Wobbly step to lower bus loop victimizes 12 first years and counting

Student ends up in full-body cast due to misstep


Written by Jennifer Low, Peak Associate

Yet another student is in critical condition after trying to take the stairs to the lower bus loop at SFU’s ugliest campus Friday morning. 

According to Campus Public Safety, the incident took place at 8:29 a.m. on the steps to the lower bus loop between Convocation Mall and West Mall Centre. The innocent first year student, dressed up for his first week of university, accidentally stepped on the infamous wobbly concrete step. 

Suffering from wounded pride and a shattered dream of university success, the student was taken to Burnaby Hospital for emergency treatment — though not before being carried, at his request, to The Study Public House to day-drink his sorrows away for a few hours. 

This is the twelfth first year since Welcome Day to be victimized by the wobbly concrete step, and he will likely not be the last. However, Campus Public Safety have disclosed none of the injured students’ names. They cited both reasons of privacy and the fact that first years’ names aren’t worth learning until they’ve made it through at least two semesters.

Despite efforts to respect the students’ dignity, however, Friday’s incident was caught on several cell phone cameras. At first an addition to multiple Snap Stories, the video has been circulating on Facebook, Twitter, and even Canvas discussion forums, captioned “the human tumbleweed.” 

Experienced SFU students have learned the hard way that when leaving Convocation Mall, one misstep could end their university career forever. Third and fourth years are careful to avoid the murderous slab of concrete, which has terrorized SFU for years.

An SFU lecturer who witnessed Friday’s event considers the whole situation “truly tragic.” 

“The whole thing is just unfortunate,” says Dr. Gladys Nottmi, who has been teaching at the university for 25 years. “It’s why I keep urging these kids to enrol in CSS 100: Careful Stair-Stepping for Firsties. It really prepares students for the trials of real life.” 

Dr. Nottmi expressed further frustration that few students take any courses at all within the Faculty of Careful Stair-Stepping. 

“I mean, I know that 75% of seats in upper-division courses are reserved for major students only,” Nottmi stated. “But stair-stepping is important common sense for this ridiculous millennial age.” 

On Friday evening, the SFU Board of Governors released a statement suggesting that the school build a miniature gondola to carry students over the step. Despite the fact that there are no concrete plans yet, board member Zach Wood-Beaderday stated that “students can expect these campus improvements as soon as Spring 2020, or within the next 69 years.”  

In the meantime, the board has appointed an emergency response team to handle the growing danger the wobbly step poses to the public. They aim to assist by physically carrying first years over the step to ensure their safety. (You can find chances to volunteer with the emergency response team on SFU’s one-stop shop for work opportunities, myLackOfInvolvement.)

If you see a student heading towards the wobbly concrete step, Campus Public Safety states that the best way to react is to scream at the first year incoherently or tackle them to the ground.