SFU grad combats racism and begins political career while completing BA

June 23, 2021

By Michael Wu

Anti-racism activist. Politician. And now, SFU graduate.

Trystan Jones left his life in Fort St. John behind at 17 for new opportunities in the Lower Mainland. Although he originally moved to the “big city” to become an actor, and only began studying political science in case things didn’t work out, he eventually decided to pursue a political science major and ultimately earn his BA.

In November 2020, Jones demonstrated his skills as an anti-racism activist, as he spoke at the TEDXSFU 10-year anniversary conference. He cites giving his talk, “A Rural Reality: A Conversation on Race in Rural Canada,” as his proudest accomplishment during his time at SFU.

“It was truly the culmination of all of my hard work and studies at SFU; everything came to fruition,” he says. “I did not have the easiest road to graduation, and being able to speak on an issue that I am truly passionate about was like something out of a dream.”

Jones also appreciates the critical thinking and analytical skills, as well as the knowledge he acquired in his political science classes.

When asked about his favourite instructors and courses, Jones recalled how engaging Professor Aaron Hoffman’s courses on terrorism and American foreign policy were, and how much he learned from Professor Steven Weldon’s methods of teaching statistics. Outside of political science, Jones appreciated English Professor J. D. Fleming’s passion for teaching fiction.

“I will never read classics like The Sun Also Rises the same way again,” he says.

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