A class of Beedie School of Business students will call the Surrey City Hall council chambers their classroom in January. Those involved in the collaboration include (l-r) Vince Lalonde

Surrey council chambers to become classroom

SFU Surrey business class to be held in Surrey City Hall.

Beginning in January, business students at Simon Fraser University will head for class in the council chambers of Surrey City Hall.

A partnership between SFU’s Surrey campus and the city means the chambers will house a weekly class of project management students.

SFU Beedie School of Business professor Kamal Masri will teach the class, Bus 361, popular business course expected to attract as many as 60 students.

Beyond housing the class in council chambers, students will also collaborate with Surrey parks and recreation staff as they design and implement their semester-long project.

It’s the first time an SFU credit course offered at the Surrey campus is being held in council chambers, notes SFU Surrey campus Executive Director Steve Dooley.

“We are thankful to the City of Surrey for providing this creative opportunity to support the needs of our students as we work towards expansion,” he says. “This is a great example of SFU’s commitment to authentic community engagement.”

The opportunity arose after SFU’s Surrey campus and Surrey’s City Hall became neighbours this past spring. Since then Dooley and Surrey Parks Manager Laurie Cavan have been looking at ways to share resources, including space.

Kinson Lo, SFU Surrey campus space coordinator, says there was great interest in the idea from campus instructors. “When it came down to the actual space and function needs of the courses, Bus 361 became the perfect fit,” says Lo.

Masri is looking forward to starting the class in January and is working with Surrey parks staff to fine-tune the collaboration.

“As a project management course, the students as a group take a project from start to finish, and as we’ve seen so far, with impressive results,” he says.

In his two previous classes, Masri devised a class assignment with a goal of raising over $25,000 to support the Canadian Cancer Society. The students planned and carried out the project called 25toLife (www.twentyfivetolife.ca), raising more than $25,000 last fall and over $28,000 this semester.