KPU Richmond Continues to Struggle with School Spirit

The southern entrance to the KPU Richmond Campus. (Wikimedia Commons)

The general consensus at KPU Richmond is that, unless you’re part of a clique, there isn’t a lot of social connectivity amongst the students.

At large, university students are busy people. KPU students rely on attending events held on campus and joining clubs to get involved. Unfortunately, students in Richmond say that there is seldom anything exciting to do there, and that if there is, they might not hear about it.

Emily Crugel, a design student involved with KPU’s Student Experience Committee, believes that school pride comes from taking ownership of your institution. She describes what Richmond campus has to offer as little more than a small cafe, Tim Hortons, and uncomfortable seating. As a student in the Wilson School of Design who attends class about four times per week, she has little to no interaction with students from different programs.

“The stage belongs to you as much as you belong to the stage,” she says.

For Leah Donean, a fashion marketing student in Richmond, the isolation others feel at KPU isn’t an issue. Because she takes business classes, she is able to meet students from other departments. However, she says that there are “no fun or cool activities around campus,” and suggests that organising more student-run activities would address this problem.

“It makes students want to participate because it doesn’t feel forced,” she says.

Both Crugel and Donean say that they can’t help but compare this experience to what they came to expect from the media’s portrayal of university—parties, crazy campus life, and a vibrant social atmosphere. These preconceived ideas may only exist on television, or at a Beta House somewhere in America.

Still, Donean contrasts KPU’s social atmosphere to UBC’s and SFU’s. She feels that, if students at KPU took action and organized off-campus social events, there would be more of a community between the major campuses. .

Be more than just a seat number. Get involved, talk to other students and faculty members, try different clubs, and keep an eye on the posters. Take advantage of the opportunities given to you as a university student at KPU and it could help you connect with your community.

Students in Surrey are always buzzing around and making connections. This only became clear to me when I chose to get involved in extracurricular activities. By doing so, I found the magic in someone other than a professor knowing your name.


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