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What is UBCO Life?
UBCO Life is a newsletter delivered twice per month to continuing undergraduate students, featuring academic and social events, upcoming deadlines, university news, and other issues relevant to student life and success at UBC Okanagan.

Jan 20, 2021

In this issue:

Note: Anchor links may not function in all email applications. Scroll to view items below.


Upcoming dates and deadlines

Jan 22: Last day to drop your course without a W standing (Term 2 courses)

Mar 26: Last day to self-drop a course in the SSC

Apr 13: Last day of classes and last day to withdraw with a W standing

If you need to drop a course, do so early. If in doubt, contact an Academic Advisor to discuss your options.

Life Raft Debate

Which UBCO prof would you choose to help rebuild society? 2021 Life Raft Debate

In post-apocalyptic world, which UBCO prof has most essential expertise needed to rebuild civilization?

In the 2021 Life Raft Debate, space agencies have discovered an asteroid is on a collision course with planet Earth. In order to preserve humanity, a settlement has been developed on Mars.

With just one seat left on the last evacuation shuttle, five professors must present their most compelling arguments to the Interplanetary Council (the audience) explaining why their area of expertise makes them the best choice to occupy the final spot in the shuttle.

Each prof will insist their discipline is the one indispensable area of study the new settlement will need to survive — but it will be up to the audience to select which one has made the most convincing case.

Join this virtual event on Jan 21 at 7 – 8:30 p.m. PT to decide which discipline will survive the apocalypse.

Our 2021 debaters will include:

  • Dr. Lesley Cormack — History and Sociology
  • Dr. Ray Taheri — Engineering (2020 defending champion)
  • Dr. Robin Young — Biology
  • Dr. Sally Stewart — Health and Social Development
  • Dr. Sandy Hilton — Management
  • Devil's Advocate: Dr. Bryce Traister — English
  • Host: Dr. Stephen McNeil — Chemistry.

Learn more

Last semester was rough

Last semester was rough, now what?
Overcoming academic hardship — an event for students, led by students

Last semester, the struggle was real. Now that we’ve been through the fall semester in a fully online environment, it’s time to try and overcome the academic hardships that we experienced last semester and think about how to make improvements in our lives and academics this semester. Join Bethany and Oz (two UBCO students) for an evening focused on overcoming academic hardship as a result of navigating a pandemic, juggling mental health, and learning how to manage our time in this new learning environment.

Last semester was rough, now what?
Tuesday, January 26 from 7–8:30 p.m. PT

Hosted by fellow student and UBCO Peer Mentor, Oz Petkovic, the evening will include a panel discussion with UBCO professors and students and presentations from UBCO experts from Health & Wellness and the Student Learning Hub.

Our spectacular panelists include:

  • Dr. Tamara Freeman, Associate Professor of Teaching, Department of Chemistry
  • Dr. Robin Young, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Department of Biology
  • Dr. Sally Stewart, Associate Professor of Teaching, School of Health and Exercise Sciences
  • Bethany Kolsniak, Second year student, Biochemistry and Indigenous studies
  • Atmaza Chattopadhyay, Second year student, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences.

Register here

January is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

January is Sexual Assault Awareness month at UBCO

Join the Sexual Violence Prevention & Response Office (SVPRO) and partners this month to raise awareness of sexual and gender-based violence in our community. Our 2021 theme is: End Racism x End Sexualized Violence. This theme recognizes the ongoing work of anti-racist activists and movements like Black Lives Matter, Me Too, and Idle No More who have called attention to ongoing and historical racism.

Check out an upcoming SAAM event:

Jan 21 – HOPE Outreach: Supporting women in our community

Angie will speak to how HOPE Outreach implements trauma- and violence-informed outreach to women and girls in the Okanagan affected by poverty, substance use, homelessness, and violence and supports them to live safely and achieve their aspirations. The event will conclude with an opportunity to ask the speaker your questions.

Jan 22 – Discussion: Calling My Spirit Back

Join us for a reading and discussion with Elaine Alec from her recent book, titled “Calling My Spirit Back”. It is about intergenerational trauma caused by colonialism and the hard work that goes into healing and breaking cycles, and how the teachings of a nation can be channeled to heal and strengthen communities.

Jan 22 – What does it mean to be a student (woman) of colour on a Canadian university campus today?

In this talk, Eternity will share her own journey as a university student and woman of colour on a predominantly white campus — which she details at length in her memoir, “They Said This Would Be Fun: Race, Campus Life and Growing Up”.

The talk will end with possibilities for how we can all better support students and women of colour from parents, friends, professors and allies, to what administrators and decision-makers can start doing now to make campuses more welcoming for students of colour.

Jan 26 – Tea talk with Tashia and Taylor

Pick up a package of tea and other goodies from the SUO to join your student representatives, Taylor and Tashia, who share and discuss issues around sex, consent and relationships.

Jan 27 – Creative healing: Ritual and arts-based support for BIPOC survivors

This group will be facilitated from an Indigenous healing and wellness approach to Expressive Arts therapy. We will invite and welcome our personal and collective resiliency to guide us every step of the way, this workshop will be our opportunity to honour our healing journeys in a virtual community. The arts-based processes will be facilitated in a way that the engagement in the arts becomes an opportunity to step into a resource and ritual oriented process. You do not need to have an artistic background to participate.

Jan 28 – Joking about the hard stuff through stand-up comedy

Come to this workshop if you are interested in looking at your hard stuff (which doesn’t have to be sexual assault) with an eye for humour. This workshop will not heal your trauma but will be a place to share stories and think of ways that we can joke about hard experiences.

Jan 29 – Sexualized violence, transformative justice and the shift away from criminalization

In this workshop, participants will learn about the basics of transformative justice as a model for ending and responding to sexualized violence, intimate partner violence, and other harms in society and understand why many activists believe it is an essential shift from the current approach of criminalization, police and prisons.

Learn more

It's more than just a job! Apply to be an RA for Residence Life

It’s more than just a job! Work in Residence Life

Residence Life is looking for passionate, dedicated, caring UBCO students of all ages to join their vibrant team in 2021. Working in a Residence Advisor is a valuable way to build important leadership skills, help other students succeed socially and academically, and earn income during the school year. Residence Life staff inspire communities, plan events, lend an ear when needed, and — most importantly — help create lifelong memories for residents and themselves. Applications are open until Feb 22!

Wondering about what it’s like to be an RA? One of Residence Life’s current RAs is going to be hosting a Q&A on Instagram Live this Thursday at 3 p.m. to answer any questions you have. Check it out: @ubcoresidence.

Apply now

PostSecret and the pandemic: Struggles, successes, and strategies

Join us for ‘PostSecret and the Pandemic’ ft. Frank Warren

Frank Warren is the sole founder of the PostSecret Project, a growing collection of over a million artful secrets, mailed anonymously to him on postcards. Known as ‘the most trusted stranger in the world’, Frank’s all new interactive presentation reveals our true feelings about how the pandemic has disrupted our lives, while providing evidence-based tools to aid young people and adults as they navigate through this challenging, but temporary crisis.

Community building, reducing stigma, and asking for help are all discussed in response to the rise in anxiety, loneliness, depression and grief.

67% of young people talk with a friend about mental illness before a parent, teacher or professional. One objective of this presentation is to give students the confidence and knowledge to know how to respond when a friend trusts them with their mental health secret.

Thursday, Jan 28 3:30–4:30 p.m. PT

Open to everyone. Registration is required. Hosted by the UBC Okanagan School of Social Work and alumni UBC.

Learn more and register

"Men don't show emotion"

It’s time to re-define manhood: a discussion about healthy masculinities

Be a part of the conversation.

Join a group of masculine-identified people talking about issues that matter: social expectations, mental health, suicide, dating, consent and sex.

Occurs online every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. starting Feb 9, for 7 weeks.

Supported by the Sexual Violence Prevention & Response Office (SVPRO) and Health & Wellness.

Learn more

Technician doing a drug check

Safer substance use with drug checking at UBCO

Campus Health and Interior Health have partnered to bring harm-reduction services, including drug checking, to our campus. These services are for people who use drugs, or who know someone who uses drugs, so that people can use substances in a lower risk way — never to report people or get them in trouble.

Drug checking is a confidential service that is performed by trained technicians. The technicians use FTIR spectroscopy as well as immunoassay strip testing to tell people what they find in the sample, so they can use their drugs in a more informed way. Drug checking is performed on campus Wednesdays and Saturdays. Call or text 250 864 1431 to arrange to have your drugs tested, or send us your comments at

Follow us on Instagram @campushealthubco to hear more about our work and find out what drugs we check each week!

SUO general elections are coming up

Nominations for UBCSUO are coming up

Becoming an elected student leader brings responsibility to lead and serve your fellow students. Holding these positions will provide you with practical and valuable experience in communication, problem solving, time management, public speaking, teamwork, and leadership that will serve you well in both your current student life and in your future career. Get involved and be a part of the future you wish to see at UBC!

Positions available:

  • President (1)
  • Vice-Presidents (4): 1 each of Internal, External, Campus Life, and Finance & Administration
  • Faculty Representatives (8): 1 for each faculty
  • Directors at Large (4)

Nominations open Feb 1.

Learn more

Student exercising at the Hangar

Upcoming Rec events

Move UBC

Kick start Move UBC with us on Feb 1 with our virtual kick-off walk! Join us virtually by posting a photo/video of your 2km walk from wherever you are using #moveubc and tagging @ubcrec and @ubcwellbeing and enter to win a Fitbit!

Partner with Move UBC! Whether you want to host an event or simply help us spread the word that small movements can add up to big changes, there are lots of ways to take part in Move UBC!

Sign up, receive perks, and stay in touch with regards to everything Move UBC!

Sign up here

Have a great idea for an event or initiative to get people moving? Apply for aMove UBC Grant of up to $300!

Physical activity coaching

Struggling to fit movement into your day? Need exercise ideas? Want help getting started? Recreation is here for you! Speak with a student peer about how to get started, keep going or spice up your exercise routine.

Online coaching sessions will be 30 minutes set in a time that fits into your day. Coaching sessions help to break down barriers, set goals and suggest ways to fit activity into your schedule. Sessions are free and open to all members of our UBC community.

Learn more

Virtual art classes

Come and create a masterpiece, meet new people and learn a new skill. Four nights of classes offered on Wednesdays or Thursdays starting Jan 27 and 28.

Learn more

Cross-country skiing

UBCO Recreation is excited to offer Cross-country skiing in partnership with Telemark Nordic Club starting on Jan 29 from 4–9 p.m. PT. Space is limited.

*Ski Rentals – $11.00 & Night Ski Pass – $5.00

Learn more

Winter intramural registration open!

New intramural sports are being offered this semester including Badminton Ladder and Disc Golf.

Learn more

Lunch and Lift workshop

Free 2-in-1 interactive wellbeing workshops consisting of a 30-minute movement class, followed by a 30-minute interactive wellbeing session facilitated by a UBC wellbeing professional. These sessions will not only allow you to get some exercise in over lunch time, but will also provide you with some great tips and tricks to support a healthy mind and body. All registered participants in attendance at each session will be entered in a draw to win prizes each month.

Join us on Jan 20 from 12–1 p.m. PT. Registration is required.

Learn more and register

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