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.
My name is Kirstin Stewart and I am a 4th year International Studies Major. As a former varsity athlete, the stadium is an important part of the BuildSFU project for me, but what students may not consider is that it’s important for all of us. As part of the NCAA, SFU athletes are given the opportunity to compete for much larger audiences. This is something all students, not just athletes, should be proud of. Not only are we a strong academic school, we are also highly competitive in sports, which makes us all look better.
Sports can lead to careers after university, but perhaps more importantly, can also supply the means to get to university in the first place (through scholarships, etc.). As students I think we can all respect how hard it is to pay for our university and be happy for those who would not be able to attend without their sports. However, we are not showing these students our pride in our athletic culture with the current facility we have. For example, parts of the track and field team train off campus, as their facilities are not even located in the track area, but the back field (in practically the woods) and are unfit for practice. This does not reflect the pride we should have as the ONLY Canadian school in the NCAA. When the football team plays, families, including the elderly, are forced to sit on the grass hill or makeshift bleachers, which is dangerous and inaccessible to those less mobile. This does not promote a strong viewership in our community, nor does it inspire confidence in our abilities as student-athletes. Furthermore, American schools who come to play at our facilities will not respect us in the same way. Whether we as students take part in varsity sports, or never even pass the field and hate sports altogether, having strong sports teams puts out a positive name for SFU, which benefits us all when it’s time to look for a job and join the professional world.
Kirstin Stewart - SFU Student, International Studies Major