SFU needs to find better ways to update students on construction changes

Our time and education is being compromised by the university’s lack of clarity

SFU is a place of learning first and construction needs to work around us. Photo: Andres Chavarriaga / The Peak

By: Jennifer Low, Peak Associate

Campus-wide construction has made SFU a maze of public walkway signs and blue fences. In addition, the beginning of the fall semester also brings about a whole new set of challenges with increases in student foot traffic and poor weather making navigating around construction sites even more difficult and frustrating. Poor first years scuttle across campus with maps that don’t indicate blocked areas. Returning students realize that their usual short cuts and routes are inaccessible or ruined by the sounds of jackhammers. And all the students trying to get to the upper bus loop are forced to take the same depressing muddy path through that creepy blue pyramid. 

Honestly, I didn’t expect to still be getting lost in my fourth year at SFU . . . OK, maybe I thought I’d lose my way in some God forsaken tunnel in Robert C. Brown Hall, but never in the wide-open spaces of the Convocation Mall or Academic Quadrangle courtyard! 

Recently, while walking from West Mall to the library, I hit a never before seen dead end next to the Rotunda. I, along with many other students, were rerouted around to the other side instead. But with only one way to get through to the other side of campus, the walkway beside the Maggie Benston Centre was packed with soggy students standing shoulder to shoulder and holding umbrellas still dripping from the rain. 

“At least this beats having to take the upper walkway,” I thought, remembering last semester and the unnecessary number of stairs and uncovered areas students had to traverse.  

SFU needs to step up and be more considerate of students’ needs, especially when it comes to student foot traffic in slippery, wet conditions. With no immediate solutions to construction rerouting in the near future, SFU can start by updating their paper maps and the SFU Snap app to comprehensively detail where students can walk to mitigate these problems. This may also include providing alternative routes in case of poor weather conditions.

I know that SFU looks like a medieval dungeon, and that we need the construction to improve and maintain our school’s infrastructure, but that doesn’t mean that students should be sacrificing their time and education to accommodate construction.