SFU Public Square launches @SFUVan
By Emily Ross.
Through a comprehensive public consultation, SFU in partnership with the Vancouver Foundation recognized a need for neutral space where dialogue could take place and communities could come together.
This consultation led to the creation of a space, though not physical - SFU Public Square.
On Tuesday June 19, 2012, the Woodward’s Atrium at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts was a-buzz with activity. Jazz music filled the air as students, staff, faculty, and community members entered the space eagerly awaiting the launch of this new engagement-based initiative.
Various speakers introduced the idea of SFU Public Square including; VP External Relations, Phillip Steenkamp, SFU President, Andrew Petter, Executive Director of SFU Public Square, Shauna Sylvester, and President and CEO of the Vancouver Foundation, Faye Wightman.
While these speakers engaged audience members and encouraged engagement, the audience was not ready for what happened next!
Prior to the cutting of a delicious vegan carrot cake, PALS Chorus performed two songs as a flash mob. Complete with dance moves, the audience was brought to their feet after PALS performed Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and a mash-up of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”.
After the closing of the official program, attendees milled about the atrium meeting new people, re-connecting with old friends, and building community – the kind of interactions that SFU Public Square will continue to foster.
Sound like something you want to get involved in? SFU Public Square’s next big event will be held in September. An inaugural annual summit, in partnership with Vancouver Foundation, will discuss the issue of urban disconnection and isolation. Expect to be inspired and leave with tangible ideas in tow.