SFU: More Than Just a Mountain
“Receiving an education” is something of a misnomer at the post-secondary level. The act of learning and gaining knowledge is a much more active process than the phrase suggests. We in Vancouver are fortunate to have a wide variety of academic as well as extra-curricular education options. As a result, we are a city of thinkers and doers, and like Simon Fraser University’s current motto reads, we are “engaging with the world.”
The exceptional engagement of students and community patrons at Simon Fraser University (SFU), one of many fine post-secondary institutions, is manifest in the 2013 school calendar. On an undergraduate level, SFU’s Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology (FCAT) has an open call to SFU students for their 3rd annual Undergraduate Conference exploring the theme of “The Human.” Students are invited to propose research, projects, performances and other undertakings which “…examine, describe, invent, and/or, interrogate not only how we may enact human-ness but how we understand what it means to be human." Learn more about the adjudicating ambassadors, Dr. Carman Neustaedter, Colin Browne, and Stuart Poyntz at www.sfu.ca/fcat/ugc2013.html.
As one of the presenters in last year’s SFU FCAT UGC, I can testify to the interdisciplinary atmosphere of the one-day conference, ultimately forcing me to flesh out my ideas into a cohesive framework of understanding. This year, This Is Vancity is proud to be the Official Media Sponsor of FCAT UGC, and we are looking forward to sharing the ideas of an undergraduate generation with the community.
For those not part of SFU’s student body (or even if you are, in this case) there is the Philosopher’s Café, organized by SFU Continuing Studies. Their new calendar features hundreds of lectures, dialogues, discussions and brainteaser on topics such as "Is education preparing students for the 19th or the 21st century?", "Human Rights Industry", “Do we really need more innovation?" and more! Admission is free, and participation is optional (though encouraged). Reminiscent of other SFU community programs, such as the Public Square series, the Philosopher’s Café looks to be a cross-generational platform for expanding minds throughout Vancouver. In fact, the Cafe recently won the “2012 Best Practices in Higher Education Award” from the World Universities Forum. Remember, if you attend an event, we invite you to send us your thoughts via Twitter, Facebook, or email.
While Vancouver is often patronized as a “young city,” the opportunities for intellectual growth are multiple and widespread. Among other great institutions, SFU is paving a strong path for life-long learning by providing its current students with the abilities to interact with their education. SFU is more than just some mountain – like Simon Fraser himself, this university is a pioneer for the future.