Capilano University’s 10-year plan seeks to improve more than just campus facilities
Annalisse Crosswell, Associate News Editor
In an effort to invest in the future of Capilano University, President Paul Dangerfield has begun the Envisioning 2030 master plan. The project has been in the works for some time, and was revealed earlier in the 2018-19 academic year as a part of the University’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Through talks with students and faculty, as well as key community members, the master plan seeks to ensure growth within CapU in terms of facilities, programs and community engagement.
“The University’s moved towards developing an integrated planning process, for the development of their budgets… moving towards a larger community vision of what priorities we want to see come forward in the next little while,” said Anna Rempel, president of the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) and vice-president equity & sustainability. She, along with the other CSU executives, Executive Director Christopher Girodat and Director of Policy and Campaigns Patrick Meehan, has been involved in the Envisioning 2030 conversations and now collectively are beginning direct involvement with the master plan.
Despite the executives part in the conversations and planning, Rempel noted that this process is about communicating with those community members impacted by CapU’s development rather than university executives making decisions about what they want to see. This, of course, means working closely with the five First Nations on whose land the University sits as well as Indigenous students on campus.
Decolonization is a priority for the project, moving towards executive decision-making that revolves around proper consultation with surrounding communities and understanding what it really means to properly consult. “I know that language, indigenizing signage and names has been a really big focus in a lot of decolonizing efforts,” said Rempel. “One example of that [at CapU] is moving away from calling the Sunshine Coast Campus ‘The Sunshine Coast Campus’ and calling it by it’s indigenous name, kálax-ay.”
Jorge Oceguera, a CapU School of Business instructor, is making sure everybody has their voice heard. Oceguera spoke to CSU staff and President Dangerfield on Feb. 5 to discuss his role in promoting the master plan, receiving more student feedback and creating wider-scale community involvement.
The CSU’s role is complementary to this process, now in the early stages of helping to provide online materials for professors to distribute and share to their students, as well as providing opportunities for students to learn more about the initiative. Nine ‘world cafe’ style discussion groups will be held which will emphasize participant-led discussions. An online software will also be available to students to provide further feedback.
The master plan for Envisioning 2030 is likely to be fully revealed during the fall of the 2020-21 academic year. By that point it will include information from all groups in the community, further emphasizing how CapU sets itself apart from other universities through its investment to the local community. “A lot of people talk about the community aspect of Cap because it is a smaller campus, but the goal, I think ultimately, is to maintain that community element and really build out our connections with the wider community,” said Rempel.