From the editors
Opinions / September 4, 2015
What does it mean to be a Kwantlen student?
I have been coming to KPU for a few years now. I first arrived after changing majors from sciences at Langara, to journalism here. My goal was to earn my degree and get out, and on with my life. This hasn’t changed.
I can’t even finish my degree as fast as I would like—like a lot of “niche” disciplines, there are no higher-level journalism or communications courses offered in the Summer, so you can imagine how long I’ve been stuck here.
Out of all of my friends who came to Kwantlen after high school, I’m likely the only one who hasn’t transferred to UBC or SFU. Maybe if either one had a bachelor of journalism, that might have been the case for me.
Unlike other universities that have dorms, or are situated in small cities, we have very little student life to speak of. This is a problem that would be very hard to fix, given the fact that we have multiple campuses and that many students live great distances from the Surrey campus. I know someone in Langley who has to take courses in Richmond, and someone from Abbotsford who studies in Surrey.
The public transit in Surrey and Langley is a drag, and I live in Richmond, meaning that even if I wanted to stay in Surrey after 8 p.m. I’m not getting home very easily. It’s much easier to hang out with my Richmond friends who I’ve known longer than to hang out with people who live in six or seven different municipalities.
Unless you’re in a unique program, or need the quiet of the library, staying after school seems pointless. If I was at UBC, I could hang out in one of their lively bars—at Kwantlen I can wait in line at the Tim Hortons, if they even stay open past 5.
Now, this isn’t to say there’s zero student life at Kwantlen. We have a plethora of student clubs, a student-run cafe with a stage, an arts and literary publication for creative-types and a team of KSA volunteers working every day to try and ensure students have a reason to come to campus beyond their obligatory credit-qualifying courses. Do these factors guarantee your time at Kwantlen will be spiritually and recreationally fulfilling? Absolutely not. But they’re a resource if you seek them out. A place to begin. And hell, Kwantlen’s a growing boy—if you have an idea for a way to improve student life, maybe you can get in on the ground floor. That’s something even UBC can’t always offer you.
Even though it’s a commuter school, I think studying here is whatever you make of it. I joined this newspaper as a contributor last September, became a staff writer, and somehow I became the editor. I’ve met others who started clubs last year and became high-ranking KSA members this year. I work with a great group of people, and now that I’m taking classes with students I’ve been around for a few years, the social situation is actually improving. Will it ever rival SFU or UBC in terms of, well, just about any matrix you can name? Not in my lifetime or yours. But you’re here now, not there. Whether you plan to get your degree at Kwantlen or transfer somewhere better in a year or two, you’re here now. Try to make the most of it.