News and Updates (cont’d)

Congratulations to our 2024 VPS Employee Award recipients

Please join us in congratulating two SHCS employees who received Vice-President, Students Portfolio Employee Awards in April 2024 (the inaugural year). Kulwinder Rai, Assistant Housekeeping Supervisor, Facilities and Building Services, received the Enhancing the UBC Experience award. Jessica Sterman, Compliance and Claims System Associate, Occupational Health and Safety, received the Workplace Wellbeing award. Read their profiles.

Try an E-bike for free

UBC has partnered with Zygg to allow UBC staff, faculty and students to try an e-bike for free for an entire week. The program runs from March 25 to October 31, 2024 for staff and faculty—and will be available to students in the Fall. Zygg is a subscription-based e-bike service that offers monthly e-bike rentals. To learn more and to sign up, visit the UBC Try an E-bike Program.

A heads up: Jump Start Move In Day 2024 on a weekday (Vancouver)

This year, Jump Start Move In (Vancouver) takes place on a weekday: Tuesday, August 27. With thousands of students and their families driving to and around campus that day, the Student Residence team wanted to provide advance notice and ask those who can, please work from home that day—to reduce traffic on campus and ensure a smooth move in experience for new students. More info to come!

Reusable mug program at UBC Okanagan

This past year, UBC Okanagan Food Services launched a new reusable mug program. Customers who bring their own mug and purchase a hand-crafted beverage, such as coffee or tea, at any of their locations, receive a $0.50 discount off their drink. Last fiscal (April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024), an incredible 12,557 discounts were redeemed, which means they were able to keep the same number of single use cups out of the landfill.

Ubyssey feature story on UBC Child Care

Don’t miss this excellent and illuminating feature Ubyssey story, Child-sized, critical steps, about the unique work taking place at UBC Child Care, which features Barbara Undurraga, Senior Early Childhood Educator, Enalyne Point, Indigenous Relations Engagement Pedagogist, and Karen Vaughan, Director.

Pet pop-up at UBC Bookstore

On April 9, the bookstore hosted its first pet accessories pop-up event that featured a few beloved local vendors, as well as an ambassador and their rescue pup from Free Korean Dogs. Created and organized by Joanna Kwong, from the bookstore’s buying team, the event welcomed more than fifteen UBC community pets and their owners, including students from the Campus Canines club with their service dogs in training. Check out this Instagram Reel from the event!

Boundaries workshop recap

On March 21, nearly 20 staff from SHCS Vancouver and Okanagan attended a hybrid workshop on creating and maintaining healthy boundaries, delivered by Jhanelle Peters, a Registered Psychotherapist. This unique workshop was organized and offered by the SHCS HR Organizational Development and Leadership team, and they’re offering it again on May 15. Register today!

New UBC Child Care website

We are excited to announce the launch of the new UBC Child Care website. This new website better reflects the high quality of education and care that UBC Child Care provides, while also offering greater insight into the types of care, settings, admissions process, pedagogy and more. This project was a great collaboration between UBC Child Care, SHCS Marketing and Communications and SHCS IT.

CCSP annual report features SHCS grocery RFP

The Canadian Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (CCSP) recently released their 2023 annual report, The State of Sustainable Public Procurement in Canada. UBC sits on the CCSP steering committee each year and contributes university-wide content to the report. This year, we are pleased to report that our Food Services Grocery request for proposal (RFP), a collaborative effort between SHCS Purchasing and the Food Services teams on both campuses, was featured as a member success story. To check out the story, see page 22 of the report.

Congratulations to Erica Toth, RLM, UBC Okanagan

In March 2024, Erica Toth, Residence Life Manager, UBC Okanagan, was awarded the 2024 New Professional Award by the Northwest Association of University and College Housing Officers. Since joining the Residence Life field as a professional in 2022, Erica has made significant and lasting contributions to the UBC Okanagan Residence Life program, our students and to the profession. Please join us in congratulating Eric on this accomplishment.

Dina Del Bucchia, UBC Bookstore, launches new book

Congratulations to Dina Del Bucchia, one of our long-standing UBC Bookstore employees, who recently launched her book, You’re Gonna Love This. The author of several collections of poetry, Dina is also a co-host of Can’t Lit, a podcast on Canadian literature and culture, the Artistic Director of the Real Vancouver Writers’ Series and a sessional instructor with UBC’s School of Creative Writing. Learn more.

Marketing and Communications team update

Charlotte Sander, Communications and Marketing Specialist, recently started her maternity leave, and we wish her all the best as she welcomes a new member of her family. We would like to offer a warm welcome to Jackie Hunter, who will be covering Charlotte’s role while she is away. Jackie, who joined the team in late-March, was most recently a Senior Accounts Manager with Akcelo, a global brand experience agency, where she led the account for TikTok North America.

Counsellors in Residence: events and initiatives

Did you know our Counsellors in Residence (CiR) also support student residents through a range of programming and resources, in addition to individual counselling? This academic year, the CiR team launched two new resource workbooks, launched a Kindness Challenge, and held many other events and initiatives from the Ask a Counsellor AMA on Instagram and a ChatGPT vs. Counsellor event to motivation and resilience-building workshops and a series of exam season drop-in mindfulness sessions.

Climate and sustainability training for Facilities and Building Services staff

In February and March 2024, Ricky Biring and Johanna Webber, Associate Directors in Facilities and Building Services, provided several training and education sessions on climate action and sustainability at UBC for staff across their department—including 40 Facilities (trades and stores) staff, 155 Building Services staff and 20 administrative and management staff. These sessions provided staff with a foundation of knowledge on climate issues and sustainability, what UBC and SHCS are doing and what staff can do to support our plans and goals.

Highlighting Kerry Boultbee, Sustainability Coordinator at UBC Bookstore

Sustainability is a key value at the UBC Bookstore, and the team there would like to highlight the work of Kerry Boultbee, Retail Floor Supervisor—also a recent SHCS Hero Award recipient—who has been their sustainability coordinator for over 20 years. A few of the initiatives completed during Kerry’s tenure include LED lighting upgrades, lighting automation for energy savings and the elimination of plastic bags. Learn more about sustainability at UBC Bookstore, and watch for more as they re-launch their sustainability committee.

ASIST at UBC Okanagan

Katrina Stefopulos, a Residence Life Manager at UBC Okanagan, recently became certified as an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) facilitator. This certification allowed Katrina to lead a two-day ASIST workshop in March for nearly 20 staff and students. The workshop was funded through the Vice-President, Students Strategic Initiatives Fund and has contributed to expanding the mental health fluency and capabilities of the Okanagan campus community.

Nutrition Month: A big success!

March is Nutrition Month across Canada, and this year Food Services celebrated with a number of events on the themes related to plant-based eating and food skills for life. During the month, they hosted nutrition and wellbeing booths at our residence dining halls, several signature events for students, held a Dietitian Q&A on Instagram, and published a series of nutrition-focused blog posts.

Serena Ewe presents at international conference

In May 2024, Serena Ewe, CCC, RCC, one of our Counsellors in Residence will present at the “Embedded Conference”, a conference for counsellors in embedded counselling programs, such as our Counsellor in Residence program. Serena will be co-presenting a workshop about nature-based approaches to student support with Nicole Adoranti, the embedded counsellor supporting students in the Faculty of Forestry and the Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

Residence spring cleaning initiative

This year, Student Housing Vancouver piloted a new initiative to help students living in Winter Session residence get a head start on and reduce waste during move out in April. Ahead of the Midterm Break in February, donation zones were set up and a campaign was launched to encourage students to declutter their units, donate any items they no longer wanted or, if applicable, take any belongings home over the break. In total, 3.45 metric tonnes of material was collected and donated, the majority of which was clothing and shoes.

Food Services’ chefs attend UMass “Flavours of Canada”

Chefs Darren Clay and Johnny Bridge, from the Food Services’ Residence Dining team, represented UBC at the “Flavours of Canada” event on March 13 at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst. At this annual event, which showcases cuisine from Canadian universities, Darren and Johnny shared a BC-focused menu featuring beet poké, maple salmon and Nanaimo bars. Learn more and check out a photo gallery.

Mindful Move Out update

In April, it’s Mindful Move Out in residence (Vancouver and Okanagan) as students prepare to move off campus or elsewhere on campus. Donation zones are set up throughout residence and campaigns are launched to help students produce as little waste as possible during move out. Donations are collected by off-campus partners, and on both campuses, a portion of donations are collected for re-distribution to residents in the fall—for example, in Vancouver, at our now-annual Mindful Market every September.

Waste audit: Marine Drive residence

From April 7 to 10, Facilities and Building Services teamed up with Campus and Community Planning for a waste audit at Marine Drive residence. On these dates, staff collected all waste from Marine Drive buildings 1 and 2 to assess how much is being diverted from the landfill and find out what types of waste are being improperly sorted. This project will provide us with important data to establish a baseline rate for waste diversion and determine any new waste interventions, such as a specific pizza box waste stream. Check out a photo from the audit.

Indigenous training: UBCO Residence Advisors

On Sunday January 28, the UBC Okanagan Residence Advisor team had the opportunity to explore the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada and hear a presentation orienting staff to the host nation, the Syilx Okanagan Nation. This guided session with Educational Facilitator Naim Cardinal, from UBC Okanagan’s Indigenous Programs and Services, allowed all 85 Residence Advisors to explore the massive, 11 metre x 8 metre atlas in the Nechako Residence Commonsblock gathering room. View a photo from the session.

Hydrogen Hub update

UBC Parking is excited to announce that the hydrogen hub—the hydrogen production, storage and fuelling station—near Thunderbird Parkade, part of the UBC Renewable Energy Hub that we covered in April 2022, has successfully passed a number of key commissioning requirements. With these milestones reached, we now have hydrogen on site, and the hub is nearly ready to open for fuelling commercial hydrogen vehicles.

Not Myself Today (NMT): February lunch and learn recap

On February 6, our Not Myself Today ambassadors hosted an informative, in-person lunch and learn session about emotional intelligence, delivered by Dr. Thara Vayali, ND, an internationally known speaker and writer and the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of hey freya. Nearly 40 staff from across SHCS attended the lunch and learn session, which covered positive ways to harness emotional intelligence and offered practical tools for enhancing our emotional skillsets.

Get your pair of “Shoes for Crews”

Our Occupational Health and Safety team is excited to announce our new “Shoes for Crews” program. Through this program, SHCS employees in Vancouver and the Okanagan receive a discount—an average of between 15% and 20%—on orders through Shoes for Crews, the leading supplier of slip-resistant work boots, clogs and athletic shoes.

To order your pair, visit our Shoes for Crews partner site, click “log in” under Employee Credit Card Purchase, then “log in” again on the next screen to view footwear with our discount applied. Each month will feature an additional promotional offer: for orders in February, use promo code “A32002” for free shipping; for March orders, use promo code “A34002” for a free hot/cold pack. Shoes will ship direct to your home and returns are easy. For any questions, contact the SHCS Occupational Health and Safety team.

Get your shirt for Pink Shirt Day at UBC Bookstore

The UBC Bookstore carries pink t-shirts in support of Pink Shirt Day (Feb 28, 2024). This year, we’re featuring the Kindness is Power design by Francis Horne Sr., Coast Salish Artist, which features an eagle forming a heart. Three dollars from every pink shirt sale will benefit the Native Northwest Reconciliation Fund in support of Indigenous people and families who continue to be impacted by Residential Schools and intergenerational trauma. Learn more.

UBCO Child Care: second facility under construction

To expand much-needed child care access at UBC Okanagan, a new facility is currently being built next to the existing centre. This addition will increase the number of spaces child care spaces from 56 to 93. Construction of the building is well underway, with concrete work completed in late-January and framing started in early-February. We look forward to continued progress and opening this building to families in fall 2024. Learn more.

UBCO RA sets world record at Ironman triathlon

The UBCO Residence Life team shares the wonderful news that Zach Bernier, one of our Residence Advisors in Nechako residence, set a world record at the Ironman Arizona triathlon on November 19, 2023. Finishing fourth place overall, he set a new U20 (i.e., under 20-years old) Ironman Triathlon world record, with a time of 8 hours, 44 minutes and 56 seconds. Read more.

Ena Point (UBC Child Care) publishes two new children’s books

Please join us in congratulating Ena Point, the Indigenous Relations Engagement Pedagogist at UBC Child Care, on publishing two new children’s books. This fall, Ena published The Sounds of My Body in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, which is available for purchase online and in select bookstores in Vancouver, including Massy Books, Iron Dog Books and the UBC Bookstore. Ena’s second book, Once We Were Trees, is currently available for pre-order online and will be coming out soon! Learn more.

Food Services’ local supplier spotlights continue

This term, Food Services Vancouver continues to feature local suppliers on Instagram and in our residence dining rooms, including Save Da Sea, Kula Foods, West Coast Bannock, Panela Lemon and Solecito, with many more to come. Check it all out on the UBC Foodie Instagram. And while you’re there, check out the great Chef Q&As with Johnny Bridge, Andy Chan and more.

Child Care Vancouver spaces approved for $10 a day

On February 9, 2024, the BC government announced that over 700 spaces across BC would move into the $10 a Day ChildCareBC program. More than 300 of those are group child care spaces at UBC Child Care in Vancouver. Congratulations to the Child Care team on successfully applying for and receiving this approval, which means that all our pre-Kindergarten spaces are now $10 a day. Read the province’s announcement.

UBCO Commuter Student Hostel now open

The housing team at UBCO is excited to announce that late-last term, they opened up the doors to their new Commuter Student Hostel, Nicola Residence, which gives students who commute to UBCO from elsewhere in the Okanagan valley a place to stay on campus, if needed. In addition to regular bookings, one room in the hostel is being used by the Emergency First Response Team to support the 24/7 operation of on-call first aid and it came in handy during a cold snap in January, when several residents needed to be relocated due to frozen pipes. Learn more.

Congratulations to Gloria Sun, Manager, Nutrition and Wellbeing

The Food Services Vancouver team is pleased to announce that Gloria Sun, who has been our Manager, Nutrition and Wellbeing, on contract for the past year, has accepted a permanent position in this role. Please join us in congratulating Gloria. Congratulations also to Melissa Baker-Wilson, who held this position for the past seven years, on her new position with the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, where she is now an educator with the Dietetics program.

UBC Bookstore: Featured collections

For Black History Month (February), the team at UBC Bookstore put together an extensive in-store display and online listing of brilliant books by black authors, from classics to contemporary, nonfiction to sci-fi. Plus, in honour of Freedom to Read Week (Feb 18–24), they also put together an in-store display and online listing of banned books. Visit the store until the end of February to check out these great displays. Throughout March, visit the store to check out the display in celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8).

Welcome Chanakaya Shabnavees to UBC Bookstore

The UBC Bookstore team would like to welcome Chanakya “Sha” Shabnavees, the new E-Commerce, Special Events, and Assistant Retail Floor Supervisor. Sha comes to the Bookstore and SHCS team from his most recent external role as an E-Commerce Manager and started at the Bookstore in early-January.

Welcome Ruth Situma to C&A

The Conferences and Accommodation (C&A) team would like to extend a warm welcome to Ruth Situma, who is the new Meeting Planner and started on January 22, 2024. In her role, she will primarily support academic conference hosts with planning, registration services, abstracts, website management and social events. A UBC employee since 2012, Ruth was most recently the Program and Communications Manager at the Pacific Institute for Mathematical Science.

UBCO Parking: February Food for Fines

Under the leadership of Jeff Joyce, the UBCO Parking Food for Fines program is operating again throughout February 2024. This year is the first that they are running the program twice during the academic year. In November 2023, the program brought in over 1,700 items, which were donated to the SUO pantry. Watch the UBCO Parking website for this term’s results!

Spoon at UBCO back up and running

It’s official! Spoon, one of our UBC Okanagan food outlets, which serves delicious soups and stews, plus rice and focaccia bread, has reopened in the Arts and Science building—for the first time since 2020. Just in time for winter! Many thanks to superstar Sales Attendant Fred Guigue, who eagerly took on the big challenge of getting Spoon cleaned up, stocked and ready for service after a three year closure and who is now serving up both soup, stew and smiles to our hungry customers. Check out this Instagram Reel showcasing Spoon.

Linzi Wong receives industry recognition award

Congratulations to Linzi Wong, Manager, Residence Life Administration, on being awarded the 2023 President’s Recognition Award by the Ontario Association of College and University Housing Officers (OACUHO). This award is given to an individual “who has demonstrated outstanding qualities within their role and goes above and beyond expectations.” Andrew Quenneville, Associate Director, Residence Life and Administration, who nominated Linzi, shares that “for those who work closely with Linzi, it’s not difficult to understand why she is incredibly deserving of this recognition. Linzi leads first-and-foremost with a service-first attitude. She consistently looks for opportunities to uplift her colleagues and lend a helping hand.” Learn more.

Nutrition and Wellbeing team update

Melissa Baker-Wilson recently returned as our Manager, Nutrition and Wellbeing from maternity leave raising her twin sons Rowan and Hudson. We are very excited to have Melissa back to UBC. Since then, Melissa accepted a new one-year secondment position with central HR as a Workplace Wellbeing Practices and Learning Consultant, which she began in mid-October. In Melissa’s absence, we would like to welcome back Gloria Sun as our SHCS Manager, Nutrition and Wellbeing.

The Great United Way x Thrive Bake Off

Get ready for the Great United Way x Thrive Bake Off, organized in part by Food Services! At this inaugural event, which takes place November 28, 12 pm–2 pm, bakers will showcase their culinary skills—while making a difference in our community. Join the event for free hot chocolate, cool beverages, treat tasting (with donation), and a chance to determine the winning baker, alongside our celebrity judges. Learn more.

Coming soon! UBC Okanagan Commuter Student Hostel

A new Commuter Student Hostel at UBC Okanagan is coming soon—an exciting opportunity for students who commute to UBCO from elsewhere in the Okanagan valley to stay on campus, if needed. The hostel will offer 12 newly renovated, single bedroom spaces for commuter students to book occasional, short-term stays. The UBC Okanagan Student Housing team looks forward to offering this valuable service to students. Watch for more info!

New “Zen Den” for staff at UBCV Child Care

Thanks to a successful grant application to the UBC Wellbeing Strategic Initiative Fund, submitted by Sahil Nandal, Residence Life Manager at Place Vanier, UBC Child Care Vancouver has secured funding to create a space—a Zen Den—at the Child Care Administration Hub where Early Childhood Educators can decompress and re-energize away from their child care settings. Many thanks to the team who is working to set up this exciting new space, which we anticipate will be complete early in the new year: Sahil Nandal and Matthew Lim, Residence Life Managers, Melanie Walters, Program Manager, UBC Child Care, and Diana Sanchez Toscano, Senior Early Child Educator, UBC Child Care.

Upcoming Events


14junAll DayLongest Day Run/Walk

20jun11:30 am1:30 pmOWC Summer Kickoff Carnival

29jun7:30 pmOWC Ticket Contest: Whitecaps vs St. Louis SC


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09aug12:00 pm6:00 pmSHCS Golf Tournament