I have mixed feelings about this.
On one hand, the School of Contemporary Arts has been a long-standing sore-spot among students at SFU. It’s been housed in mouldy portables for the past far-too-many years, which isn’t exactly an atmosphere conducive to creativity and arts development. The new facility downtown will be both updated to provide necessary resources to students and faculty, and will be an ideal spot to inspire arts as a reflection of society by being integrated into the downtown east side neighbourhood. Which is what contemporary arts should really be all about.
However, this will mark SFU’s fifth campus location. There is already a disparity between the “downtown (SFU Harbour Centre & Morris J. Wosk Center for Dialogue Locations on opposite sides of Hastings at Seymour)” vs. “the hill (aka “the hell” in Burnaby)” crowds. Once the SFU Segal School of Business (on Granville at Pender) and the new Contemporary Arts DTES locations are open, I can only see further factions splitting apart.
Something I never really got a strong feeling for during my time at SFU was any sense of community. It’s very different from UBC students I know, who seem to gather together at the SUB frequently (while the SFU pub sits empty and closes early). I haven’t been up there recently to see if the UniverCity has impacted any significant change, but I’d be surprised if it has.
Do you think the relocation of the School of Contemporary Arts will make a difference to the sense of community? Is SFU simply a commuter campus that should stay that way? Should the campus locations make a difference to the sense of community within the school?