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UBC assists student projects connecting campus to the community

UBC’s Michelle Lowton, (left), chats with students Kelsie Balehowsky and Jenna Gall. Both students have organized community events with assistance from UBC’s Tuum Est Student Initiative Fund.
October 26, 2013 - 9:48 AM

KELOWNA - As a fourth-year Earth and Environmental Sciences student, Jenna Gall has plenty of great, far-reaching ideas that spread well beyond the classroom.

While taking the Geography of Food Systems course in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences at UBC’s Okanagan campus last spring, Gall spearheaded Food for Thought, a one-day gathering of community leaders, policy makers, farmers, politicians, land owners, and regional planners. The event attracted 70 people discussing food policy, marketing, land use, water, the Agricultural Land Reserve, urban sprawl, the wine industry, and food poverty in the Okanagan.

She turned to UBC’s Tuum Est Student Initiative Fund (TESIF), gaining a $3,500 grant. Given that and support from the Environment and Sustainability Society, Gall was able to cover costs of the successful community event.

“The idea is to give students a chance to connect their passion and interest with an issue on our campus or in the community,” Gall says. “TESIF can be a real assistance to some of the barriers about organizing events off campus, because they are not free.

“The fund is to help people get started with an outreach project and bridge the gap between the university and the community,” says Gall.

The Tuum Est Student Initiative Fund can be used to cover a number of activities including student fees for attending specific Canadian conferences like the Model United Nations, or organizing the International Fashion show, UBC robotics club, concrete toboggan competition organized by students in the School of Engineering, and last year’s Fools and Feathers workshop organized by students in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.

Michelle Lowton, associate director, Student Development and Advising, points to an upcoming event organized by Creative and Critical Studies student Kelsie Balehowsky. A TESIF-funded initiative called Art and Controversy brings Ottawa artist Jonathan Hobin to campus November 4 for a public dialogue, exhibit and panel discussion about controversial art and the issues explored by contemporary artists.

It’s another example of the unique ideas students dream up and the value of funding being available to turn those dreams into reality, says Lowton.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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