Semester one provided a very positive introduction to university

Winter 2014

Deven Azevedo

Schulich Leader at

Semester one provided a very positive introduction to university. The interesting classes and increased freedom with regards to how and when you learn the material certainly contributed to this sentiment, however, the amazing extracurricular opportunities available through the university was the largest factor in why the first semester was so great. Early in the year I became involved with a campaign called DivestSFU, which is calling on the university to increase transparency in its investments and, over the next five years, to divest from fossil fuel companies for ethical and financial reasons. Of course this is a contentious issue for many, however, I have been blown away by how many people at the university are interested in at least engaging in this dialogue even if they are not yet convinced by the campaign. Too many times in society we see citizens and decision makers dismissing issues without first giving the issue the attention and en gagement it deserves, and I think what I have enjoyed so much about my university experience so far is that it is so refreshing to see people willing to suspend their initial bias and eager to discuss and learn more about many issues. As someone who is studying environmental science this has been especially uplifting because so much recent science on climate change and other environmental issues has seemed to hit a brick wall due to much of society's unwillingness to have a reasonable dialogue about the issues. It gives me hope that perhaps our generation might be more reasonable in evaluating and acting upon these issues that are certain to have a huge impact on our future. I am very much looking forward to this next semester and what other neat experiences it might hold.