Student-led and student-designed, Build SFU has been enormously priviledged to receive so much overwhelmingly positive student support. Here is one of the student letters musing on the importance of the proposed SUB and Stadium, and why it is important to build for the future generations.
We are always told to look to the future and are taught to develop goals for self-development, careers, and success. But it is not always easy to do so with problems around the corner and short-term issues that seem to come out of nowhere endlessly. In today’s society students are finding it harder to focus on the long-term benefits and dwell on the immediate issues.
The difficulty may exist with our ability to seek immediate gratification and discard the better benefits of delaying it for the future. In a quick paced environment, the tendency to look down instead of up leads us to make choices best for ourselves short-term instead of the group in the long-run. It always boils down to the costs and benefits; most cases the costs grab the majority of our attention.
One of the largest decisions by the SFU student body this past year revolved around the development of the SUB. This is not an article proposing that we should blindly accept it, but rather that we should understand the full implications of the decision. Although extrinsic implications such as the cost of the building, funding, and physical benefits should be considered, we should also take into account the intrinsic perks. What will the SUB do for the SFU community in the future?
It may seem philosophical, but the question “what will this decision mean for the future of ____?”is asked by leaders in business, science, and social policy makers on a daily basis. In fact, the current trend proposed by many academics points towards an “ethic of care” in education systems. In his discussion about ethic of care, Dr. Trevor Hancock from UVic states:
“In thinking about how to change the university or college setting to make it more healthy, it helps to consider four aspects of that setting: the natural, built, social and organizational environments. Of these, the first two are relatively straightforward, if far from widely adopted.”
Improvements in study areas in front of the Chemistry wing in AQ and Images Theatre were not random upgrades to our grey halls. It provides psychological and social benefits in its design whether you are consciously aware of it or not. Have you ever wondered why SFU bothers with brining puppies to campus? Biologically, research shows that we and other animals have a universal tendency to empathize and care for infants across the animal kingdom. But, the most important factor is that it is done for students at key times of the semesters to reduce stress. To make it easier for us.
The entire system of Universities is bound to change. With the argument that the K-12 system is failing in the current system, how can we expect post-secondary institutions to hold on to outdated methods of pulling and pushing students out based solely on academic grades? The SUB is an option to help take a step towards ethic of care in the education system at SFU. This is a decision that should be considered with the benefits for future students, because if we are not making decisions based on the goal to benefit the group as a whole, we are simply trapped in the dilemma Tragedy of the Common Goods.
Elbert Bae, SFU Student, BA Psychology Major