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May 2023 Advocacy Blog

May 2023 Advocacy Blog 150 150 Michael Brown

The SU advocacy team has been busy the past month, continuing our efforts to make student needs a priority both by the university and the government. Last month student electives met with city counsellors to discuss reimagining the UPASS to better address students’ transport needs. Discussions will continue with the city to collaboratively work to provide a transport option for students that is more equitable for all student needs in the future.

Student’s Union Program for Education Related Work (SUPERWork) applications are open until July 31st. SUPERWork is a SU-sponsored program through quality money that provides a $1000 wage subsidy award to University of Calgary undergraduate students earning less than a competitive wage at a summer employment position related to their degree program.

The SU understands the difficulties of finding summer employment opportunities, especially since the cancellation of the Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) in 2019. SUPERWork is the SU’s way to support students where the UCP government has not. The SU will not only continue to do our part by providing support to students through SUPERWork but will continue to advocate for the implementation of a student jobs program that supports student summer work and connects students to employers. Please visit our website here for more information.

With the provincial election in May fast approaching the SU has also continued to host our weekly radio show on CJSW from 11 am – 12 pm on Thursdays, interviewing candidates from the surrounding ridings. Be sure to tune in and hear from candidates before you cast your vote this election.

The Get Out the Vote Campaign has also continued, asking students to pledge to vote in the provincial election. Students can sign up here to pledge to vote and get reminders regarding voting information, the election, and voting locations. Students who pledge to vote will also be entered into a draw to win one of 2 bookstore gift cards for $250 and 5 Den gift cards for $100 each.

SU Announces 2023 Students’ Union Teaching Excellence Award Winners

SU Announces 2023 Students’ Union Teaching Excellence Award Winners 150 150 Gene Baines

Hello UCalgary students,

Since 1975, the SU has been giving you the opportunity to nominate and recognize excellent instructors and TAs. We received 980 nominations from students this year. From these nominees, the Teaching Excellence committee has chosen the following honourable mentions and winners:

 

Teaching Excellence Awards – Teaching Assistants

[half]Mannat Bansal
Adam Bass
Austin Che
Raylene Jessica Dunn
Andrew Henderson[/half][half]Tanisha Henry
Omid Khajehdehi
Danika Lipman
Hannah Porter
Rounak Uppal[/half]

 

Teaching Excellence Awards

[half]Alan Martino (Cumming School of Medicine)
Dr. Patrick F. Lee (Cumming School of Medicine)
Dr. K. Sélom Gbanou (Faculty of Arts)
Loïc Million (Faculty of Arts)
Dr. Safaneh Mohaghegh Neyshabouri (Faculty of Arts)
Prof. Tricia Stadnyk (Faculty of Arts)
Dr. Rod T. Squance (Faculty of Arts)
Saied Jalal Aboodarda (Faculty of Kinesiology)
Dr. Maureen T. Duffy (Faculty of Law)
Dr. Cydnee Seneviratne (Faculty of Nursing)[/half][half]Dr. Kori Czuy (Faculty of Science)
Dr. Thi Dinh (Faculty of Science)
Jerrod M. Smith (Faculty of Science)
Chantel Aurora Large (Faculty of Social Work)
Dr. Anne E Kleffner (Haskayne School of Business)
Dr. Justin Weinhardt (Haskayne School of Business)
Maryam Badv (Schulich School of Engineering)
Dr. Emmanuel Stefanakis (Schulich School of Engineering)
Mr. Harrison Campbell (Werklund School of Education)
Dr. Ning Cheng (Veterinary Medicine)[/half]

 

Teaching Excellence Awards – Honourable Mention

[half]Dr. Dinu S. Attalage
Dr. Leigh Gabel
Randolph (Randy) Head
Janna Klostermann
Justin Knibbe[/half][half]Erin McFarlane
Mr. Eric S Myers
Dr. Eve Robinson
Dr. Stephen MacGregor
Jason Stein[/half]

 

Winners of the SU Teaching Excellence Award receive an apple award and a framed certificate. In addition, the SU will make a $5,000 donation in recognition of the winners to the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.

Congratulations to all of these winners and honorable mentions, and huge thanks to those students who took the time to tell us about your amazing teachers.

Nicole Schmidt
President, The Students’ Union

 

Photographs by Gene Baines


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April 2023 Advocacy Blog

April 2023 Advocacy Blog 150 150 Michael Brown

The SU advocacy team has been busy this past month working hard to make student voices heard by both the university and the government. On February 28th Alberta’s Provincial Budget was announced, with lack-lustre support for students. The cap to tuition increases announced in early February will not begin until 2024, providing little comfort for UCalgary students who will face additional tuition increases this Spring. Despite this letdown by the provincial government, the SU has remained dedicated to projecting student voices and advocating for their needs.

The SU welcomed Minister Jason Copping, Alberta’s Health Minister and MLA for Calgary-Varsity, to campus on March 3rd for a town hall. The town hall came at an opportune time to engage on the topics of increased and the 2023 Provincial Budget. The conversation highlighted many student challenges including affordability, the tuition hike, and access to Open Educational Resources. Expressing these concerns to Minister Copping and engaging on these issues is essential to continue our advocacy efforts.

On March 27th the SU organized a student rally for Alberta Student Day of Action, calling on the Alberta Government to freeze the fees and restore funding to postsecondary institutions. The rally brought students together to use their voices and ask for the government to support them at a time when they need it most. The response from students was incredible and allowed for a spotlight to be put on the government.

Ward 8 City Counsellor, Courtney Walcott, also joined students and provided an energizing speech sharing his wisdom and words of encouragement with students. Events like Student Day of Action are crucial to push for change and we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you to everyone who showed their support.

As we approach the provincial election in May, the SU has begun our Get Out the Vote Campaign, asking students to pledge to vote. Students can sign up here to pledge to vote and get reminders regarding voting information, the election, and voting locations. Students who pledge to vote will also be entered into a draw to win one of 2 bookstore gift cards for $250 and 5 Den gift cards for $100 each.

The SU hosted Opposition Leader Rachel Notley to take questions from students about post-secondary and Calgary issues. During her address to students, Notley committed to rolling back tuition to 22-23 levels, if elected. This means students will not have to pay the latest UCalgary tuition hike of 5.5%. Notley also announced plans for additional mental health supports, no tuition increases above inflation, and to bring in a summer employment program for students, among other commitments. A big thank you to students for asking their questions of MLA Notley.

The SU will also be hosting our weekly radio show on CJSW from 11 am – 12 pm on Thursdays as we approach the election, interviewing candidates from the surrounding ridings. Be sure to tune in and hear from candidates before you cast your vote this election.

Bermuda Shorts Day – Q&A

Bermuda Shorts Day – Q&A 150 150 Michael Brown

The countdown is on! Get ready to break out your best Bermuda shorts and join us at The Den for a tropical send-off to the semester!

Celebrate the last day of classes in the Den! Bermuda Shorts Day party: April 12, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Featuring drink specials and special drinks (with alcohol or alcohol-free), free food and snacks, games and prizes, DJs, karaoke, and more.

Never heard of Bermuda Shorts Day? BSD is a UCalgary tradition dating back to the 1960s. What began as an organic, student-led gathering eventually peaked as an annual celebration in the early 2000’s with thousands of students attending an outdoor concert and beer gardens in a former parking lot on the south side of campus. While BSD attendance has never again reached those same legendary numbers, the spirit is still alive at the Den.

The SU knows that students want to celebrate the last day of classes. While the SU does not own BSD as an idea or a day, the SU has put together an annual BSD event since the eighties. Since 2009, attendance and interest in the SU BSD event has declined. At the same time, the university has dramatically increased costs on the SU for this event. In the years just prior to the pandemic, the event cost nearly $100,000 to run. The SU cannot justify an annual and ongoing loss for such an event.

That’s why the SU is hosting its BSD event in the Den & Black Lounge this year. This re-imagined event still comes with great entertainment, food and drink specials, games, prizes, and the opportunity to wear your tackiest tropical wear!

We know students will have questions about this change. To help with that we’ve tried to answer the more common questions we’ve received. Please look through the below Q&A. If you still have questions, please reach out to the SU.

Q&A

When is BSD?

  • This year’s SU run BSD event will be on April 12th from 11am to 5pm in the Den & Black Lounge.

Why is BSD changing?

  • The SU works to be good stewards of student fee money and the revenue generated by SU businesses in Mac Hall. Prior to the pandemic, BSD costs began to soar with the university downloading tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of costs onto the SU. The event has cost the SU around $100,000 per year in recent years. In past years during and after the construction of the Taylor Family Digital Library the SU been prohibited from using the south quad for its BSD event. Instead, the BSD event was run in a parking lot where the SU was charged $16,000 for that space alone. Other downloaded costs include:
    • Campus security for the event and entire campus on BSD
    • Calgary Police on campus in addition to campus security
    • Paramedic and ambulance costs
  • This year’s re-imagined BSD will help lower the financial costs of this event on the SU, while still offering students a fun and engaging BSD event in the Den & Black Lounge. Declining student interest and attendance and increased costs imposed by the university has led to ever-increasing losses for the SU in the years just prior to the pandemic.

Why can’t BSD look like it did in the past?

  • In past years BSD has been hosted as a large outdoor event with a concert but this is not a possibility anymore due to growing costs. The SU’s BSD event has gone from a bottom-line cost of $17,000 in 2009 to one of over $98,475.46 in 2018. The university also charges the SU for security both inside and outside the BSD event footprint, resulting in a large majority of expenses spent on these university-imposed costs of security and the use of the parking lot. Student engagement has also continued to diminish in past years, making it extremely difficult to overcome the cost of BSD because of reduced revenues from beverage sales.

What will the SU’s BSD event look like this year?

  • This year’s SU BSD event will be hosted in the Den & Black Lounge with food and drinks, games, lots of prizes and giveaways and as always, the chance to dress up in your brightest, flashiest, and most outrageous tropical clothing.

How will the SU make an indoor party at the Den fun?

  • The SU is working to make sure all the best parts of BSD are still present at this year’s event. This includes energizing entertainment, food and drinks, prizes, and a chance to connect with your peers, dressed in your best tropical, neon, and flashy outfits.

If I want an outdoor BSD party similar to what used to happen, how can I make that happen with the SU?

  • The main thing students can do is come to BSD and show your support this year! Student attendance and interest in the SU’s BSD event has declined which has made organizing the “classic” BSD event very challenging, especially with university imposed costs increasing substantially. Reduced student engagement not only makes it hard to cover the financial costs of the BSD event but it makes it challenging to justify hosting the event if only a small portion of students show interest. If students show their excitement for the BSD event this year in the Den & Black Lounge, and interest grows, the SU could look at a more traditional BSD event.

What events will be offered at this year’s BSD?

  • This year’s BSD will be offered at the Den & Black Lounge and include food and drink options, lots of free stuff, and entertainment. Whether you want to have some food and a drink or come and take pictures in the photobooth with your friends, there will be something for everyone. Come and connect with your campus community in celebrating the end of the winter semester together.

Why has the SU cancelled BSD in previous years?

  • The large outdoor event many remember BSD being was forced to change when faced with the health and safety challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Though even before the pandemic occurred BSD was facing many challenges related to student engagement and the financial burden on the SU. The SU runs its BSD event without the help of the university and has been faced with large university-imposed costs for rental space and security. The goal of this year’s BSD is to provide a safe and welcoming environment that takes these concerns into account while allowing individuals to feel a sense of unity and university pride.

What are the barriers faced by the SU when it comes to running the classic BSD event?

  • The SU faces many barriers when running the classic BSD events, including financial barriers, lack of student engagement, increasing costs of security and rental space, and reduced support from the university. These barriers have been particularly hard to overcome in recent years which has resulted in the decision to reimagine what an SU BSD event should look like. Holding the SU run BSD event in the Den & Black Lounge addresses these barriers effectively and is the most viable option at the current time.

Why has the university changed its mind on support for BSD?

  • In 1989 the university approached the SU to create a single, large, controlled BSD event where there would be no drinking outside of the beer gardens. Although, in more recent years, the university appears to support BSD less and has imposed significant costs of security and rental space related to the SU run BSD event resulting in significant barriers due to the financial burden. The SU has had to conceive BSD in a way that is financially sustainable given these barriers and others.

How to attend BSD?

  • All UCalgary undergraduate students age 18 or older are welcome to attend. Please bring your UCID and a piece of government issued ID.

Who can attend BSD?

  • All UCalgary undergraduate students age 18 or older are welcome to attend the event. It will be a time to connect with your peers and celebrate together.

How will the SU make safety a priority?

  • The Den & Black Lounge takes pride in keeping their environment safe and welcoming for all. They are Best Bar None accredited, a voluntary program for nightlife venues, designed to keep staff and patrons safe. The Den & Black Lounge have provided a space for students to connect for over 45 years and has trained professionals that make safety a top priority.

When did BSD start?

  • BSD began in 1960 when an individual named Alan Arthur wrote “April 1st Bermuda Shorts Day” on an announcement board. It sparked a celebration for students on the last day of the winter semester and continued to grow attraction as an annual day to celebrate together as a campus community.

What should BSD look like 5 years from now?

  • The SU would love to hear your feedback on what you think BSD should look like in the following years and what you feel is a priority to make the event fun.

 

2023 Alberta Budget: Budget 2023 misses opportunity to provide real, needed support to students

2023 Alberta Budget: Budget 2023 misses opportunity to provide real, needed support to students 150 150 Michael Brown

CALGARY – Today’s provincial budget misses the mark and loses an opportunity to enhance the lacklustre inflationary supports announced by the province earlier this month. Budget 2023 continues a familiar theme with this provincial government: Students are left out and left behind.

 

Earlier in February, the provincial government announced disappointing student supports, including a cap to tuition increases, not starting until 2024, and an increase to the Alberta Student Grant. These measures are too little too late for students who have faced the fastest and largest increases to tuition and other expenses in Alberta’s history, thanks directly to provincial cuts. The SU estimates that tuition alone has increased by 33% since 2019 and by about 40% for international students. This equates to about $1,200 and $6,000 more per year for domestic and international students, respectively. These increases come with no increase to education quality. Budget 2023 fails to expand supports for students or make the recently announced measures effective.

 

“The SU has made it clear to the provincial government that students are at a breaking point. They haven’t listened,” says SU President Nicole Schmidt. “Students are choosing between their education and basics like food and housing. This should not happen in Alberta. This government has failed to address the concerns of students and it’s clear that this budget is no different. The province can and should do better.”

 

The programs announced by the province also leave huge loopholes for universities to exploit. Students pay mandatory fees in addition to tuition. These fees are not included in the provincial tuition increase cap. This means that universities will simply make up for the tuition cap by increasing mandatory fees at a faster rate. Mandatory fees have increased by about 20% since 2019. International student tuition is also not capped, meaning university administration can continue to use international students as cash cows to fund operations.

 

Very few students will receive the provincial financial supports announced earlier this month, as those supports are tied to family or household income, rather than the student’s income alone. Students who are not actually receiving support from their families for their education may not qualify for these new programs.

 

“The provincial government has implemented a double standard,” says President Schmidt. “They have tied student supports to the income of parents and phase out these supports much sooner than other Alberta families. After neglecting student needs and increasing student costs for four years, this government is trying to make up for it with one swing. This isn’t good enough.”

 

Most students will not be eligible for this provincial support. For example, a family of four will receive less or no support after their income tops $66,000. By comparison the general inflationary supports announced last fall stop at a family income of $180,000.

 

Media Inquiries may be directed to:

Mike Brown

Manager, Communications & Government Relations

Michael.brown1@ucalgary.ca // 403-560-0577

Student inflation supports are welcome relief, but students remain at breaking point

Student inflation supports are welcome relief, but students remain at breaking point 150 150 Michael Brown

Calgary – Over the last several months, the SU has advocated for financial relief for students. Students have told us they are at a breaking point and making difficult choices between their education, food, and housing. The SU is pleased to see our advocacy efforts pay off with increased and additional supports for students.

 

“Today’s announcement of supports is positive but this cannot be the end of the discussion when it comes to affordability and accessibility to post-secondary in Alberta,” says SU President Nicole Schmidt. “Since 2019, students have endured the largest increases to tuition in Alberta’s history. Today’s announcement, while welcome, is a drop in the bucket when compared to the additional costs students are facing due to government cuts and the inflation crisis.”

 

The average domestic UCalgary student is paying over $1,200 more each year for their education by comparison to 2019. The situation is even more dire for international students who, on average, are paying more than $6,000 more annually than they did in 2019. These numbers also do not include mandatory fee increases and an upcoming 5.5% domestic increase and 10% international increase to tuition this fall.

 

A one-time increase to the Alberta Student Grant is a positive step, but the reach of this program is limited and dependant on family income, regardless of parental financial support. The provincial government have left out a significant number of students from this temporary support.

 

Many students may not be receiving financial support from parents for their education or cost of living but may also not qualify for the Alberta Student Grant because of household or family income. This means that many truly low-income students will not qualify for the support announced today.

 

The 2% cap on tuition increase is welcome but comes after UCalgary students have endured a 33% increase to tuition and 20% to mandatory fees since 2019. The tuition cap also does not help international students who have seen tuition increase at a rate close to 10% per year for the last four years.

 

“International students have been completely left behind by this government. This is concerning as Alberta attempts to attract more international students to its institutions,” says SU VP External Mateusz Salmassi. “International tuition remains unregulated and today’s announcement makes it easy for universities to continue using international students as cash cows to fund university operations. This needs to change.”

 

Changing of the student loan interest rate back to prime is positive, but it was the UCP government that increased this rate in the first place. It is positive to see them reverse this bad policy, but interest rates never should have increased.

 

The Government of Alberta should be taking further affordability action through student financial aid by rebalancing student financial aid to a more equal mix as exists in several provinces, including MacKinnon Report comparator provinces like B.C. and Ontario.

 

The UCP government should also take action by bringing in a student provincial jobs program. Students want to work but are struggling to find summer employment opportunities since the cancellation of the Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) in 2019. A Students’ Union survey found that 1 in 5 students could not find full-time summer work in the summers of 2021 and 2022. Overall youth unemployment remains double the provincial rate.

 

Heading towards the provincial election in May, the SU will be engaging in a conversation with Calgarians and Albertans about the importance of post-secondary education and what can be done to ensure education is accessible and affordable as well as the value post-secondary institutions provide to our city and province.

 

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Mike Brown, Manager Communications & Government Relations

University of Calgary Students’ Union

403-560-0577 or Michael.brown1@ucalgary.ca

Statement: Free Speech on Campus

Statement: Free Speech on Campus 150 150 Michael Brown

The Students’ Union (SU) stands with our counterparts from the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union as they push back strongly against hate on their campus.

 

U of L students made it clear that there is no place for hate on their campus. As Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides said earlier this week “it should be for students to make the final decision about whether to listen to a speech or not.” U of L students stood up, held firm, and made it clear that they had no interest in hearing a lecture that denies the genocidal nature of residential schools and the lasting harm these institutions have done to Indigenous peoples. That decision should be respected.

 

Universities are bastions of free speech and expression. However, just like all freedoms, there are limits. Just as Section 1 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms puts reasonable limitations on rights and freedoms, there should be limits on our campuses.

 

Denying the genocidal nature of residential schools and suggesting the contemporary civil rights movement is destroying post-secondary institutions is an antagonistic position designed to incite hate and discrimination.

 

Administration at the University of Lethbridge deserves credit for listening to students and making the difficult, but correct decision to cancel the lecture.

 

University of Calgary administration could learn from this example to better manage speech and expression on campus. For years, University of Calgary administration has allowed anti-abortion demonstrators on campus in areas that students must walk through to attend their classes. Protestors bring graphic imagery intended incite anger from members of the campus community. This has led to ongoing harassment of students as students have reported being shouted at and followed.

 

The SU has asked the university to take action and follow its own harassment policy when speech includes harassment and discrimination. To date, the University of Calgary has done nothing with regard to these demonstrations, and protestors continue to create an intimidating and hostile educational environment for students.

 

The SU renews its calls for the university to restrict graphic and misleading imagery and to ensure that students are not shouted at, harassed, or followed by protestors. The SU calls for the university to take action and ensure debate of ideas is meaningful, not antagonistic and not rooted in harassment.

 

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Mike Brown, External Communications Specialist

University of Calgary Students’ Union

403-560-0577 or Michael.brown1@ucalgary.ca

 

Undergraduate Research, Stress Less Events, and World Cup at the Den

Undergraduate Research, Stress Less Events, and World Cup at the Den 150 150 Gene Baines

Hello UCalgary,

I know it’s crunch time right now, but if you need a quick break we’ve got a few events to help you recharge before exams, and a few more updates to look forward to in the new year.

Undergraduate Research Symposium (Nov. 23 – 24 in MacEwan Conference and Event Centre/MacEwan Hall)

The SU’s 17th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium is happening this week. On Wednesday, we are hosting six different research workshops with topics like how to find research opportunities and even presentation techniques. On Thursday, we celebrate the undergraduate research award winners with an all-day drop-in event in MacEwan Hall. Drop by any time beginning at 10:00 a.m. to see short presentations from across all faculties! See the full schedule of presentations on our website.

StressLess Week is next week (Nov. 28 – Dec. 2)

StressLess Week returns to Mac Hall just in time. Drop by the North Courtyard every day for fun activities like aromatherapy, painting, and origami. Or join us in That Empty Space for a free meditation session on Tuesday, and yoga on Thursday. And last, but never least, we’ve got Pet Therapy on both Monday and Friday.

SU Living Room (Dec. 7)

Take a study break with us! Drop by That Empty Space any time Dec. 7 for free movies, snacks, and fun activities. We’re showing Lightyear at 10 a.m., Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings at 12 p.m., and The Incredibles at 2:30 p.m.

Q Centre presents Intro to Dungeons and Dragons (Nov. 30)

Q Centre is hosting an intro to Dungeons and Dragons on Nov. 30 from 4 – 6 p.m. Beginners are welcome – come and learn the basics of character creation and gameplay!

Catch World Cup Games at The Den

The Black Lounge will be showing World Cup games at noon weekdays beginning Nov. 21.

Textbook Consignment

Are you ready to say goodbye to some old textbooks? Consignment will be happening in the North Courtyard from 11AM – 2PM the week of Dec 12-16 BUT consignment can be brought directly to Bound & Copied during regular operating hours; 9:00AM to 5:00PM.

Locker Rentals

It feels like winter is going to stick around – are you tired of lugging a heavy jacket around campus? We’ve got lockers in convenient locations all over campus, and you can rent one through your my.ucalgary.ca student centre.

Are you already thinking about 2023? So are we.

Clubs Week

Clubs Week returns Jan. 16 – 19 in the Mac Hall North and South Courtyards.

SU General Election

Have you ever thought about taking on a leadership role at the SU? Official nomination packages will be available Jan. 23, but in the meantime, we’re regularly updating our election webpages with important information and deadlines. If you have questions about life as an SU elected official or campaigning, we are also hosting pre-election workshops Jan. 24 and 25.

Good luck on your exams! You’re only a few weeks away from a well-deserved break.

All the best,

Nicole Schmidt
President, Students’ Union


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University refuses to allow students to be consulted on upcoming tuition increases

University refuses to allow students to be consulted on upcoming tuition increases 150 150 Michael Brown

Calgary – The Students’ Union is sounding alarm bells after University of Calgary administration has refused to allow the SU to discuss with undergraduate students on upcoming increases to tuition and fees. As a result, students have not yet been made aware of the details of upcoming increases.

 

The Finance and Property Committee of the UCalgary Board of Governors will vote on tuition increases on November 21. It is not until November 29th that the university will speak to elected student leaders. The item will then go to the Board of Governors on December 9. In previous years the university has held student town halls on tuition and attended the SU’s student council much earlier in the process. This has not occurred this year.

 

“The university will essentially be approving the tuition and fee increases before students even know about them,” said SU President Nicole Schmidt. “The university has shared the proposals privately with the SU but is unwilling to allow us to consult with students about these increases.”

 

In a 2021 judicial review of tuition increases at NAIT, brought by its student association, the judge ruled that consultation must go beyond the simple creation of the consultation mechanism and two student council meetings.

 

“The university has failed to meet its obligations under the Tuition and Fees Regulation and Alberta Tuition Framework,” says SU VP External Mateusz Salmassi. “By blindsiding students with tuition and fee increases and failing to report, as required, on how fee revenue is being spent, the university is being secretive and unaccountable to its largest stakeholder.”

 

Alberta’s Tuition and Fee Regulation requires the university to report specifically on how mandatory fee revenue, collected from students, is being spent. The university has failed to produce a report on two of its three mandatory fees.

 

The SU has asked for the vote on the tuition and fee proposals at committee and the December 9th Board of Governors meeting to be delayed to ensure that students are meaningfully consulted. The university has refused both of these requests, allowing only for elected student representatives to be able to receive the tuition and fee increase details.

 

As a result, the SU has written to Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides asking him to intervene and ensure that students are engaged and consulted. This is not the first time that the SU has asked the Minister to intervene due to inadequate consultation. In 2021, the university also failed to adequately consult with students on Exceptional Tuition Increases, resulting in the university being required, by the Minister, to re-start the consultation process properly and delay the government approval of large tuition increases to two faculties.

 

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Mike Brown, External Communications Specialist

University of Calgary Students’ Union

403-560-0577 or Michael.brown1@ucalgary.ca

 

Illustration of group of people on cell phones

2022 Students’ Union By-Elections – The Results are In

2022 Students’ Union By-Elections – The Results are In 1934 1004 Michael Brown

Calgary – The Students’ Union is today announcing the results for the 2022 By-Election. Those who have been elected will join the 80th Students’ Legislative Council and will serve until the end of April 2023. In addition, students were asked to vote in a referendum on the topic of the SU Health and Dental plan. Those results are also being announced.

In the three-person race for Vice-President External Mateusz Salmassi won with 39% of the vote.

Faculty representatives were also elected for the Haskayne School of Business, Faculty of Kinesiology, Schulich School of Engineering. The vacancy for the UCalgary Board of Governors Student-at-Large role was also filled by election today.

For the Haskayne School of Business, Aly Samji was elected by business students with 64% of the vote.

Over in Kinesiology, students elected Jessie Dinh with nearly 67% of the vote.

The two students running for the two previously vacant faculty representative positions at the Schulich School of Engineering were each successful in achieving a majority of ‘yes’ votes required to be elected to the role. Jacob Artuso and Abhari Limbu received a majority of ‘yes’ votes and were elected.

Finally, Muntaha Aamir was elected to the UCalgary Board of Governors with 50.6%.

Students were asked to vote on proposed amendments to the SU constitution in relation to the SU Health and Dental Plan. The cost of the health and dental plan is currently subsidized by the SU  and the viability of the plan is at risk. The proposed amendment was to allow the Health and Dental Plan fees to increase with the Consumer Price Index by up to 4% per year to keep up with inflation, without requiring further referendums each time an increase is necessary. Students voted in support of this with nearly 69% of the vote.

In all, 2,132 students voted in the 2022 By-Election. The results announced today are provisional and become official on October 24, 2022.

The roles of Vice-President Operations and Finance and Faculty Representative for the Faculty of Social Work will remain vacant and may be filled by appointment at a later date.

All SU elected positions will go up for election in March 2023 to determine the student leaders who will make up the 81st Students’ Legislative Council.

 

Inquiries may be directed to:

Mike Brown
External Communications Specialist
Michael.brown1@ucalgary.ca
Cell: 403-560-0577