News and Updates

UBCO Food Services Student Family Recipe Contest

This term, UBCO Food Services held its first Student Family Recipe Contest. The contest gave students who eat at Pritchard Dining Hall an opportunity to share their most-missed home-cooked comfort food with Food Services— along with a story about why these dishes are meaningful to them—for the chance to have their recipes featured as a dinner special. The contest judges selected seven student family recipes—including Ginataan Manok, a Filipino stew, Chili Potatoes, Entomatadas and more—which are each being served on a daily rotation throughout the month of February.

Low Vision Awareness Month

Join UBC’s Centre for Workplace Accessibility for a virtual event on February 23 to strengthen your disability inclusion literacy by learning more about inclusive workplace practices such as assistive technology, accessible hiring, accessible meetings and workplace accommodations. The talk will feature guests from Frontier Accessibility Solutions, Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada (VLRC) and Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).

Parking and transportation: steadily returning to 2019 levels

Anyone riding transit knows that TransLink is seeing user volumes steadily increase. The bus network is now back to 80% of pre-pandemic levels or higher, with many peak-time services full. Consistent with expectations related to the hybrid working/teaching model, vehicle traffic and parking volumes at the Vancouver campus remain below 2019 levels—about 10% lower. As such, parking availability is generally good, but demand continues to grow.

We still have work to do to reduce single-occupancy vehicle volumes to meet UBC mandated targets. With this in mind, our Parking team is looking at expanded transit pass subsidies for eligible staff, support of vanpool and carpool programs, and possibly even subsidies for e-bike purchases. Let Brian Jones from UBC Parking know what would help you change your commuting habits!

Find your next great read at UBC Bookstore

February is Black History Month in Canada. Every year UBC Bookstore creates an extensive display inviting our campus community to learn about a wide range of fiction and nonfiction books by brilliant Black authors. ⁠Visit the store throughout the month, or check out our Black History Month book list online, to choose your next read celebrating Black voices, joy and history.

Additionally, UBC Bookstore is expanding their selection of French books. You can now find a wide and unique range of literature in French, both original and in translation, classic and contemporary. The selection also includes children’s books and works by the 2022 Nobel Prize Winner in Literature, Annie Ernaux.

UBCO Residence Life nominated for international awards

The UBC Okanagan Residence Life program has been nominated for the ACUHO-I / Benchworks Assessment and Impact Awards in Housing for the 2021/22 academic year. Based on an annual international benchmarking assessment, UBC Okanagan had one of the highest scores of any campus in both the Satisfaction: Community Environment and Satisfaction: Roommates categories.

Factors that contributed to the nomination include roommate experience changes, including better roommate matching for Living Learning Communities, an increased focus on community building through RA-led events, an enhanced residence orientation process, and more. Out of 300+ institutions, UBC Okanagan is one of just 19 student housing programs nominated for this year’s awards. Recipients will be announced in June 2023.

New breakfast cafe menu and hours at The Point

In early-January, The Point launched its new weekday breakfast menu and is now open for breakfast between 7:30 am and 11 am, Monday to Friday for takeout or sit-in—in addition to regular hours. The menu includes pain au chocolat, UBC cinnamon buns, a signature breakfast croissant (with fried egg, bacon, cheddar, lettuce and mayo), barista coffee and more. Get all the details at The Point and check out a recent @ubcliving TikTok.

SHCS HR attends Inclusive Hiring Fair

On January 25, 2023, SHCS HR attended a WorkBC inclusive hiring fair, which focused on employment opportunities for persons with disabilities and the general public. Over 730 job seekers registered for the event, and by all accounts, it was busy. Our booth received interest from both individuals and organizations in attendance, and we received applications for positions in Food Services and Facilities and Building Services. Over the coming months, SHCS HR will be attending more of these events in an effort to support UBC’s commitment to equity in employment and fill numerous roles in our departments.

Food Services launches online ordering system

A major collaboration with SHCS IT and Marketing and Communications, in November 2022 Food Services Vancouver launched its new online ordering system, powered by Tacit, an enterprise-grade digital ordering platform. This substantial project involved merging our current point of sale (POS) system with Tacit, for a seamless online ordering experience, and populating the system with photos and content for each available menu item at our two pilot locations: Mercante and The Point. As we continue to promote the service to the campus community, online order numbers continue to increase. Visit the online ordering website.

Fun Fact! Although not part of our Tacit online ordering system, it’s definitely worth a mention here that Tim Hortons at q̓əlɬaləməcən leləm̓ (Orca House) now has the highest percentage of mobile order sales of any Tims location in North America, with 35–40% of sales made through the Tim Hortons mobile order system.

New safety product put to the test

In late-2022, prior to the December snowfall, our Occupational Health and Safety team introduced an innovative spikeless ice cleat to several of our teams to help reduce the risk of slips and falls in icy conditions. These new cleats—worn over shoes or work boots—can be used outdoors and indoors, without damaging floors, and are ideal for staff who need to quickly and easily transition between outdoor and indoor settings. Feedback from our staff in Campus Mail and Conferences and Accommodation who put them to the test was extremely positive.

Sustainable innovation at UBCO Bookstore

As part of an effort to increase sustainability at the UBC Okanagan Bookstore, the team there recently introduced new electronic shelf labels, which indicate sections, genres and reading materials for specific courses. With the support of UBC Okanagan IT to implement the project, the electronic labels can be easily updated and replace the previously-used paper shelf labels.

Plus, with Destination UBC returning in-person this year, the UBC Okanagan Bookstore is now stocked and ready with clothing and giftware for the many prospective students and families who attend this annual student campus experience event. UBC Classics apparel remains a top-seller for students and parents/guardians alike!

UBC named one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People in 2023

UBC is recognized as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People in 2023. This special designation recognizes the employers that offer the nation’s best workplaces and programs for young people starting their careers. Notably, our Red Seal Culinary Apprenticeship Program in Food Services is highlighted as one of the top three reasons why UBC received this award—and UBC’s promotional graphic for the announcement features Apprenticeship Program graduate Alice Sohn and Sage Sous Chef, Eric Meyer. Read the announcement.

Attendance Management Program Update

In January 2023, SHCS reinstated the UBC Attendance Management Program for CUPE 116 employees, which has been on pause since early in the pandemic. Initially launched in 2008, the program was created to support our employees and managers in issues related to attendance and absenteeism, with an emphasis on supporting employee personal health and wellbeing.

It is important to note that, in addition to its negative impact on SHCS operations, excessive absenteeism has a significant impact on both coworkers and the UBC community. In particular, it places an additional workload on staff who are at work and impacts our ability to serve students and the wider university community.

Using attendance statistics from the past year, roughly 150 employees have been identified for inclusion in the reinstated program. This group of staff will be invited to meetings with their managers and CUPE 116 and UBC HR representatives. All CUPE 116 employees, along with managers/supervisors and SHCS leadership, were emailed in mid-January with detailed information about the program.

Toy Drive and Food for Fines

Congratulations to the team at Parking Services for their generous contributions to our community this past holiday season. Over the course of the year, 90 hampers worth of toys were collected for families and $36,190 was donated to the AMS Food Bank and United Way Campaign through the Food for Fines program—this donation was then matched totalling a donation of $72,380. Congratulations and great work!

$1,500 raised through the SHCS Virtual Food Drive

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to our Virtual Food Drive in November and December. We reached our goal of fundraising $750 and Parking Services kindly matched this amount, resulting in a grand total of $1,500 raised for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank!

Holiday Hampers

SHCS supported four families in need over the holidays with holiday hampers. Special shout out to OWC member Colleen Vaillancourt, a Residence Dining Supervisor with Food Services, for co-ordinating this fantastic initiative.

“Britannia Elementary has been so very grateful to be able to provide these hampers to families in need. I cannot tell you how amazing it was to see the tears of joy as our families headed into the holiday break with a hamper full of food for the week. The parents have communicated that they are so happy to have a place to go to for support with no stigma or judgement and to be treated with dignity and respect. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making this all possible.” – Jason Webber, Principal at Britannia Elementary

Upcoming OWC Events

march 2023

16marAll Day29Whitecaps ticket contest

16marAll Day17aprEarlybird Registration: Longest Day Run/Walk