Just because most students take a break in the summer doesn’t mean our news team does. Below are summarized bits of news stories written by our News Editor and contributors over the course of the past semester.
Despite saying the SFSS Food and Beverage Services would be permanently closed on June 15, the Highland Pub and the Ladle were shut down nearly three weeks early. SFSS President Hangue Kim cited last year’s summer closure as the reason for the quietly announced earlier shut down. The decision to end the Food and Beverage Services came after years of heavy deficits. Decisions about what to do with the vacant space and money formerly for the Food and Beverage budget have yet to be announced.
This year marked the halfway point for the Univercity project. The plan is to eventually house 10,000 people within the next five years as well as create more space for businesses. UniverCity’s elementary school even has an expansion in the works to add eight new classrooms to the building. Other possible projects include a daycare centre, a clinic, more food options, and even seniors’ housing. And of course the idea of a future gondola is always on the table.
In the process of researching animal testing at SFU, Wild Salmon Creative Action hit a roadblock when SFU refused to release its records. The group was told by the University Animal Care Committee there was no public record because the BC Freedom of Information Act did not enforce them to have one as creating the record “would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the University.” The university also stated that they did not keep records of the information Wild Salmon Creative Action was looking for. The group hopes to get the university to release its animal testing records and, eventually, to end animal testing at SFU.
Majid Bahrami, an SFU professor, was given almost three quarters of a million dollars to fund his ongoing research project with scholars from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The goal is to create a new sustainable way of growing food. Much of their research focuses on improving greenhouses to maximize crop growth and minimize costs. They are working with a closed design that provides the ability to grow anything at anytime of year in any climate. The researchers also hope to harness ‘waste heat’ (the byproduct of burning fossil fuels) to create an eco-friendly power source for these greenhouses.
After 41 years at SFU, Jones has achieved much and leaves some big shoes to fill. Several of his past students have won Olympic gold, he’s a member of the BC Hall of Fame, and he has even been called “Canada’s greatest wrestling coach of all-time.” He was basically able to create the wrestling program he wanted at SFU and it clearly has paid off. Jones prided himself in the confidence he was able to give athletes and the wide range of opportunities he was able to provide them.
Baker Al-Nakib, Thamer Matar, and alumna Tiana He have created an app to help cut costs of parking in cities, starting with Vancouver. Parking stalls are listed on the app and drivers can book them for hours, days, even months depending on the owner. The app, which is not unlike Airbnb, encourages lower, fixed costs to avoid drivers having to pay a premium during prime times. In case someone overstays their time limit in the spot, the app will suggest a new nearby parking spot at the same rate for the driver trying to park while simultaneously organizing a tow truck to come pick up the overdue car.
Surrey students were asked to provide feedback on possible improvements for much needed student space. Despite past attempts to create more space at Surrey campus, the SFSS hopes a new building opening in 2018 could provide the space they’re looking for.
Police were called to investigate a potential self-harm incident on the morning of July 13. The call was placed after a Coquitlam man left his home with the intent to harm himself. By that afternoon, police had found a man, who they believed to be the same one they received the call about, carrying a gun near SFU. Police tried to intervene verbally but the man shot himself. At the time, the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC was looking into if police involvement played a role or could have prevented the incident, however no public updates have been made.
With the help of Out on Campus and other students, career services is in the process of creating a guide to help transgendered people with their unique job search. The hope is to help provide guidance for concerns when searching for work. The guide will be a resource for students as well as advisors at career services to help better support transgender students. The guide also informs job hunters of their legal rights. The guide should be available online sometime this semester.
The story of the summer in BC this year was the state of emergency issued following a number of devastating forest fires in the province. Thousands were evacuated and even now there are fires still burning. Several SFU clubs teamed up to raise money for a wildfire relief fund set up by the Canadian Red Cross. The group was able to raise about $1,500 in the week of July 17–21.