SFU Surrey opened its doors on Mar. 6 to showcase some of SFU’s most prestigious programs and research projects; the event also featured entertainment and ethnic foods from around the globe.
The annual open house was a crowd-pleaser for both the young and old, attracting approximately 3,000 guests, including prospective students, parents, alumni, and community members.
Over 60 exhibits and interactive displays were sprawled across the second and third floors of the campus, and for the very first time in the event’s history there was representation of each of SFU’s faculties. According to SFU Surrey’s associate director of marketing and external affairs, Matthew Grant, this year’s open house celebrated the diversity of the entire university, making it an SFU-wide event held at the Surrey campus.
Rachel Nelson, SFU Surrey’s community relations and engagement coordinator told The Peak, “This year… all of it was amazing. I’m always pleasantly surprised by the vibrancy and the energy [ . . . ] [The event] just creates a really good vibe at the campus.” Nelson felt that the various displays and entertainment were especially engaging and successful this year.
The various exhibits and presentations were fascinating, unique, and radiated enthusiasm. Sea creature touch pools, a literary character photobooth, virtual simulations, a robotic lawn mower, and a distracted driving obstacle course were just a few of the notable displays.
SFU Surrey’s executive director, Stephen Dooley, had only positive words for his very first open house experience: “What I really liked about it was just the great energy, the sense of community, and for me I learned a lot by going around to all the different displays that were on [ . . . ] it was a really good way to learn about what’s going on at the university.” President Andrew Petter also graced the stage, welcoming the entire community to SFU Surrey.
The SFU community shone throughout the entire event, particularly on the centre stage, which featured a renowned SFU piper, highland dancers, a steel drum show, Sri Lankan dancers, singer and songwriter Gio Levy, a bhangra team, and SFU student and R&B artist Alisha Pillay, among others.
Grant expressed his appreciation for the partnership between SFU and the greater community, exemplified by the success of the open house: “When it comes to open houses, I’ve been involved in a lot of them. It’s only been over the last couple of years that we’ve been able to put together an event that embraces SFU’s vision and mission when it comes to engaging the world.”