The Changing Face of Surrey Campus

September 09, 2004, vol. 31, no. 6
By Trina Ricketts

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The emphasis is on new at Simon Fraser University's Surrey campus this fall: new classrooms, new programs, new students, new faculty, new offices and new labs.

“It would be easier to tell you what hasn't changed,” says Jane Fee, special adviser to the dean and coordinator of the first-year tech one program at the campus.

In total, 1000 undergraduate and graduate students are expected on campus this semester, an increase of about 200. To accommodate them, office space used by faculty and staff was converted into classrooms over the summer.

The displaced faculty and staff in turn moved into new offices and labs on the 14th and 15th floors of the Central City tower.

“By relocating campus admin, program admin, and faculty to the new space in the tower, we've created room to build four new classrooms and one new drop-in space with computers,” says facilities coordinator Trevor Spaidal.

Student numbers are rising because of several new programs being offered at Surrey. Until now, the campus exclusively housed the school of interactive arts and technology (SIAT).

Joining SIAT at the campus are the faculty of education's professional development program, undergraduate programs in computing science and business administration, and a range of continuing studies opportunities including a CMA fast track program and courses offered by the writing and publishing program.

A two-day orientation was held Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 to help new students become familiar with the campus and the services provided by the university. Activities included a drum café, where every student received an African drum, says student life coordinator Liesl Jurock.

“The exercise was meant to demonstrate the art of teamwork and community building and to emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of the programs at SFU Surrey. We all beat to our own drum but together we make music.”

Manoj Bhakthan, associate director of student and registrar services, says access to student services will continue to increase for SFU Surrey students, as the campus grows.

Currently a needs assessment is being conducted by the health, counseling and career centre to determine the kinds of services that they will make available at the Surrey campus this year.

Bhakthan says access to academic advising is also being expanded to accommodate the new programs. A pan-campus adviser and advisers for specific programs will be available here to answer SFU Surrey students' questions.

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