September 10, 2009

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To all of the more than 24,000 new and returning students joining us on campus this fall, welcome to SFU. Here’s a handy page of campus resources and contacts to help you get acclimatized and stay informed.

Wash away the flu
Wash your hands. That’s the best way to avoid H1N1 flu (swine flu), which is spread person-to-person when virus-bearing droplets enter the eyes, nose and/or throat and are coughed or sneezed into the air. The virus also rests on hard surfaces such as counters and doorknobs and can then be transferred to your eyes, nose and mouth.

"Hand-washing is the best defence," says Tracy Keeling, marketing and communications coordinator for SFU’s Health and Counselling Services. "Wash your hands several times a day with warm water and soap, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer."

Also important: if you do have flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, aches, fatigue, sore throat or a runny nose) stay home until they resolve, usually seven to 10 days. If you suspect you have H1N1 call 8-1-1, HealthLinkBC, the provincial government’s healthcare advice line.

For more information on H1N1 visit or e-mail For news about H1N1 visit the Public Health Agency of Canada Worried about health issues of any kind? SFU Health and Counselling’s team of doctors, nurses, counsellors and psychologists offers primary health care, counselling, travel medicine, vaccinations, STI screening, birth control, and more. Call 778.782.4615 at the Burnaby campus, 778.782.5200 at the Vancouver campus or 778.782.8022 at SFU Surrey.

Coping with severe weather events
Snowfalls can hinder movement to and from the university campuses. SFU’s severe-weather webpage ( features tips for coping. Also, make sure you’re registered with SFU Alerts ( to receive timely information on the status of classes, roads and buses. You can also check the road and traffic report at Or phone the Burnaby campus road report: 604.444.4929; Vancouver campus 778.782.5029 or Surrey campus 778.782.7511. Check Security alerts and traffic notices at

Emergency on campus?
Call campus security at local 778.782.4500.

SFU Alerts

SFU Alerts is the fastest way for the university to communicate with you about emergency situations and campus closures. The system uses text messaging, instant messaging, e-mail and voice messaging to keep all students, staff and faculty informed. Make sure you’re registered and that your data is up-to-date. For students: For staff/faculty:

Emergency phones
A blue emergency-phone kiosk near the Burnaby campus bus loop is now equipped with a public broadcast system to alert bystanders to bus cancellations and other messages during snowstorms and other emergencies. Elsewhere on campus, blue phone kiosks connect you directly to Campus Security.

Smoking rules on campus
B.C. government legislation prohibits smoking in enclosed spaces such as Convocation Mall, covered walkways, parking lots and all transit shelters. University policy prohibits smoking within 10 metres of any building. As well, all tobacco sales and advertising are banned on campus.

Visit for resources to help you quit smoking. Send questions to

Bear Aware
Bears occasionally visit the Burnaby campus. If you see a bear, remain calm. Keep yourself, children and pets away from the bear and contact Campus Security at 778.782.4500.

Share a ride to campus
SFU Parking Services offers a Rideshare program for groups of three students or more who carpool. Preferred parking privileges let participants park in a designated Rideshare parking area conveniently located near an east building entrance of campus. For more information contact SFU Parking Services at 778.782.5534.

Be Self-Prepared for Emergencies
SFU does have emergency plans in place. But it helps to be self-prepared. To cope with an unexpected emergency, such as a major snowfall or an earthquake, create an emergency kit with basic supplies such as blankets, water, dry clothes and extra medications. As well, make contingency plans if you have special needs or are responsible for childcare and/or eldercare. Don’t forget to check SFU’s severe weather plan,


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Sarah Freel


I am writing to register a complaint about the smoking situation, particularly in Convocation Mall. Although there are signs - thanks for putting those out - the students ignore them. I was told that Security will come if you call them, however, by the time they arrive, that particular student has already finished their cigarette and moved on. When Security does come, they ask the student to leave, but there are no consequences for them breaking the rule.

I myself was a smoker for many years and so I have some sympathy for smokers - having said that, my brother has severe asthma and we have had to rush him to the hospital administering oxygen on two occasions because he was exposed to second hand cigarette smoke - it causes his throat to constrict to the point where he cannot breathe. I have never smoked around him obviously. It's one thing to poison yourself, but I don't think it is fair to poison the atmosphere that everyone shares.

There are smoking tents on the way I hear! That will probably help a little. The main problem seems to be that there is no enforcement of the rule - no security personnel in Convocation Mall, and if there is someone, no consequences for breaking the rule. I think it is far more important to protect people against the smoke than to protect the right of smokers to smoke. Even though I used to smoke, I tried to never inflict it on other people. We really could use a security person in Convo Mall to address this (and other issues). For any rule/law to be effective, there has to be some teeth to it. Basically, the smoking students break the rule because it suits them to do so. If you ask them to stop, they don't even look you in the eye, let alone respond verbally. They certainly don't stop. It may be enough to post a sign for adults, but many of the students are essentially fresh out of high school in many cases and still think rebellion is cool:) If you let them know there's no smoking in the area, they are more likely to blow the smoke in your face in response, t

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