Board Shorts

Convocation Mall renovations

Professor of criminology Ehor Boyanowsky approached the board on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of making renovations to the open space in Convocation Mall. Referencing Burnaby campus’ lack of light during the fall and spring semesters and its potential negative impacts on those with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Boyanowsky explained how the space could better serve students in the winter months. Improvements could include glass doors which would section off parts of Convocation Mall, along with better lighting, heating, and seating for students.

Open letter on Pearson presentation

The board issued an “Open Letter to the Students of Simon Fraser University” regarding a presentation made by Pearson Publishing Company on July 29 to the SFSS advocacy committee.

During the presentation, Pearson explained that the four largest textbook publishers in the industry were willing to work together to standardize the e-book format to offer students full access to all course material at a lower cost, provided every student pay an automatic fee to the service.

While the board was interested in the possibility of providing a more extensive selection of electronic courseware to SFU students, they ultimately found the proposal lacking due to four factors: it was based on an opt-out rather than an opt-in model; BC already provides free electronic courseware through the BC Open Textbook Program; the program may unduly favour certain publishers over others; and Canvas may make some of the program’s tools redundant.