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SFU backs off disciplining Burnaby students who painted climate mural

Mural will not be taken down by the school just yet
sfu mural
The mural was painted recently in SFU’s convocation mall, with the goal of being up temporarily until Sept. 28. It urges SFU to “act now” in regards to the climate crisis.

The mural stays. And the students who painted it are off the hook.

That’s according to a new statement from Simon Fraser University in connection with a climate action mural that some students painted in the convocation mall last week.

The mural was painted by SFU350 members and was designed to be temporary until the school’s board of governors meet soon to discuss environmental issues, such as declaring a climate emergency and calls for the Burnaby school to divest its portfolio of fossil fuel investments.

SFU, however, responded to the mural with a threat of disciplinary action for not asking permission first. The school’s statement on the weekend said the students had “defaced” the school.

On Monday, SFU said in a statement that student misconduct will not be pursued.

“In the recent case of the SFU 350 climate action mural, we differ in interpretation of peaceful protest as it applies to university property,” said the statement. “Due to these differing interpretations, student misconduct will not be pursued. After discussion, we have agreed that the mural will stay in place until the conclusion of the Board of Governor’s meeting. This provides time for the student group to ensure their voices and message have been heard. We have also agreed that further discussion will be had regarding the importance of protecting the right to protest at SFU. We will share the outcome of that discussion with the SFU community.”