Surrey campus vibe is alive-and-strong during COVID-19

May 28, 2020

It’s been nearly three months since many of us started working remotely. So much has changed, so much is still changing, and I hope you and your families are doing well during this challenging time. And while the pandemic has been a challenge for us all there are also a daily plethora of good news stories that give us all hope for the future. Many of these examples are happening right here at the SFU Surrey campus.

I’d like to share a couple of examples of the on and off-campus efforts being made by Surrey campus faculty, staff and students during these challenging times that exemplifies kindness, community and connectedness, as well as provide an update on the current state of affairs at the Surrey campus and underscore key SFU messages as it relates to COVID-19.

Earlier this month, a small group of staff and faculty, donning lab coats and gloves and practicing physical distancing, packaged more than 800 250-ml bottles of the critically needed liquid, which had been created in the Surrey campus labs according to a formula adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO), then dispensed and labelled. The bottles were delivered to a number of at-need community groups in the Surrey area, which will include support for front-line health workers at Surrey Memorial Hospital, a local homeless shelter and the Surrey Food Bank located near the university campus. Read more:

When SFU announced a switch to online learning on Friday, March 13 and sent most of us home to work, approximately 400 IT staff began establishing remote support, in all its guises, for SFU’s approximately 41,000 faculty, staff and students. It was no small feat and thankfully we are now meeting and staying connected, virtually of course, in new and exciting ways. You can read more about their great work here:

While the future remains uncertain, I encourage you to continue to follow the advice provided by SFU’s senior administration and read John Driver’s email updates as they become available. No one is required on campus at this time unless deemed an essential service. We all look forward to being back on campus one day but for now, working from home and staying home is for the best, even as we begin developing a gradual back to work plan.

As our provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry continues to state: be kind, be calm and be safe. Even as we transition into phase two it’s key to see fewer faces in bigger spaces.

For SFU Surrey staff and faculty, you will continue to receive invitations each week for the Friday Fireside Chat. With the change of weather and warmer temperatures, we’ll be transitioning to Friday Poolside Chats. So put on your favourite tropical shirt and sunglasses and pull up a virtual beach chair at the poolside with a cool drink to join your colleagues for an hour of updates and some casual fun to end your work week.

I hope you are continuing to do well, both mentally and physically and, as always, best wishes.