President’s Statement on Global Climate Strike activities

September 20, 2019

Having received numerous enquiries about Global Climate Strike activities taking place from September 20-27, 2019, I am writing to clarify the university’s position in relation to these activities.

SFU recognizes that climate change poses an existential threat to the future of our planet, and that many of our students, faculty and staff are deeply concerned about this issue. The University has therefore made a strong commitment to countering climate change, and is taking action to reduce our carbon footprint, to encourage climate change research, and to deliver academic and community programming concerning climate change and related environmental issues.

SFU also supports members of the university community engaging in activities relating to climate change, whether these be through courses, other university activities, or events beyond the university.  Thus while the university will maintain regular operations throughout this period, we encourage faculty members and academic units to make accommodations for those who wish to engage in Strike activities. 

Should you wish to participate in Global Climate Youth Strike events, here is what you need to know:

  • Students: Students who plan to take part in the climate strike should speak with their instructors about options that would allow them to make-up missed course work or other assignments/quizzes or exams that may be scheduled during that time.
  • Faculty members and academic departments: Faculty members and academic departments are encouraged to facilitate climate strike participation by working with students to provide alternative arrangements for class attendance or by cancelling classes if such participation aligns with the academic principles of the program.
  • University staff: Staff wishing to participate in the Global Strike activities during work hours should speak with their supervisors about the opportunity to use vacation time or unpaid leave.

As a signatory of the Climate Change Statement for Action for Canada, the Paris Pledge for Action, and the United Nations' Principles for Responsible Investment, SFU remains committed to supporting action against climate change and the transition to a sustainable society.

More information about SFU’s support for environmental sustainability and our efforts to counter climate change can be found at