Mateusz Salmassi grew up in Los Angeles, California. His parents moved to the United States seeking a better life, where they met as coworkers. He was a reserved kid who liked to read, before becoming obsessed with playing soccer.

Mateusz’s upbringing heavily influenced his interest in advocacy, and grassroots organizing. Whether it was the international factors that drove his parents to move to the US, or how policies like the minimum wage impacted the family, Mateusz realized that people and politics could explain so much.

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 then campaigned for a public health care system in the state of California. He brought his political outlook with him when he moved to Calgary.

As president of the Faculty of Arts Students’ Association (FASA), Mateusz took a lead role in helping to defeat the privatization of the UCalgary bookstore.

Mateusz decided to run for SU VP External once he understood how the position could do more than lobby, but mobilize students around the major issues we face. His experiences with the challenges of being an international student,along with rent and food insecurity, make him like a dog with a bone when it comes to advocacy.

Mateusz is studying Psychology under the Faculty of Arts, completing a certificate in Sustainability Studies. While he originally wanted to become a counseling therapist, the love he developed for advocacy and grassroots organizing has pushed his interests toward work where he can pursue both.

In his free time, Mateusz likes to garden and spend time with friends and family. When he goes back to visit Los Angeles, Mateusz loves to eat Mexican and Persian cuisine, and dance.