Simon Fraser University: Student life on campus

Where to find the best cheap lunch and more

Rakim Zubair, left, and Lina Ngyuen work on a software systems project in a mechatronics lab at the Simon Fraser University Surrey Campus on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. Students built and programmed a robot to move along a predetermined path for the project. (Photograph by Taehoon Kim)

Unofficial school motto: ‘Still waiting for that gondola’
Best place for a nap: West Mall Atrium, on one of the cozy corner couches
Best cheap lunch: Guadalupe is the go-to for a burrito wrapped in the freshest, most beautiful tortilla you’ve ever had
Best hangover breakfast: All-you-can-eat breakfast at the 24-hour dining hall for bottomless orange juice and tater tots as far as the eye can see
Favourite watering hole: The beloved Highland Pub has been in flux since the student society handed it over to the university. Better head over to Club Ilia for happy hour until the pub reopens for good.
Perks of living in this town: Statuesque mountain views, beaches just steps from downtown—the beauty of living in Metro Vancouver takes some of the sting out of those high rental prices
Best place to study: Sixth floor of the W.A.C. Bennett Library, a designated silent floor for getting stuff done
Weirdest tradition: Twice a year at convocation, the SFU Pipe Band plays up a storm in celebration of our Scottish heritage
Best campus event: Puppy therapy­—our furry friends show up on campus around exam time, just when we need them the most
Best giveaway: There are mad prizes to be won if you participate in student democracy and make it through an SFSS annual general meeting
Best live music venue: The Commodore Ballroom in downtown Vancouver

PROFILE: Simon Fraser University | Burnaby, B.C. | Founded 1965

University Insider: Melissa Roach, 22, English

Simon Fraser University is the place for you if you’ve ever wanted to go to school in a magical forested mountaintop hideaway. SFU is really a “choose your own adventure” type of university. You can study to be a mechatronics expert, literary buff or brewmaster. The Surrey campus can be your home base, or you could even take courses in the heart of downtown Vancouver.

Just coming down from its 50th-anniversary high, SFU is bursting with new life. A new student union building and stadium are in the works, as well as an expansion of the Surrey campus. We are plagued by some of the institutional challenges faced by universities across the country, like a lack of funding, deferred maintenance and historically sticky labour relations. The issues and quirks are a part of the university’s charm, though.

SFU is continuously producing brilliant research, investing in its relationships with Indigenous communities and embracing progressive social initiatives. I’m guilty of sometimes rolling my eyes at the buzzwords dropped by the so-called “engaged university,” but it lives up to the label.

Clubs, clubs and more clubs! The SFU extracurricular scene has an embarrassment of riches. Clubs cater to a wide range of interests, from robotics to tea drinking. In the SFU fashion, our Quidditch team enjoys a friendly rivalry with UBC’s team. SFU is also the only Canadian university to be a part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, making for some exciting games on campus.

Local Vibe
The main campus on Burnaby Mountain is minutes away from a few different neighbourhoods, the closest being Burnaby Heights. The 50-minute bus route between SFU’s downtown and Burnaby campuses runs along the neighbourhood’s main stretch. This sweet little community in north Burnaby is just busy enough. Stan’s Pizza Joint is a local favourite for cheap pizza and beer, and the line outside of Anton’s Pasta Bar is always worth the wait. The top of Capitol Hill or the trails in Burnaby Mountain Park offer a wicked view of downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park and the North Shore mountains.

The Skinny
Check out the SFU Confessions page on Facebook. Go to the Simon Fraser Student Society’s website ( for details on clubs, events and services. When the mountain becomes a winter wonderland, SFU’s Road Report ( is handy.