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Ceremonies, speeches, and (finally) relief

“Every year, we say goodbye to hundreds of our classmates as they move into the real world that exists outside of UFV’s walls. In between and after these ceremonies, several of these graduating students took a moment to talk to The Cascade, separating themselves from the party that had broken out in front of the centre.”

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By Glen Ess (The Cascade) – Email

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Every year, we say goodbye to hundreds of our classmates as they move into the real world that exists outside of UFV’s walls. This year’s convocation, which took place on June 2 and 3, was once again held at the Abbotsford Centre and was divided into four interminably long ceremonies. Once again there were minor gaffes that lightened the mood: an award winning student’s speech was lost, numerous mispronunciations, a proposal, and, in the case of former SUS president Ryan Peterson, a partial renaming, as the announcer mistakenly used his middle name, Eugenio.

In between and after these ceremonies, several of these graduating students took a moment to talk to The Cascade, separating themselves from the party that had broken out in front of the centre.

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Aziz Alfaldel — Bachelor of Computer Information Systems, general studies diploma

How long have you been at UFV?
Should I start? Yeah? HELLO EVERYBODY! [Note: he actually yelled that.]
I’ve been here at UFV from 2013 to 2016. Only three years but I took some courses at SFU and Coquitlam College before coming here.

Did you enjoy those three years?
In my three years here at UFV I had the best time in my life, especially with the UFV Arab club. When we established the club I met a lot of amazing people, staff, faculty. As well as working with International, I was given the opportunity to explore my education here. I not only learned through books, but I learned through practicum, and it was amazing.

Do you have any specific memories that stand out?
I have so many favourite memories, that’s a hard one. I dunno.

Did you have a favourite professor or class?
Ooh, almost all of them, I would say. I like Dan Harris, he’s the department head of CIS right now, he made those groups where we can do a security concentration and we can go to a security conference in Vancouver for free, so we always go to those to network with people, have a good time, and get connected to the real world. There’s a lot of good teachers in the program, but he’s just, extra great.

Any advice for students coming to UFV, or students who are still here?
Yes, don’t give up on your studies, this is the first thing. It’s not easy, but at the same time it’s not hard, you just need to practice, and my advice is have fun while you can and get involved on campus to get the best education.

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Sabrina Gibbs — Associate of Arts degree

How long have you been at UFV?
I’ve been at UFV for six years.

How does graduation feel?
It felt good, it felt great, it was awesome! I don’t know what else to say.

Were you nervous crossing the stage?
Surprisingly no. I’m usually a person who’s very nervous, like walking across in front of everybody and audiences in general, but I was okay!

Did you have a favourite teacher or class?
Uh … My photography professor, Grace Tsurumaru. She is the most wonderful woman I have ever met, super helpful, kind, and took so much of her time to help me in my projects, I’ve had no professor that has compared to her. She has such a kind heart.

Most memorable UFV experience?
Working with Grace for the art gallery, the school gallery, setting up my photo. It was a kind of experience I’d never done before.

Any advice for current, or even new, UFV students?
Just have fun, explore different types of subjects, don’t rush into something, just have some fun! And don’t worry about graduating right away, take your time, you’ve got all the time in the world!

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Megan Helmer — Bachelor of Arts in English Literature

How long have you been at UFV?
Hah, for like, nine years part time!

How does it feel having graduated?
It’s a relief, it’s been such a long time, yeah, it’s been a slog, but I’m happy. I’m very happy to finally walk across that stage and be done.

How did it feel crossing that stage?
I was a little bit nervous, but it was good once I got up there, had the photo, had the paper in hand.

How do you feel about those nine years?
Meeting new students, the memories I’ve made with them, and all the knowledge I’ve gained — it’s been a good atmosphere. I like the small class sizes, and the feel of this university as opposed to the larger universities where you’re just in a lecture hall. There’s a community vibe around here.

Did you have a favourite class? Or a favourite professor?
I would have to say “The History of the English Language” with Jamie Pelkie. I wish he still taught here.

Any advice for current and new students?
Just try out a lot of different classes, that way you’re not pigeonholing yourself too early, try and meet people, join a couple of clubs.

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Keagen Lansle — Architecture and Drafting certificate

How long have you been at UFV?
I was only here for a year, but it was a pretty cool experience.

How does it feel having graduated?
Yeah, great. It’s pretty cool to be done.

Did you have any favourite classes or professors?
Not particularly. I just enjoyed the class, the whole class. It was a pretty small class, we only had 18.

Any advice for other students?
I don’t know, parts of it are challenging but it’s worth it in the end.

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Photos: Mitch Huttema

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