``Paris Hilton, Brad Pitt ... that guy who plays Harry Potter...'' Kent Lewis, a professor at Capilano University, puts up a slide on the projector containing celebrity faces and asks the class to identify them. So far the students are naming most of them. He puts up another collage of corporate logos: ``Coca Cola, the Wendy's girl, Lulelemon...'' the students identify them perfectly. Next up is a collage of tree photos: `` ... '' There's hesitation in naming a single tree species. The same occurs when a slide of birds is put up. The point is, the physical distance between what is in our own backyards, such as birds and trees, is not representative of what is familiar to us.
Most of us would consider this university our own ``backyard.'' How many students are aware of who the president of our own university is? Or how many are aware of the leaders of their own union that they joined: The CSU? Not many. But that's the least of our problems. In an experiment by Professor Steven J. Kirsh from Washburn University it was discovered that almost a third of university students don't even know the name of their own professors. This is even after providing the students with the professor's name by listing it in the course calendar, on their syllabus, and even announcing it on the first day of class! Three weeks later, and 30% of the students still did not know the name of the professor – The study also went on to find a correlation between poor grades and not caring about a professor's name.
Many Capilano students are probably more familiar with who is the president of USA, Iran, and Venezuela. Sure, those counties' leaders make good headlines and we should be aware of what's happening on a global scale. But many students probably pass by the president of Capilano and the CSU members in the halls and cafeteria without even making any facial recognition. And some even show up to class and listen to a professor speak for at least three hours a week and don't even know the prof's name. The physical distance is not representative of the familiar.
Next week, the CSU elections are to be held. You have the chance to not only get to know the names of those who will lead your union but also chose who they are. In this week's issue, we covered the CSU election debate and have asked each of the candidates a set of questions. At the very least, get to know their faces so that the next time you wonder what's going on in the world around you, you know who to ask.

// Alamir Novin,

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