Faculty and Staff

SFU Dining Services staff shine while snowfall shuts down Burnaby campus

December 09, 2016

The first significant snowfall to hit the Lower Mainland in two years packed quite a punch on Monday—dropping as much as 20 centimeters of snow on SFU’s Burnaby campus. Poor driving conditions resulted in TransLink halting bus services up and down the mountain effectively shutting down the campus. Despite the weather conditions, a number of faculties, departments and businesses, including SFU’s Dining Hall, remained open thanks to the amazing efforts of its diligent staff.

“The snow storm was a lot heavier and conditions more treacherous than anticipated,” says Mebs Lalani, general manager, SFU Dining Services. “The Dining Hall is considered an essential service because of the students living on campus so our focus was to make sure that this unit remained open.”

As conditions worsened during Monday’s snowfall staff already on-hand, including Shehani Perera, chef and acting manager at the Dining Hall, pushed on through the night to ensure food services continued running.

For those Dining Services staff members stranded amidst the swirling winds and icy road conditions, Perera and Lalani quickly got in-touch with SFU’s Residence and Housing department and were able to quickly secure rooms at the Simon Hotel. Exhausted staff members got a few hours rest and returned to work early the next morning.

“The managers decided to take four hour shifts to keep the Dining Hall open while the staff rested and came back to work at 5 a.m.,” recalls Lalani. “So, between the four managers, we kept the Dining Hall open all night and offered free hot beverages and food to whoever needed a warm place to hang out.”     

 “Altogether, it was a team effort between all the shifts and I am incredibly proud of how well our team came together to put students’ needs ahead of their own.”