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Innovative new plan teams up UBCO student clubs with local businesses

University students are known to be low on funds, but so are the 130 student-led non-profit clubs at UBC Okanagan.

During the first few weeks of every semester, these clubs request funding from their Student Union. Clubs will very often not receive the amounts they request, which limits their ability to operate. The UBCO Student Union has come up with a plan to solve these shortcomings.

<who>Photo Credit: Jacob Vriens</who>UBC Okanagan Court Yard during the 2017 Club Expo

Students are offering local businesses presence at the university in exchange for sponsoring. The UBCO Student Union is working to connect student-led clubs with Kelowna companies to lighten the burden on students.

On Feb 23, the ‘All Club Course Union’ (ACC) will bring some 40 local businesses and 70 student-led clubs together at the University Center Ballroom. The event gives clubs and businesses the opportunity to interact, network, and discuss sponsorships in a casual setting.

Some clubs have already seized this opportunity. The South Asian Alliance (SAA) UBCO is a student-led club that has recently worked with Shaw and Kelowna BMW to sponsor their Eid-Dwali Night. Inderjit Dhial, Shaw’s territory sales manager, said by sponsoring such initiatives the company seeks “a greater presence in the community,” and to create a relationship with “customers of today and of the future.”

<who>Photo Credit: Jacob Vriens</who>UBCO Student Union President Trophy Ewila (left), Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran (middle), and Student Union VP External Affairs Amal Alhuwayshil at the 2017 Club Expo

Romil Jain, VP Finance and Operation at the Student Union, called the initiative a “win-win situation for both sides,” and one that would allow clubs to move away from using student funds. On the business end, sponsorships would provide local companies with the opportunity to connect with and market to a growing population of UBCO students. About 3,000 students attended the campus when it opened in 2005, a number that has tripled over the last dozen years.

The growing size of UBC Okanagan draws an increasing number of businesses to the campus already. Additionally, large annual events, such as Frosh and Recess, have not only attracted thousands of people in the past but also world-famous artists, like U.S. rappers Desiigner and Ty Dolla $ign, as well as DJ 3lau. UBCO’s students are most certainly entertained. The next step is to bring their ideas to life.

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