Ermia Rezaei-Afsah grew up in Tehran, Iran, and moved to Calgary when he was 10 years old. As a kid he loved trivia and geography, and was interested in world history and politics even as young as seven years old.

After serving last year as an SU Faculty of Arts Representative on the 80th SLC, Ermia was elected to VP Student Life. His passion for equity and accessibility is informed by his experience as an immigrant to Canada and by his experience as a student trying to navigate the university system to access resources. His practice in the latter turned him into an advocate to help others navigate the system as well. These experiences are what inspired him to run for VP Student Life.

He has previously worked at a farmer’s market and landscaping. He has been a part of clubs such as the History Students’ Association, Food Justice Now, Philosophia, and Students for Direct Action.

Ermia is majoring in History and Anthropology, with a minor in Latin American Studies. He is most interested in Middle Eastern and Latin American history and their intersections. His favourite subjects are culinary history and the history of food.

His interest in cooking stems from an interest in both learning about other cultures and carrying on his own. Ermia likes to learn recipes through learning about the context and politics behind the dish. Food is a great way to connect, and he loves to host and create space for people. His interest food in naturally led him to gardening, and includes different growing techniques, light woodworking, growing things on a budget, growing culturally important produce in very different climates, and more.

Ermia loves to cook complex and unique food and grows as many ingredients as he can. He knows how to ferment foods and make his own yogurt, cheese, fermented pickles, sauces, kombucha, among other things. He even knows how make vinegar from scratch. He also loves preserving produce by making jams, vinegar pickles, and Cheong-style preserves (Cheongs are Korean syrups made with zero-heat). His four food obsessions are tea, yogurt, olive oil, and vinegar. He’s also obsessed with pasta.