Simon Fraser University: student life on campus

An insider’s perspective on the best hangover breakfast, place to study and more

The 411

Unofficial school motto:
“University on top of a mountain”
Best place for a nap:
The Applied Sciences Building has comfy couches. The sixth floor of the library is good, too. The best place is the Women’s Centre, which comes with a fully equipped kitchen and couches. Treat yourself to a cup of hot cocoa when you wake up.
Best cheap lunch:
Veggie Lunch. For $6, you get a gourmet meal with two sides, two desserts and your choice of lemonade or chai. Proceeds go to supporting the Women’s Shelter and low-income communities.
Best hangover breakfast:
The all-you-can-eat Residence Dining Hall is open 24-7 to the public.
Best bar for hanging out:
Club Ilia Eatery and Lounge.
Best campus food:
A baguette bagel with avocado spread from Starbucks.
Best place to study:
The sixth floor of the AQ, which packs the most spectacular view of the mountains.
Weirdest tradition:
In winter, you see people playing hockey on the pond when it freezes over.
Best campus event:
Bunny Yoga or Lunch Poems.
Best giveaway:
There are fire pits outside the Maggie Benston Centre. Free marshmallows and graham crackers are provided for s’mores.
Best live music venue:
SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.
If I could change one thing about the school:
The design is a bit convoluted and can be difficult to navigate.

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

A university spread out over three campuses is able to offer so much diversity, geography and so many programs.

The Vancouver campus is situated right in the heart of Gastown. A popular hangout for the avant-garde, the neighbourhood has a vibrant street life with an array of fashionable boutiques and cafés, eateries, art galleries, historic sites, live music venues and more. Meanwhile, the Burnaby campus is on top of a mountain, surrounded by 576 hectares of trails, while the newest Surrey campus was designed by renowned architect Bing Thom.

SFU is a commuter campus. We have students and staff coming in from as far as Abbotsford or Langley each day, but the sense of community is strong. Keep your eyes open for any research or co-op opportunities that might interest you. Go to conferences, or take part in organizing one of our many undergraduate conferences. For the techies out there, we are home to Cedar, Canada’s most powerful academic supercomputer. For all you aspiring writers, consider submitting to the Science Undergraduate Research Journal, or editing for our literary journal, the Lyre. There is cheap pop in the biology student union. We have more than 280 clubs, from the Idol Culture and Dance Club to the SFU Writers Cub, but you are always welcome to start your own.

After Class
SFU Woodward’s, located in a former department store, offers a rich variety of cultural programs such as the Annual Talking Stick Festival, Western Canada’s premier Indigenous performing arts festival. The School of Contemporary Arts puts on screenings for new films, multimedia artwork exhibitions and shows featuring world-renowned choreographers and performers. The World Literature and English departments start every season by introducing a new writer-in-residence. Students can book a free consultation and get feedback on their work.

Local Vibe
If there is one other thing about SFU, it’s the dogs. There are a lot of them. You hear them barking at the bagpipes during convocations. One prof in the English department brings her corgi in every Tuesday.
Vancouver has a plethora of cultural spaces, and among other things, we have some of the most beautiful hand-painted wall murals. There are literary festivals, art fairs, comedy shows and poetry readings being held all over the city, which all make for a fine breather after an evening of classes.

More Info
Check out our student-run newspaper, the Peak.