issues and experts

Back to school at SFU in fall 2020

September 01, 2020

The new semester will involve a continuation of mostly virtual classes as SFU students prepare for fall semester studies online starting next week. They’ll be participating in nearly 1,400 courses being offered remotely this fall. That means Welcome Day, aimed at both new and returning students, will take place online on Sept. 8 and will be presented in a new fun and informative format. Students will also hear from SFU’s new president, Joy Johnson, whose term begins Sept. 1.

This year, all students will find themselves in a HIVE (Home for Interactive Virtual Engagement), grouped with students from similar faculties, common courses, and time zones, etc. The new format aims to create social and navigational launching pads allowing students to meet peers and learn about campus resources and their programs.

For more information on The HIVE Program, please contact:

Micaela Roughton, associate director, Community & Belonging, 778.782.2079,


Residence Move-In Day on SFU’s Burnaby campus is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 5. Compared with previous years, around 700 students (about 50 per cent to 60 per cent capacity), will be living on campus during the fall term this year.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, students’ move-in day will involve a time-assigned move scheduled in advance to ensure safe physical distancing. New signage and added sanitization procedures are part of this year’s approach. Those arriving from outside Canada will be required to complete a 14-day self-isolation period off campus prior to moving in. There will also be limits to the number of visitors and gatherings held within the residence community this semester.

For more information on Residence Move-In Day, please connect with:

Zoe Woods, (interim) director, Residence and Housing, 778.782.4535,

Leon Kalligerakis, coordinator, Communications and Marketing,


For Victor Guerin, heading back to campus in September will mean digging deeper into the roots of hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, the downriver dialect of the Halkomelem language spoken by the Musqueam people. There are fewer than 200 speakers of the Halkomelem language and only four proficient speakers of the Musqueam’s hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ dialect. Guerin is the recipient of SFU’s 2020-21 Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship and begins his PhD this fall. 

He can be reached at

Rochelle Prasad is returning to her studies in Education after recently being named the recipient of the international Diana Award for Community Service. The award is named after the late Princess Diana, who died on Aug. 30, 1997, and acknowledges the social action or humanitarian work of youth globally. Prasad is the founder of the SPARK Foundation that helps support education for youth, and Camp We Empower. She adds the award to a string of accolades for her community-mindedness, something she honed while participating in the SFU Surrey Envision Financial Community Leaders to Ignite Change, or CLIC program. Prasad has also authored a novella, Because We Can, which reflects on her journey of becoming a changemaker—written to encourage youth to work towards a brighter future.  

She can be reached at 778.874.5118 and


Judy Smith is the executive director of academic planning and strategic projects in Lifelong Learning. She can speak to back to school tips for adult learners, benefits of lifelong learning and flexible part-time studies, including certificate and degree completion, particularly amidst COVID-19 and the shift to online learning. She can be reached at

In January, Continuing Studies is launching a new Leadership Essentials Certificate program online. The program marks a departure from traditional leadership training, given its emphasis on equity, diversity and inclusion and decolonization. Jennifer Reddy is an associate director for the Leadership and Community Building programs and is available to speak about the Leadership Essentials Certificate. She can be reached at

This summer, the Liberal Arts and 55+ program began transitioning its Harbour Centre classes for older adults online, a unique experience as many of the students were new to online learning.

Susan Rhodes
, the director of the Liberal Arts and 55+ program, can be reached at


SHRADHHA SHARMA, SFU  Communications & Marketing 
604.202.2504 |

Simon Fraser University
Communications & Marketing | SFU Media Experts Directory


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