snowy tree branch

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 6, 2021

In this issue:

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


Upcoming dates and deadlines

Jan 11: Winter Term 2 start date.

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.

students socializing

Join us for winter welcome back activities

We know – last semester was hard! We struggled with loneliness, with technology, and with the new learning environment. This January, let’s have a fresh start!

Join us for Winter Welcome (back) from Jan 11 – 22, featuring workshops, social activities, and fun challenges that will help you connect with others and feel prepared for a new term ahead.

Some activities include:

  • International Student Information Sessions
  • Planning for Success: Time management workshop
  • Prep your Tech for success: Learn how to navigate UBC’s learning technologies
  • Games Night: Join us for some Among Us, Reverse Charades, and much more
  • Do you know UBCO? A Virtual Scavenger Hunt

View all the upcoming activities and register online:

Learn more

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.

2021 debaters will include:

Dr. Lesley Cormack — History and Sociology

Dr. Ray Taheri — Engineering (2020 defending champion)

Dr. Robin Young — Biology

Devil's Advocate: Dr. Bryce Traister — English

Host: Dr. Stephen McNeil — Chemistry.

Register by Jan 15 for a chance to win $25 in free ice cream!

Learn more

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 15 – Student Leadership x Culture Change
Student leaders who have done courageous, creative and necessary work around consent culture and anti-racism over the last year will share about their emerging and ongoing culture change initiatives and what’s possible for other student groups.

Jan 19 – It’s in Our Hands

Join Sophie from Health Wellness to trace our hands. We will be using colors, lines, symbols and words to express what we have experienced and witnessed and also ways we can prevent harms and work towards restorative justice and healing or what we each feel is needed. No art experience required. We recommended bringing a few art materials: pencil/pen, paper, markers and/or your favorite medium to color with.

Jan 20 – 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 21 – Let’s Get Sexucated

Join us for a fun night of education and prevention through virtual trivia. Teams will compete for awesome prizes on topics such as sexuality, sexual health, consent culture and anti-racism. Featuring award-winning sex and emotional literacy educator Karen B.K. Chan as a co-host!

Learn more

Author Event: T'áncháy Redvers & Joshua Whitehead

Author Event: T’áncháy Redvers and Joshua Whitehead in conversation

The UBC Okanagan Library, Students’ Union, and Equity & Inclusion Office are pleased to present a unique online author event on Jan 14 celebrating the diversity of literature created by and for Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer people. This event features writers and creators Joshua Whitehead and T'áncháy Redvers in conversation. Speakers will present on some of their work and offer attendees the opportunity to ask questions. Important themes such as decolonizing Queer literature, exploring intersecting identities, Indigenous Futurism, and Indigenous ways of knowing and learning will be explored. This event is free and space is limited.

Learn more and register

student doing research

Undergraduate Research Awards Writing Workshop

Do you need support writing an Undergraduate Research Awards (URA)/International Undergraduate Research Awards (IURA) application? Get the help you need at the URA Writing Workshop with Amanda Brobbel, Manager of Writing and Language Learning Support.

Wednesday, Jan 6 5:30–6:30 p.m. PT — Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science (FOS) session

Thursday, Jan 7 5:30–6:30 p.m. PT — Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) session

Both sessions will be delivered via Zoom.

Learn more about the FOS session

Learn more about the FASS session

boy must be tough

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. PT starting Feb 9, for 7 weeks.

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

Learn more

Indigenous Perspectives on Science and Systemic Racism – Jan 20

Jan 20: Webinar on Indigenous perspectives and science and systemic racism

Join the Provost and Vice-President Academic, Okanagan for the second webinar in a three-part series discussing systemic racism in science.

Panelists Dr. Jeannette Armstrong, Canada Research Chair in Okanagan Indigenous Knowledge and Philosophy, UBC Okanagan; Elder Albert Marshall, Mi’kmaw Nation; and Aaron Prosper, graduate student, UPEI & project manager of the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Nation Cancer Care Strategy will lead a discussion on Indigenous Perspectives and Science and Systemic Racism.

The talk will be followed by a moderated Q&A.

Learn more and register

Students at a Health & Wellness group

Health and Wellness Groups

Growth and success for international students

Wednesdays from 9:30–11 a.m. PT continuing until April

This group will facilitate international students' adjustment, academic success and personal growth. Members will have opportunities to explore and share experiences, discuss different topics, engage in various group activities and learn useful strategies. This is a closed group.

Learn more or participate

Maximizing motivation, focus and wellness group

Wednesdays from 3–4:30 p.m. PT

Many students are struggling with motivation and concentration more than ever during the pandemic. This drop-in group is a combination of discussion, mutual support and learning from one another. Please note that discussion groups are not therapy groups.

Learn more or participate

Journey together

Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. PT starting Jan 13, 2021

This group will explore emotional health, social health, role expectations, and relationship with other and self, as a member of the Black and African Diaspora community on campus while facing the challenges of anti-Blackness/Racism. This group is run by a UBCO counsellor who is a person of colour, and aims to create a safe and healing space to share lived experiences with race-related stress. This group is for Black students.

Learn more or participate

Y mind

Thursdays from 2:30–5 p.m. PT from Feb 4 to Mar 25 (no group Feb 18th).

Y Mind is a virtual group for students who want to learn how to manage stress and anxiety. Participants will learn simple ways of coping with worry, negative thoughts and rumination, as well as strategies for calming the body and mind. A three-month membership to the Kelowna Family Y is included for group participants.

Learn more or participate

Dream appreciation group

Thursdays from 5–6 p.m. PT beginning Jan 14, 2021

Participants will connect with others while exploring their dreams.

Learn more or participate

Academic Integrity Digital Poster Contest

Extended deadline for the Academic Integrity Digital Poster Contest

The Academic Integrity Digital Poster Contest seeks creative designs from UBCO students (in exchange for cash prizes). This is a competition to find novel ways to educate students at UBC Okanagan on the importance of Academic Integrity. The contest theme is “Integrity begins with me.” In addition to receiving cash prizes of $250 (first place) and $100 (second place), the selected designs will be used for a campus-wide education campaign in 2021.

The contest encourages submissions that emphasize the positive values that support Academic Integrity (such as honesty, respect, responsibility, fairness, and perseverance). We seek to inspire students to work with integrity through the creative designs of their peers.

The design submission period for the contest opened Dec 1, and has been extended to Jan 24, 2021.

Learn more

students at the UBCO Food Strategy Committee

Become student co-chair on the UBCO Food Strategy Committee

The UBCO Food Strategy Committee is recruiting a student co-chair! The UBCO Food Strategy connects people on campus interested in or working on food-related projects like the Healthy Beverage Initiative, the Food Security Initiative, Nutrition Month, climate action planning, and more. If you are interested in food and nutrition, as well as expanding your network while taking on a leadership role, then please reach out to Julie and Casey via email at and by Jan 18, 2021.

student doing yoga

Move UBC is coming!

Move UBC is a university-wide annual initiative to increase physical activity and reduce the time students, staff, faculty and the UBC community spend sitting.

Small changes can add up to big impacts — moving more and sitting less can improve both mental and physical health, impact academic and professional success, and contribute to wellbeing in meaningful ways.

Learn more about Move UBC

Have a great idea for an event or initiative to get people moving? Apply for a Move UBC Grant of up to $300! Application deadline is Jan 24.

Apply to work in Residence Life today!

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!

Apply now!

arts graduates at work

New program to create employment opportunities for arts graduates

The UBC Okanagan Arts Career Apprenticeship Program connects upcoming arts, humanities and social sciences graduates with Okanagan-based employers for one-year, paid, early-career opportunities. Students will participate in a competitive application and interview process and gain professional experience and mentorship, while contributing to the growth and development of a local business.

Applications open January 15.

Learn more

Student Learning Hub now on Canvas

New Student Learning Hub resources on Canvas

Student Learning Hub (SLH) Canvas modules are free and easy to access so that you can find the resources you need when you need them. Learn at your own pace and explore a variety of subjects developed specifically for UBCO students, including:

  • Getting Started with Online Learning
  • Learning Technology at UBC Okanagan
  • Time Management and Planning
  • Communicating Online
  • Study Skills for Tests and Exams
  • Self-Care While Learning Online
  • Academic Writing
  • Campus Services at UBC Okanagan
  • Academic Integrity
  • and more to come throughout the term!

There are no pre-requisites to enroll, and the modules can be accessed in any order, at any time.

Enrol in Online Learning Resources

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