Hello SFPIRG supporters – welcome to the Fall 2020 semester!
We are hoping that everyone is staying safe through the COVID-19 pandemic. Because most of our operations have been virtual to make sure everyone is safe, we wanted to give everyone an update about what we’ve been up to for the past few months, and what you can expect to see from us in the future.
WHAT SFPIRG HAS BEEN UP TO
Although we haven’t been at SFPIRG physically, we have been busy over the summer. Over the past four months, we’ve been working with the new SFPIRG Board – a group of students and community members who oversee SFPIRG’s operational decisions – to train and onboard them, set our organizational priorities for Fall 2020, and many other projects!
The sudden shift to remote work during the pandemic, along with some long-term campaign burnout, slowed down our operations and created some unique challenges for our team – but with that said, we are stoked to roll out our new plans to re-engage with new and returning students in Fall 2020!
WHAT IS SFPIRG DOING IN FALL 2020?
We’re so glad you asked! We’ve got a few things planned for Fall 2020: drop-in equity support clubs for TAs and TMs; a social justice homework club for grad and undergrad students; volunteer opportunities; a student survey; and a big move into our new space in the SUB! If you’re looking for more information, keep on reading below:
- Equity support clubs: Every alternating Tuesday, we will be hosting two support groups: an Equity Support Group for TAs and TMs, and a Social Justice Homework Club for undergrad and grad students. These clubs will help you apply social justice analysis and intersectionality to your work, learn to address problematic things that arise in your studies or teaching, evaluate how your team is doing in order to make sure everyone is supported, tracking down resources for your work, and much more!
- RSVP to join the Equity Support Group for TAs and TMs by going to this link: https://sfpirg.ca/event/equity-support-group-for-tas-and-tms/2020-09-08/
- RSVP to join the Social Justice Homework Club for undergrads and grads by going to this link: https://sfpirg.ca/event/social-justice-homework-club-fall2020/2020-09-15/
- Volunteering: Are you looking to get involved with social justice volunteering on campus? We’ve got some exciting projects that have opened up, and we need support from students like you!
- Communications & Social Media team: We’re looking for folks who have a flair for writing engaging social media posts and an eye for snappy memes that’ll get people turning their heads. We’re also looking for folks who enjoy reading and sharing articles and blog posts about social justice with their friends, and who want to help educate their peers. Does this sound like you? Join our Social Media and Engagement team!
- Mutual-Aid and Alternative Community Safety Organizing team: What do you do when you’re in an emergency? We’re taught to call the cops, but recent events have demonstrated how something like that could be fatal to members of marginalized communities, especially BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities. Our Mutual-Aid and Alternative Community Safety Organizing team will collaborate on learning about the growing movements to defund/abolish the police, and to develop resources and solutions that will move us away from the need to rely on police, and towards a future where we can rely on each other instead. Interest in organizing community safety alternatives is a must – but prior knowledge of the issues is not required!
- You can learn more and sign up to be a part of these volunteer teams following this link: https://sfpirg.ca/program/volunteer-with-sfpirg/
- SFPIRG Survey: We know that you folks have thoughts on how we can improve our resources to better reach out to everyone, which is why we are launching our Fall 2020 survey. We would love everyone’s feedback on how we could better support you, and how we can better serve students and the community. All SFU students are invited to take part in the survey, by following this link: https://sfpirg.ca/fall-2020-student-survey/
- SFPIRG is moving: We are currently finalizing our lease with the SFSS, and will be moving into our new space in the SUB this semester! Are you interested in volunteering to help us out? Volunteers will be trained virtually on COVID-19 safety protocols prior to their first shift.
- You can sign up to help out here: https://sfpirg.ca/program/volunteer-with-sfpirg/
While SFPIRG’s physical space remains closed, we’re continuing to work with student groups, volunteers, and campus departments to provide resources and education about social and environmental justice. We look forward to when we’ll be able to safely re-open our space, and resume our regular operations!
In addition to our Fall 2020 plan, we are looking ahead to see how we can improve SFPIRG’s programming, outreach, and more. This’ll include:
- Revisiting how students can engage with and lead SFPIRG, including through our volunteer and work-study program, event planning, and more;
- Evaluating how Action Groups function, and how we can improve our support for them;
- Conducting an accessibility audit of SFPIRG’s new space in the SUB, and implementing appropriate accommodations;
- Exploring how to better serve grad students, how we can serve ALL of SFU’s campuses, how to revive a regular publication (e.g. a zine), and how to bridge the gap between student research and their communities;
- Developing detailed policies and position statements on social and environmental justice issues; and
- Renegotiating our Collective Agreement for our staff collective.
The world has undergone some massive changes within the last year, and these changes have exposed plenty of the structural inequalities that impact our communities. As one of the student representative bodies at SFU, we’re excited to continue working with SFU students to improve our campus, our communities, and our world!
We hope you’ll join us!
– The SFPIRG Team