Council Meeting — July 14, 2021

Council establishes official reopening date for the SUB and plans protocols for in-person gatherings

Written by: Jaymee Salisi, News Writer

Student Union Building (SUB) opening plan

The SUB working group brought forward a motion proposing that Council set the opening date for the SUB as August 23, 2021. 

Between this date and SFU’s campus reopening on September 8, the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) aims to use the time to allow students to explore and identify potential areas of improvement before campus officially reopens.

“The building itself is substantially complete,” SUB building manager John Walsh said. He added the building will receive a full occupancy permit from the City of Burnaby once the building structure is officially approved by SUB consultants.

The building provides office space for groups including:

  • CJSF radio station
  • Disability and Neurodiversity Alliance (DNA)
  • Embark
  • First Nations Students Association (FNSA)
  • Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group (SFPIRG)
  • Students of Caribbean and African Ancestry (SOCA)

Commercial tenants such as Blenz Coffee and a convenience store will also be found in the SUB.

By the opening date, the SUB will be open to access by the public during regular operating hours of 7 a.m.–7 p.m.

According to Walsh, CJSF, Embark, FNSA, and SFPIRG have moved their belongings into their respective building spaces and some will soon be sending in tenant requests to improve the accessibility of their rooms. After visiting their site recently, SOCA is deciding what renovations might need to be made. DNA has used the space but has requested some changes.

Walsh said the SFSS will cover the cost of any space changes for DNA, FNSA, and SOCA.

In addition, council members hope to create a prayer room, ablution room, a gaming lounge, and gender-inclusive washrooms. 

The prayer room and gaming room are finished with minimal tenant improvement requests. With approval from Council, space will be made for the ablution room and washrooms.

The SFSS has a cleaning agreement with BEST, an association of unionized cleaners. There will be one “designated cleaner during core hours,” “daily cleaning in high-traffic spaces,” and “biweekly cleaning in office spaces.”

SFSS president Gabe Liosis said, “We have built a plan to [open] in a safe way — in a way that is open, accessible, and inclusive.”

Vice president (VP), equity and sustainability Marie Haddad added Black student activists helped to create a community space for marginalized students in their work fighting for space for Rotunda groups.

This motion for an August 23 SUB opening date was carried unanimously.

Outdoor in-person events

VP events and student affairs Jess Dela Cruz brought forward a motion to support outdoor in-person events leading up to August 23. After this date, “We will all have access to the SUB building, follow public health guidelines, and our own indoor event guidelines.”

The motion requested the SFSS allow limited outdoor events to take place prior to the SUB’s official opening date as COVID-19 restrictions loosen across the province.

Council members have been creating guidelines for clubs, student unions, and constituency groups to hold outdoor events. 

The guidelines state event organizers must provide access to masks, hand sanitizer, appropriate cleaning supplies, and a contact tracing list. Masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies will be supplied by the SFSS.

Groups who wish to gather will be required to promote COVID-19 safety protocols on their event advertisements.

Before the SUB opens, Dela Cruz said, “We won’t have any in-person events in the SUB just yet.” However, this motion offers the opportunity to plan outdoor gatherings.

This motion was carried unanimously.

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