Mateusz Salmassi grew up in Los Angeles, California. He was a quiet and shy kid, spending a lot of his time reading classics such as Charles Dickens. Mateusz also played a lot of soccer, even dreaming of becoming a professional soccer player.

His first job was canvassing for Greenpeace; the role connected his passion for politics with an understanding of the power of face-to-face conversation. Mateusz went on to advocate for a public health care system for the state of California, and brought these political inclinations with him when he moved to Calgary.

While he was the founder and president of the Student’s for Direct Action (SDA) and president of the Faculty of Arts Students’ Association (FASA), Mateusz acted as a student liaison for student organizers and bookstore workers helping to defeat the proposed privatization of the UCalgary bookstore. He also worked for the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation and was a Canada Food Guide Ambassador for Meal Exchange, where he worked on on-campus food insecurity.

Mateusz decided to run for the SU VP External when he realized that the most effective way to make the changes he wanted to see made was to enact them himself, and the SU was the perfect vehicle for enacting these changes. His experiences dealing with the restrictions placed on international students and with rent and food insecurity further fuelled his passion for change. In addition to these issues, Mateusz is also passionate about creating more democratic culture at universities, empowering students with the tools to exercise their political power within the university and the government. Student apathy is actually student hopelessness, and hopelessness can be overcome.

Mateusz is studying Psychology under the Faculty of Arts, completing a certificate in Sustainability Studies. He has aspirations to complete a Masters in Social Work. While he originally wanted to become a counselling therapist, the love he developed for advocacy and grassroots organizing has pushed him towards a path where he can pursue both. That being said, he is open to following the journey of life, which often takes us on unpredictable paths.

In his free time, Mateusz likes to garden. He also likes to spend time together with friends and family. When he goes back to visit Los Angeles, Mateusz loves to go out, enjoy Mexican and Persian cuisine, and dance. His favourite sports team is the soccer team FC Barcelona, and he can juggle a soccer ball an infinite number of times.