SFU People in the News
Media Matters, a report on Simon Fraser University in the news, is compiled and distributed by SFU Public Affairs & Media Relations (PAMR).
This edition is a daily roundup that lists the main items of known media coverage from 8:30 a.m. Thursday August 9 to 8:30 a.m. today, Friday August 10.
- Burnaby NewsLeader ran an article on the SFU Pipe Bands preparation for the upcoming World Pipe Band Championships, which take place on Saturday.
In a “rare, blazing heat” in Scotland, the band has begun daily practices, which Pipe Sergeant Jack Lee says are critical because other teams from Canada and Scotland have greatly improved.
"There's no doubt this year will be as tough as ever," says Lee. "The so-called gap between the top bands and the other contenders is getting smaller all the time, giving more bands a reasonable chance to win.
"If you look at the last 20 years a majority of wins have gone to SFU and Field Marshal Montgomery," says Lee. "We are still two of the strong favorites to win. But in addition to them and us, there are a number of strong bands out there. The Scottish, with bands like Scottish Power, have gotten stronger over these past few years and so has the Canadian contingent."
SFUs junior bands—the Robert Malcolm Memorial Grade 3 band and its juvenile Grade 4 band, also in Scotland to prepare for the Worlds—face tough competition and are practicing daily.
The Grade 3s, which have previously competed in the novice-juvenile category (for those 18 and under), will compete in the 3A category with the majority of its members now in their mid-20s.
The Robert Malcolm Grade 4 band—appearing for the first time at the Worlds—will be among the youngest bands performing in the novice-juvenile category.
Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/xhnItA
- William Lindsay, director of the Office for Aboriginal Peoples, and Eldon Yellowhorn, and archaeology professor, both appeared on CBC Radio Prince George on Friday morning.
They discussed the pros and cons of the current federal government proposal to allow First Nations members to sell reserve land, to members and outsiders alike .
Yellowhorn argues that would be okay as we have good examples of First Nations (those of the Sechelt First Nation) who have done quite nicely under such a system.
Lindsay, meanwhile, argues that such a proposal would go against thousands of years of tradition of First Nations holding communal ownership over traditional lands, and that the potential for the loss of these territories might now be there through sale or economic downturn.
Full interview not yet online.
- Gordon Price, director of SFU’s City Program, was quoted in a Vancouver Sun article about the advancement of affordable housing projects in Vancouver.
The City of Vancouver announced Thursday it is seeking proposals for the development of affordable housing on six city-owned sites. In doing so, the city would open about 500 new below-market rental units.
But that total is negligible compared to population growth, says Gordon Price.
"You're taking surplus city lands and trying to see if it can make a difference to housing," says Price. "But six [sites] ain't going to do it. Even if it's for low-market rental housing, I can't see it making a substantial difference. Good effort, guys, but you get a C."
Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/ScHskj
- In a Coquitlam Now article, finance professor Andrey Pavlov says the Vancouver (and Metro Vancouver) real estate market has hit a turning point, and prices will likely drop.
Pavlov says prices in Vancouver have rocketed past those in places like New York and San Francisco, and Vancouver suburbs are comparable to suburbs of those major cities.
He says that pace will not continue, adding that home prices rose dramatically in the Lower Mainland, not out of income or general economic growth, but rather debt accumulation.
With low interest rates and easy qualification terms, people have been taking on more and more debt.
"I think this engine of real estate price growth is now done," Pavlov says. "So I don't see where the future support for real estate can come from."
Pavlov says the condo market is likely to take the biggest hit.
He says that single-family properties would always hold their value to some extent because usable land in the Lower Mainland is limited.
However he contends condos have absolutely nothing that can support them. And in cases where the quality of a new development might be in question, he can see prices of condos in the suburbs dropping by half or more.
Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/ofjpWp
- SFU student Japreet Lehal wrote a column for The Surrey Leader offering steps to help a new university student choose their major.
“Upon graduating from high school, one of the toughest decisions a student faces is choosing a major in university,” he writes.
“Although a major is not required in first year, it is definitely beneficial to get a general sense of one's future academic and career goals. What most advisers suggest is that students choose an academic stream they are passionate about,” he says.
“However, students often face a sense of confusion when trying to determine their passion. While the school system certainly allows students to sample a variety of academic fields, it may be overwhelming when course selection time rolls around and there is pressure and urgency to select a major.”
He then presents a number of steps students can take to help them decide.
“With less a month left until the end of summer, visit the library and select non-fiction books that you find interesting to read in your spare time. Chances are, if you like reading about quantum physics, you will enjoy courses and a major that focuses on this subject. After discovering what you like to read about in your own time, envision the next four years of university and consider other aspects of your major, such as the labs and projects,” he says.
Secondly, he says, “If you haven't done so already, try to volunteer in a facility related to your potential field of interest. Summer is an excellent time to volunteer. If you are interested in the health care field, the hospital may be an excellent place to start. Also, search for any university clubs or councils you might want to consider joining. Volunteer opportunities will allow you to apply your passion and determine if you can see yourself working in that field in the future.
“…Advisors in university are there to help you. Students should regularly book an appointment with advisors, both before this upcoming semester begins, and throughout first year. In addition to academic advisors, students will also benefit from talking to professors and researchers in their potential fields of study. These individuals can serve as mentors and introduce students to other opportunities,” he says.
“Students should consider other opportunities that a potential major offers,” says Lehal. “Co-ops, internships, and research positions all form the framework of an academic field. Students should attend information sessions where they can speak to senior students and learn more about the vast opportunities available to them outside of the classroom.”
Lastly, he says the most important way students can “discover their passion” is by taking the greatest variety of courses in their first year.
“A class schedule, balanced between elective and potential major courses, will allow you to fulfill elective requirements, while leaving time to volunteer and discover your interests,” he says.
“Academic streams often incorporate specific courses that you might not find particularly appealing. Your goal, however, is to select a major that incorporates the majority of your strengths.”
Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/EBaEpP
- Shelley Howieson and Alan Koch, head coaches of the women’s and men’s teams soccer teams respectively, both did interviews with Global TV about the Canadian Olympic soccer bronze won yesterday morning.
Koch, who coached three members of the women’s team (Chelsea Stewart, Carmelina Moscato, and Sophie Schmidt) while he was with the Whitecaps organization, was very invested in the game.
“I think the way they have bounced back—not just those three but the whole group—has been unbelievable,” he says.
Full clip (Koch appears at the 1:23 mark): http://at.sfu.ca/VBbqfU
- Earlier issues of Media Matters are online at http://at.sfu.ca/GzJvYO
- SFU news releases are online at http://at.sfu.ca/APbezp