Is Capilano University ready for phase two?
Bridget Stringer-Holden // Contributor
“I’ve always been passionate about bringing people together,” said Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) Recreation Coordinator Mikko San Ramon. He looks around as more students pour into the Maple Lounge, gathering around the Rock Band setup, singing “Livin’ on a Prayer” at the top of their lungs. Quick to devour the Halloween cupcakes on the table, they settle around the room to chat and play board games or pool. The throwback songs are popular, as San Ramon knew that they would be when he decided to bring back the CSU Rock Band: Jam Session for a second time. “It’s nice because you want a community that’s pretty engaged and that is well connected to each other through music.”
“I’ve seen this kind of stage before in student life,” said San Ramon. In his second year at Capilano University, he uses previous student life experiences from BCIT and Douglas College. Although they didn’t always have the answers, San Ramon and his group at Douglas felt unstoppable. San Ramon’s primary goal is to ensure the dimensions of physical, emotional and mental health and wellness are encompassed. He envisions a day when students become self-sufficient. “The main thing that any post secondary, in my opinion at least, would want and need to achieve is the point where staff don’t need to step up and do anything. Self-sustaining communities where students can say, ‘I wanna plan this’ and as a staff you can say, ‘these are your tools’,” said San Ramon. He wants students to be able to coordinate their own events so that staff can focus their time and energy on other areas where it’s needed.
In addition to Rock Band, San Ramon has plans to introduce Nintendo Switch games, such as Mario Party, for another gaming-themed event. He also plans to have some impromptu events in random places. “I wanted to do something where instead of me just promoting events, I’ll have Rock Band there, people can just jam out, they don’t have to go anywhere, and I’m sure people walking by would be very interested,” said San Ramon. Students with a busy schedule, such as Dyson Bissonnette-Licorish in the Motion Picture Arts program, could benefit from this. “I think [the events] are great. Personally, I don’t even know they’re happening until I walk into the Student Lounge,” he said.
“I’m very familiar with the stage that Capilano University is at right now, so I’m just playing that game of like ‘okay, this is phase one of my agenda’,” said San Ramon. “I’ll have to question myself over and over whether it’s ready for phase two yet. Can I put on bigger events? Is everybody ready for this?”