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Published monthly by the University Neighbourhoods Association Published monthly by the University Neighbourhoods Association

Volume 3, Issue 3

MARCH 19, 2012

‘Circle Painting’ to Build Interaction between Campus Groups

Permit Approval Allows Hospice Start Likely in April St. John Hospice, adjacent to Promontory apartment building, is granted development permit; start of excavation at site is expected in days

Artist/teacher Hiep Nguyen, of Long Beach California, and UBC marketing student My Le (both kneeling at far end of canvas) encourage members of the UBC community to participate in a Circle Painting project co-funded by the University Neighbourhoods Association and UBC campus and community planning. Circle painting is a collaborative art-making process that aims to promote social interaction and creative expression. See story on Page 7. Other stories on UBC-UNA community grant projects on Page 6 (Three Minute Thesis) and Page 4 (Midsummer Night’s Dream).

UNA Directors Decide on TransLink Study Harris request for support in getting vote on mayors’ council is side-lined Directors of the University Neighbourhoods Association voted at their March meeting to commission a study of TransLink, the regional transportation authority. The vote came after Electoral Area A director Maria Harris had petitioned the UNA board for support in gaining voting rights at the mayors’ council on transportation, part of the TransLink governance

structure. Mankee Mah, chair of the UNA governance committee, said the UNA TransLink study will identify options for representation that are in the best interests of the UNA and UBC. “We want a better understanding of TransLink before we decide on the request by the Electoral Area A director,” Ms. Mah said. Meanwhile, Ms. Harris has taken her fight to gaining full voting rights on the council to the office of local MLA Christy Clark, premier of the province. In a letter to Ms. Clark, Ms. Harris says

Electoral Area A is the only part of the Metro Vancouver region that does not have a voting representative on the Mayors’ Council. Electoral Area A comprises the unincorporated areas in the Metro Vancouver region, and includes the UBC neighbourhoods as well as the University Endowment Lands. Over 98% of the residents of the Electoral Area live in these areas, which are part of the Point Grey riding Ms. Clark serves.

Battle of the Surveys Beckons on UBC Campus UNA, UBC, Metro Vancouver, all are committed to probing mind of populace; professional polling company will be used for UNA survey Campus residents beware: multiple surveys may be coming your way. Directors of the University Neighbourhood Association voted at their March

meeting to employ the services of a polling company which would, among other things, take the pulse of the community on local governance. The unanimous UNA vote in favour of a survey of demographics, community needs and satisfaction follows on the heels of preliminary work by Metro Vancouver on shaping the terms of a larger survey on governance issues. The Metro survey—should it materialize—would likely poll the 5,000 residents of the University Endowment Lands on local governance as well as the 7,000

UBC residents (and possibly 9,000 UBC students who live on campus for eight months of the year). Not to be left out, the UBC board of governors has struck a small committee under vice-president Stephen Owen to review municipal type governance practices in place at UBC Vancouver against best practice standards of area municipalities such as the city of Vancouver. UNA chair Prod Laquian and vice chair Thomas Beyer belong to this committee.

Construction of the St. John Hospice adjacent to the Promontory apartment building at the University of British Columbia appears likely to start in April. Joe Stott, director of campus and community planning at UBC, confirmed a review of the permit to build the hospice is underway “and should be issued directly.” Mr. Stott said, “An April start to foundation excavations is likely.” Issue of the hospice building permit would follow closely on the heels of a development permit which Mr. Scott issued February 20, 2012 following some changes to the design to improve landscape screening from the neighbours to the north in the Promontory high-rise building.

Mr. Stott said, “These changes were requested by the board of governors when they considered (Board 2) approval to proceed with the project. With the cooperation of the Promontory strata council, campus and community planning had an information update for Promontory residents January 31.” Development permit approval for the St. John Hospice—with the likely issue of a building permit in days—brings to a close an institutional permit application process which began June 14, 2010 and which was delayed in 2011 following strong opposition to building the hospice immediately south of the Promontory by a group of campus residents. This opposition erupted—early in January, 2011—when residents of the Promontory at 2688 West Mall in the Hawthorn Place residential neighbourhood received notices in the mail from UBC advising a public meeting about the hospice development adjacent to their homes was scheduled to be held within days.

HOSPICE Continued on Page 10

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Week of Events Works to Heighten Sense of Fair Trade on Campus Inaugural Fair Trade Week was held at UBC March 5-9; follow-up survey was planned to measure success A week of events at UBC March 5-9 aimed to increase awareness of what is meant by ‘Fair Trade’, and according to organizers, the event achieved considerable success. They planned a post-event survey to measure the breadth of this success with members of the UBC community asking, among other things, if they know where on campus to buy fair trade products. “Next week will see a post-awareness survey to find out whether awareness of what Fair Trade is and where products are available on campus have actually increased – the actual aim of holding the week in the first place,” Rebecca Irani, one of several event organizers said prior to deadline. Marketing and communications manager at the UBC Bookstore, Ms. Irani said that due to the collaboration of many campus partners and students (SEEDS, UBC Food Services, the UBC Bookstore, the AMS, Engineers Without Borders, the Sauder School of Business, UBC Common Energy, Faculty of Land and Food Systems and Oxfam UBC), “the first Fair Trade Week has been a notable success.” UBC’s inaugural Fair Trade week started with a bang as students and staff joined a flash mob dance, dressed in Fair Trade

costumes including bananas, chocolate and grapes, around the Student Union Building (SUB) and the UBC Bookstore. The lyrics and dance were composed and choreographed by students from Oxfam UBC and UBC Common Energy. In addition to this, the community on campus and beyond took advantage of free Fair Trade coffee and tea all week. The main event, held on March 7, in the UBC Bookstore plaza welcomed over 10 vendors and suppliers of Fair Trade products to highlight the wide range available on campus (including coffee, tea, fruits, chocolates, jewellery, gifts and footballs). With over 200 attendees, two packed lunch-and-learn sessions presented by Fair Trade Vancouver and Engineers Without Borders generated a noteworthy number of questions and a high level of engagement. Thursday saw the Fair Trade run along Main Mall with some runners dressed in giant banana costumes, and Friday saw the final day of the scavenger hunt which ran all week, encouraging participants to find Fair Trade products all over the campus. Ms. Irani said there are a large number of reasons “to buy fair trade.” She said Fair Trade means fair pay and working conditions for vulnerable farmers and producers, and by choosing Fair Trade, consumers support safe and healthy working conditions for farmers and artisans and create just economic opportunities for marginalized producers. She said Fair Trade encourages environmental sustainability.

Kara McDougall (left), manager, engagement, UBC campus sustainability, and Liska Richer, coordinator, SEEDS program, UBC campus sustainability office dress up in banana skins to promote Fair Trade Week on campus.


page 3 Published by: University Neighbourhoods Association #202-5923 Berton Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6S OB3

Editorial Page

Editor & Business Manager John Tompkins 604.827.3502

UNA Chairs Challenge Move by Metro Vancouver to Poll UBC Residents Chairs past and present are unanimous in joint letter addressed to Greg Moore, Metro chair The undersigned are all the Chairs of the Board of the University Neighbourhoods Association (“UNA”) from its inception in 2002 to the present. We write in response to Metro Vancouver’s recent pronouncement, carried in The Vancouver Sun, about conducting a survey in our community concerning governance issues. Metro’s initiative was in response to advice from the Province to Metro that the Province has made inquiries with the constituent parts of our varied community and has concluded that there was no current governance issue. We wish to say three things. First, the UNA was created by an agreement between UBC and Metro Vancouver which expressly identified the UNA and mandated it to bring municipal-like governance to the developing University residential neighbourhoods. Despite this, Metro Vancouver has, on no occasion since 2002—not once—engaged in any discussion with us about governance. As regards the developing residential community at UBC, the UNA has been governing for a decade. We deliver all municipal-like services. In that decade, Metro Vancouver has conducted two studies and now makes this public call for a governance survey including our community. In connection with none of this has Metro ever asked the body created at its direction about our views on governance or any survey. Second, the UNA has an active Governance Committee. We are in the midst of conducting a periodic review of governance options, including the status quo. Metro Vancouver indicates that it wants to survey approximately 50,000 people out here about governance issues. We are quite clear that this would probably not be a helpful exercise for

our residents at UBC. The survey might well be structured to produce data that Metro Vancouver could then cherry pick to support a specific agenda since the 50,000 people surveyed would include widely disparate groups. The survey would include people who permanently reside in one of the University neighbourhoods (whom the UNA represents), people who permanently reside in the UEL community, commuter students who attend UBC for some part of certain days for a limited period of time, students who live in University residences for a limited period of time, and UBC faculty and staff who may live on, or off campus. The “governance” issues that affect each of these groups are dramatically different and raise dramatically different issues. They are part of a range of existing, in some case long established, government mandated, and very different governance structures. Metro Vancouver shows no sensitivity to this. It may be that Metro does not understand the whole issue. Third, Metro Vancouver expressly asked to be released from its governance role in Fall 2009. The Province responded to this with legislation in 2010 which legislation removes local governance issues from Metro’s responsibility. Since then Metro has played no role here and why Metro proposes to use taxpayers money on something for which Metro has no responsibility is hard to fathom with the information that has been made publicly available to date. This is particularly surprising as when Metro Vancouver was our regulator we found it impossible to get Metro Vancouver to take any interest whatsoever in the governance of our community. Other than reports that Metro issued (concerning which they did not consult with us) the only clear statement that Metro Vancouver ever made on governance was, in Fall 2009, to say that Metro Vancouver intended to arbitrarily, without any consultation, enact a bylaw taking over the

governance functions that the UNA (at Metro’s previous direction) was exercising in our local community, moving this governance function to Metro Vancouver’s offices in Burnaby and having Metro’s bureaucracy run our municipal life. This was an exceedingly unpopular suggestion amongst our residents and indeed, we are not aware of any group in our area that thought that the Metro statement made any sense. Metro Vancouver has had plenty of opportunity to be helpful in the development of governance mechanism here at UBC. It started out with an agreement with UBC that indicated some promise. But Metro has done nothing to assist in the orderly development, in our UNA community, of a unique, representative, democratic and responsive form of town hall based governance such as we currently have and which we are further developing. We trust we have stated our position clearly on this matter. Prod Laquian, UNA chair and former chairs Sharon Wu, Mike Feeley, Brian Collins, Jim Taylor.

Photos from top right clockwise: Prod Laquian, current chair; and past chairs, Sharon Wu, Mike Feeley, Brian Collins and Jim Taylor.

Letter to the Editor I would like to provide some follow-up details about student housing at UBC is response to Thomas Beyer’s January 16th article “Is UBC Actually Serious about Housing Affordability” Mr. Beyer suggests in his article that UBC is making a 50-75% profit on its student rental housing. This is not true. Student housing is actually provided by the university on a cost recovery basis, with rental rates going to cover the cost of running the facilities and providing an array of support services for residents,

as well as to pay down the mortgages. And the cost of this housing is significantly lower than the same type of housing in near-by neighbourhoods. Rent in UBC student housing averages $750 per month, with a range of $494 - $1155 per month for single student housing. A one hour transit ride from campus is required to find an equivalent average rental rent, and many students who live over two hours away from UBC pay more rent than those living in UBC student housing. Student housing is also significantly

less expensive than that of many of our peer universities in Canada, like the University of Toronto, Queens and McGill. UBC has also made a significant commitment to building more student housing. We have over 9,000 beds on campus, 8,700 of which are operated by Student Housing and Hospitality Services. UBC operates the highest number of beds on any single campus in Canada both in terms of number of units and as a percentage of the full time student population (27%). To support this growth land

revenues from non-student housing projects, such as those in Wesbrook Place, are contributing to the Student Housing Financing Endowment. This fund, established last year, will finance new student housing, ensuring we can meet our commitment to adding 2,000 additional students beds to campus by 2016 with projects such as the 1,100 bed Ponderosa Commons. Andrew Parr, Managing Director, Student Housing and Hospitality Services.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream Draws Students Close as Community To me, theatre is about community. Producing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Green College – a graduate interdisciplinary residence at UBC – is no exception. Since October 2011, graduate students living at Green College have been working towards the staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Putting on a piece of theatre – a work of Shakespeare with a cast of twenty-five people, a live musical score and without the backings of a purpose-built theatre – is no small undertaking. But, to sold-out audiences on March 14th, 15th and 17th, it all came together. Green College’s Great Hall was transformed into a fairy world of mistaken identities, magic and romance. The teamwork, dedication and collaboration of Green College residents made this possible. Green College’s mandate is to “promote advanced interdisciplinary inquiry.” Like Green College, A Midsummer Night’s Dream attracted residents from a wide variety of academic subjects. During the day, Dream actors learn and contribute to a wide variety of disciplines from engineering, history and law, to physics, eco-

nomics and biology. At night, they came together to rehearse, explore and play. Marc Schutzbank, the actor who played Oberon explains: “It’s not every day that you have a physicist and an urban farmer playing havoc on a bunch of educators, historians, geographers and computer scientists.” Theatre offers a space for collaboration across difference. The goal of the initiative was a production of Dream but also the opportunity to find a voice through performance. The actors were not expected to have acting experience and casting was based on a resident’s availability to commit to the project. From the start, the three directors of this play – Jessica Rose, Christina Turner and myself, Michelle Turner – aimed to create a safer space for actors to engage with the text and the characters. A theatrical space – a rehearsal space – requires people to be vulnerable, make mistakes and access parts of the self that sometimes get neglected in academia. As actor Marc Schutzbank continues, “Being part of the play forces us to be closer in ways that we don’t often do. We connect our body to our mind as we dance and feel the lines out. It brings us closer as a community and helps us to trust one another in a way that is difficult to do only through discussion.” It was not just the product but this

process that was the goal. Theatre can also create community in, to quote Dream, “the true performing of it.” On March 14th, we had the opportunity to share a Green College dinner and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with students from HUM101, a humanities course for residents of the downtown eastside, in part thanks to a generous donation from UTown@UBC and the University Neighbourhoods Association. All

Group shot of Midsummer Night’s Dream performers

which 135 UBC graduate students were given only three minutes each to present years of their research work with a panel of judges deciding which of them spoke the most succinctly and engagingly. In a third project, the UNA helped fund a performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream (see Page 4) at Green College in which students in costume entertained members of the public—residents and students alike— in a manner less formal than the one usually enjoyed in theatres. These projects have gone a long way towards bridging the famous gap between ‘town’ and ‘gown’ at UBC—town being the residents and gown being the students, their professors and UBC administrators. In only its second year, the community grants program seems headed in the direction its sponsors hoped for when launching it a year ago. We look forward to a further round of intriguing and innovative enterprises next year.

Photo: Kathleen Adams

Social Vibrancy at UBC In the pages of this newspaper, you will find accounts of three ‘community grant’ projects funded in part by the University Neighbourhoods Association. UBC campus and community planning and various UBC student organizations also became co-sponsors. Each project—and more than a half dozen other projects awarded grants a month ago on the order of $1,000 each—contributes to what is referred to as the ‘social vibrancy’ of the community at UBC comprising both residents and students. In one project, the UNA helped fund a friendly event described as ‘Circle Painting’ (see Pages 1 and 7) in which UBC students and residents came together over two days to create a painting whose central motif was the circle, known universally as a symbol of unity. In a second project, the UNA helped fund a public-speaking event referred to as ‘Three Minute Thesis’ (see Page 6) in

proceeds from the play were donated to the UBC AMS Food Bank and the Cultural Youth Ambassadors Group of the Musqueam Indian Band. The show felt like a success on many levels. As Aimee Keay, a Green College resident said, “I know I speak for the audience (who cried with laughter!) when I say WOW and thank-you for such an awesome evening!”


By Michelle Turner, student at Green College, UBC

Green College players perform at “awesome evening”

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OP-ED PAGES Where Vancouver Sun Story on Metro Poll of Residents Came from By Maria Harris, Electoral Area A director, Metro Vancouver On Friday, February 24, an article appeared on p. 10 of the Vancouver Sun with the inaccurate headline “Metro to Poll University Residents on Governance”. The article relates to a meeting of Metro Vancouver’s Intergovernmental and Ad-

ministration Committee held Wednesday, February 22. One of the agenda items for that meeting concerned a letter of November 15, 2011 from Ida Chong, the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, which responded to Chair Lois Jackson’s letter of September 6, 2011. Ms. Jackson had asked for an update on the provincial review of local self-government at UBC. Minister Chong replied that, following exploratory discussions,

it was determined that there is no consensus to change the current governance model at this time. The agenda item informed the Committee that Metro Vancouver staff would be drafting a response to Minister Chong for the Metro Vancouver Chair’s signature. It added that this response would indicate Metro Vancouver’s concern about the regional implications of the current governance structure, and would urge the Minister to begin discussions with stakeholders to develop a workable, accountable governance model. The views reported in the Vancouver Sun article were expressed in the course of the Committee’s discussion of this agenda item. What ensued from the discussion is that Metro Vancouver staff was directed to report back to the Committee with recommendations about researching the UBC community’s views about governance and land use planning at UBC, including how such research may effectively be carried out. This is all that was decided. A decision whether to proceed with a survey will not be made until staff has completed their work. A point that remains to be clarified is whether the Committee is interested only in the UBC lands, or whether their interest extends to the UEL as well. I should point out that the Committee’s direction to staff came as a surprise to me. It went beyond the agenda item,

which was only to inform the Committee that a response to Minister Chong’s letter was being drafted. I will be working with Metro Vancouver staff in connection with their consideration of this matter. At this point, I do not have a position on whether residents should be surveyed for their views on governance. If a survey were to proceed, it is preferable in my view that it not be undertaken unilaterally by Metro Vancouver.

Maria Harris

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UNA Assists Grad Students Become Better Presenters Students are contestants in ‘Three-Minute Thesis (3MT)’; years of research work is distilled into three-minute public presentations The University Neighbourhoods Association has assisted graduate students at the University of British Columbia become

better presenters of their research work by co-funding a public speaking competition called Three-Minute Thesis (3MT). Jacqui Brinkman, manager of the Graduate Pathways to Success program at the faculty of graduate studies, said, “We kindly acknowledge the generous support of our event sponsors, including UTown@ UBC, and the University Neighbourhoods Association.” The Three-Minute Thesis contest this year brought 135 graduate students into competition through a series of heats, two

semi-finals and a March 2 final with eight contestants doing verbal battle. A panel of four judges, including Prod Laquian, UNA chair and a retired UBC professor, chose to give first place to Natalie Sopinka, a graduate student in forestry for a three-minute presentation on the ‘trans-generational effects of stress in sockeye salmon’—an honour which came with a $1,000 top prize. In relatively easy-to-understand language, Ms. Sopinka—in three minutes— explained how she determined damage to smolts arising from excessive predation (by bears), water pollution, climate change and other stresses suffered by female sockeye. Fergil Mills, a graduate student in neuroscience, ended up in second place— earning him a $500 prize—for ‘Too much β-catenin: Sticky Synapses, Sticky Memories’, a presentation of research work on what causes people (and mice) to forget things. Jason Tan De Bibiana, a graduate student in the UBC school of population and public health, found favour with the majority of those in the audience—winning the ‘People’s Choice’ award for his discussion on ‘What is the Impact of Housing First on Emergency Department Use among Homeless Individuals with Mental Illness in Vancouver?’ The following graduate students also got into the final eight (with their topics in brackets):

• Andrew Pilliar, law (Improving Access to Justice and Lawyer Satisfaction through Market Modification); • Carmen Emmel, atmospheric science (Mountain Pine Beetle and Climate – What should we do?); • Paul Slangen, civil engineering (Assessing the Health of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam); • Baillie Redfern, genome science and technology (Engineering the Perfect Perfume); and • Samantha Grist, electrical and computer engineering (Mimicking the Body for Drug Testing). The Three-Minute Thesis is an initiative of The University of Queensland, which was introduced in 2008 and is now run annually. In 2010, The University of Queensland hosted the inaugural Australia and New Zealand 3MT competition. 33 universities competed in that inaugural competition, representing over 50,000 PhD and Master of Philosophy students. The competition continues to gain popularity with 43 universities sending representatives to the September 2011 Australia and New Zealand 3MT competition held at the University of Western Australia. UBC is one of the first Universities in North America to host a 3MT competition. The 3MT competition at UBC was launched in January, 2011 with 100 graduate students competing.

Natalie Sopinka, winner of the Three Minute Thesis contest with Fergil Mills (left), runner up, and Jason Tan De Bibiana, the ‘People’s Choice’. Contestants had only three minutes to present years of research work to a lay audience. Ms. Brinkman said the Three-Minute Thesis is an academic competition that assists current graduate students with fostering effective presentation and communication skills with participants having only minutes to explain the breadth and significance of their research project to a general audience. About a hundred students, staff, faculty, friends and members of the public attended the March 2 UBC 3MT final in the Faculty of Graduate Studies ballroom. Journalist Kathryn Gretsinger, an adjunct professor at the UBC School of Journalism compered the event. As well as Mr. Laquian, the following acted as judges: Alice Mui, assistant professor, department of surgery; Andy Torr communications & research officer, Office of the Vice President Research & International; and Dan Bock, PhD candidate, Botany. The UNA and UBC campus and community planning co-funded the Three-Minute Thesis competition through their Community Grant program—along with UBC student housing and hospitality services. This program, which has awarded over $10,000 to 11 projects, is designed to bring together all components of the residential community at UBC.

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High Praise for Student Director

Prod Laquian, chair of the University Neighbourhoods Association, (left) presents Matt Parson with a plaque of appreciation for the year of service Mr. Parson provided the UNA as director representing the Alma Mater Society, the UBC student body. Directors spoke in glowing terms of the way in which Mr. Parson served as conduit between 7,000 UBC residents on campus and 44,000 students at UBC. Mr. Parson was recently elected AMS president.

‘Circle Painting’ Puts Students, Residents in Closer Contact A marketing student at the University of British Columbia aims to bring ‘town and gown’ closer on campus through a community art-making process called ‘circle painting’. My Le, a Vietnamese student in third year at the Sauder School of Business, says, “There are 44,000 students at UBC and thousands of residents, and circle painting can help bridge the gap between them.” The ‘bridging’ process comes about, Ms Le says, as students and residents experience the dynamics of painting large-scale artworks in collaboration. This shared experience draws the otherwise diverse groups together—a process which has the backing of both the University Neighbourhoods Association and UBC campus and community planning which helped cofund the project in part through their joint ‘community grant’ program. Financial assistance also came from the UBC Global Fund, which provides small grants to currently enrolled UBC Vancouver students to fund student-led initiatives, projects or events that focus on international engagement, intercultural understanding, sustainability and collaboration and have connection with the Simon K.Y. Lee Global Lounge and Resource Centre. As well as funding, the UNA provided 20 volunteers for the two-day event March 13-14 which began with canvas placed on the floor of the Buchanan Building on campus, brushes and paint made available to passers by, and advice on circle painting provided by Hiep Nguyen, an VietnameseAmerican artist/teacher from Long Beach, California who created the first circle painting when he returned to his native country Vietnam in 1999. “I was driven by the desire to connect with neighborhood children in a mountain town, Mr. Nguyen said in an interview. “So, I invited them to paint circles with me in my studio. “To my surprise, the children kept coming back for more, sometimes even with

My Le and Hiep Nguyen showcasing one of the circle painting works

My Le, a third year student at the Sauder School of Business their friends and families. This experience inspired me to continue exploring the circle theme as a way to create and connect with others.” The circle has global meaning to the gifted Mr. Nguyen, “It is a universal symbol everyone can relate to. Simple yet profound, it symbolizes wholeness, enlightenment, and the universe in all cultures. For us, the circle means connection, creativity, and celebration.” Ms. Le, who was helped in organizing this project “by the Vietnamese Student Society, the Global Lounge, the UNA volunteers and other amazing friends”, added that another aim of the joyously-creative Circle Painting event at UBC was to raise funds for Operation Smile, a humanitarian project hopeful of transforming the lives of children born with cleft-lip, cleft-palate and other facial deformities. “All these paintings will be auctioned off next week,” she said on the first day of the circle painting event. “All proceeds go to Operation Smile Vietnam.”

Stephanie Jameson, The Old Barn Community Centre programmer contributing to the circle painting process

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UNA Community News The

The Old Barn Community Centre

Spring & Summer Program Guide 2012 Look for your copy in the mail next week, or pick up a copy from The Old Barn!

Registration opens April 10, 2012


Sustainability Corner MOU Focus Area: Green Residential Buildings This month, we continue my series of columns on the UBC-UNA MOU on Sustainability with a review of the focus area for sustainable building standards. This focus area commits UBC and the UNA to work together as UBC undertakes a review of the UBC Residential Environmental Assessment Program (REAP) in preparation for updating REAP. The intention for this focus area for the UNA to be included in consultations during the UBC review to ensure the local experience of the UNA is considered. REAP is a building program developed by UBC that guides and certifies the green building practices used to construct residential buildings in the UNA neighbourhoods. REAP is similar to other green building rating systems such as LEED, but is designed specifically for residential building types built at UBC—from low-rise to high-rise and mixed-use buildings. REAP was initially developed in part because no comparable rating systems existed for some of these building types at that time. One of the main objectives for establishing REAP is to ensure that multi-family residential projects built at UBC are of higher quality and have lower environmental impact than standard construction in BC’s Lower Mainland region. If your home was built in 2006 or later, your building has many green features mandated by REAP. Some examples include mandatory standards for low flow showerheads and toilets, Energy Star appliances, extra insulation and high efficiency windows, and water efficient landscaping. Optional credits can be earned for achieving higher than mandatory standards, and for innovative features such as kitchen waste composting or individual apartment level hot and cold water metering. As part of the review process, UNA residents were invited to join a working group comprised of resident volunteers, UNA and UBC Campus Sustainability Office staff and a UNA Board member. Working group members are currently

participating in a series of review workshops focusing on different categories of REAP credits. Some areas the working group has discussed include ensuring that recycling and compost facilities are available and the recycling rooms are of sufficient size, updating low flow water standards energy efficient appliance standards and consideration of building level energy standards. The working group is expected to report their recommendations to the UNA Board this spring. Be sure to watch this column for updates on the UNA REAP working group and the UBC REAP program.

Ralph Wells, UNA Sustainability Manager

Your Community Centre • Your Ideas The Old Barn Community Centre is doing a Program Needs Assessment between March 1 and April 30, 2012. All participants will

be entered in a draw to win a night out at the movies for 4! Join one of our group discussions Register at reception 604.827.4469 Youth Group

Parent Group

Tuesday, April 3, 2012 Monday, April 16, 2012 4:00-6:00pm 12:30-2:30pm & 7:00-9:00pm

Fill out a survey on our website, or a paper copy is available from reception.

Adult Night

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 7:00-9:00pm

6308 Thunderbird Blvd

For more information please check our website

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Planning Proceeds on ‘First Campus Skatepark in Canada’ Awkward patch of land is proposed site of skatepark; UBC and UNA are united in financial support of project Planning has advanced for the proposed first campus skatepark in Canada on a patch of land at the University of British Columbia that seems to have few alternative uses. Should the skatepark go ahead, the boarders would perform their tricky balancing acts on a parcel of land bounded by roads on two sides, a huge electrical generating station on another and an outdoor basketball court on the remaining side—all this lying beside a major parkade on Thunderbird Boulevard in the centre of campus. A community ‘Open House’ took place March 5 at University Hill Secondary School so that further consideration could be given to design of the youthoriented facility. UBC transportation planner Adam Cooper defined the current status of design of the skate park in an interview. “We are exploring possibilities,” Mr. Cooper said. He added that the end-result of building the park would be to provide local youngsters with a “fun and safe” place of enjoyment, “but at the same time

stay open to the general public.” UBC and the University Neighbourhoods Association have formed a partnership to fund and pursue development of the skate park. At an earlier Open House in January, the partnership lacked both a site and advanced design plans when going before the public to give an assessment of the project. With the second Open House over, the partners hope to make a final design presentation in April before applying for a development permit. UBC is working with New Line Skateparks and Van der Zalm and Associates, landscape architects, to develop a design for the park. Kera McArthur, director, public engagement, UBC campus & community planning, told the March meeting of the University Neighbourhoods Association that 28 people attended the March 5 Open House, which focused on design concepts. Ms. McArthur also reported on an earlier phase of the skatepark feasibility study which took place between January 31 and February 10 with an Open House on January 31st. Online and in-person feedback was received from 263 people and 15 people attended the Open House, she said. “The feedback from this first phase of consultation was primarily positive.”

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HOSPICE Continued from Page 1 Asian residents of the Promontory and other Asian residents on campus petitioned against this location—with media reports on the issue focusing on comments made by some of the Asian residents of the Promontory that they could not reconcile the proposed location of the hospice facility next door to them with their beliefs about death and dying. One resident expressed the opinion, “We don’t want dying people in our backyard.” Another said, “In China, we build ‘hospices’ very far away. It takes you two to three hours drive to get to the place of death.” Many talked of selling their suites at the Promontory unless UBC pulled its plan to build a hospice next door. Subsequently, public opinion in letters to the editor, calls to radio shows and online postings weighed heavily against the expressed position of the Asian residents. Subsequently also, another group of residents on campus petitioned in favour of the location of the hospice next to the Promontory. Meanwhile, the UBC board of governors—which had originally planned to discuss the hospice project at its February meeting—delayed discussion for almost six months before finally approving the project in the second half of 2011.

The site of St. John Hospice at UBC is circled in red in the aerial photo above. Once construction is completed on the 30,000 sq. ft. site of the hospice on Stadium Road and West Mall, the two-level building will have a 13,400 sq. ft. building plan, 15 hospice rooms on the main level, three academic offices on the lower level, a contemplative garden, and surface parking stalls.

St. John Hospice at UBC will Serve Patients near the End of their Lives UBC refers to ‘proponents’ of the project as the Order of St. John, the faculty of medicine, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and UBC Properties Trust. The University says the goals of the St. John Hospice are: to serve patients near the end of their life and their families; to fill a gap due to the lack of hospices on the west side of Vancouver; and to improve its ability to conduct public outreach and education on palliative care. Here is some general information the University has provided about hospices: 1. What is a hospice? A hospice is a facility where special, palliative care can be provided to people near the end of their life. 2. How is a hospice different from a hospital? Hospice staff provides palliative care. Palliative care aims to alleviate pain and discomfort to improve quality of life for patients with any end-stage illness and their families. In contrast, hospital staff endeavours to save lives, prevent disease and infection, manage symptoms, facilitate research, and treat or cure illness.

3. Who needs access to a hospice? Hospices serve people who are at the end of life, their family and friends, and the general community. 4. Who can be admitted to a hospice? The hospice is a non-denominational facility. Patients must meet citizenship and residency requirements to access services. 5. Once admitted, how long do patients usually stay in a hospice? The average length of stay is approximately one month. 6. What is the age of the average patient? Approximately two-thirds of hospice patients are over the age of 65. But patients can be of any age. Regardless of age, hospice patients are typically in the last stages of life. 7. What does it cost to stay in a hospice? Who pays? Hospice care is covered through the provincial medical coverage program. 8. How is a hospice staffed? A multidisciplinary team—including physicians, nurses, aides, social workers, spiritual care givers, counselors, therapists and

volunteers—works with the patient and their family to develop a personalized care plan. 9. What are the hours of operation? Hospices are open 24 hours a day, sev-

en days a week. No fixed visiting hours mean that family and friends are welcome to visit with patients whenever they wish.

page 11


Biodiversity in your backyard Biodiversity Blindness By Patrick Lewis, Director, UBC Biodiversity Collections The term “plant blindness” was first used over a decade ago by James Wandersee of Louisiana State University and Elizabeth Schussler of the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center in Aiken, South Carolina. Wandersee and Schussler defined plant blindness as “the inability to see or notice the plants in one’s own environment — leading to: the inability to recognize the importance of plants in the biosphere, and in human affairs; the inability to appreciate the aesthetic and unique biological features of the life forms belonging to the Plant Kingdom; and the misguided, anthropocentric ranking of plants as inferior to animals, leading to the erroneous conclusion that they are unworthy of human consideration.” Given the importance of plants in providing basic needs such as food, shelter, clean air and clean water, to list but a few of an extensive list of uses, it is critical to all of us to have some familiarity with and appreciation for the importance of plants. And while Wandersee and Schussler confined their concerns to plant blindness, the same concern can be extended to many if not most organisms. It is critical to appreciate and understand the relationship of all organisms “in the biosphere, and in human affairs,” not just those that call on our attention through movement, shape,

colour, size, physical appeal or our ability to exploit them. This would include a wide range of other oft-neglected organisms: protists (mostly single-celled organisms), fungi, invertebrates such as insects and spiders, algae, bacteria, mosses and lichens. It would, in fact, include most living things. What would the world look like without fungi? Can you imagine a world where antibiotics hadn’t been discovered, or where dead organisms didn’t decay, leaving nutrients bound in tissues, unavailable to sustain future generations of life? What about a world without mosses or lichens? Imagine bare rock faces, such as those exposed by retreating glaciers, never accumulating the thin layer of organic material required to establish larger plants or to build highly water-absorbent peat. A world without protists and algae would feature near-barren seas, as marine ecosystems would lose the most basic level of the food chain. And a world without insects? Only a few pollinators would remain, and a key agricultural necessity would thus vanish. Addressing “biodiversity blindness” – a broader, more inclusive term implying that the awareness of the importance of all living things needs to be improved — is essential to all our futures. Here at UBC it is the cornerstone of the education and outreach mission of UBC Biodiversity Collections’ Beaty Biodiversity Museum. Building on the theme of biological blindness, the Beaty Biodiversity Muse-

um is featuring ‘Interaction’, a new photo exhibit on display until May 6, 2012, exploring the diverse interactions between organisms, people and the environment. Images as varied as an osprey’s splitsecond grab of a trout, or the pattern left behind by a leafminer larva as it eats its way through aspen leaves, are on display. The Museum is also featuring new pro-

gramming titled “Birding Bonanza” until May 25, 2012. View local birds like never before through activities and displays of bird specimens from our exclusive behind-the-scenes collections. Programming includes hands-on activities with real bird specimens, birding activities and lessons, museum tours, puppet shows, scavenger hunts, crafts and more.

Photo caption: From a distance, poplar trees infested with aspen serpentine leafminer appear to have silver foliage. Up close, intricate patterns are revealed. Photo credit: Daniel Mosquin. This is one of his photos that is included in the Interaction exhibit at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum mentioned at the end of the column.

UBC Welcomes New Vice-President for Communications and Community Engagement The University of British Columbia Board of Governors has approved the appointment of Pascal Spothelfer as the new Vice President, Communications and Community Engagement. Spothelfer will begin his five-year term starting May 28, 2012. Spothelfer has extensive international

business experience as a management consultant, senior executive and CEO of both privately held and publicly traded companies. From 2007 to 2011 Spothelfer was President and CEO of the BC Technology Industry Association where he has been actively advocating for the strength-

ening of British Columbia’s knowledge economy. “We are very pleased to welcome Pascal Spothelfer to UBC,” said Professor Stephen Toope, President and Vice Chancellor. “His breadth of experience and his track record in steering organizations

Pascal Spothelfer through innovation and change will help to guide and strengthen our university.” Spothelfer will succeed Stephen Owen. Owen held the position of Vice President External, Legal and Community Relations from 2007 to 2012. Owen returns to his earlier focus on mediation and public policy conflict resolution. “Stephen Owen has been a highly effective vice president,” said Professor Toope. ”He has made outstanding contributions to the University.” Born in Switzerland, the 51-year-old Spothelfer graduated with a law degree from the University of Basel, where he also completed his PhD in Law. He received his MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.

page 12


enda b

Campus Resident March 2012  

published monthly by the University Neighbourhoods Association

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