Front row, left to right: Rachel Wong, Trisha Dulku (coordinator, community projects), Emma Cheung, Hajira Khan, Areeba Khan, Aman Grewal, Anita Manhas
A big thank you to SFU's volunteers
Last Friday I had the pleasure of attending the 2017 Outstanding SFU Student Volunteer Appreciation Gala to recognize the exceptional contributions student volunteers make for the community both on- and off-campus. What’s impressive about this event is that it has grown larger each year! The annual gala recognizes student volunteers from more than 70 programs and this year, around 500 students and staff attend the event at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
While we gathered for a delicious meal, I had the opportunity to speak with many students who are involved with different Surrey-specific initiatives, including:
- the Surrey Student Committee, a group of students who work on initiatives and issues of concern to Surrey campus students;
- FLC – First Year Learning Community, who support first year students with opportunities to develop their social, academic and life-skills in one-hour sessions;
- Racing Readers, a community engagement initiative where teams of volunteers work off-campus with elementary aged students on a variety of literacy, physical, and numeracy activities while also supporting their social growth;
- the 2016 Surrey Campus Terry Fox Committee, students who supported with fundraising for the cause and special projects like the Terry Fox Post-It Art Competition; and
- the Fusion Festival Team Leaders, who represented SFU during this City of Surrey summer event by managing teams of volunteers and providing fun activities for the community.
The students described to me how volunteering provides them with the chance to learn and develop their professional development skills, meet new people and challenge themselves. It was evident to me that many of them embody what I call the “Surrey campus vibe.” They graciously volunteer their time to improve the Surrey campus community, support their fellow Surrey students and represent SFU out in the Surrey community.
Also at the gala, it was announced that SFU’s Surrey campus will be the first to have a physical #VolunteersofSFU display! If you haven’t heard, #VolunteersofSFU is a social media campaign by SFU Volunteer Services that tells the stories of SFU volunteers’ experiences working on- and off-campus. It will be located next to the Registrar’s office on the WestStone Group Grand Hall (mezzanine).
All of this truly exemplifies SFU’s vision to be Canada’s engaged university. We are, indeed, engaging the world. It has been nearly four years since I arrived at the Surrey campus and I look forward to continuing to connect with students and working with them to support SFU’s success in Surrey.
Executive Director, SFU's Surrey Campus
Volunteers and SFU staff not pictured above (in no particular order): Rachel Nelson (associate director, partnerships and programs), Rose Baik (coordinator, student recruitment and advising, SFU's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences), Matt Savoy, Amrit Parmar, Naina Mehta, Brandon Furtado, Hanchi Zhang, Jas Litt, Ken Ip, Raveena Randhawa, Sandra Cervantes, Sarah Shaver, Shelby Priest, Trina Lal, Hangue Kim, Raajan Garcha, Simran Sanghera, Jaskarn Randhawa, Pritesh Pachchigar, Prashant Verma and Steven Sharma