If the rain isn’t paying tuition, it needs to stay out of SFU classrooms

It is impossible to get from one end of campus to another without encountering an unintentional body of water

Students shouldn’t have to fight for dry spaces at their university. Illustration: Kitty Cheung/The Peak

By: Encina Roh, Peak Associate

As if the bitter cold, the constant rain, and the brutalist architecture of SFU Burnaby could not dampen (ha) the mood more, students are finding themselves standing off against yet another increasingly prominent enemy to public morale: leaking. 

In the AQ. In bathrooms. In classrooms. In all the areas where umbrellas or hoods are (sometimes surprisingly) needed. When strolling on campus, it’s hard to ignore that the school grounds are littered with yellow “caution” signs and half-full red pails of leaky water. There are substantial puddles on the supposedly rain-protected areas between the Maggie Benston Centre and the West Mall Centre, sitting like land mines for students not wearing heavy duty rain boots. The inconvenience of these puddles is made worse by the sheer number of fenced-off construction areas that decrease available paths, forcing students to step in the clumpy mud water if they want to make it to class on time. 

Reddit user u/veraesia recently shared that during a final, a wall started to leak, causing “most of the left side” of the classroom to be soaked. While u/veraesia escaped relatively unscathed, with the exception of a wet backpack, it is implied that other students were not so lucky. It is pure poetic justice that SFU has a misery-inducing, prison-resembling reputation.

As a commuter to SFU, getting to school dry is already a pretty impossible task between October and May. But now, staying dry in classes is a whole new quest to tackle as well? Three (and counting) years of relentless construction, of putting up with the deafening sounds of shouting, hammers, and drills during classes and exams, of dealing with increasing tuition costs, and all we get is a school that leaks even more. 


While I understand that some leaking during the winter is inevitable given the age of the buildings and the sheer amount of rain on the mountain, is it really fair for students to choose between finishing their finals or waddling out to change their clothes? The unending construction may be a testament to SFU’s dedication to improving the educational environment for its students, but the seemingly unstoppable leaking frustrates this ambition.