Outspoken student advocate graduates from SFU Economics

June 10, 2020

For most people at Simon Fraser University (SFU), he is known as the “Gondola Guy”. Since co-founding the Build the SFU Gondola advocacy group, economics student Colin Fowler has become the face of the student-led campaign for a gondola transit line to the SFU Burnaby campus.

As Fowler graduates with a BA degree majoring with distinction in economics and a minor in business administration, he looks back on his work building support and advocating for students as his proudest moments at SFU.

Although he may be most remembered for his gondola line campaign, his involvement on-campus also extends to a presidency with the Economics Student Society (ESS), and position as a student senator where he successfully championed for the pass/fail grading option this past spring.

"My decision to pursue economics as a major came after I took ECON 102 in my first semester," says Fowler. "It showed me just how much of our world is shaped by economics."

That understanding of economics came in handy especially when it came to making a case for the gondola line and presenting the numbers to the SFU community and the TransLink Mayors' Council.

Together with fellow co-founder Daryl Dela Cruz, Fowler garnered overwhelming support for the gondola project. Although Fowler is now finished with his studies, he plans to continue supporting the project while pursuing a career in real estate development.

"I’m not sure what will happen after I graduate but we still have some fantastic supporters on campus who will be fighting for it," says Fowler. "It’s a TransLink-led project so I’ll have to re-evaluate our strategies and how I can help."

Despite his active involvement in student advocacy, Fowler managed to balance his studies with his busy schedule. His advice? "A support network of peers and taking the time to attend office hours were the keys to my success," says Fowler. "It can be scary at first, but if you're brave enough to ask for help, you'll not only gain more knowledge but some fantastic friends."

SFU Economics is the best! The department has provided me with some great opportunities and I'm proud to call myself an alumni.

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