In this blog, we cover Student Life in Vancouver! In light of COVID-19 restrictions, Student Life has worked effortlessly to make sure that new and returning students feel welcomed, supported, and encouraged in the AC community during these unknown times.
Even though we are currently virtual, our goal has continually been and will continue to be, delivering a positive and amazing College experience for all AC Students. We have done so by creatively adapting to our current virtual climate both on Zoom and through Social Media.
We offer a wide variety of fun and engaging virtual events, activities, and contests. Furthermore, Student Life is proud to be working closely with the Alexander College Student Association (ACSA) to provide a safe and positive atmosphere for students to get involved in and meet new friends.
Is this your first week on campus at Alexander College, and you’re not sure where to start?
Do you find yourself not really knowing anyone at school?
If that’s the case, student clubs and other recreational activities on campus may be just what you need!
The student clubs at Alexander College usually range from a variety of different interests ranging from sports, arts, academics and more. This variety provides you the options to try out multiple areas of interest, and connect with a larger student population.
Student clubs at AC are often student led, with direction from a staff member or faculty. Our staff and faculty play a role in overseeing the clubs activities, but most of the decision making is left to the student body themselves (that’s you!).
As you begin your academic journey, you’ll learn that there are many great benefits for joining, starting and participating in the various student clubs at Alexander College.
Starting the year off in a new campus, and perhaps, a new country, with so many students can be intimidating. This is especially true in your first year of college.
There are many great reasons to join student clubs. One of them is the fact that they’re a great way to meet friends, build your work experience while in college, and improve your self esteem and confidence.
An emphasis on ‘great way’!
You’re a new student, and you want to connect and make friends—this is a normal feeling to have when starting out.
When looking to make friends, take advantage of Welcome Week at AC. Welcome Week is a week-long set of activities where you can mix, mingle and get to know more about AC and the people here.
What you can expect is to see several club tables led by fellow students. Through these, you can get to know other students, learn more about AC Clubs, and share experiences.
Here are some speaking pointers if you need a head start:
To add to this, be sure to make the most of the clubs at AC by signing up!
This adds into the experience of getting to know someone new, as opposed to just walking away after.
You may find that you would like to work part-time while studying at AC! Hiring managers tend to view your extra-curricular activities in addition to prior work experience.
By participating in clubs at AC, it gives you leverage and the exposure to work experience that you can highlight in your resumes.
Any relevant leadership skills on how you were involved with a student club, events that you helped plan, and even communication skills you’ve developed can get you far when coupled with a job application.
Many of our students have also shared how they’ve benefited from club involvement when applying for university transfers, or jobs in our Student Spotlight videos.
Building confidence comes with experience.
As you join clubs and make connections, you’re slowly building your experience working and communicating with people of different backgrounds, values and opinions.
You’ll often be placed in groups during your classes to develop teamwork and you can practice these soft skills further at student clubs. This provides a great step to learning how to mediate differing opinions when people disagree or understand when you need to voice feedback and when to listen.
If you’re an International student with English as a second language, attending club meetings is the perfect place to practice your English-speaking skills, in addition to the classroom.
Even after your first semester of joining student clubs, you’ll find yourself a much more experienced and confident student to tackle your future career in academia!
During your first week as an Alexander College student, you’ll find several clubs to join during our Welcome Week.
Over the years we’ve had clubs such as:
Check out some of our notable clubs at AC below!
The coffee club at Alexander College is one of the more leisurely and laid back clubs.
Attending meetings usually include some coffee sampling from various cafes in Vancouver, and food pairing with cakes or light pastries.
It’s not just about enjoying that warm sip of coffee—we learn at the same time.
Some of our favourite moments from Coffee Club include learning about the various historical relevance and different regions of where certain coffee comes from.
For instance, did you know that the medium roast or Pike Place roast at Starbucks is a coffee bean from Latin America?
In addition to this, one of our AC students, Augustpreet, filmed a video with us where he explored various cafes in Vancouver. This video aims to educate us on different coffee preparation techniques and café recommendations around campus, and in the city.
If you’ve ever wondered about what the difference between a Latte and an Americano is, this is definitely the club to check out.
If you’re a sports fan, then look no further than the AC Explorers Basketball team.
The “Explorers” name is in reference to Alexander Mackenzie and his exploits as a British explorer while also being the namesake for our college.
Even if you’re not confident in your basketball skills, fellow students and staff will help you in learning the basics of passing, dribbling and shooting. Fellow members will help correct your body form when shooting the ball from how your elbows are placed to the motion of your wrist.
Fun fact: The above is primarily to ensure the ball is thrown in an arc-like shape which has a higher chance of scoring a basket!
The AC Explorers often meet and practice twice a week with drop-ins welcomed.
Whether you’re highly competitive or just want the extra exercise, the AC Explorers Basketball team has you covered.
Looking to test your strategic skills against friends?
We may have the right club just for you!
In addition to board games, the board game club also includes trading cards and roleplay games.
Trading card games or TCGs for short, are games where 2-4 players each have a specialized deck with unique abilities, characters and defenses.
For example, the game Magic the Gathering is a popular fantasy based TCG where each player takes turns summoning monsters and casting magic in a battle to reduce your opponents hit points and eventually win the game.
Trading card games also double as collectibles that you can exchange with other players to really craft and customize a deck to your needs.
If you’ve ever heard of Dungeons and Dragons, then you’ve probably heard of role playing games.
Role Playing games involve each player creating a character with their own abilities and traits as a dungeon master or DM leads players through a story focused experience.
For instance, the DM might create a fantasy world with dragons and knights or a sci-fi world of aliens and spaceships. Players also have the freedom to describe exactly how they would interact with the world so the only limitations are your own imagination!
That said, if you’re a big fan of lore-based games or love using your imagination then roleplaying games are right up your alley.
You’ll also find the board game club includes some unique games outside of the usual Monopoly or Scrabble choices.
A popular board game during club meetings is the game Settlers of Cattan which involves players building settlements by obtaining and trading resources such as wood, brick or wheat with each dice roll.
The Student Refugee Program at AC is part of the World University Services of Canada (WUSC).
We recognize that education is a privilege and not everyone is able to afford a post secondary education.
The SRP club consists of AC students, staff and faculty who are key resources in working towards ensuring that through this program, we are able to sponsor a refugee student for a year, and equip them with the resources and skills they need in order to thrive in Canada.
If this is a cause that you are passionate about, definitely find more info on the Student Refugee Program and contact Student Services for next steps.
We are conscious about how our decisions impact the environment and the effect of our carbon footprint on the world. The AC Green Committee is a club that you can participate in as we continue to bring about changes in how students interact with the environment on and off campus.
The Alexander College Sustainability Mission Statement is that we strive for sustainability through education, community engagement and modelling waste reduction best practices.
We aim to produce environmentally responsible global citizens and contribute to the overall health of the communities in which we live.
If you align or are interested to learn more about the Green Committee’s core objectives like education, sustainability, waste and community management, join us and make an impact!
Once you’ve found an interest that you’re passionate about, why not start a club of your own?
The steps to starting a new club include:
Visiting student services and speaking to their staff will also help you in the documentation and process towards starting a club of your own, and in learning the steps on how to engage your fellow students during club meetings.
Remember that students usually have an assignment, project or exam in the back of their mind. As a club leader, it’s your job to make sure you’re making the best use of time with everyone attending.
Having an agenda or itinerary is a great place to start so that you can run your club meeting or events on schedule with a set date, time and duration. Feel free to use Google docs or sheets to keep track of meeting minutes and important dates to keep your members organized.
Presenting during a meeting is also a developed skill and it’ll take some practice.
Using visuals really helps when bringing a new idea to the table. We recommend using examples of YouTube videos, photos or illustrations to really help communicate your pitch.
Also remember to ask your members questions throughout the meeting.
You want to make your members feel that their input and feedback matters. This helps in establishing good relationships with both your fellow students and club members.
Allocate some time for any questions and if you find yourself running low on time, be sure to follow up by letting your members know that they can contact you later if they have any additional questions or concerns.
Alexander College Student Association (ACSA) is a group of students united by a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of other students at Alexander College. If you decide to join ACSA, you’ll find no shortage of new experiences, friendships and activities!
As part of ACSA, you can involve yourself in regular and dynamic opportunities such as:
Our AC Student Association works hard to provide new events for students every semester, as well as coordinating our annual student events.
A notable example is the annual AC Talent Show which is organized and hosted by ACSA. Every year, ACSA members join forces and help contribute in many ways from—booking the venue for the talent show, finding the judges, spreading the word, and registering the participants.
All of their hard work has made the AC Talent Show one of the most popular events among students, staff and faculty to this day.
In addition to this, we’ve also hosted our annual AC Amazing Race, which is based off the hit TV series The Amazing Race for our staff and students. As part of this exciting event, staff and ACSA students were tasked with tracking down locations in Vancouver, mapping the route, preparing the clues and generating marketing content for the college through the race.
As a member of ACSA, you can gain invaluable experience in leadership, developing initiatives, and helping shape the Association’s policies and processes. All of this is towards culturing a strong population of students who are pumped in changing how things are done, and continually improving student life at AC.
You can count your membership in ACSA as volunteer experience as it is eligible for your Co-Curricular Record. For instance, our ACSA students are often known to gain interpersonal skills while volunteering at booths during our New Student Orientation.
Several ACSA students have also gained production and on-camera speaking skills by working with the college’s web team to appear in YouTube videos. As an example, we’ve had students try out the Spicy Noodle Challenge and even act as our own AC vloggers.
As a student, the doors are open for you if being on camera is something that excites, or terrifies you.
Many of our students share their experiences being in a new city, experiencing new cultures and what being in student clubs has done for them. You can find these stories encapsulated in our popular, ‘myAC Spotlight’ Video series.
Among the uplifting and inspirational stories include:
If you’re interested in joining the AC Student Association, ACSA conducts weekly meetings at our Burnaby or Vancouver campus (typically on Fridays at 1 pm) with lunch provided.
You’ll be introduced to existing ACSA members, and explore current opportunities to be involved at every meeting. You can expect ACSA to run icebreaker games to help you get the chance to meet other students in a fun, and comfortable environment.
To keep updated with all the meetings and event, be sure to check in regularly with the news feed on our AC homepage, as well as our AC Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for regular updates about upcoming events, club activities, and other opportunities.
Come out to these meetings, meet new people and shape your experience at AC for the better.
We like to be tech-savvy at Alexander College and there are a variety of ways for you to stay connected with all the AC clubs and events that are happening.
You will find that our AC Blog is a great resource if you are looking to learn more about the services available on campus, a recap of the events that is happening, the latest videos and casting calls, and various guides on how you can navigate college, Vancouver, and your mental health.
If you’re looking to read some of our most popular posts, check these out:
You may find yourself more drawn to watching videos in order to get information—we have that too!
As mentioned through this article, our students love watching and being in our videos. This is something you can get involved in as well!
We have a whole section on our latest YouTube videos on the AC website.
You’ll be able to watch many of our AC students share about their culture, and experiences from everywhere around the globe.
We also share step-by-step video guides on how students can best utilize services at AC—such as the AC Library services.
In addition to this, you’ll love watching recaps of the variety of student club events held over the years as well!
Are you social media savvy?
We are all over social media and want to connect with you!
Social media is a great way to connect with us virtually, and with other students that share your interests. We also utilize social media as a way to share important information about the college, as well as clubs and events happening on campus and virtually.
Did you know that you can use social media as a way to enhance your college experience?
Some ways to do that is by:
Are you an AC Alumni?
We have taken the feedback from our current students and alumni and created a vibrant AC Alumni Association.
This club is created with the goal of fostering the relationship with our students, even after graduation. We also aim to continue to support and provide advice to our alumni as they continue to reach for their goals.
As an Alumni, you can expect services such as regular updates on AC through the Alumni newsletter, continued support from Academic Advising on building your resume, access to ongoing services from the Writing and Learning Centre, and much more.
Once you’ve decided what club to join and what role you want to play, the next step is to get in contact to see how you can get involved!
It’s as easy as sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea and what your goals are. If you’re shy or still working on your language skills, don’t be nervous about taking the initiative.
The more you allow yourself to be open to new experiences, the more you’ll grow as both a person and a student here at Alexander College.
Get out there and join a club, meet new people and we look forward to getting to know you!