Introducing Parents Guide, Fifth Edition

By Helena Zhu, Women Students Program Assistant at Access & Diversity

In time for a new season, we have a new edition of the Guide to Resources & Supports for Parents. You can access the guide on the Students who are parents page. Don’t forget to also drop by Access & Diversity’s booth at the upcoming seventh annual Multicultural Family Resource Fair on Friday, March 27 from 10 a.m. to noon at UBC Acadia Commons Block, 2707 Tennis Crescent. We will have various resources available for the taking and interactive activities for you and your child(ren).

Below are some highlights of the updates in the fifth edition of the guide:

  1. We added an interactive map (P. 9) for housing cost by Vancouver neighbourhood from The Ubyssey to allow you to better compare housing options.
  2. We added child subsidy options on P. 12 to include BC Family Bonus Program (up to $111 per child per month) and the Canada child tax benefit.
  3. We added additional food options on P. 19 to include Sprouts, which offers affordable vegan lunch by donation (suggested $1) every Friday, as well as the information on the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.
  4. We added how and why you should get a UTown@UBC Community Service Card on P. 26, in case you haven’t yet.
  5. We added plenty of tips on activities you can do with your child(ren) on campus, from a stroll in the Nitobe Garden (by donation during winter) to hands-on programs at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, which is free for students and children age 4 and under (P. 35-36).
  6. As for off-campus activities, you can now read about YMCA camps and skating for free at Robson Square Ice Rink on P. 37-38.
  7. Last but not least, we updated all the links, so they would lead you to the right places!

We hope you find the latest edition useful.

Register for Summer Camps

Swim Lessons

Swim Lessons” by ICMA Photos under CC 2.0, cropped from original.

By Helena Zhu, Women Students Program Assistant at Access & Diversity

Spring break is over and it is never too early to start registering your kid(s) for affordable and enriching summer camps. Below is a selection of camps we handpicked for you:

On Campus

UBC camps

UBC camps offer a lot of flexibility. Since most camps either take up the morning or the afternoon, you can custom-build a full-day camp, as long as you add in “lunch supervision.” UBC camps are tailored to kids of different ages and interests. Camps range from music camp, e.g. Little Mozarts for four to five year olds at $250 for five mornings, to Lego Design Robotics at $135 for five afternoons (eight to 12 year olds).

The camps are more expensive than those hosted by the YMCA, but they are right on campus. For more information, please visit Continue reading

The UBC Name Project – Umang

Umang Pooja Khandelwal:


My name Umang is of Sanskrit, Indian origin, meaning ‘happiness,’ ‘hope’ and ‘enthusiasm.’ I was given this name so that I am always aware that one’s success is defined by their happiness quotient. With graduation round the corner and the dawn of a new chapter in my life, I am beginning to realize now more than ever how my name defines me and the choices that I make.

Today on International Women’s Day, I want to share how my middle name came to be. In the majority of the Indian subcontinent, naming conventions follow that a person carries their father’s name as their middle name. Living in a largely patriarchal society in India, my mother defied the existing norms and put up a strong fight against the resistance she faced by the legal system. This unprecedented act led to my middle name being my mother’s name, something I am very proud of. It is a reminder of who I am and what I stand for, and the reality that we have a long ways to go to achieve gender equality. Umang gives me the hope for a better tomorrow and Pooja inspires in me the tenacity necessary to achieve it.

Affordable, Family-Friendly Activities on Campus

Pacific Spirit Path (2)

Pacific Spirit Park (2)” by Asher Isbrucker under CC BY 2.0

By Helena Zhu, Women Students Program Assistant at Access & Diversity

Ever find yourself wishing that activities on campus were more affordable? Hope these free and low-cost tips could allow you and your family to have fun without hurting your wallet.



Did you know that swimming at the UBC Aquatic Centre is free for current UBC students? All you need is your student card. For other members of the family, the pool includes free access for children under 3 years old, Toonie Swim, and free swimming and aquatic classes for all at the beginning of each academic term. If you have a Community Service Card, which you can apply for if you live in Acadia Park or the University Apartments, single drop-in starts at $2.75. The Aquatic Centre includes a 50m indoor pool, hot tub, steam room, fitness area, weight room, diving boards, among others. To see the drop-in schedule, please visit


From public skating to family hockey, UBC students have access to the Thunderbird Arena for free. Entrance for children and other family members start at $2.75 for drop in with the Community Service Card. Skate rentals are between $3.50 and $4.50. To see the schedule, please visit

After-School Programs

As the weather gets nicer, UTown@UBC is offering a six-week fun and interactive after-school program for your kids and teens. Kids Fit, engages kids 7 to 12 years old in games, sports, swimming, and outdoor activities. It runs on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. from May 11 to June 18 and costs a total of $35. Youth Fit, for youths between 13 and 18 years old, runs on Saturdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and Mondays from 5 to 7 p.m. between May 9 and June 15 and costs $50. Although Youth Fit activities are subject to participants, they could include rock climbing, bowling, soccer, fencing, and dragon boating.

Both programs give priority to UNA and UTown@UBC residents, but general public will be admitted if spaces are available. Registration for both closes at 4:30 p.m. on May 4. To register, please visit or


In the basement of the Student Union Building UBC Sprouts hosts “Community Eats” every Friday to provide vegan lunch by donation (suggested $1). The doors open at 11:30 a.m and is open until all the food has been served. Be sure to bring a reusable container and utensils. On other days of the week, Sprouts serves food and drinks at affordable prices. For more information, please visit

Take a Stroll

As UBC students, you can visit both the Nitobe Garden and the Botanical Garden for free. The greenery could just be the oasis you need with your family after a busy day. In winter times, Nov. 16 to March 14, the gardens are open to the public 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. by donation. For other nature walks, you can consider Wreck Beach if you are ready for 400 stairs down and up, Tower Beach (fewer stairs), or Pacific Spirit Park trails.

Arts and Culture

You can access plenty of museums and galleries on campus: Museum of Anthropology (free for UBC students and children 6 and under), Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery (free admission to all), Beaty Biodiversity Museum (free for UBC students, faculty, and staff and children age 4 and under), and Pacific Museum of Earth.

If you enjoy concerts, the School of Music frequently puts on free concerts for all to enjoy. To see the schedule, please visit

The Revolution Starts at Home


maroon” by Humphrey King licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Post by Hannah Barath, Co-op Student Assistant at Access & Diversity

It seems like there are certain acts of violence that someone is always willing to talk about. Murder for example – there is an abundance of books, songs, films and television shows about just this. Other types of violence are deemed as private issues that are best dealt with behind closed doors. This means that even having experienced a particular act of violence can lead to shame and stigma. Sexual violence and intimate partner violence are two examples that fall into this category. However, there are many activists who are doing amazing work in raising awareness about and destigmatizing these issues. This blog post will primarily focus on intimate partner violence, what it is and how it affects different communities.

A few months ago I read an amazing book called The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence within Activist Communities. As the title suggests, this is a collection of essays and reflections on intimate violence in feminist, anti-racist, LGBTQ2I, and activist communities. It was an incredibly powerful read and I learned so much about intimate partner violence, allyship, and accountability. The anthology is edited by Chin-In Chen, Jai Dulani and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. I was also fortunate enough to attend a talk with Leah during UBC Sexual Assault Awareness Month in January 2015. In this talk, titled Strong Communities Make Police Obsolete Leah talked about the activism that she has been involved with, the importance of self-care, and justice methods that offer an alternative to the police.

Continue reading

Let’s CampOUT This Summer!

CampOUT 2014 009

By Helena Zhu, Women Students Program Assistant at Access & Diversity

CampOUT! is a UBC-supported summer camp for British Columbia and Yukon’s queer, trans, and allied youth aged 14 to 21. Running from July 2 to 5, 2015 on Gambier Island, the sixth annual CampOUT gives opportunities for youth to become leaders for social change, meet new friends, access resources, and engage in imaginative, critical, and innovative workshops. CampOUT also features traditional camp activities, such as canoeing, campfires, and arts and crafts.

“I feel incredibly accepted and supported at camp, and that really helped me begin to accept myself,” one past participant shared after attending CampOUT.

CampOUT is an opportunity for diverse range of individuals to come together to learn more about themselves and each other. It also enables participants to learn about how they can act as allies across their differences and share their skills, while getting their needs met.

If you or your child is interested in a safe and inclusive space where you/they can develop leadership skills, build self-esteem, inspire each other, foster hope and resilience, and connect with resources that can support your/their health and well-being, give CampOUT a try.

The camp only costs $25 thanks to the generosity of community partners and donors. Application for CampOUT! is open now until Sunday, March 29. You can find more information and apply on CampOUT’s website. Should you have any questions, please contact CampOUT at, 604-822-8298, or toll free at 1-877-678-2267.

Rule Out Racism 2015

Rule Out Racism bannerRule Out Racism is a week-long series of events that focuses on the need for greater literacy and conversation about race and racism within the UBC community in Okanagan and Vancouver. This year’s theme is “this is what anti-racism looks like,” and all events are from March 16-20. There are a wide range of events, from workshops, to panel discussions, to film screenings.

This year there will also be an evening featuring art that raises awareness about experiences of racism. Intercultural U is organized by UBC Equity Ambassadors and will have many interesting performers and featuring different types of art. Like all other events that are a part of Rule out Racism it is free to attend and open to everyone. Find out who is performing at Intercultural U and register here.

Rule Out Racism week is held in recognition of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which is observed annually on March 21. See below for a full list of events during Rule Out Racism 2015. Read more about each workshop and register at

  • Intercultural Fluency, Diversity, and International Peoples at UBC. Presentation on March 16, 12.30 – 2pm, in Irving K Barber Learning Centre.
  • Let’s Talk About Racism In Residence. Presentation on March 17, 12.30 – 2pm, in Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.
  • Where are we in the world? Film screening on March 18, 12 – 1 pm, in Neville Scarfe Building
  • Anti-Racism Toolbox Workshops
    • When standing in front of the room is not enough: Facilitation skills for difficult conversations. Presentation on March 18, 11 am – 12 pm, in the Food, Nutrition and Health Building.
    • More than Hammer and Nails: Having Difficult Conversations and Building Allyship. Workshop on March 18, 2 – 4 pm, in Buchanan Building Block D.
    • Addressing Racism: from deer in the headlights to effective engagement. Workshop on March 18, 2 – 4 pm, in Buchanan Building Block D.
    • Cultural competency in a diverse classroom: Critical analysis and practice. Workshop on March 18, 2 – 4 pm, in Buchanan Building Block D.
    • Revealing Conversations: an engaging tool for generating safe, meaningful discussions. Workshop on March 18, 2.30 – 3.30, in Buchanan Building Block D.
  • Intercultural U. Evening of art and awareness on March 19, 6 – 8 pm, Sty-Wet-Tan Hall at the First Nations Longhouse. Register to ensure you get food.
  • Value of Freedom: Academics VS. Expression. Panel Discussion on March 20, 10 am – 12 pm, Sty-Wet-Tan Hall at the First Nations Longhouse (Wayfinding at UBC)
    • Drawing from their own experiences and reflecting upon recent media attention on the topic, faculty will discuss the issues raised when engaging with controversial issues.

The UBC Name Project – Alexandra



I got the nickname ‘Alex’ in Grade 6. It’s so common to abbreviate names like ‘Alexandra’ to ‘Alex’ here in Canada, but when I lived in Holland, people called me ‘Alexandra.’ They were so weirded out that my nickname was ‘Alex,’ because apparently it was mostly a male name over there.

My name means ‘the defender of mankind’ or ‘the defender of warriors,’ and I think I live up to that meaning a lot. I’m a passionate social justice activist – I have worked with Me to We in Shanghai, and my goal is to make a career through creating a sustainable change.

The F-Word


Post by Hannah Barath, Access & Diversity Co-op Student Assistant

In November 2014, TIME Magazine posted a poll with a list of words and expressions that they thought should be banned in 2015. Next to sayings such as “bae”, “om nom nom nom”, and “sorry not sorry” one of the words on this list was the f-word. Not that f-word! The other one… feminist.

The magazine faced an immediate backlash following the release of this poll, and before long an editor’s note was added to the article. In this note TIME Magazine apologized for including the word “feminist” on the list but insisted that it was a joke that people had taken the wrong way and that it was intended to start a debate on how the word was used. Notably, it was never removed and still remains on the list today. Listed next to nonsensical words such as “yaaasssss” it doesn’t feel like a criticism on the way media uses “feminist”, rather it feels like they are making light on a social justice movement for equal rights that has been going on for over a century. The suggestion to ban the f-word – jokingly or not – feels, as Robin Morgan puts it, uncomfortable.

Regardless of TIME Magazine’s reasons for including this word in the poll, it illustrates a problem that feminist movements have had and continue to face. Feminists constantly deal with people who refuse to take their cause seriously (often combined with claims of feminists taking everything too seriously) and people who have misunderstood what feminism really is about. This unawareness of what feminism(s) truly stands for, combined with the fact that so many people have very negative connotations with the f-word, is one of the reasons I think people may be reluctant to identify as feminists. Continue reading

Intercultural U 2015

Intercultural U Web Banner 2015Post by Amanda Chiu and Melody Cheung, Equity Ambassadors
Edited by Hannah Barath, Access & Diversity Co-op Student Assistant

The UBC Equity Ambassadors are hosting the third annual Intercultural U on March 19th from 6-8 pm. This event was created to acknowledge and engage with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Aiming to go beyond multiculturalism, i.e. different yet co-existing cultures, intercultural understanding focuses on making connections with and increasing our knowledge of each other’s cultures. In previous years, Intercultural U has included pecha kucha, roundtables, and panel discussions. This year we are presenting an evening of art and awareness to promote understanding between the rich varieties of cultures that every student brings to our campus.

The event is taking place in the Sty-Wet-Tan Hall in the First Nations Longhouse. By hosting Intercultural U in this space we would like to acknowledge that we are learning, working, and living on the traditional, unceded, and ancestral land of the Musqueam people. We hope that the history and beauty of the Sty-Wet-Tan Hall will help us open up a dialogue that enhances our understanding of how cultures intersect with one and another.

We would like to extend an invitation to those who are interested in attending Intercultural U and learning more about diversity and intercultural understanding. This event is open to the public and free of charge. Light refreshments will be provided. To attend, please register at If you have any dietary restrictions or need any other type of accommodation, please note these when registering. If you require accommodation please let us know at before March 5. Registration will remain open until March 16. No one will be turned away at the door, but we cannot guarantee accommodation or food unless you have registered. Make sure to check back for more information about performers and the program of the evening. Find us on Facebook and Instagram at “UBCEquityAmbassadors.”

List of performers:

  • The Forum Theatre Group, Changing the Lens
  • Spoken Word by Molly Billows
  • Spoken Word by Ivan Leonce
  • Song by Termeh
  • Original Video by Ewon Moon
  • Dance by Seri Malaysia Club
  • Paintings by Yuliya Badayeva, Pius Twumasi, Greta Taxis, Janna Kumi, and Yrenew J. K.
  • Origami Piece by Aaron Tong
  • And finally, Participatory Art by U!