Student activities

Corrotmob in downtown Victoria
The Commerce Students' Society Sustainability Club Carrotmobbing a downtown restaurant. The reverse boycott brings students and community members to a venue, spending money to encourage the business to make sustainable or socially responsible changes.

Every month we'll aim to feature a creative, smart and sustainable Gustavson student or graduate. Please visit often and find out how they're changing the world.

Marina Hutton's rosy specs

Marina Hutton's glass is always half full - so she's busy refilling goblets for the rest of the world.

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TED Dreams, TED Reality

Kyle Kozma has a dream to give a TED lecture one day. In the meantime, he's creating the dream for others.

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The comfort zone

Even when she's sitting still, Linsi Comfort radiates enthusiasm. And when the talk turns to sustainability, she lights up.

"We want to provide hands-on opportunities for students who are interested [in sustainability]," says the 2011-12 co-director of Gustavson's student-run Sustainability Club.

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Kopi Luwak, look out!

Like many students, David Lin thinks java deserves its own food group. So in the fall of 2010, when the third-year BCom students were given the choices for their team projects, David’s bunch opted for the coffee industry. Once the project was over, the idea kept percolating in David’s mind.

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An appetite for learning, a hunger to help

When third-year BCom student Connor Bildfell told people his idea for the campus-wide Pitch It competition, they looked at him like he'd lost his mind.

"Seriously?" they asked. "In 2012? You're going to create a magazine?"

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The Commerce Students' Society (CSS)' Runway of Fame fashion show raised $3800 for the United Way of Victoria.

Organized by a fourth-year BCom student, the day-long interactive Blended Bottom Line forum on social entrepreneurship included a panel of four social entrepreneurs and workshops to raise awareness of and participation in social entrepreneurship.

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Gustavson students were big players in the campus-wide 2014 PitchIt! competition, where Commerce and MBA students formed all or part of 15 of the 21 teams that entered.

Michael Wilson and Darrin Mah (both COM ’14) pitched Nightshade, a nail varnish that signals the presence of Rohypnol and GHB. Tony Nielsen (COM ’15) and Devin Landis proposed That Giving Thing, a website that tracks the momentum of a single good deed through QR codes that link individuals to acts of kindness.

Derek Odland’s (COM ’14) Snabb Rentals, Austin Singhera and Pavitar Sidhu’s (both COM ’17) Medical Solutions, and Brina Martens’ (COM ’15) b. martens also got enthusiastic nods (and $300!) from the judges.

In 2013, the Gustavson team of Robert Williams, Sean (Benson) Powell, and Corey Leung reeled in the $1500 social impact award for their Helping Hands Bikes business plan.

In 2012, Connor Bildfell scored big at both Plan it and Pitch It. The third-year BCom student pitched Soul/Food, a magazine that would provide info and resources to people with eating disorders, and won $300. Then his business plan brought home the social value award of $1500!

In 2011, business students David Lin and Mike Doyle took home $1500 and the award for Best Social Entrepreneurship Business Plan category of Gustavson's campus-wide entrepreneurship Plan-it contest. The men had a quarter of an hour to explain to judges their Coffee Bean Bug business plan to reduce water and waste in the processing of coffee beans.

The Plan-it award followed Lin's solo Pitch-it win, another campus-wide competition in which he had only two minutes to wow the judges with the concept.

Read more about the Pitch-it/Plan-it competition, which is open to all UVic students.

Assistant Teaching Professor Heather Ranson and then-third-year BCom student Linsi Comfort created a checklist for planning and implementing sustainable events. The checklist is available for anyone – and everyone! – to use.