WHAT1100: Principles of Basic Navigation
Features / January 13, 2015
A guide to your KPU campuses.
By Kier-Christer Junos
You park your car at the campus and walk lethargically toward a pay station, heels dragging, face sagging.
“Damn you, Impark,” you curse under your breath, whilst jamming quarters into the accursed meter.
As you shuffle through the hall, you again realize that the holiday has left you a grunting mess; your thighs fill your pant legs a little more than usual and your cardigan lacks buttons from nursing a late-term food baby. “Damn your unholy meatloaf, grandma,” you curse again.
Welcome back to KPU, Tuesday two of 16. Maybe you’re new here, so here’s a straight-up bienvenue. If you’re new,—or in your degree’s fourth-year and you’re merely lost and crying again—fret not, little eagle. The Runner has compiled a campus guide to help direct while you digest.
Situated in the middle of Newton, KPU Surrey is home to the journalism and psychology departments. All the buildings are named after trees, except the front building, now called “main building”—because this makes perfect sense. Once upon a time, the buildings were simply lettered, but I imagine somebody high-up finally decided to execute their weird, arboreal agenda.
Because of the Surrey campus’ excellent acoustics, you can easily hear the collective groans of students’ stomachs reverberating through the hallways. These grumbly folk usually satiate their hunger in Cedar building, which houses the express Tim Hortons and the KSA-based Grassroots Café. The café generally serves good-quality organic food. The selection is quite varied, too. A proper meal exists here, but at a price that can bruise even the most weathered wallet. If price is an issue, consider Tim Hortons. Sadly, patrons must brave a sluggish line. Sorry, but that’s the nature of the Timmie’s Crawl. Besides these, Sodexo maintains the cafeteria above the bookstore. The food there is literally unremarkable and moderate-to-high priced. Finally, if you actually enjoy walking, restaurants exist across the street beyond the Grassroots Café patio.
Amongst the amenities that Surrey Main offers is the fitness centre within Cedar building. It’s been critiqued for its small size, but people still make an effort to frequent it—and it’s free for students. But if your gains are literally far too big for the fitness centre to contain, then the Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) offers a fitness pass to the much-larger Steve Nash Fitness Centre on Scott Road. There, you’re free to bench the entire building, and if you’re lucky, Steve Nash might even appear and spot you himself.
Across KPU Surrey’s pebbled courtyard is Arbutus building, or the library. This monolithic structure features three floors of, you guessed it, endless library. You think the shelves would have more books, but this is 2015; shit’s online now. Some pro tips: don’t go in there with more than a covered drink. The librarians will see you. And they will end you. If you’re looking for a place to study, try the library’s third floor. It’s been designated as a “silent study area” and it’s filled with cute little cubicles to block out other humans while you scribe. Be warned: there are stairs you have to climb. If you want to keep things down-to-earth, the library’s lower levels have wonderful armchairs with flip-out writing surfaces and nearby power outlets. They’re also good for naps, but if a librarian catches you slippin’ you’re in for a whippin’.
Other decent study/sleeping/make-out areas include the random coniferous forest outside of main building and its adjacent gazebo. The benches in the Cedar building courtyard also make for a good post-exam cry or a lonely read. Cigarette butts litter that place, however, so you can discern what really goes on there.
The fashionable Richmond campus
Here reside the fashion design students and soon, the Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design. Richmond campus frequenters, take heed: this campus is a labyrinth, and that’s why all Richmond-class textbook lists prescribe a spool of string to help you find your way back to the main atrium. Even KPU president Alan Davis allegedly said in an address that to find a washroom here, you “have to walk around for a while.” Richmond campus’s corridors expand and shrink randomly like a subterranean volcanic chasm. Truly, even the most talentless architect would deem several hallways as “ill-conceived.” Moral of the campus: if you get lost, you will go hungry. And die.
In-house food choices are slim at this campus, for there’s nothing beyond the Tim Hortons and cafeteria. Prices are assumedly similar to their corresponding Surrey counterparts. The campus, however, is situated beside the Landsdowne Mall, a Cactus Club, and the Skytrain – all within walking distance. Consider your curio tickled.
The library is much smaller at this campus, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find seclusion within, but the main atrium features side-nooks filled with sitting arrangements and tables, which, in my experience, never seem too populated. The upper atrium also provides seat-and-surface combinations.
This campus will soon have a brewery lab, but until then, the safest alcohol will probably be in Langley’s business strip. The Fort Pub in Fort Langley isn’t too far away either, but the road towards there often clogs despite recent development.
Langley campus is home to the horticulture and music departments. The musicians are usually quite good, as are their practice facilities, so you can make note of listening in to some of the ensemble classes or performances, if you’re into that kind of thing. This campus’s best secret resides over the Route 10 pedestrian overpass. On the other side of that concrete rainbow are the campus greenhouses—home to the cute greenhouse kittens that capture mice.
Decent study spaces include south building’s common area (the nursing building). It’s an open, well-lit space, usually filled with harrowing silence when the nursing students are in class. Most people don’t even know this building exists.
The tech campus’ highlight is the student lounge; it’s a large, communal meeting place for the campus community, where television screens flicker, and sofas do their thing. Students compete on foosball tables and at the billiard table. None of the other campuses have these. Students here once did KSA vice-president of student services Steven Button a favor by fixing up his car—and Button says they do it for everyone. Engine exploded? Maybe someone here could give you a hand to get you rolling smoothly again.
Hopefully your semester will roll along smoothly, too!