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 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


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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
Cell: 403-560-0577

SU Advocacy Blog – September

SU Advocacy Blog – September 150 150 Michael Brown

Back to school has been a busy time for the SU, and advocacy throughout September is no exception. The SU has been in the media throughout September talking primarily about students heading back to class, their expectations, and the housing crisis in Calgary.

Starting in September and continuing through the fall semester, SU staff and elected officials will be hearing from the university on their plans for tuition. The SU will be advocating for students to be given a break after three consecutive years of increases well above inflation. We have heard from students that they are not only broke but at a financial breaking point.

The SU closed its advocacy survey which will help inform our discussions with the university around tuition and will be valuable to our efforts with the three orders of government as well. We heard that students do not feel they are getting good value for their tuition dollars and the quality of education has not increased despite students paying at least 25% more in tuition since 2019.

We also heard that students want more accountability from the university on how student dollars are spent through mandatory fees like the student services fee and the Dinos athletics fee. Stay tuned for updates on this work.

In September, SLC discussed a document formalizing what the SU, and students, expect for meaningful consultation from the university when it comes to tuition and other issues that affect students. The SU will be sending this to the Provost to formalize a consistent consultation process.

SLC also discussed a series of issue sheets that will be used to advocate to government, primarily the Government of Alberta. As Alberta heads into a provincial election in May 2023, the SU intends to be active to raise the profile of student and post-secondary issues. Stay tuned for more.

Notice of Election: By-Election 2022

Notice of Election: By-Election 2022 150 150 Gene Baines

Notice is hereby given that an election will be held for the filling of the following offices:

Vice President External (1)
Board of Governors Representative (1)
Faculty of Social Work Representative (1)
Faculty of Kinesiology Representative (1)
Haskayne School of Business Representative (1)
Schulich School of Engineering Representative (2)

Online voting will take place on the 12th, 13th, and 14th days of October, 2022 through the myUofC Student Centre. Voting opens at 9 a.m. on October 12th and closes at 4 p.m. on October 14th, 2022. All University of Calgary undergraduate students registered in the Fall 2022 session are eligible to vote.


In accordance with section 48 of the The Union Bylaw, the Chief Returning Officer declares the following positions vacant:

Vice President Operations and Finance (1)

For more information, visit

DATED at the University of Calgary in the City of Calgary, Province of Alberta, this 29th day of September 2022.

Clubs Week, SU By-Election, and Pet Therapy

Clubs Week, SU By-Election, and Pet Therapy 150 150 Gene Baines

Hello UCalgary,

There’s already a lot happening this fall, and we are only in the third week. Here is a quick round-up of upcoming events and important deadlines:

Clubs Week

Clubs Week is back in Mac Hall! Check out hundreds of different clubs, explore your interests, and make some new friends. You can preview the whole Clubs list here, or just drop by Mac Hall North and South Courtyards all this week.

Pet Therapy

The puppies are back, too. Join us on Wednesday from 12 – 1:30 p.m. in That Empty Space (lower level Mac Hall), and enjoy a visit with our friends from PALS.

SU By-Election

Are you a leader in the campus community? Would you like to be? Consider running in the upcoming SU By-Election. We have eight vacancies (faculty rep positions for Kinesiology, Social Work, Haskayne, and Schulich (2), a Board of Governors Student-at-Large, Vice President Operations and Finance, and Vice President External. Nomination days are coming up Sept. 26 – 28. All the info you need is here on our website.

Health and Dental Referendum (SU By-Election)

You may not have heard yet, but there will be a referendum question on the ballot during the SU By-Election. We’re asking students to make a decision about indexing the SU Health and Dental Plan fees to inflation, to maintain existing benefits and keep the cost of the plan predictable over time. It’s really important that you learn about this issue and vote (on your Student Centre, October 12 – 14!), even if you don’t use the plan yourself. You can read the question and learn more on our website.

Advocacy Survey

We are running an advocacy survey right now to learn how students feel about the return to campus, access to voting, and rising costs. Your responses will guide our efforts on these issues. We have extended the deadline until this Friday, Sept. 23 in order to hear from as many students as possible. Please take a few minutes to fill out the to fill out the 2022 SU Summer Advocacy Survey.

Fall Food Drive and Stack the Mac

October is Food Security Month, and we are holding our annual  Fall Food Drive. There are three easy ways to make a difference on campus. You can make a donation in person, a monetary donation on our GoFundMe page, or join us Oct. 5 in Mac Hall for our Stack the Mac event. (Bring a box of mac and cheese and help us build a tower taller than Rex!)

Are you an undergraduate researcher?

Finally, have you spent some time in the lab and made a unique discovery? Will your critical analysis lead to positive social change? Share your accomplishments at the Undergraduate Research Symposium for the chance to win a scholarship. Abstracts are due Sept. 29 at 4:00 p.m. For more information or to submit an abstract, visit our website.

I’ll be back with another email soon – there is always lots to share. In the meantime, the best way to stay up to date is to follow the SU on social media, @SUUofC.


All the best,

Nicole Schmidt,
President, Students’ Union

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Release: Textbook Broke – Students looking for affordable ways to study

Release: Textbook Broke – Students looking for affordable ways to study 150 150 Michael Brown

Calgary – Students have returned to classes at the University of Calgary, facing a much less affordable environment than when the pandemic first hit. Students have endured skyrocketing cost pressures well prior to the current inflation crisis.


UCalgary students are paying at least 25% more in tuition than they did in 2019, with no corresponding increase in education quality. Fees for student services, recreation, and athletics have also seen double-digit percentage increases since 2019.


On top of that, simply affording study materials, like textbooks, is increasingly difficulty for students. In a 2021 SU survey, 85% of students identified the cost of textbooks and other required course materials as a source of financial stress and hardship. In 2018, MacLean’s magazine found that Canadian students spend an average of $773 on textbooks each year. This number is likely even higher today.


“Students aren’t just broke, they’re at a breaking point,” says SU VP Academic, Shaziah Jinnah Morsette. “Tuition, fees, books, and rent have all increased at rates well above inflation for the last three years. The current inflation crisis has compounded it even more. We need government and universities to help. One way they can do that is to support, encourage, and fund Open Educational Resources (OER).”


OERs are any type of teaching, learning, and research resource, from textbooks to presentations, that are free and openly available through an open copyright license like Creative Commons to allow for repurposing and sharing of OERs by others. Traditional textbooks and materials come with more restrictive copyright licenses. However, awareness for using OERs as a solution to the costly burden of traditional textbooks is still growing.


The Students’ Union (SU) sees tremendous value for students in OER initiatives. Following years of provincial inaction, in 2021, the SU committed $500,000 to support the development of OERs. This money is creating up to fifty new OERs over five years. While provincial funding in Ontario and British Columbia have led to millions in savings, Alberta lags behind in supporting OERs. Ontario and B.C. students have saved nearly $40 million in costs thanks to government investment in those provinces.


“While the Alberta 2030 initiative mentions OERs, it is unclear what action the province will take to catch up to comparator provinces like Ontario and BC,” says SU VP Academic, Shaziah Jinnah Morsette. “What is clear is that students cannot continue to wait for real action. That’s why we have partnered with our university library on our own OER project to support OER use and development.”


The SU joins calls from students, student associations, and other organizations in asking for institutional and government support for OERs. It is a simple and effective way to help students save money and continue to be able to access a post-secondary education.


Media inquiries may be directed to:

Mike Brown, External Communications Specialist

University of Calgary Students’ Union


Illustration of group of people on cell phones

Notice of Referendum – By-Election 2022

Notice of Referendum – By-Election 2022 1934 1004 Gene Baines


The Students’ Legislative Council is proposing an amendment to the SU Constitution which would allow for small, predictable increases to the fee amounts charged to students enrolled in the SU Health and Dental Plans to occur without a referendum when necessary, rather than larger, less frequent, but potentially unexpected increases through referenda.

If this amendment is approved, it would help ensure the coverage levels of the Plans for students would not need to be cut and can be maintained in the long-term, while providing predictability to students.

  • The SU does not profit from the Health and Dental Plans and currently subsidizes the plan costs, which it cannot do in the long-term.
  • The SU would only initiate a fee increase if necessary to maintain coverage levels and ensure the Plans continue to break even.
  • These increases would be tied to the Alberta Consumer Price Index (“CPI”), a reliable indicator of changes in consumer prices, calculated by the Government of Alberta.
  • The fee increases would only be allowed up to a maximum of 4% per year.
  • Students would be informed of any upcoming changes to the price of their Plans prior to the payment deadline in case they wished to opt out from the Health and Dental Plans.

If this amendment is not approved, the SU Constitution will remain as is. Students will need to
vote on all future increases to the Plan fees through other referendum questions. Should those
referenda be defeated, the SU will need to reduce the coverage of the Health and Dental Plans to
compensate for their increasing costs.


Given the Background provided above, do you support amending the Students’ Union Constitution
by creating Article IX.D.1.a as follows:

“Fees for the health and dental plans may be increased with the Alberta Consumer Price Index, up to an annual limit of 4 per cent, without a referendum question being put to members to ensure financial sustainability of the plans.”

  • YES
  • NO

See the SU Elections page for more information.


Please see the Referendum FAQ for more information.


Illustration of group of people on cell phones

Notice of Nomination – By-Election 2022

Notice of Nomination – By-Election 2022 1934 1004 Gene Baines

Notice is hereby given that Nomination Days are Monday, September 26 to Wednesday, September 28, 2022. Nominations for the election of a candidate for the following offices will be received at Council Chambers in MacEwan Student Centre, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Office Avaiable (# of Vacancies)

  • Vice President External (1)
  • Vice President Operations and Finance (1)
  • Board of Governors Representative (1)
  • Faculty of Social Work Representative (1)
  • Faculty of Kinesiology Representative (1)
  • Haskayne School of Business Representative (1)
  • Schulich School of Engineering Representative (2)

Nomination Packages are available on the SU Elections Documents page. See the SU Elections page for more election information.




Summer Advocacy Update

Summer Advocacy Update 150 150 Michael Brown

As campus gears back up to welcome back students for the fall, the SU was busy over the summer months advocating to all three orders of government and the university on a variety of issues. Here’s your summer update.

Provincial Government

The SU met with Health Minister Jason Copping, who also represents the university and surrounding communities in the legislature. The SU discussed tuition and the need for a student jobs program with the Minister. Students have been without a jobs program since the cancellation of the Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) in 2019. Neither of the jobs programs announced by the UCP government include students. In summer of 2021, one in four students looking for full-time work was unable to find it.

The SU met with several members of the Official Opposition caucus on the jobs issue as well. The SU was able to secure a commitment that the Opposition would bring back STEP to help students find summer work with four times the budget from the cancelled program. The Opposition expects it will help create 12,000 summer student employment opportunities.

Throughout the summer, the SU conducted research on a number of provincial policy asks with the intention to advocate to Alberta’s major political parties to include these policies in their platforms ahead of the next provincial election anticipated for May 2023. The annual SU advocacy survey is currently out and receiving student feedback on these issues. The SU plans to ramp up its efforts through the fall and winter in an attempt to push student issues to the forefront of the upcoming election campaign.

Federal Government

The SU’s advocacy team travelled to Ottawa to begin setting federal advocacy priorities through the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA). The SU hosted CASA delegates in Calgary in August to finalize priorities ahead of CASA’s annual advocacy week in November.

The SU also met with the NDPs critic for advanced education to discuss federal priorities around jobs, student financial aid, and mental health.

Municipal Government

The SU held an advocacy day at Calgary City Hall and met with four Councillors or their staff. Discussions primarily centred around the housing crunch in Calgary, transit safety, and the UPass program. The SU secured a commitment from a Councillor to pursue potential changes to the UPass model and to include students as stakeholders in decision-making around transit.

University Administration

The SU continues to push the university to fulfill its promises on the Credit Granted (CG) option for students. The university made a commitment that all undergraduate students would have reasonable access to CG. Instead administration has allowed certain faculties to regulate CG out of existence. The SU is working on a solution to ensure some access for all students.

The university increased tuition through the Exceptional Tuition Increase process last year. Undergraduate increases occurred to engineering (32%) and Medicine (15.7%). The SU has asked that the university provide metrics for at least the next five years as to how these additional student dollars will be spent. The university has not provided metrics to this point and we will continue to push on this issue through the fall.