College Activism at SFU

When you hear the words “college protest”, what do you think of? For me, I’m reminded of the classic television images.

community greendale protest

Do you think that SFU is a very social issue-conscious school?

I was talking to a friend today who said “sfu has a history of activism, but activism isn’t a strong current reality.” I’d have to agree with this statement. When was the last time that you saw a social movement actively promoted, or students actively gathering petitions up at SFU? For me, the only major petition signing that comes to mind is the “legalize it” petition for marijuana. My friend also mentioned a perfect example of a lack of student activism; during an anti-pipeline rally at Burnaby Mountain. “When this issue could mean drilling an oil pipeline directly under student’s feet, under 25 year-olds were the poorest represented age group at the pipeline rally.” Admittedly, I wasn’t in attendance either.

Heard of the ‘PIRG?
 sfpirg

SFPIRG (pronounced S.F.-Perg) is the “Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group”, meaning that they’re the center on campus for “social and environmental justice.” This safe-space office, library and lounge offers students a place near the Rotunda to gather, organize, learn, and sometimes even create social change movements. SFPIRG is home to seven action groups students can become involved with.

 Moving Forward

Do you think that activism should be an important aspect of a University experience? Do you think that there should be more of a social change priority at SFU, and what do you think is the best way to achieve these goals? Students organization is an essential component to these types of initiatives getting off the ground and enacting change. As a student, to what extent are you willing to become involved in a cause you care about? Tell me your opinion in the comments!

P.S. My life as an activist at SFU:

I never thought I’d join activist groups, and to use a cliche phrase, I sort of just fell into it. I am currently part of the SFU OpenMedia club and on a team of core organizing volunteers for this year’s Media Democracy Days. (If anyone reading this is interested in getting involved with either of those groups by the way, send me an email or comment).

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