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Community Vibrancy

Introduction

After many semesters of remote learning starting in 2020, campus life has returned to Burnaby Mountain. To welcome back students, staff, and faculty, and to plan for the next decade of campus life, SFU developed the SFU Burnaby Community Vibrancy Playbook.

The playbook’s purpose is to help create a campus community where all feel a sense of belonging.

 

The playbook is intended to guide the continuation of a welcoming, inspiring, and animated campus on Burnaby Mountain. Rooted in SFU’s values and priorities, the playbook suggests vibrancy initiatives related to the built environment, connecting to nature, food and retail, arts and culture, and community connections. The playbook is a simple, inspiring roadmap to enhance campus spaces and activities on Burnaby Mountain, and continue to make SFU Burnaby an exceptional place to study, work, and live.

Project Process

The Playbook was developed through a four-phase process.In spring 2021 (phase one), we began pre-planning. In summer 2021 (phase 2), we engaged the SFU Burnaby campus community. We hosted one-on-one meetings, launched an online ideas board (wayblaze.com/vibrantSFU), hosted multiple advisory group meetings, and led online workshops. From this input, we developed the draft playbook. During fall 2021 (phase 3), we hosted more meetings and a pop-up event on campus. We also met with the Executive Committee, VP, and deans. During this time, we began to implement some of the “quick-start” vibrancy initiatives. In spring 2022, we finalized the playbook. We are continuing to implement the vibrancy initiatives.

Through weekly working group meetings, 14 interviews, an online platform, four community workshops, and a pop-up at convocation mall, we collected hundreds of ideas about how to increase campus vibrancy at SFU Burnaby.

Vibrancy initiatives

The playbook is guided by five principles:

  1. equity, diversity, and inclusion;
  2. accessibility and welcoming;
  3. sustainability and resilience;
  4. health and wellness, and
  5. Indigenization.

Some vibrancy initiatives already underway include food trucks, ping pong tables, public pianos, a community free-fridge, and large movable “SFU” letters. Over the next few years, we’re planning many other vibrancy initiatives too. This could include outdoor exercise equipment, seasonal festivals, community forests, an off-leash dog park, a vibrant food and event hall, murals, and a gondola connection to the Skytrain.

Implementation

To ensure the vibrancy initiatives are implemented over the next 7-10 years, we developed an implementation framework. We are committed to:

  • Building a team to champion progress over time
  • Understanding costs and prioritizing actions to maximize impact and reach
  • Exploring funding opportunities such as capital budget allocation, crowdfunding, and donor outreach
  • Creating experiential learning opportunities by collaborating with faculty to integrate vibrancy work into class projects and research
  • Sharing the story and celebrating successes over the 7-10 year planning horizon
  • Reporting progress over time and keeping the playbook evergreen
  • Expanding to other campuses to build a unified yet distinct sense of vibrancy

Project Governance

This project is being managed by a Working Group with input from an Advisory Group. The Working Group meets weekly and oversees the progress of the project, supported by MODUS Planning, Design and Engagement. The Advisory Group meets with the core project team at strategic intervals to provide input and oversight.

Advisory Group Members

1.     Student Services

    o   Tracey Mason-Innes – Executive Director, Student Affairs

    o   Annette Santos – Director, Student Engagement and Retention

    o   Victor Thomas – Director & Head Chaplain: Multifaith Centre

    o   Kim Mortreuil – Associate Director, Residence Life for Residence & Housing

    o   Theresa Hanson – Senior Director, Athletics and Recreation

    o   Mitch Stoddard – Director, Centre for Accessible Learning

2.     VPA – Catherine Stoddard, Executive Director

3.     Arts & Cultural - Michael Boucher, Director Cultural Programs & Partnerships, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

4.     Ceremonies & Events – Gloria Chu, Director

5.     Human Resources - Rosie Dhaliwal, Specialist, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion,

6.     SFU Sustainability – Candace Leroy, Executive Director

7.     Office for Aboriginal Peoples – Gary George, Officer for Community Relations

8.     UniverCity Community Association – Taylor Mammel, President

9.     University Trust – Dale Mikkelsen, Chief Operations Officer

10.   FIC – Sharla Reid, College Director & Principal

11.   Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) – Jess Dela Cruz, VP Events & Student Affairs

12.   Graduate Student Society (GSS) - Gloria Li, Director of Student Life

13.   SFU Disability and Neurodiversity Alliance – Serena Bains, Health Sciences undergraduate student (also SFSS VP University and Academic Affairs, Undergraduate Student Representative on SFU Senate & BoG, Re-Use for Good Accessibility Liasion and SFU Sustainability Office)

14.   Alumni Relations – Nicole Dorrsers, Executive Director

15.   Ancillary Services – Sid Mehta, Senior Director

Working Group Members

1.      Alex Pappas, Business Analyst, Integrated Planning & Analysis, Facilities Services

2.      Ayumi Orgar, Finance Manager, Ancillary Services

3.      Gerald Gongos, Senior Project Manager, Campus Planning and Development Facilities Services

4.      Krystal Ness, Client Services Supervisor, Operations, Facilities Services

5.      Laura Kohli, Director, Communications & Marketing, VPFA

6.      Laya Behbahani, Director Student Experience Initiative, Office of the Vice-President, Academic

7.      Mark McLaughlin, Chief Commercial Services Officer, Ancillary Services

8.     Molly Steeves, Senior Planner, Modus

9.   Robert Barrs, Principal & Senior Planner, Modus

If you have any questions, please email us at sfuvibes@sfu.ca

About MODUS

MODUS is a Vancouver-based consulting firm specializing in planning, urban design, and public engagement. MODUS tackles tough problems to help communities and developers navigate the transition to sustainability, resilience and livability. Their approach is rooted in process excellence, creative urban design, and a razor-sharp focus on implementation. They work closely with clients and communities in order to draw out our collective insight and create a lasting legacy of healthy, sustainable projects and communities.