Learning About UNBC’s Origin Story

Two University of Northern British Columbia students learned about their university’s history as part of a student job contacting people integral to the founding of UNBC 25 years ago.

Raychill Snider and Brittany McHardy reached out to some of the 16,000 people who gave $5 and signed a petition supporting UNBC in the late 1980s. They called those petition signers who provided their contact information, thanking them and inviting them to 25th anniversary activities taking place throughout the year.

For Raychill Snider, who at the time was a 2nd year environmental studies major, the job has given her a chance to learn about UNBC’s past and the greater Northern BC community than would have ever been possible.

Brittany McHardy, left, and Raychill Snider are learning about UNBC's history through their student jobs. Download high-resolution version

“This gives me more insight into the area culturally and historically. Even though people were signing the petition before I was even born, I hear the same people’s names referred to all the time. Even though I wasn’t here, there’s a certain level of knowledge I have already, where I recognize names people tell me, because I’ve heard them multiple times,” she said.

Snider chose UNBC because she wanted to study out of province, had never been to BC, and was impressed by the university’s environmental studies program.

Snider worked at the External Relations office a few hours a week. She said it was a great way to exercise her communication skills, as the students reached out to more than 500 people. It was also a great way to learn about an important part of UNBC history.

“I really like going to UNBC, and the small university experience,” she said. “I think with this job I’m getting a much deeper insight into the whole university. I’m in a very privileged situation very few students will get to experience; I get to know a lot more about the university than most students will ever know, on a personal level.”

Brittany McHardy was a 2nd year natural resource management student from Meaford, Ont. She liked the idea of attending UNBC because she’s from a smaller community, and UNBC offered the program she wanted.

Working on the 16,000 project was rewarding, according to McHardy, because she spoke with the people who made her university.  

“It’s only been 25 years, but the impact the university has had on the community is impressive,” said McHardy.