Dean’s Student Advisory Council members Sam Barnett and Isabelle Louie share their experiences

September 08, 2023

The FCAT Dean’s Student Advisory Council is a collection of students from across the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology that meets regularly with the Dean to discuss a broad range of topics affecting students in the faculty. These topics include the student experience at SFU; student activities; university policies; Indigenization; and, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

We spoke with two members of the current Council – Sam Barnett and Isabelle Louie – about their experiences and advice for prospective future council members.

Why did you choose to join the FCAT Dean’s Student Advisory Council?

Sam: I joined the FCAT DSAC as we were coming out of pandemic, and the return to in person learning was being navigated. I struggled with the complexity of this time, and I saw my peers in my classes struggling as well as the students I was instructing. I have benefited greatly from my time with FCAT and I was looking for ways to contribute back to this community. I have had opportunities to advocate for my peers in informal ways, this felt like an opportunity to do so more effectively.

Isabelle: During my term with IATSU, our executive team had monthly meetings with the Director of SIAT to share student concerns, needs, and opinions, and this provided a unique opportunity to help improve the student experience at SFU. With the creation of the FCAT Dean’s Student Advisory Council following the end of my term, I was excited to continue helping improve students’ experiences on a larger scale, while making connections across other programs in our faculty.

What are your most memorable experiences from your time on the Advisory Council?

S: One of the most powerful aspects has been listening to the diverse range of experiences and needs within the FCAT community. These perspectives often fall outside of those shared by my network of friends and peers, and challenge my own viewpoints.

I: Through the Dean’s Student Advisory Council, I have seen the importance of collaboration, transparent communication, and the value of diverse perspectives in the decision-making processes at SFU. I have also had the opportunity to develop my skills in event planning, leadership, and networking. My favourite experience from my time on the council was when we organized and hosted the first FCAT Summer Social at Kitsilano Beach in 2022. I was mainly responsible for the marketing and communications for the event and worked with the different programs and student groups in FCAT to share the invitation to students, faculty, and staff. The event was a lot of fun and a great success, filled with games, food, prizes, and new friends.

Do you have any advice for students interested in joining the advisory council?

S: I would highly encourage them to join! It is an opportunity to raise the issues that you and your peers are experiencing within FCAT, and then hear perspectives from other students and the faculty. There are often tangible outcomes from the council meetings, with issues being directly addressed in the days following. 

I: Don’t be afraid to share your ideas or concerns, big or small!

Membership on the Dean’s Student Advisory Council refreshes every six months. Applications for membership in the next cohort will be open in January of 2024. Stay tuned!