waiting for the light to change. • The southwest corner of the intersection has a very narrow patch of sidewalk for children to wait for the light to change, so children are close to traffic. • The intersection transition from Hamber (southbound) to Chancellor is marked with a stop sign rather than a light, causing vehicles turning left on busy days to attempt unsafe crossing through a high volume, high-speed corridor. • The stop line for traffic heading eastbound on Chancellor is located in a very unusual location, strangely far back from the intersection, causing drivers’ confusion and often resulting in drivers bypassing the stop line entirely and stopping immediately before the pedestrian line marking. • The pedestrian crossing markings are narrow, patchy and have low visibility. Mr. Eby encourages MOTI engineers who will work on the UEL crosswalk to recall a safety review undertaken early in 2015 on the intersection of Wesbrook Mall and 16th Avenue at UBC—another intersection which is heavily used by young school children. The MLA notes that at the 16th and Wesbrook crosswalk, a kilometre from the UEL crosswalk, the relevant traffic authority (UBC via the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure) has: • installed a roundabout • added flashing ‘pedestrian crossings’ lights • posted speed detection signs • installed tactile speed mats • posted 30km per hour speed limits • installed school zone signage and pavement markings • painted consistent, wide and bright pe-
destrian crossing lines • built islands between the lanes that are big and have railings to protect pedestrians. The MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey writes, “While not every response implemented at 16th Avenue and Wesbrook might be suited to the University Hill Elementary intersection, there are many, many tactics used there to maximize pedestrian safety that would be very well placed at Hamber and Chancellor.” In an e-mail to The Campus Resident, Mr. Eby called the government decision to undertake a safety review of the UEL intersection “great news.” Editor’s Note: Please see article Writing Letters to Politicians Can Make a Difference by David Eby on Page 3.
Intersection at Chancellor Road and Hamber Road in the UEL is used daily by University Hill Elementary School students.
Government Gets to Work Making University Boulevard Sidewalks Safer Immediate safety concerns are addressed; rehabilitation program is under formulation The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) has asked its maintenance contractor to address immediate safety concerns on the sidewalks either side of University Boulevard between University Gates and Acadia Road in the University Endowment Lands. A review of the University Boulevard sidewalks—maintained by MOTI—has concluded that the sidewalks need to be replaced. However, funding is available at present only for basic safety work. MOTI will have to wait until funding is available to actually replace the sidewalks. An article by John Percy in the May 2015 issue of The Campus Resident
Tripping hazard on sidewalk of University Boulevard
(University Boulevard sidewalks are not safe for walking) brought the issue of sidewalk disrepair on University Boulevard into public focus. Mr. Percy, a West Point Grey resident and retired civil engineer, began his article by describing the reality of a “beautiful, welcoming vista of towering trees, a blossoming landscape and peacefulness of a lush, top-class golf course” that greets walkers, cyclists, motorists, bus riders traveling west of THE GATES at Blanca Street. Mr. Percy, who lives nearby THE GATES and who walks to and from UBC daily, also describes another—less beautiful—reality in his article: “The sidewalks on both sides of University Boulevard from Blanca to Acadia Road are treacherous. Each trip, whether on dry or wet and icy days, is a formidable challenge to able-bodied walkers and joggers, but an impossible trip for some seniors and those with sight or mobility issues.” In an e-mail to The Campus Resident, Mr. Percy said, “I am impressed by the continued follow-up by the office of MLA David Eby (Vancouver-Point Grey) and your interest in seeing the sidewalk repairs actually occur. “The Ministry has acknowledged that there will be some immediate repairs and a major program to replace the inadequate walkways on both sides of University Boulevard as funds become available; but when?” Mr. Percy thanked The Campus Resident for its “continued efforts to advance this much-needed work.”
Kids for Charity: the Year in Review Iva Jankovic Founder of Kids for Charity
You may have heard about Kids for Charity. We are a local program founded in November 2013 and run by kids and youth, dedicated to helping others in need through activities, crafts, sales and donations. You perhaps saw us running, bought some home-made cookies, participated in one of our free workshops, heard us singing Christmas carols or helped our cause by your generous donations. We had many cool, fun (and free) activities in 2015 such as Animation, Baking, Cookie Decorating, Cartooning, Art and Card-making workshops. You can read about all our activities at our website www.kidsforcharity.org or find us on Facebook. In this article, I will take the opportunity to highlight just a few of our favorite events. In February, Kids for Charity (K4C)
assembled the Community Heroes Club, a group of young volunteers that worked to improve the neighborhood and raise donations. Our goal was to raise $1,000 for the BC Children’s Hospital in time for their annual 5km charity race called Childrun. Every Saturday, the Club got together and trained for the big run in May. Returning from our runs, the Club always did a little activity to improve the community and raise donations, such as door-to-door fundraising, community clean-ups, sidewalk chalk art and playing instruments on the street. One of our biggest community projects was the Deeds for Donations initiative, where we did ‘chores’ around the neighborhood such as cleaning almost 70 gates around Logan Lane, washing cars, caring for plants and pet-sitting for our neighbours. Thanks to the support of our friends, relatives, neighbours, the Logan Lane strata and its representative Laura Cottle, we managed to meet our goal of $1,000 for BC Children’s Hospital. Our efforts were recognized by Mr. Da-
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vid Eby, MLA, Vancouver-Point Grey, who congratulated K4C for its work and offered to help with our future needs. Mr. Eby even spoke about us at the BC Legislature. The highlight of the summer 2015 was our first ever Bike Parade. More than 20 volunteers came to help, despite the fact that the worst storm of the year hit Vancouver just that day. Nevertheless, everyone had a lot of fun decorating themselves and their bikes, dancing to fun music, parading across campus and snacking on delicious cookies! All of the raffle prizes were donated by our gracious sponsors: More Bikes, Doughgirls Kitchen, Kaboodles Toy Store, Dollar N’ Plus and Young Stars Basketball Club. The Bike Parade raised a great deal of money towards the BC Children’s Hospital.
In December, we held our third annual Holiday Card-making workshop, gave our first ever live caroling performance at Save-on-Foods, and organized a clothing, book and toy drive. All our donated funds and items were sent directly to Vancouver youth shelters and the Mugeta Children’s School in Tanzania, our newest friends and partners. We are proud of all our achievements in 2015 and thankful to all our contributors and supporters. With this, I would like to invite all kids, youth, students and adults reading this article to join K4C in 2016 as volunteers, donors, sponsors and community partners. You can learn more about us and read my full article Kids for Charity: the Year in Review at www.kidsforcharity.org or find us on Facebook.
Published monthly by the University Neighbourhoods Association
Kids for Charity is a program dedicated to engaging kids and youth in community service while raising funds for local charities.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT JANUARY 18, 2016
UBC AMS Food Bank for Students: Give When You Can. Take When You Need. As is well known, the Alma Mater Society (AMS) at UBC provides many services to students, but one you may not have heard about is providing food relief for students in need. Started in 2006, the AMS Food Bank has grown considerably while responding to demand from students. Jay Singh, a 3rd year Sauder School of Business commerce major, became Coordinator at the AMS Food Bank in May 2015, and since Jay took over, the Food Bank has logged 644 visits (a number which includes repeat visits by some students). All UBC students are welcome to use the AMS Food Bank: they just have to show a valid student ID card. To ensure there is food for all who need it, the Food Bank offers clients six visits per semes-
ter. At each visit, individuals can receive one full bag of groceries, and families can receive two. Staff at the Food Bank—13 dedicated volunteers—also provides referrals to other Lower Mainland food banks and sources of financial assistance. In December, Jay made a presentation to the UNA directors encouraging residents to donate non-perishable food to the AMS Food Bank and make the food bank better known in the community. In January, the AMS Food Bank expects about 200 visits. The AMS Food Bank office is located in the AMS Nest 3107J but the food bank itself is located in room 42U in the lower level of the old Student Union Building (SUB) between Travel Cuts and On the Fringe. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Jay Singh (far right), Coordinator of AMS Food Bank at UBC, with volunteers (from left to right) students Chris, Taruni and Arvie.
Nature Club Make new friends while getting to know your plant and animal neighbours!
UBC will No Longer Approve New High-rises Designed without Floors Numbered 4 and 13 Floor numbering will not be changed in existing buildings on campus; nor will it be changed in buildings under construction
While people in America, Canada and other countries in the Western world consider 13 an unlucky number, people in Asian countries generally dislike the number 4. For this reason, local property developers—sensitive to the superstitions of real estate buyers—have avoided designing buildings with floors numbered 4, 13, 14 and 24. The University of British Columbia has long allowed this practice to apply to buildings on campus. Not any more. The policy regulating floor numbering has changed to bring UBC in line with the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service policies on the numbering of floors in multistorey buildings. Campus and Community Planning will no longer approve new building designs that skip consecutive numbers between storeys. This change in policy—effective December 1, 2015—will apply only for new building permit applications on campus. Floor numbering will not be changed in existing buildings; nor will it apply to
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buildings already under construction. UBC says consistent floor and address numbering will avoid confusion for the fire department and emergency responders—allowing a particular suite to be identified quickly in low visibility or restricted vision conditions. Edmond Lin, Chief Building Official at UBC, said in a telephone interview that UBC is following the City of Vancouver with this change of policy governing floor numbering. “Vancouver changed its policy last year,” Mr. Lin said, adding that several smaller communities in British Columbia have done the same. He said the Vancouver Fire Department, contracted by the Province of BC to provide fire prevention and rescue services to UBC, makes a convincing case that the design of buildings having floors without such ‘unlucky’ numbers as 4, 13, 14 and 24 adds to the dangers of fighting fires. The traditional policy can confuse the first fire-fighters who go into burning buildings: they bear responsibility for getting preliminary information out to the other firemen, and having inconsistency in floor numbers adds to the chances of confusion. Over the last decade, numerous residential buildings on campus have risen without floors numbered 13, 4, 14 or 24 for marketing reasons.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT JANUARY 18, 2016
Love of Reading Helps Student Discover New Interests Winny Sun Grade 12 student University Hill Secondary School
Winter break ends, and school resumes. Before looking ahead to 2016, let’s all pause and ask ourselves: how did we spend our winter break? Some may have skied, and some may have travelled. But Angela Zhu, a senior at University Hill Secondary School, spent her winter break cruising in the ocean of books and crafting her original tales. Ever since coming to Canada in grade seven, Angela has fallen in love with reading. “I love reading because it’s a way to relax, to live the life of someone else,” said Angela. Passionate about the genres of fantasies and science fiction, she has read extensively from Leviathan, Ready Player One, to The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Years of reading have nurtured in her a desire to write fictional stories. Because English is her second language, Angela knows that in order to become a good writer, she needs to stay vigilant and focused. By reading a good selection of well-written and insightful books— books that convey messages about life and human nature—Angela hones her critical thinking and language skills and develops her creativity and individualism. In grade eleven, she became one of only two people to win the Academic Award in English. To Angela, reading has—over the years—meant much more than a simple pastime. Her skills are de-
veloped first and foremost because of her interests, but commitment and diligence have helped her to come a long way to where she is today. Another reason for Angela’s tremendous improvement is her ability in finding resources and sources of motivation. Friends and social media have had a huge influence on how she reads. One of the first friends she made since coming to Canada, Lisa, inspired her greatly. An avid and enthusiastic reader and a creative writer, Lisa willingly agreed when Angela asked her to write stories together. Lisa, who had begun reading English books at a much younger age and had therefore read a broader range of books, inspired Angela to put even more efforts into expanding her vocabulary and polishing her sentence structure. Thus began a transforming experience for Angela. Through reading, she also discovered her interests in drawing. Whenever she writes her own stories, she also draws incredible settings and portrays—in careful and intricate details—her imagined characters to complement the words. With new heart-gripping online platforms, Angela was able to further expand her interests. The famous Youtube channel Vlogbrothers, run by John Green and Hank Green and consisted of many political and literary discussions, excites her. A serialized role-playing game show, called the Ashes of Valkana, also attracts her because of the host’s vivid descriptions of the world of fantasies and adventure. Reading and writing may not sound as exciting as outdoor adventures, but to Angela, they mean the whole world. Angela recommends everyone read her favorite books: The Once and Future King
by T.H. White and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I hope my story about Angela’s experi-
ence in the world of books will inspire you to read and find and develop your own passions!
Angela in the world of books. Photo credit Winny Sun.
Family Friendly ‘Glow in the Dark’ Park Walk Offered on February 11 Step It Up guided walks are all free and open to anyone who wishes to join Throughout the months of January and February, UBC Recreation is teaming up with campus partners to offer free guided walks to promote physical activity through a campaign called Step It Up. One of these walks is focused specifically on engaging campus residents: the Glow in the Dark Park Walk, on February 11. It involves a partnership of UBC and Wesbrook Village and will feature a family friendly walk through the Pacific Spirit Park trails. Participants can arrive at 5:30 pm at the Running Room (3308 Wesbrook Mall) to pick up free glow sticks and the guide. After enjoying a 45-60 minutes guided walk, participants can refresh and refuel with Jugo Juice and enjoy a 50% discount on all 24 oz smoothies. Participants are encouraged to bring flashlights or headlamps as well in order to help them see their way as they wind through the trails on this fun and interactive walk. The Step It Up guided walks are all free
and open to anyone who wishes to join. Anytime individuals participate in Step It Up guided walks, they are also eligible to win one of three Fitbit Flexes. Walking is one of the most accessible ways for all ages to build an overall sense of wellbeing, reduce stress, lose weight, make new friends, or reduce risks of cancer or cardiovascular disease. Other free guided walks offered by UBC include a Dog Walkers Stroll and an Art Lovers Walk. For more information and updates, check the UBC Recreation website: recreation.ubc.ca/stepitup or you can follow #stepitup #UBC on Twitter for research-based walking tips. The Step It Up Campaign is one way in which UBC is working to promote wellbeing. A working group—consisting of UBC researchers and recreational service providers—is working to develop cross-campus partnership and programs to create a culture at UBC that promotes physical activity. This working group is currently drafting an action plan focused on both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, in order to use evidence-based strategies to support the wellbeing of all UBC students, staff, faculty and the community.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT JANUARY 18, 2016
Biodiversity in your backyard The Botanical Garden in January: Increasing Daylight and Colder Temperatures Douglas Justice Associate Director, Horticulture and Collections UBC Botanical Garden
The New Year brings with it the promise of increasing daylight. My favourite formal greeting at this time of year is an ancient Latin salutation, Sol Invictus (the invincible Sun), which celebrates that very certainty (of increasing daylight, that is), but January also brings, statistically speaking, our coldest weather. It’s not surprising that local gardeners are often nervous about a potential deep freeze at this time of year. In general, however, the worst damage to plants by cold temperatures nearly always occurs in November or March, when plants are not so safely in a state of dormancy as they are now. And while I’m on the subject, I should add that ‘winter damage’ is often a result of leafy plants drying out. If
one is timid about such things, it’s probably best to fill the garden with deciduous shrubs, herbaceous perennials and conifers. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but one then misses out on so much more. To wit: what would Vancouver and UBC campus look like without its broadleaved evergreens? One of the most important broadleaved evergreen plant groups in the Botanical Garden is the Ericaceae (heather family). Rhododendrons are members, and arguably, one the most important groups of garden plants, both here at UBC and throughout the temperate world (though it has to be said that not all rhododendrons are evergreen). Still, the family is rife with excellent evergreen plants. While the heathers are an obvious choice to write about in January—Erica carnea ‘March Seedling’ is flowering now in the Winter Garden, for example—there are other more unusual ericaceous delights to be found in the Garden. After Rhododendron, the genus Arctostaphylos is probably my favourite. Arc-
tostaphylos comprises about sixty species of shrubs to small trees with often superbly sculptural stems decorated with peeling or flaking bark. With a couple of exceptions, they are evergreen and known as manzanitas (manzanita is Spanish for ‘little apple,’ in reference to the shape of the fruits). The genus is closely related to Arbutus, with which it shares a number of features including urn-shape flowers in drooping panicles and peeling bark. The E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden has an excellent collection of many of the hardier species, and they are worth a look at any time of the year. Our own native manzanita, Arctostaphylos columbiana, is known as the hairy manzanita because of its white-hairy stems and leaves. It typically blooms in April with clusters of pink or white flowers, and the species grow to form a rounded bush some 3m tall. Hairy manzanita is normally a challenging plant to grow, but there are several thriving in the Garry Oak Meadow and Woodland Garden.
Manzanita, like the one pictured, are closely related to Arbutus. Photo credit Douglas Justice. In the Collections: Learn how to identify mammal skulls at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum members’ workshop on Saturday, January 23 (on.fb.me/1Rh2mqH). Not a member? Become one to enjoy behind-the-scenes events (bit.ly/1n4E0Uu). The Shop in the Garden at UBC Botanical Garden operates daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm throughout the winter. Stop by and explore our selection of books, perfect for reading on a cozy winter night.
UBC Invites Campus Residents to Celebrate Year of the Monkey UBC is hosting a Centennial Lunar New Year Festival on February 5 (12 noon to 5 pm) at the spacious, new AMS Student Nest, 6133 University Boulevard. This intercultural celebration of Lunar New Year traditions is one of the campus’ largest cultural events. It is a free and family-friendly event open to everyone. “The Lunar New Year is celebrated by many UBC students,” explains UBC Associate Vice-President, Equity and Inclu-
sion, Sara-Jane Finlay. “For students of Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese heritage, it is the most significant holiday of the year and indeed all UBC can share in the excitement and learn more about the traditions.” Ms. Finlay is a resident of Wesbrook Place, and she plans to attend the Festival with her school age children. “This will be our first Lunar New Year event in Vancouver and my children are looking
forward to the lion dance and of course, the food.” The diverse line-up of youth, student and community performers includes Korean drumming, Chinese fan dancing and songs performed in Mandarin by toddlers from UBC Childcare. Several dance groups, including the UNA CRAZI Youth dance club, will perform their moves for the crowds. The highlight of the event is sure to be the loud and colourful lion dance as performed by the UBC Kung Fu club where the lion is fed lettuce (“choi” – wealth) to bring prosperity and good luck. For many people, the Lunar New Year is synonymous with delicious food, and AMS Catering is hosting a food demonstration. Those who enjoy arts and crafts may try their hand at paper-cutting, knottying, calligraphy and stamp-making. If you are up to the challenge, there are tra-
ditional Lunar New Year games, including Jianzi—a Chinese shuttlecock game, and a special oversized version of YutNori, a Korean board game. New to mahjong? The UBC Mahjong Club is hosting several mahjong tables and will help get you started. With so many cultural activities on hand, the UBC Centennial Lunar New Year Festival promises to be a memorable event. UNA residents of all ages are cordially invited to attend with their friends and families. More information on the Festival, including parking tips, can be found at diversity.ubc.ca. The Festival is presented by UBC Equity and Inclusion Office, Asian Library, Asian Centre, Institute of Asian Research, UBC Recreation, UBC Alma Mater Society and CITR/Discorder.
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UBC is hosting a Centennial Lunar New Year Festival on February 5 (12 noon to 5 pm) at the new AMS Student Nest, 6133 University Boulevard.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT JANUARY 18, 2016