Interview with Joshua Luu
You probably know that BCIT is full of possibilities. Yet in spite of the opportunities, everything the school and the BCIT Student Association offer outside of academics can be submerged in the sheer amount of schoolwork you are expected to complete. There also has yet to be a centralized hub where students like you can access information about everything that’s offered here.
To help combat this problem, Joshua Luu (Chair of the School of Business + Media) shares that he has recently created a Discord server for students at the School of Business + Media. The goal of the Discord server is to allow an “effective and streamlined method for communication,” helping students stay better connected to the school, leaders representing them, and one another. There are hopes of rebranding to include all BCIT students in the future.
Joshua explains that Discord was chosen over all other social media platforms because of its versatility and functionality. Originally made by and for gamers, it is essentially a free text and call service where you can create public or private communities. You can also create focused channels within the same server and use them for questions and conversations while looping in everyone—rather than having to reach out through DMs.
According to Joshua, the Discord server he created contains multiple channels where resources, events, and newsletters can be circulated so students don’t have to look at many different websites to get the same details.
Beyond promoting better access to information, the server is intended to help amplify student voices by providing a low-barrier way to flag concerns and questions.
“Sending an email could sometimes be quite formal for students, and it may hinder them in one action to reach out [to available resources] compared to a Discord server where they can create a ticket,” says Joshua. “[On Discord, they could] message somebody on the server that is one of their representatives.”
This means that students can contact their set reps (class representatives) through the server. These representatives can then escalate the input to other student leaders in the BCIT Student Association, specifically councillors and execs who can address and help resolve those concerns in council meetings.
Students can also use the server to manage group projects. Keeping everything in one location can lead to better discussions and organization. After all, maintaining clear and effective communication is essential.
“It’s so, so easy to mess up in communication,” Joshua emphasizes, “and once the wrong idea gets spread across, then it takes resources to recover from that.”
And this is more relevant than ever. As Joshua says, communication means talking to people in person, or at least it used to. Due to COVID, opportunities to practice those communication skills have been scant for students these past years. Virtual classes made it hard to keep up with school friends and collaborate on projects. Because of these challenges, students had lost meaningful pieces of contact that they had yet to learn and are only truly learning now. That’s why the Discord server is fantastic: Students get to access a space to learn and practice those communication skills.
As a bonus, here are some tips from Joshua on how to get the point across in an initial message:
“Emphasize key points as soon as possible… You want bullet points if you have several questions, or write in the first paragraph what you are looking for throughout the whole [message] because this helps focus on what exactly you’re asking for. And it’s less likely to be missed overall.”
On that note, if you are a student in the School of Business + Media, now’s the time to join the Discord server. Visit discord.gg/uVcpWQv9Yj and be prepared to verify your status as a BCIT student.
Link Coordinator at BCITSA