Strategic Priorities

SFU’s Office of Community Engagement works to support and advance the practice of community engagement at SFU. Consistent with our first strategic priority (below), we know that community engagement has a rich and growing academic tradition of research, teaching, and scholarship that places it firmly within the academic mission of the university.

Consistent with SFU’s Strategy, we also know how effective community engagement can be for addressing key global challenges, advancing EDI and Truth & Reconciliation, making a difference for BC, and enhancing student, staff, and faculty experiences of working and studying at SFU.

That’s why we love community engagement.

We feel privileged and humbled in our responsibility for supporting and advancing it.

We are guided by five long-term strategic priorities:

  1. Advancing the practice and recognition of community engagement as a method of learning, teaching, and research at SFU.
  2. Advancing the field of community engagement at SFU, in Canada and beyond.
  3. Increasing, expanding, and strengthening SFU’s ability to build equitable, sustainable, and mutually beneficial community partnerships based on respect and reciprocity.
  4. Increasing SFU’s readiness and ability to respond to pressing regional needs with its community partners.
  5. Demonstrate and showcase community engagement’s intrinsic ability to address systemic inequities and advance action on EDI and Truth & Reconciliation.

How we work

We like to work collaboratively and are willing to partner with all university units, campuses, faculties, departments, centres, community groups, and stakeholders across a diverse variety of work, including:

  • developing or refining strategy and strategic community engagement initiatives;
  • serving on committees, advisories, networks, and communities of practice;
  • mobilizing internal advocacy and education for community engagement supports;
  • building and supporting community-university partnerships and programs;
  • administering grant funding opportunities for students, faculty, and staff;
  • advising on communication strategy and tactics for community engagement that align with and advance SFU's commitments to EDI and Truth & Reconciliation;
  • developing frameworks for the respectful evaluation and measurement of community engagement;
  • communicating and celebrating community-university successes. 

Our programs

We run numerous recurring initiatives and programs out of our office. Please check out our programs page to learn more.  

Offices, labs, events, residences, and dining spaces that certify as a Sustainable Space adopt measurable tactics towards the achievement of goals outlined in SFU’s Sustainability Strategic Plan, thereby contributing to the overall sustainability of the University.

The office has been a certified Gold Sustainable Space since 2018

In our approach to becoming a Gold Sustainable Space, we knew we had to honour the diversity of people in our office: everyone comes from different histories and we often hold differing beliefs and commitments about what environmental sustainability looks like in our lives.

We held a number of full office consultations where we “took the temperature” of how people were feeling in this process. This surfaced key questions and criticism of the Sustainable Spaces project, itself, and we committed to open dialogue with SFU’s Sustainability Office to address those concerns.

They were incredibly responsive, and our specific questions received honest and excellent answers. But more importantly, our own process became one centred on dialogue – opening up space for different voices. This, in turn, has shaped our continued commitments.

We believe that sustainability is a practice, not a certification. But we’ve learned that a certification process is an incredible way to strengthen our current practice. Thank you SFU Sustainability Office!