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Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Compassion and a strong moral compass is essential to every democratic society. Yet, persecution, injustice and abuse still runs rampant and is tearing at the very fabric of civilization. We must ensure that we have strong institutions, global standards of justice, and a commitment to peace everywhere.
 

How SFU is contributing

 

Engagement

The Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue

SFU PUBLIC SQUARE

SFU Public Square—a signature initiative designed to spark, nurture and restore community connections—establishes SFU as the go-to convener of serious and productive conversations about issues of public concern. 

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SFU MORRIS J. WOSK CENTRE FOR DIALOGUE

The SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue is both a world class, accredited conference facility and a programming unit with a mandate to foster shared understanding and positive action through dialogue and engagement. 

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Student leadership at SFU

SFU's newly constructed Student Union Building offers 113,000 square feet of amenities, student activity and study space, including space for SFU Student Society staff.

The SFU Student Society (SFSS) is a student-led organization that represents and advocates for the interests of the 25,000+ undergraduate students at SFU. The SFSS is home to various social and academic clubs open to all SFU students. Students also have access to several services through the SFSS, ranging from free legal advice to affordable medical care.

The SFU Graduate Student Society (GSS) is the society and government for all graduate students at SFU, representing over 4,000 students in 38 academic units. The GSS supports graduate students to achieve their personal, professional and academic goals at SFU and beyond. The society is committed to receptive stewardship in order to provide relevant representation, advocacy and services to its membership.

Learn more: SFSS | GSS

Working with government

The Hon. Harjit Sajjan (centre), Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for Pacifican, visiting SFU in November 2022 to announce the establishment of the Centre for Environmental and Food Analysis (CEFA) which includes more than $2 million in funding from the federal government’s Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan).

Simon Fraser University has a rich history of deeply engaged partnership practices at the local, national and international levels. SFU works very closely with the City of Burnaby and Burnaby-based organizations, engaging in a variety of levels through various departments and units, with faculty, staff and students from all areas of the university. The university also engages at the regional level by working with the British Columbia provincial government on initiatives of strategic importance, such as the B.C. Centre for Agritech Innovation. SFU is not absent from the national stage either, collaborating with the Federal government on large-scale and long-term projects such as the establishment of of the Canadian Energy and Emissions Data Centre.

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Research, Teaching and Learning

SFU Professor Wendy Hui Kyong Chun is the Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media, and leads the Digital Democracies Institute which was launched in 2019. The Institute aims to integrate research in the humanities and data sciences to address questions of equality and social justice.

STRATEGIC RESEARCH PLAN CHALLENGE 4: STRENGTHENING CIVIL SOCIETY BY ADVANCING JUSTICE, EQUITY AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

SFU's 2016-2022 Strategic Research Plan (SRP) focuses on six challenges that encapsulate the breadth of and interconnections between researchers, build on our previous investments and serve as our priority research areas. Challenge 4 focuses specifically on how SFU research supports the strengthening civil society by advancing justice, equity and social responsibility.

Researchers at SFU are considering questions of equity and justice in relation to environmental, educational, health, economic and governmental systems. Matters of social inclusion, identity, diversity and belonging are key drivers behind how individuals and groups perceive and connect with society at large.  

Combining new tools and traditional methodologies, SFU researchers are mobilizing knowledge to understand the complexity of the social, economic and political forces that challenge global communities.

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CENTRE FOR RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

The Centre for Restorative Justice is an initiative by the School of Criminology at SFU that—in partnership with individuals, the community, justice agencies and the university—exists to support and promote the principles and practices of restorative justice. 

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PRESIDENT’S FACULTY LECTURES HIGHLIGHTS EQUITY AND JUSTICE RESEARCH AT SFU

Equity and justice are driving force in today’s society and SFU researchers are at the forefront of the movement in the academic world.

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FACTS AND FIGURES

  • 572 research publications related to SDG 16, 2017-2021 (source: SciVal

  • 260 active research projects related to SDG 16 funded from 2016 - 2020

  • 25 courses related to SDG 16, representing 5,278 students, offered between the 2018/19 and 2020/21 academic years 

Operations

SFU President and Vice-Chancellor Joy Johnson's statement on academic freedom emphasized that academic freedom carried out within a culture of respect and inclusion defines a vibrant academic community and reflects the civic health of a democratic society.

UNIVERSITY GOVERNANCE

At SFU, both the Board of Governors and the Senate have elected representation from all major stakeholder groups—faculty, staff and students. 

The Board of Governors is the senior governing body at SFU constituted under the University Act. SFU Board members do not receive any remuneration for their services to the Board. The overall responsibility for the business of the university (property, revenue and policies) is vested in the Board. The Board has 15 members including the Chancellor, the President, two elected faculty members, two elected students, one elected staff member and eight individuals appointed by the Government of the Province of British Columbia.

The Senate is responsible for the academic governance of the university and so it must be concerned with all important matters that bear on teaching and research in the university: this includes the development of new initiatives; the formation of priorities; and the consideration and approval of policies. The Senate is composed of the University Chancellor, University President & Vice Chancellor, and several members of the senior executive team. It also includes the 8 faculty deans; 16 faculty members; 18 joint faculty; 17 students and 4 convocation members.

Learn more: Senate | BoG
 

SUPPORTING SCHOLARS AT RISK

SFU's commitment to academic freedom is global. One of the ways we uphold this commitment is through our membership to Scholars at Risk (SAR). SAR's mission is to protect scholars and promote academic freedom. Through SAR, SFU offers temporary academic positions to scholars facing grave threats such as imprisonment or being silenced in their home countries.

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ACADEMIC FREEDOM IS EMBEDDED IN THE SFU FACULTY ASSOCIATION COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT

The SFU Faculty Association Collective Agreement describes academic freedom as, “the freedom to examine, question, teach and learn, and involves the right to investigate, speculate and comment without reference to prescribed doctrine, as well as the right to criticize the University, Association and society at large.” This freedom includes members of the university as well as those invited to participate in its fora.

See SFU President and Vice-Chancellor Joy Johnson's full statement on academic freedom at SFU
 

RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT POLICY

SFU's Responsible Investment Policy states that, "the university incorporates environmental, social, and corporate governance considerations into its investment decisions." The policy also addresses governance issues at the university, which encompass its commitments against organized crime, corruption and bribery.

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RESOURCES AND CALLS-TO-ACTION IN SUPPORT OF SCHOLARS IN AFGHANISTAN

SFU is home to a community of students, faculty and staff who come from all around the world, bringing important knowledge and ideas with them. SFU community members with ties to Afghanistan may be struggling with grief and pain, and others may be wondering how to help.  

In addition to the personal toll the current situation may have, as an institution of learning, SFU is invested in protecting the rights of scholars worldwide. The right to academic freedom and the right of women to receive an education have historically been threatened by Taliban forces, and Afghan scholars and students are worried about what this development could mean for their future.

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