media release

SFU launches ‘out-of-this-world’ April Fools prank

April 02, 2014

Ivana Filipovic, Creative Services, 604.506.2441 (only available today)
Fiona Burrows, PAMR, 778.782.3298,


An April 1 spoof video announcing a new Semester in Space program at Simon Fraser University has drawn widespread attention – more than 11,000 views from people in 95 countries on its first day – and attracted over 400 would-be applicants.

The video, which featured a convincing segment with former Canadian astronaut and SFU honorary degree recipient Robert (Bob) Thirsk, and interviews with excited SFU students, saw the university change its tagline from “engaging the world” to “engaging the universe.”

The applications were recorded on the spoof webpage, which featured would-be astronaut advisors asking if the applicants enjoy rollercoaster rides or believe they’ve been abducted by aliens.

While taking the joke in stride, many students were abuzz with the idea. SFU’s Creative Services Director Ivana Filipovic, who oversaw its production, witnessed the excitement as she arrived on campus yesterday morning. “As I walked into the office, a group of students was chatting excitedly and even though they caught on that it was a joke, they really wished it was true.”

Although SFU is not creating a campus into space anytime soon it is opening the skies to the community with a new observatory slated to open on the Burnaby campus later this summer.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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