Message from the President: How SFU is enhancing personal safety on campus

September 20, 2023

I hope that everyone is enjoying the start of the new academic year and feeling inspired for the term ahead. The start of the fall term also brings about a shift: from the quiet campus of the summer months to a bustling campus with new faces, coffee shop lineups and even a few frantic searches for elusive parking spots or seats on buses.

As we settle into the new routines of the fall term, I want to share a few reminders about personal safety on campus and how we can work together to ensure all members of our community feel a sense of belonging, inclusion and mutual respect.

Community supports

Over the past few months, we have seen disheartening incidents affecting people and communities across North America: a hate-motivated, gender-based attack at the University of Waterloo, the regressive U.S. Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action in higher education, planned anti-2S/LGBTQIA+ protests and the recent tensions between Canada and India.

If you have been affected by these events or others, you’re not alone. The university is working hard to support the SFU community and has dedicated offices in place that provide services to community members who are going through difficult situations and, where possible, provide further protection from harm. To that end, SFU has recently gathered together in one place the network of supports available to you. I encourage you to review these community resources and share them with others as needed.

Campus safety

In addition to the various other offices that support our community, I want to share some reminders of the work that our excellent Campus Public Safety team undertakes to support a safe and secure environment for students, faculty and staff.

The CPS team provides training such as safety orientations, empathic de-escalation, suicide awareness and prevention and basic first aid to ensure our community members are prepared to react, respond or manage difficult situations. Confidential personal safety planning consultations, training and workshops to review response plans are also available by contacting

I deeply appreciate the ongoing proactive assessment work and safety planning we are putting in place and will continue to do so to help keep our community safe.

In an emergency, always call 9-1-1. But if you need urgent campus security assistance, First Aid, or someone to walk with you to another location, please reach out to the team through the phone numbers noted here.

Supporting one another

While SFU continues to strengthen community support and proactive campus safety measures, I want to emphasize that it is our collective responsibility to ensure members of our community feel a sense of safety, belonging, inclusion and mutual respect.

Recently, SFU launched an inclusive excellence page that outlines how we will align our commitments to the academic mission, equity, diversity and inclusion and the organizational experience. We expect the SFU community, and those who access our premises, to make every effort to model these standards.

There is a lot of work to be done as we chart a path towards a sustainable and inclusive future, but as with any journey, there are also opportunities to pause, learn and regroup as we move forward. It will take all of us, working together, to grow and maintain spaces where everyone feels welcome.

So with that, welcome back to another fall term everyone! I look forward to seeing you all at our campuses and accomplishing great things together this year.

Joy Johnson
Pronouns: she/her/hers
President and Vice-Chancellor
Simon Fraser University