Board Shorts: April 29, 2020

The SFSS voted to formally endorse the SFU C19 Coalition

Image: Irene Lo

Written by: Michelle Gomez, News Editor

SFSS to provide up to $15,000 for SFU Surge Hackathon 

The funding will go toward SFU Surge’s first hackathon, which is to be held in the Spring 2021 semester. 

Hilal Asmat, co-president of SFU Surge, said that a hackathon gives participants the opportunity to learn new technology and meet with companies for recruitment opportunities. She explained that they are hoping to make this an annual event, and will in the future hopefully be able to rely on funding from sponsors rather than the SFSS. 

Asmat explained at the Board meeting that some changes had been made to the event since their last time speaking to the SFSS, including making budget cuts and changing the number of participants from 400 to 300. Due to COVID-19, they have also moved the date from November 2020 to the Spring 2021 semester, either in March or April. 

Vice-president of SFU Surge Praneer Shrestha noted that they are not likely to receive sufficient funding from sponsors, considering that this is their first time throwing the event. As such, this is why they require funding from the SFSS, according to Shrestha. 

“A large scale hackathon is super long overdue. Other schools are already running it in BC, in Canada, and in North America, and we would be raised to a competing level with them,” said Asmat.

Applied Sciences Representative Nick Chubb said that “I personally have been to hackathons before, and I have found that they are very helpful for myself; for meeting more people, learning more for my career.”

The motion was amended for the SFSS to provide up to $15,000 to the hackathon, down from it’s initial $20,000. 

SFSS formally endorses the SFU C19 Coalition

The SFSS passed a motion to formally endorse the SFU C19 Coalition, which was formed in response to COVID-19. 

According to their website, Coalition is “a group of grassroots organizers advocating for all students and workers at Simon Fraser University.”

Health Sciences Representative and incoming SFSS President Osob Mohamed explained that one of the groups main goals is to “make sure that international students are being included in [receiving federal funding] and making sure that students are also getting what they need.”

“I think that an endorsement from the SFSS would be particularly strong because we do represent students on campus, over 26,000 voices,” Mohamed added. 

President Giovanni HoSang stated that he was in full support of this motion, noting that “I think this is in line with our signing onto the Don’t Forget Students letter.”

Jasdeep Gill said that funding for international students is something that the SFSS is currently advocating for to the federal government, noting that, “I think as the new Board comes in it’s a really good opportunity for them [ . . . ] to stay on top of it [ . . . ] if we keep up the pressure then I think something can be done.”