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Campus Life - Okanagan

Local ingredients and students play lead roles in Infusions’ Wine and Dine menu

Okanagan College Media Release

Chefs in Training Jan 2015The commitment to support B.C.’s farmers, food industry and wineries shines through in this year’s Wine and Dine menu at Okanagan College’s Infusions Restaurant on the Kelowna Campus. 

Sustainably-sourced crab from the Coast is featured in the crispy crab spring roll starter, pears from Hazeldell Orchards in Kelowna make up a fruit sorbet intermezzo, Enderby pork stars in the entrée and butternut squash from Aldergrove makes an appearance in the dessert. 

The local flavour to the menu isn’t just about geography and consumers. It’s also – importantly – about the chefs in training, explains Chef Bernard Casavant, Okanagan College’s Culinary Manager. 

“For the students, working with local ingredients not only turns a page, but it opens up a whole new chapter in learning about the farm to table movement,” he said. “People come to the Okanagan for a taste of the Okanagan.”

While it’s more of a challenge during the winter, the College tries to source as many local ingredients as possible for use in its kitchens, including turning to the freshest seafood available from the Coast. 

This emphasis on gaining hands-on experience with a variety of local ingredients extends from the classroom kitchens to the restaurant. The College’s chef instructors regularly bring in items such as whole boars from the Okanagan and fresh octopus, sea urchin and rockfish from the Coast for the students to work with. 

With guidance from Okanagan College Chef Jim Armstrong, the Culinary Arts students do all the prep work in the Infusions Restaurant kitchen and offer their input on the plating of the dishes. 

Students also partake in wine tastings to learn about pairings. Each course on the Infusions’ menu for Wine and Dine Thompson/Okanagan (which runs from Jan. 23 to Feb. 11) comes with a local wine pairing at an additional charge.

Infusions Restaurant will offer its Wine and Dine menu Tuesdays through Fridays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. until Feb. 11. Infusions is open to the public, staff and students most of the year over the lunch hour and in the evenings from Tuesday to Friday. To view the full menu or to make a reservation, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/infusions.


College half marathon set for March 29, registration now open

Okanagan College Media Release

Registration is now open for the 2015 Okanagan College Half Marathon, 10 K and Relay Race, with this year’s running events takingChristina Corral 2 place on Sunday, March 29 in Kelowna. 

The race has grown steadily over the past decade and has adapted to offer a variety of distances and fun events to encourage participation from every type of runner – from newbies to corporate challenge teams to competitive racers. 

The event, which raises money to support College students involved in recreation and athletics, has a long and proud history in the Okanagan thanks to the great support it has received from local runners and volunteers. 

“We have fine-tuned the race over the past few years and are pleased to offer a really great course with excellent support along the way,” said race director Christine Ulmer. “Every year I have runners tell me our volunteers make the race really special for them. I have to agree, we have the most enthusiastic crowds at our water stations and our course marshals are there every step of the way to keep runners on course and give them that extra boost of encouragement.” 

The races begin at 8 (10 K) and 8:15 a.m. (half marathon and relay) at the KLO Road campus of Okanagan College. 

The half marathon course will cover 21.1 kms of Kelowna pavement, taking runners along the Abbott corridor into City Park and will turn around atop the first hill on Knox Mountain. Runners will make their way back along the waterfront to Gyro Beach, across Lakeshore and finish back at the KLO campus.

For new runners or those looking for a shorter distance, the relay race covers the same course as the half marathon and allows up to five runners to participate in segments of approximately 4 km each. 

Back for a sixth year is the popular 10 km route, which will take runners along the same first and last portions of the half marathon course with a turnaround in City Park. 

Prize money will be offered to the top three finishers in the male and female division of the half marathon. On each side, first place will receive $250, second place will take $150 and the third place finisher will receive $100. Prizes will also be offered to winners of the 10 km and relay portion of the race. 

Any non-runners wishing to be involved with the race can lend their time as race volunteers or course marshals, explained Ulmer. 

“There’s no experience necessary, just some common sense, enthusiasm and a desire to help out.”

To register, find out more about the course or to view entry fee deadlines, visit: www.okanagan.bc.ca/halfmarathon

To volunteer, contact Michelle Lowry at 250-762-5445 ext. 4649 or at [email protected].

Award-winning Jay Ingram speaks about the science of Alzheimer’s

Award-winning writer and broadcaster Jay Ingram is UBC Okanagan’s next distinguished speaker. He will discuss the science of Alzheimer’s on Wednesday, February 25 at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

Award-winning writer and broadcaster Jay Ingram is UBC Okanagan’s next distinguished speaker. He will discuss the science of Alzheimer’s on Wednesday, February 25 at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

UBC Okanagan’s Distinguished Speaker Series tackles mystery of the tragic illness

Jay Ingram describes Alzheimer’s as a wicked disease that society has ignored for too long. While much research has been done on memory loss, the cruelty of Alzheimer’s is the tragic effect it has on the life of the patient, and how it devastates those left to care for a person who no longer knows who they are.

In his latest book, The End of Memory, the award-winning science author explores the mystery of Alzheimer’s and how it attacks the brain. And he raises valid questions: where did it come from? Why weren’t we talking about it 50 years ago? Do we understand what is really going on in a patient’s afflicted brain?

German neurologist Alois Alzheimer first diagnosed the disease in 1906. While it’s been recognized for decades, Ingram argues research money set aside for Alzheimer’s still trails far behind funding for other deadly illnesses such as cancer and lung disease. And as society continues to live longer than previous generations, more and more people will be diagnosed and begin the long, lonely demise of Alzheimer’s.

Ingram says it’s time for a rethink on how we deal with Alzheimer’s. Being informed, he says, is a good thing and his goal with his new book is to help people understand the disease. Ingram will unravel some of the mystery of Alzheimer’s at UBC Okanagan’s Distinguished Speaker Series in Kelowna on Wednesday, February 25.

Ingram is an iconic Canadian writer and broadcaster, hosting several shows including CBC’s Quirks and Quarks and Discovery Channel Canada’s Daily Planet. His book The End of Memory: A Natural history of Alzheimer’s disease will be available for sale and signing at the Distinguished Speaker Series event.

The Science of Alzheimer’s is presented by UBC Okanagan’s Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, and takes place at the Kelowna Community Theatre, 1375 Water St. The event is free and begins at 7 p.m.

Registration is required: dss-ingram.eventbrite.ca



UBC’s Recreation team lands professional western conference

Western Canadian Campus Recreation Conference comes to the Okanagan

UBC Okanagan’s Recreation Fitness Coordinator Crystal Westgate and Heat soccer player Logan Ellis in the Hangar.

UBC Okanagan’s Recreation Fitness Coordinator Crystal Westgate and Heat soccer player Logan Ellis in the Hangar.

The Recreation staff at UBC’s Okanagan campus will show off brand-new facilities, the campus, and Kelowna’s highlights as host of the Western Canadian Campus Recreation Conference next week.

Recreation Fitness Coordinator Crystal Westgate says the conference, January 29 to 31, gives the university an opportunity to showcase the campus, state-of-the-art recreation equipment, new Hangar fitness centre, and fitness and recreation programming.

But it’s not all fun and games, she says, noting that the annual event brings post-secondary recreational professionals and student leaders from institutions from across Western Canada to share ideas, network, and learn. Workshop topics generally include student leadership, development, personnel management, wellness and fitness programs, intramurals, sport clubs, recreation facility operations, and outdoor recreation opportunities.

“This is the first time we’ve had an opportunity to host an event like this,” says Westgate. “And we’re excited because we have the Hangar as a venue. We are bringing many recreation and fitness professionals from across western Canada to campus—and the location site is perfect.”

In September 2013, UBC officially opened the $4.1-million Hangar Fitness & Wellness Centre. Its name recognizes a $3.5-million gift from the Lapointe family, honouring the employees of Kelowna Flightcraft. Funding for the Hangar came with two specific stipulations: it required an aviation theme, and construction was to be mostly from locally sourced lumber to support the region’s forestry industry.

When the facility opened, UBC was able to double its full-time recreation staff. Westgate’s team was instrumental in significantly increasing recreation and fitness programs that are open for students, faculty, staff, and the community.

The Western Canadian Campus Recreation Conference includes a trade show, educational sessions, and the sharing of new ideas within campus recreation. The opening keynote speaker will be Crystal Flaman, local athlete, professional speaker, and social entrepreneur. Kelsey Serwa, Olympic silver medalist, World Champion, and X Games Champion, will speak at the closing event. Serwa is currently a Human Kinetics student at UBC Okanagan.

“Many educational sessions will be student-led with areas of focus being on recreation and fitness trends, intramurals, club sports and staff development,” says Westgate.

UBC Okanagan hosts also plan to showcase some of Kelowna’s highlights, including off-campus activities at Big White Ski Resort, and events at the Coast Capri Hotel and Manteo Resort in Kelowna.


Okanagan College accounting students win international case competition

Okanagan College Media Release

ICBC Jan 2015Two Okanagan College Bachelor of Business Administration accounting students can boast of being the best in the country after claiming top spot at a prestigious international business competition.

Jessica Lenz and Daniel Yarmak, respectively third- and fourth-year business students, competed in the accounting category at Queen’s University Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (I.C.B.C.) held this past weekend, Jan. 15 to 17.

The pair successfully reached the finals by beating out 31 other teams. In the final round they outshone competitors from Simon Fraser University, McGill University, the University of Toronto, Lakehead University and the University of Regina to take first place.

“We are extremely proud of our five student teams who competed in the finals at this year’s I.C.B.C. events, and especially of Jessica and Daniel’s accomplishment,” says Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College. “I have attended this event in the past and witnessed the impressive calibre of the competitors. Having so many teams progressing to the finals and one team achieving first place demonstrates that our students, professors, and educational programs can compete with the best educational institutions in Canada and beyond.”

“It is rewarding to have received top honours after so many months of hard work,” says Yarmak. Both he and Lenz maintained a full course workload during the preparation. “We couldn’t have done it without the help of our coaches and professors. I was especially grateful to have taken the Applied Corporate Finance course at the College: it included learning about valuation, which ended up being the focus of our simulation case. Gaining a cross-discipline education these past four years with Okanagan College made this win possible.”

The annual I.C.B.C. is recognized as Canada’s longest-running undergraduate case competition with eight events spanning accounting, business policy, ethics, debating, finance, human resources, marketing and management of information systems disciplines. Students are given five and a half hours to review the complex business-problem case within their designated field and prepare a 15-minute presentation for the judging panel comprised of esteemed Queen’s professors and industry professionals.

More than 140 teams competed in the preliminary round, with only 48 teams advancing to the finals. Okanagan College sent the second largest number of students to the event, 10 students—two shy of the leading representation by the University of Calgary.

Following success at the initial preliminary round the students worked with College professors Randy Newton and Margery Heuser as coaches to best prepare for the competition. As part of what turned out to be a winning strategy, the coaches engaged the broader Okanagan College community, inviting alumni who had competed previously to provide practice-round judging simulations. 

“The experience only helps me feel even more prepared for the start of my career,” says Lenz, who hopes to continue on to earn a CPA designation. “From the practices to the actual case, it was very similar to how you would present to a potential client. In practice, one of the alumni told us to remember our audience and that while we are presenting on accounting, it’s not just about numbers. That really helped and we were able to present a qualitative analysis that resonated strongly with the judges.”

“Our excellent team of professors have shown the depth of their commitment to furthering our students’ education,” says Dr. Heather Banham, Dean of Okanagan College’s School of Business, who is also the Vice-Chair of the CGA B.C. Board. “Both Randy and Margery generously gave their time on weekends and over the holidays to support these students, imparting knowledge, giving feedback, and providing positive reinforcement to set them up for success.”

Salt family donation a heavy-duty boost for Okanagan College trades complex campaign

Okanagan College Media Release

A respected auto industry pioneer and family man from the Vernon area has made a heavy duty gift to the campaign to renovate and expand the Trades Training Complex at Okanagan College’s Kelowna Campus.Art Salt Donation Jan 2015

Art Salt, owner for almost 40 years of Coldstream Auto Wreckers, has donated a Caterpillar ITI8F front-end loader to the College. The loader is worth approximately $60,000 and will provide students in the Heavy Duty Mechanics program with hands-on training experience on a common piece of equipment in the industry. 

When Salt learned that the trades training complex was undergoing a significant expansion, and that the College was searching for equipment to enhance these new shop spaces, he threw his support behind the campaign for the $33-million project. His motivation for donating the loader was simple: he believes the community needs to support up and coming tradespeople.

“These are the next generation of mechanics, right here,” explains Salt, motioning to students at work in the College’s bustling Heavy Duty Mechanics shop, during a recent tour. “We need to help get them going, get them started in their careers.”

“The new trades training complex at our Kelowna campus will elevate the Central Okanagan as a hub for trades education in BC,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “Our objective is to get students job-ready by providing state-of-the-art training, equipment, and technology. Mr. Salt’s generous donation supports that mission and will benefit many students for years to come.”

Over the past 20 years, Salt and his family have donated other parts and vehicles, including a Freightliner highway tractor. Salt also gave Okanagan College a front-end loader that required significant amounts of repair, which students then restored as a training experience using parts supplied by Salt; the students returned the loader to him in perfect working order.

“The equipment we’ve been fortunate to receive from donors like Mr. Salt is immensely valuable to our programs,” says Steve Moores, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. “It enhances the experience for our foundation students and apprentices, and gives them confidence working with a variety of equipment.”

Salt’s automotive career began in the late 1940s when he purchased a taxi business in Lumby. He then worked as a salesman for Capital Motors before founding Coldstream Auto Wreckers in 1957, specializing in the salvage of light and heavy truck parts. The business became Coldstream Truck Parts in 1994 when Salt sold it to the current owner, his son-in-law Bruce Davies. Davies joined Salt on a recent visit to the Kelowna campus to tour the trades classrooms and shops and to learn more about the plans to expand these spaces, including the building of a new three-story tower that will house more than 2,400 trades students and staff each year. 

Seeing students hard at work in the trades training shops, Salt offered up praise and words of advice:

“The opportunities present themselves. Be open to them. Good breaks will come to you if you take it one step at a time.”

“Don’t promise anything you can’t deliver.”

Salt hopes many of the students will be able to find jobs in the Okanagan. “It takes a little luck. But you can do alright anywhere, as long as you work at it.”

The $7-million Bright Horizons, Building for Skills Campaign for the trades training complex expansion launched in October 2014. The campaign team is seeking monetary and in-kind (equipment, tools, etc.) donations to supplement the provincial government’s commitment of $28 million to the project.

When completed in spring of 2016, the new complex will be one of the largest, most sustainable trades training facilities in Western Canada. Okanagan College is currently the second largest trades training institution in BC. To learn more about the campaign’s current needs and opportunities to get involved, please visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/campaign

Online gaming research leads Okanagan College team to Best Paper Award at international conference

Okanagan College Media Release

Khmelevesky_Alstad Jan 2015A research paper born of collaboration between students, professors, and industry has resulted in international accolades for Okanagan College. 

Exploring improvements into both speed and connectivity in the online gaming world, the paper titled Minecraft Computer Game Simulation and Network Performance Analysis received the Best Paper Award at the second International VisioGame 2014 conference in Bandung, Indonesia held this past November. It will also be published in an upcoming journal with the U.K. Wessex Institute of Technology WitPress.

The paper was authored by fourth-year Okanagan College Bachelor of Computer Information Systems degree students Trevor Alstad and Riley Dunkin, and supervised by Professor Dr. Youry Khmelevsky. It was written in collaboration with WTFast CEO Robert Bartlett and CTO Alex Needham, as well as Universite Paris-Est Creteil professor Dr. Gaetan Hains.

“Our goal was to look at online games optimization, performance, and monitoring of Gamers Private Networks for faster gaming with better connections,” says Alstad. “In particular we analyzed specific gaming metrics that hadn’t been explored yet. You could consider our research as a foundation for improving gaming networks within the industry. As a student, having the opportunity to be a part of this project and receiving this award goes to show the caliber of the programs available at the College, and it reinforces my opinion that this program was the right choice to prepare me for success in my career.”

The team created a virtual network with automated game players to test varying degrees of play in a simulated environment. Gaming companies can use this research to help them determine the capacity of their games and overall server performance to enhance the end-user gamer’s experience.

“This research was presented in a highly competitive arena that included international university-academic, PhD students, and post-doctoral research,” explains Dr. Khmelevsky. “By teaching students what the tech industry needs and giving them co-op opportunities for applied research we provide them the tools they need to advance their studies and their careers.”

The six-month research project, from July to December 2014, was made possible by federal grant funding received from Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and additional in-kind contributions from Okanagan based technology company WTFast.

“At the College we aim to provide a learning environment that goes beyond the textbooks and theory,” says Dr. Andrew Hay, Okanagan College’s Vice President Education. “We take pride in facilitating opportunities for the students to gain a broader, practical learning experience through collaborations with industry and global researchers.”  

The research further reinforces that Kelowna is quickly becoming known as a hot-bed for technology innovation and start-ups. A recent Accelerate Okanagan study estimates the tech sector in our region contributes $1 billion to our economy, and employs more than 6,500 residents.

“We’re seeing a real boom in Kelowna’s tech sector, and as such recruiting highly qualified and experienced candidates to join the workforce is a priority for us,” says WTFast CEO Robert Bartlett. “Supporting and collaborating with students helps us further their education and prepare them to join our industry.”

Okanagan College offers a four-year bachelor of Computer Information Systems degree and a two-year Computer Information Systems diploma that includes a broad selection of computing (software design and development, computer systems, or database systems), mathematics, business, and communications courses allowing graduates to function successfully in a variety of roles in the Information Technology field upon graduation. A co-op component is also available to provide industry experience that enables students to take the first steps in their IT career. 

For more information on the Computer Information Systems programs at the College, please visit: www.okanagan.bc.ca/computerscience.

UBC Okanagan launches revised Master of Science in Nursing program

Erin McPhee was the first student to register for UBC Okanagan’s revised Master of Science in Nursing program.

Erin McPhee was the first student to register for UBC Okanagan’s revised Master of Science in Nursing program.

School of Nursing introduces new blended learning format to graduate students

The very day UBC Okanagan’s newly revised Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program was officially approved, Erin McFee was registered.

McFee, an experienced registered nurse in pediatrics and adolescent health, has long had plans for her master’s. She moved to Kelowna this year with her husband and four children after working many years at the BC Children’s hospital.  The move to Okanagan, she says, was timed perfectly for her to return to school for a graduate degree. And when she learned about the upcoming program, she decided it was worth the wait.

“The revised MSN offers me more flexibility for family and work—while still enabling me to maintain a full course load,” says McFee.

The revised Master of Science in Nursing program invites graduate students to map a degree path through full-time or part-time studies, allowing registered nurses to continue with their career and education goals. The revised program includes options to complete a project in leadership, education, or advanced practice, or to conduct research with a UBC researcher.

Applications for a May 2015 start are being accepted until February 28, 2015.

Prof. Patricia Marck, director of the School of Nursing, says that the revised MSN program is designed to work for registered nurses across Canada, as well as international applications.

“The faculty have developed an innovative master’s degree that allows nurses to study at a world-class university from where they live,” says Marck.

Registration is now open for the first cohort which will begin in May 2015. Barb Pesut, coordinator for the school’s Graduate Programs, says the program includes an intensive one- or two-week residency at the Okanagan campus once a year.

“Our goal was to find the ideal combination of virtual and classroom work to offer a rich learning environment in a flexible format,” says Pesut.

Questions about applying may be directed to Pesut at [email protected].

For further information, application details, and admission requirements visit: ubc.ca/okanagan/nursing/grad/Master_of_Science_in_Nursing__blended_delivery


Okanagan College professor remembered through creation of annual award

Okanagan College Media Release

On Oct. 31, 2014, the Okanagan College family lost a beloved and highly respected member when Professor Tom Santosham’s car slid off the road and into a lake near his home in Penticton. Dr. Santosham died in the accident.Santosham Award Jan 2015

Shortly after this tragic loss, the Santosham family decided that it would be fitting, given Dr. Santosham’s passion for teaching, to create an annual award that would support business students at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus where he taught courses in global marketing for 14 years. 

On Dec. 5, two special memorial awards were presented by Dr. Santosham’s wife Penny, son Peter and nephew Vaz, to Kendall Ross and Nathan Milligan—both students of Dr. Santosham at the time of his death. Ross and Milligan reflected on the emotional loss of their professor and the personal significance of receiving the award in his memory.

“It was truly a privilege to have been educated by such a humble person who had an abundance of life and career experience,” says Milligan, who is currently completing his final semester as a Bachelor of Business Administration student. “Professor Santosham was a very kind, caring and knowledgeable professor. When he spoke, the students would listen intently because we all truly valued what he had to say.”

“He was a wonderful professor who was truly passionate about teaching, however, through his teachings it was also evident that his greatest pleasure in life was the success and wellbeing of his family and home life,” added Milligan. 

“This award could not have come at a better time,” says Ross, who completed her Bachelor of Business Administration in December. “Managing finances has been difficult throughout school and this has allowed me to start a savings account for my future, possibly to pursue a master’s degree.” 

Ross hopes to use her business training to launch a career in the tourism sector.

“Receiving the Thomas V. Santosham Memorial Award is a great honor,” noted Milligan. “I am very grateful for the kindness of the Santosham family in providing my fellow classmate and myself with this award. Their generosity will continue to aid future students in their educational endeavors for many years to come.” 

Working with the Okanagan College Foundation, and with donations from around the world, the Santosham family has established the Thomas V. Santosham Award in Business. The annual award of $1,000 will be open to domestic students continuing in the Business Administration program. Selection will be based on academic achievement and financial need. 

“Tom faced many educational challenges when he left India as a teenager to study in Scotland and then later in Canada,” says Penny. “Despite these obstacles, he always aimed high and told young people that with persistence, hard work and prayer they too could achieve academic success.” 

“The creation of this annual award by the Santosham family is a wonderful tribute to Tom’s memory and will serve as a reminder of his commitment to higher education, his passion for teaching and his dedication to students,” says Dr. Heather Banham, Dean of Okanagan College’s School of Business. “We miss him dearly, and this special award will continue to contribute to students as they pursue their educational goals.”

The Santosham family hopes that the annual award will not only provide Okanagan College staff and students with a lasting reminder of Dr. Santosham’s enthusiasm for teaching, but will also help students to reach their educational goals. 

Dr. Santosham earned degrees in Naval Architecture and Professional Engineering from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and a postdoctoral degree in Mechanical Engineering from UBC in Vancouver. His teaching career at Okanagan College began shortly after he retired from a successful career in International Trade Management, which took him to many parts of the world. In 2001, he was invited by Okanagan College to design and teach a course based on his business experiences. Throughout the years that followed, Dr. Santosham inspired many students with his remarkable depth of knowledge and passion for global marketing. 

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Thomas V. Santosham Award in Business can do so by contacting Anne Kirkpatrick, Development Officer, Okanagan College Foundation, or contributing online at www.okanagancollegefoundation.ca. The Santosham family wishes to thank everyone who has helped to create this award.

UBC students wear denim and take a stand against sexual assault

UBC Okanagan students Alan Freund, Andry Ramorasata, Lauren Gaudet, and Mallory Herzog are ready with stickers and brochures for Denim Day on campus Wednesday, January 21. Denim Day is part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month on campus

UBC Okanagan students Alan Freund, Andry Ramorasata, Lauren Gaudet, and Mallory Herzog are ready with stickers and brochures for Denim Day on campus Wednesday, January 21. Denim Day is part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month on campus

Denim Days comes to campus with Sexual Assault Awareness Month

It’s a simple statement of solidarity and support. Students, faculty, and staff at UBC Okanagan are being encouraged to wear denim to campus on Wednesday, January 21 to support Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).

SAAM is organized by the Sexual Assault and Rape Awareness (SARA) group, a student-led movement that has grown significantly since its first event in 2011. Since then, several universities have undergone criminal charges and media scrutiny for frosh chants with sexual connotation, date rape crimes, and even a Facebook group at one university that targeted female students as potential rape victims.

Denim Day is one of the key events of SAAM at UBC Okanagan this year, explains student Lauren Gaudet, currently working toward her Masters in Social Work. She says the entire campus is invited to show solidarity and support against sexual assault by wearing denim and/or a Denim Day sticker.

“This year, UBC Okanagan is pleased to be participating in this joint-campus initiative that also allows for education and proactive dialogue around issues of sexual assault,” says Gaudet.

SARA volunteers will be handing out Denim Day stickers at several booths across campus Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and will be in the Engineering, Management, Education building from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and the Fipke Foyer most of Wednesday.

UBC Okanagan's SARA program began as an educational booth which ran for three days in 2011. It has now grown to be an established program at the Okanagan campus through its preventative efforts and education provided to the community on sexual health, consent, healthy relationships, and how to be a proactive bystander against rape culture.

“SARA, alongside many on-and off-campus partners, are developing a best-practice manual for staff, faculty, and students on how to respond to reports of sexual assault, support survivors, navigate systems of justice, among many other essential guidelines,” says Gaudet.

She notes two other initiatives currently being created are International Student Awareness Month in February and Aboriginal Student Awareness Month in March. SARA has partnered with International and Aboriginal student leaders in creating cross-cultural as well as culturally sensitive educational and promotional materials that will be used for the campaigns, she adds.

“SARA is proud to be hosting Denim Day 2015,” adds Gaudet. “This is just another example of how UBC Okanagan stands united as a community against sexual assault and rape culture.”

Why denim?

Gaudet explains that in 1998 an Italian court overturned a rape charge because the victim was wearing tight jeans. The ruling stated that because the victim’s jeans were tight, she had to have helped remove them and as a result gave consent to her attacker. Enraged by the verdict, people around the world launched into protest, showing support for the victim by wearing denim to their places of work.

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