Meet the Student Peer Advisors for Aboriginal Student Affairs and learn where they find “home” on UBC Vancouver’s campus.
Zoe Craig, Student Peer Advisor for Aboriginal Student Affairs
In a campus as big as UBC, it can be difficult to figure out where you fit in. I’ve been lucky enough to travel lots in the past few years and to experience new places like Vancouver Island and France, but as a Musqueam student from Vancouver, UBC is my home. The interesting thing about UBC is the bubble that it creates; it truly is its own special place. This comes with a lot of challenges, as you have to adjust to Vancouver life as well as campus life. This can be as simple as finding your favorite place to eat on campus. Always being on the go, it can be nice to relax and have lunch with friends in the AUS lounge, but my personal favorite is Mercante, a delicious little pizza place on campus. I’m obsessed with the Prosciutto e Rucola, try it, you’ll understand. While so many students can be intimidating, it also means that you are sure to find your home within our community. And among the Aboriginal community, you might even be lucky enough to find a family! Events in places like the Longhouse help to make this possible, but exploring nature in Pacific Spirit Park can also be a refreshing change of pace. With the academic stress of being a university student, it is so important to explore the campus and people outside of just your classes and to really make the most of your time here.
Victoria Cooke, Student Peer Advisor for Aboriginal Student Affairs
For me, home on campus means a couple different people and places. Being from Ontario and unfamiliar with Vancouver, it was really important for me to find a place where I felt connected to others. I was lucky to be able to find it within my first semester here at UBC in First Nations and Indigenous Studies. As a non-Indigenous student invested in unlearning settler-colonialism and white privilege, initially it was really difficult to see myself as having a valuable voice in my program. It has taken a lot of self-reflection and active listening, but now when I think of “home” I think of the many thoughtful, caring, and hard-working students, faculty, and staff that make up FNIS. The folks I’ve met in my program hold each other up with such love and respect, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to be a part of that community. If I ever need somewhere to sit and be for a few minutes when I’m stressed out, you can usually find me either at the Rose Garden or down at Wreck Beach. I grew up spending most of my summers on the lake, so looking out over the water helps to connect me with the good energy I need to keep pushing through my degree.