On Thursday (January 27), a group of SFU students and staff will stage a protest coinciding with a meeting of the university’s board of governors.
The move follows what protest organizers claim were failed attempts to have the board listen to their concerns.
The action will be held at 3 p.m. outside SFU Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver.
“We were concerned that SFU was helping to ”˜Charitywash’ Goldcorp because claims from human rights and environmental organizations’ reports accused the mining giant of violating environmental standards and human rights, especially of Indigenous people,” Myka Tucker-Abramson states in a news release.
Tucker-Abramson is a member of the SFU Teaching Support Staff Union.
According to the release, a student group called SFU Against Goldcorp and Gentrification initiated an ad hoc coalition of students, faculty, and SFU union workers to hold the SFU administration accountable.
The release notes that Tucker-Abramson and SAGG approached the SFU board of governors with letters and petitions, and through two public discussion forums. As well, the board received but refused three formal requests from concerned quarters of the university to present their demands.
“Students and faculty are frustrated at the University administration’s lack of willingness to listen to our concerns about Goldcorp’s $10 million dollar donation,” Tucker-Abramson says in the release. “SFU administration has assured us that SFU is a community driven university but they have refused every attempt from students and faculty to discuss this controversial donation. It’s a backroom deal, and it doesn’t feel like any community I’ve been part of.”
In September, SFU announced that Goldcorp contributed $5 million to SFU’s capital campaign. The university also made it known that it received another $5 million from the company in the form of the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts Community Endowment, which will finance community-engagement programs in the Downtown Eastside.
SFU has named its new arts facility in the Woodward’s complex the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.