The Summer semester is often much quieter than the Fall and Spring semesters. But if you decided to tune out while away on summer holidays, you missed out on some pretty important news stories.
For starters, the man elected to serve as the president for the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) at the end of the Spring semester barely made it a month before resigning on June 3. Deepak Sharma failed to meet eligibility status, and the president seat has been vacant ever since.
Larissa Chen, VP student services, has been filling in as the interim president in the meantime. She has already said that she won’t be continuing on as president, which means that students will participate in a by-election to fill the position (and the vacant environment student representative position) that will take up the first four weeks of the Fall semester.
That hasn’t stopped the SFSS from making some big decisions, with the most recent being to scrap the stadium portion of Build SFU. Upon getting the estimates back and realizing they were three times as much as the allotted funds for the project, the SFSS decided the project wasn’t feasible and cancelled it within a week.
This move has not sat well with many student athletes, as well as the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and those students who are invested in the Build SFU project. The last board meeting of the semester was stormed by upset members of all these parties, and meetings have been held with the SFSS and SAAC to determine if the whole project will remain cancelled or if a stadium can still be salvaged.
While those battles have been going on concerning the student side of the politics of SFU, the administration has been forced to deal with the alleged mishandling of multiple sexual assault accusations that took place on campus over the past school year.
After a column by Daphne Bramham appeared in The Vancouver Sun which broke the news, SFU administration went on the defensive, with SFU faculty calling for them to be held accountable for not being transparent throughout the accusations and investigations.
All of this took place while the campus is formulating its sexual violence and misconduct policy. They have held town halls and are actively encouraging feedback on their progress. Many concerned students and staff are waiting to see what this policy will end up becoming.
It wasn’t all bad news, though. Two recent graduates made some big noise for creating a virtual reality game for cancer patients, inspired by their own experiences with health issues. SFU engineers built a bionic arm for the upcoming first-ever “cyborg Olympics.”
The school’s athletics department also hired Steve Hanson to be the next men’s basketball coach, on the heels of Virgil Hill’s resignation last spring.
Time will tell if the upcoming semester will be as noteworthy.