Moving forward with kindness

October 13, 2021

These past weeks have been a whirlwind of activity! It is invigorating to see our campuses once again bustling with life and energy. I have enjoyed meeting many of you in SFU’s hallways, at events and ceremonies, and at our Fall 2021 Convocation—my first in-person convocation as president. I was filled with gratitude to see our students face-to-face and celebrate all they have managed to achieve under such extraordinary circumstances.

Although there has been much to celebrate this fall, there have also been moments of solemn reflection and remembrance. During the last week of September, we commemorated the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and held SFU’s first Truth and Reconciliation Week. I hope that each of you wore orange, attended one of the events held across our campuses and found ways to honour those impacted by Canada’s residential school system.

SFU has an obligation to educate and promote awareness about the tragic history and ongoing impact of residential schools, to recognize the legacy of colonization this institution has benefited from and to restore relationships with Indigenous communities through meaningful action. Reconciliation is work we must commit to year-round, not just on one day. You can read about our progress on this journey so far in our third annual Reconciliation Report.

All throughout the fall term, SFU will be sharing actions that each of us can take to create an inclusive campus environment as part of our Inclusion benefits us all initiative. I encourage you to spend a few moments today visiting the website and thinking about how you can help create a sense of belonging at SFU.

Moving forward into the term, I want to stress that transitioning back to campus has been a major adjustment, and everyone’s experience of the pandemic has been different. Thank you for continuing to follow health and safety guidelines during this transitionary period. This is what it means to take care of each other as a community.

Please continue taking care of yourselves and each other and treating each other with compassion, kindness and respect. And if I haven’t yet, I look forward to seeing you soon.