These are bizarre times and I am sure that many of us are tired of being home almost every day. By now, we can confidently call Zoom fatigue a real phenomenon, and perhaps we are all just one step away from marrying our computers like Plankton from the Spongebob TV show (I know I am)…
But what if I told you that it could all be different? That there is an alternative… Alternative reality? No, I am not talking about virtual reality, though that would be cool (something for all you engineers out there to work on?). I am, however, referring to something just as good (as permitted by our current technological constraints): the digital universe of UBC.
Thanks to all the amazing digital software and technologies available to us, we are able to connect with each other at “UBC” through various events and other media online. This I call the “UBC-verse” (like the multiverse, but UBC!). So join me, and let us enter the UBC-verse!
This is a great way to stay connected with your department. You can get updates on what your professors are up to and check in with the alumni of your major. This can be a great way to stay connected academically (outside the classroom) and keep you thinking about life outside university once you have graduated
Other notable features: you will find information about alumni interviews, job fairs, lecture series, other events (including student association events), student interviews, major/minor information, and more!
My personal take: I have found quite a few opportunities to attend lectures and other events on social media in the past few months. For instance, I found out about a public lecture on ancient Japan through a postdoctoral fellow I was following on Twitter (I major in Asian Studies and History so it makes sense that I would get really excited about this!).
The Ubyssey, UBC’s student newspaper, is a great way to check out what other students, faculty, and staff have been up to. This can be an especially great way to find out more about what goes on at UBC without physically being there and to support journalism and free press.
My personal take: Back when everything was new and a bit daunting (in my first year), reading The Ubyssey helped me gain a sense of community and gave me many awesome ideas about what to do on campus (I also really enjoyed reading about the AMS elections).
The UBC Alumni Centre (physically located next to the AMS Student Nest) offers a range of events throughout the year, currently taking place online at the time of this publication.
Naturally, being the “Alumni Centre,” it offers many career-related events, including job fairs and talks about entrepreneurship.
Even cooler: as I was exploring their website for this blog post, I found that the Alumni Centre has a Virtual Reality TOUR OF UBC!!! Here is the link if you are interested (highly recommended if you cannot be on campus in person)!
UBC Connects is a speaker series that invites many different individuals from all walks of life (including activists, politicians, and even comedians!) hosted by none other than our very own President Santa Ono!
These events are online due to the current situation, but they would normally take place at the Chan Centre.
My personal take: In an effort to learn more about viewpoints different from my own, I attended one of these events in my second year featuring the former Governor of Ohio and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, John Kasich. That event fostered a very safe and encouraging environment to discuss many different issues, some of which may be a bit contentious. Overall, I really enjoyed the event and found the Q&A session to have been rather productive.
Musical and theatrical performances are definitely amazing experiences to be had on campus. The Orchestra and UBC Opera normally hold regular performances on campus in really nice theatres (including the Chan Centre, which is probably one of the more beautiful buildings on campus!).
Now, these performances are being offered online. Check out the Chan Centre Dot Com Series!
My personal take: I have not actually taken full advantage of these awesome opportunities in the past few years, but I have only ever heard great things from people who have, so I cannot recommend it enough!
The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) is situated on the very tip of campus (beyond the flagpole and the rose garden). It boasts a vast collection of related to First Nations peoples and other cultural communities of British Columbia and the world, including totem poles, folk materials (like baskets, masks and much, much more!), and also a European Ceramic Gallery.
The MOA also has a digital collection available for viewing online (I personally think that MOA has perhaps the best digital engagement system I’ve seen at any museum)... You can access their digital collection here.
My personal take: MOA has to be one of my favourite spots on campus (being the history buff (and major) that I am)... I have had the awesome opportunity to use some of their online resources to conduct some fascinating research in the past, and again, their online exhibits are more than just a cataloguing system! It is highly interactive and extremely fascinating!
Visit our blog for tons of interesting articles on an array of topics (not just about learning and school!).
Recently, my colleague Minori wrote a blog post about things to do for free from home in the greater UBC community. If you are looking for more things to do outside of the UBC-verse, check it out!
Also, check out the Keep Learning website to find out more about how to navigate all the online learning resources during these extraordinary times.
My personal take: visit us for more information about learning, taking classes online, staying engaged with the UBC community, and more!
 Shelton, Anthony. “Director’s Welcome Message.” MOA. Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia. Accessed November 28, 2020. https://moa.ubc.ca/welcome/.