Editor’s note: Brylian Marin, who was interviewed for this article, is a contributor for The Runner. The Runner acknowledges and has taken steps to prevent conflicts of interest or potential bias from influencing the article.
The Kwantlen Student Association hosted their semester Clubs Day event on Nov. 21 at the Spruce Atrium on the Surrey campus.
Clubs Day is an opportunity for new or returning students to check out some of the clubs offered at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Clubs allow students to explore their interests and hobbies, but also expand the skills they learn in courses to an outside setting. The event had free pizza, fruit, chocolates, chips and salsa, coffee, and hot chocolate for attendees to enjoy. There was also a giveaway draw students could enter to win a free KPU hoodie, hamper, and Stanley cup.
KPU Pride Society
The KPU Pride Society is a student-run collective that aims to bring together and foster a safe space for 2SLGBTQIA+ people on campus. They advocate for 2SLGBTQIA+ people on campus, provide resources, and host events year-round.
Camille Bédard, president and one of the founding members of the society, wanted to fill in the gaps of resources for students and unite the community on campus.
“It’s such a great and welcoming place and it’s really beautiful seeing people coming together,” Bédard says.
“A lot of these students feel unsafe in the classrooms around campus. I think that the pride society offers them a place where they don’t have to really worry about that type of stuff.”
The society is located on the Surrey campus in Birch room 240 and is open weekdays from 1:00 to 7:00 pm. They host events like movie and game nights while also taking part in pride events throughout the year.
“I love being able to bring together the school’s queer and trans community and offer students a space that’s safe and welcoming to express themselves and hang out,” Bédard says.
2SLGBTQIA+ students interested in joining can email email@example.com.
Kwantlen Psychology Society (KPS)
The KPS is a club led by psychology students and is one of the oldest clubs at the university, having been around for 20 years.
The club hosts community building and social events, academic skill-based workshops, and brings in instructors to give psychology presentations.
Bédard is also president of the KPS and says the club is a nice way to bridge the gap between students and instructors, but also increase coursework engagement.
“It’s one of those things that encourages you to be more engaged in your class, if you have a well-established relationship with your instructor. Being able to do that is a fantastic opportunity, as well as meeting other students who might be in class with,” he says.
Some events they hosted this year include a workshop for mastering students’ resumes for grad school, a speaker series talk with psychology instructor Farhad Dastur, and a movie night watching Avatar: The Way of Water.
Bédard says the club is hoping to host study nights in the Surrey and Richmond campus psychology labs at the beginning of next semester and organize a faculty and student pub night.
“That’s like a really cool part about the KPS is we’re not just a student club, but we also have instructor involvement,” he says.
KPU Cricket Club
The KPU Cricket Club aims to promote cricket at the university level. The game is usually played between two teams with 11 players on each team. Some rules of the sport are similar to baseball.
The club, which started about a month ago already has 50 members, says Gurlal Singh, the club’s president.
Singh says the membership has predominantly been male and he would like to see some female members join as well.
“Everyone at KPU should know about [cricket] as much as they can so we can promote it.”
The club is hosting an event at the Surrey campus gymnasium on Dec. 1 starting at 4:00 pm.
“Cricket is growing all over the world. Even in Canada, we can see a lot of tournaments and it’s a really exciting sport,” Singh says.
Bible Study @ Kwantlen
The Bible Study @ Kwantlen is a club led by students interested in studying and expanding their knowledge of the Bible while sharing their thoughts in a group.
Volunteer Osinachi Daniel Ezeanya joined the club in September and says he finds reading the Bible is a way to relieve stress but also interact with others.
“When you read the Bible, there’s a set of norms that after them, it changes your interactions with people and it makes it better for some people. The main benefit is change,” Ezeanya says.
Students part of the club meet up when they can throughout the semester to talk about the Bible. Meetings are usually held at the Richmond campus, but they are trying to have more at the Surrey campus to encourage students to join.
Marian Ping, another volunteer at the club, says at the beginning of the semester, the club creates a spreadsheet of people interested along with current members and shares a verse with them once or twice a week.
Kwantlen Gaming Guild (KGG)
The Kwantlen Gaming Guild is for those who love playing games with like minded people. The club has been around since 2014 and is led by students from different programs. They host activities and events throughout the year like playing video games on campus, tournaments run by them and others in the Lower Mainland, and board game nights.
Brylian Marin, president of KGG, has been a club member since 2016 and obtained the position last year. He says Super Smash Bros and Resurrection of the Gaming Dead are some video games they plan events for students to play.
“[The club has] helped out a lot of students who have felt alone, who didn’t feel like they were people like them,” Marin says.
“We’ve had this really big community over the past 10 years. We actually still got alumni coming back to the club every once in a while to meet up.”
Marin says there is a club hangout happening next month for people to attend and details should be out soon for students to check out. For the spring semester, he says the club is preparing another event in January on the Surrey campus along with one in February on the Richmond campus.
“As the president, I want to try and [have] the club be a home for people who don’t feel like they have a place,” he says.
The Kwantlen Pageturners
The Kwantlen Pageturners is a club for anything and everything about books. The club is great for students interested in reading the same book together and discussing or possibly debating it.
Natalia Santana, president of the Kwantlen Pageturners, says every semester club members choose which book they want to read and discuss it at the end of the semester.
The club puts up a poll at the beginning of the semester to choose a book they would like to discuss. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin was the book for the fall semester, which is also available at the KPU library.
To make sure the books are available for everyone to access, they usually decide on books available at the library.
The club started five years ago after being passed on by an alumni to current students. They have meetings throughout the semester and host events like movie nights to socialize with other students and newcomers.
“It’s also a way to just have fun reading because we read a lot of textbooks throughout the semester. And it’s nice to read a fictional book.”
Kwantlen Human Resource Association (KHRA)
The KHRA aims to help students find jobs, learn about the human resources community, and help students get certified for their chartered professional in human resources (CPHR).
While the club is student led, there is a lot of faculty engagement from instructors who are industry professionals.
“Our faculty mentors help us get connected with industry, and get the right people [to] attend the right events for us,” says Danielle D. Leon.
The KHRA recently got recertified as a KSA club and is looking for new members, especially those in the BBA program since most of the current members are from post-baccalaureate programs.
The club aims to build a community for students where they can connect and engage in social activities and develop interpersonal skills.
KPU Pre-Med Club
The KPU Pre-Med club got its start in April after club president, Tisha Pann, had the idea to start the club for the upcoming semester.
The club aims to get students involved in medicine-related initiatives and volunteering opportunities. They are currently repacking medical supplies to be delivered to West Africa in association with Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation, and recently partnered with Project Sunshine Canada to provide virtual teleplay opportunities for children in hospitals to entertain them during their stay.
The club also aims to inform students about the requirements for med school admissions. Fatima Zahra, treasurer of the club, says she had a hard time understanding the requirements and opportunities available to medical students as an international student in Canada.
“It’s our hope to summarize that [information] for [students] to make it easier and expose them to the world of medical profession,” she says.
School Outreach Ministry (SCOM)
SCOM is a Christian club that gets together once a week to discuss and talk about life.
During the meetings, the group shares their thoughts, studies the Bible, shares the word of God, and plays games.
“We are able to give encouragement to one another, especially in times when school gets stressful,” says Phoebe Dinamling, president of the club.
The club started this semester to expand their boundaries across KPU. Members of the club say it helps them revitalize after a stressful week at school through talking to other students who are in the same boat as them.
Being a part of the group encourages them to carry on and do better in their classes and work. The club is currently planning a Christmas gathering set to take place after finals.
The Kwantlen Geographers are an outdoor club that started during the COVID-19 pandemic. The club aims to encourage networking among the students, give them a break from school, and learn about the environment.
The club went on local trips throughout the fall semester to Lynn Canyon Park, Cypress Mountain, Stanley Park, and Capilano River to learn about the natural hazards and species of these areas to get hands-on experience about geology. The trips are free to attend with transportation arranged by KPU.
“The point of the club is to make opportunities available for students to choose and come out when they can,” says Yhanusi Vapalalan, president of the club.
Vapalan also says the club is a great way for students to go outdoors instead of staring at a textbook or screen.