On March 7 in the Spruce Atrium on the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Surrey campus, the Kwantlen Student Association hosted their spring semester Clubs Day event.
Clubs Day is an opportunity for students to meet organizers of the many student-run clubs at KPU, learn what the clubs are about, and sign themselves up. The event featured free ice cream, a henna artist, and a mini donut food truck.
KPU Pride Society
The Pride Society is a student-run collective with the goal to foster a safe community for 2SLGBTQ+ people on campus. They also advocate for 2SLGBTQ+ people on campus and provide resources for those who need them.
Camille Bédard is a founding member of the club which was established last spring. Bédard and a group of students met through KPU’s Pride Advocacy Group and were inspired to create the club.
“We [realized] there was no queer club for queer students by queer students, so we decided to make it,” he says.
“All of us were late third year students, and none of us had queer friends … we felt better if queer students have more access to the community, so that they can actually talk to each other.”
The society can be found in the Birch 240 room on weekdays between 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm, and they have a Discord server with about 100 members. They host weekly events ranging from movie nights, game nights, or PowerPoint nights. Currently, Bédard says they are organizing a speaker series event with a talk from an 2SLGBTQ+ faculty member so they can speak to the experiences of others.
“Invite people, spread the word. The more voices, the more power we have,” Bédard says.
2SLGBTQ+ students interested in joining the Pride Society can email email@example.com.
KPU Anthropology Society
The Anthropology Society is the revival of a former anthropology club, which became inactive during COVID-19 lockdowns.
“Me and a couple other executive members decided to restart it, our president really spearheaded it,” says Mini Claire, vice president of the club. “We started going to [our] classmates and other anthropology students to [let them know] we started it up again.”
Jacob Pietraroia joined the club through that recruitment and says it’s a chance for people to meet up once again after COVID restrictions.
“COVID ruined everything for everyone,” he says. “Anyone who would have started going to KPU the year before COVID happened or when COVID happened, their social life is pretty much dead for three years because all those courses were either online or you weren’t allowed to hang out anywhere.”
Club members meet up at restaurants and often engage with each other through a Discord server. Clarie says they’re hoping to also organize more online events, such as game nights through their Discord, so that some events are more accessible for members to join.
“We are considering getting someone from the faculty to do a seminar because … what people go to KPU for is to get something that will help them get a job, and when people see anthropology they don’t [know exactly] what it is,” Pietraroia says.
“What’s really common around here is working with Indigenous people mostly in land development,” he says. “We want to socialize and hang out, but we also realize we have a duty to uphold because we’re not all going to be here forever. We have to keep the influx of people.”
Sydney Wong, president of the Kwantlen Geographers, founded the club with two other students during COVID lockdowns.
“All our events were online for a bit, but now that we’re back in-person we can finally have actual outdoor events, which is exactly what I’ve been wanting to do with this club,” she says.
An event the club hosted last month was a snowshoeing trip at Cypress Mountain with geography instructor John Martin. On March 26, the club has planned a GeoTour at Lynn Canyon with Martin, and attendees will also get to spend some time at the Ecology Centre to learn more about Lynn Canyon’s ecology and education programs. The event is free for students, and a shuttle bus is available from the Surrey campus.
“All the events are funded by the KSA, so you don’t have to worry about costs or expenses. It’s a great way to make friends, everyone is super friendly in the club, and it’s a great way to get off our laptops and phones and enjoy nature,” Wong says.
Students interested in joining the club can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
KPU OSCM Club
The Operations and Supply Chain Management (OSCM) Club was established “with a vision to enhance students’ experience” and to “organize conferences and fun activities, to connect with alumni, and to network with professional associations and industry partners,” reads the KSA website.
Asad Husain, vice president of events at the club, is a student in KPU’s operations and supply chain management postgraduate program and joined the club last year. He says the club raises awareness about the supply chain and associated channels within product development and shipping.
“There are a lot of job opportunities in this role and I think there are very few industries which do not have a supply chain perspective in them,” he says.
The club hosts “meet and greet” events with members and industry experts or alumni to talk about their experiences. Husain says they also host webinars to talk about industry trends, possible changes coming in the future, and job prospects.
The club is in the process of changing their name from OSCM to OTM, which stands for operations and technical management, because technical management is getting merged into operations and supply chain, Husain says.
Students interested in joining the club can email them at email@example.com
The Muslim Student Association (MSA) was founded in 2016 and “aims to build bridges and close cultural gaps” by offering a “non-judgemental environment,” reads the KSA website.
President Hannadi Jallad and volunteer Syeda Hafsa both joined the club after reaching out on Instagram during pandemic lockdowns and were added to its WhatsApp group.
“For me, being a Muslim, I couldn’t find the [right] club to be in. So I searched Instagram … and found KPU MSA,” Hafsa says.
“It breaks stereotypes about Muslims for non-Muslims [and] educates people about our religion,” Jallad says. “It’s like a home away from home for Muslim people. It’s really hard to find [a community], especially here in Vancouver.”
The club hosts a couple events a month after a vote on ideas within the WhatsApp group. They also arrange get-togethers with food and play a movie or game for members to engage with.
Zahra Khan has been a member of the MSA since 2018 and says the MSA is a welcoming space for all students to practice their faith.
“It’s not our job to preach Islam, it’s definitely our job to represent ourselves. I also like that the prayer room was a welcoming environment. I’m a transgender student and if I’m praying without a hijab I’m glad that I can do that without scrutiny,” Khan says.
Students interested in joining the MSA can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.