SFU News Round-Up – Aug-Sept 2019

Your regular compilation of SFU stories in other news outlets

The Madge Hogarth House at SFU (photo courtesy of Burnaby Now)

By: Henry Tran, Peak Associate

SFU community discourages demolition of the Madge Hogarth House

Simon Fraser University administrators have agreed to dismantle the Madge Hogarth House which is currently located in the West precinct of the Burnaby campus. The SFU administration has decided to move forward with its decision in order to meet its plan of doubling the number of residence beds at the Burnaby campus from 1,554 to 3,250 by 2035. 

According to an article written by Canadian Architect, the university explains that upgrading the building to meet the “seismic, fire and life safety requirements is unfeasible.” Thus, the university has no other choice but to demolish it. 

However, a few members of the SFU community voiced their concerns with the university’s decision due to believing that it is a sign of disrespect to the architects, Arthur Erickson and Geoffrey Massey, who developed the architectural framework for the Burnaby campus in 1965. Certain community members worry that the new building design might not blend in with the current architecture of the Burnaby campus including Donald Luxton. Luxton sits on SFU’s campus master plan design review panel, told Vancouver is Awesome that he has “no idea how that building bears any relationship to the architectural vocabulary of the original SFU buildings.”

Furthermore, in a letter to the SFU administration, Phyllis Lambert, Chair of the Arthur Erickson Foundation Council stated  “[. . .] The Madge Hogarth House [is] one of the high points of Canadian civilization. This building is a rare example of the architects’ thought about—and execution of—communal residential structures [. . .]”.

Lambert further urged the university to seek an alternative site on campus for their plans of increased student housing, as well as designated the Madge Hogarth House as a heritage site as an important component of the SFU legacy.

New research finds Canada’s salmon population is decreasing significantly

A joint study conducted by SFU and Fisheries and Oceans Canada has discovered that over the last century, Canada’s wild sockeye population has declined by as much as 99%. 

The study was spearheaded by Michael Price and John Reynolds, a PhD candidate and a professor at the Department of Biological Sciences, respectively. Price and Reynolds analyzed a collection of fish scales that has been preserved since 1912. These scales were collected by fisheries scientists between 1912 and 1948 from commercial fishing operations. 

Most of the current data on salmon population only go as far back as 1960, due to differing technological standards, and methods of sample collection in earlier research. 

“Historical perspectives for exploited species are critical to understanding the extent of decline in depressed populations,” said Price, according to a press release from SFU. “Naturally, the better we understand the past, the more informed our decisions towards recovery will be.” 

Therefore, Price and Reynolds’s study is better able to look at longer-term trends in Canada’s salmon population than most modern research.