Statement on New Campus Health Measures

Statement on New Campus Health Measures 150 150 Michael Brown

Today, the University of Calgary announced some new health measures ahead of the fall semester starting next month. Overall, the SU feels that these are positive steps, but we await details on how some measures will be implemented.

The major new measures are as follows:

  • Students, and all members of the campus community, who are not vaccinated or prefer not to disclose their vaccination status will need to regularly complete rapid tests for COVID-19. Those who are vaccinated will be exempt.



  • Masks will be mandatory in all public spaces on campus. Masks are not deemed necessary in the following situations:
    • Working alone in private offices
    • Working outdoors AND there is a minimum of 2 metres between people
    • Meeting indoors and there is a minimum of 2 metres between people
    • Working alone in a shared space
    • Working in a cubicle with plexiglass, wall, or other approved barrier between people AND when not providing services to anyone
    • In a classroom where there is a minimum of 2 metres between instructor or among students



  • Those who develop symptoms or receive a positive test will be required to isolate for 10 days from when symptoms begin.

This is good news for students and will help keep us all safe as we return to campus next month. However, the SU feels that this should have been announced sooner, certainly before the final three weeks before classes begin.

These measures come after students have planned their schedules. It is our feeling that it is easier to start with stricter health measures and ease them over time rather than have to tighten them at the last minute.

The SU is also disappointed that professors and instructors were afforded much more flexibility than students when it came to choosing whether to deliver courses online or in person. Last week, the university allowed professors to move in-person courses online, well after students had planned their schedules.

In our view, it would have made far more sense to announce these new health measures first before offering professors the ability to change the delivery method of classes.

Students were never afforded the ability to choose to take a particular course online and now may have to make last minute adjustments to their schedules. This is causing further stress and anxiety for students.

Overall, we are pleased with the new measures from the university but we have questions around the frequency of rapid testing and how the university will identify those that are not vaccinated. We thank the university for working with us over the summer months to ensure student safety and we look forward to continuing that work into the fall semester.


Return to Class Update

Return to Class Update 150 150 Michael Brown

Students deserve to feel safe on campus. I think this is something we can all agree on. We are about to welcome students back to the University of Calgary, this will include students entering their first year and second year who have yet to be on campus at all. We must make sure they feel safe and we must make sure that all students feel safe when they rejoin our campus community.

The SU, its students, and its staff are not medical experts. We must defer to the experts when it comes to safety protocols, but students deserve coherent and timely information about COVID-19 protocols on campus. I, and fellow SU executives, are hearing over and over from students that they are worried, anxious, and stressed about returning to campus.

Make no mistake, students want to come back. Students have missed out on so much of the university experience over the last year-and-a-half. Online education is no substitute for in-person learning. But students want, and deserve, to come back safely.

It’s concerning to me that in the survey recently released by the University of Calgary, 56% of those who responded are concerned they will get sick on campus and are concerned about spreading it to their families. In addition, the same number, 56% again, do not feel that sufficient health measures are in place on campus to keep them safe.

The new measures announced after the survey results came out do nothing to put fears to rest.

The SU has learned that professors can choose to switch their courses to online, if requested by a certain deadline. This flexibility was never afforded to students and that is concerning. Students deserve flexibility and accommodations to ensure they can complete their studies safely and not worry about getting sick while doing it.

The university’s move to allow professors to do courses online instead of in-person means that many students may have a different mix of online and in-person classes than they expected. They may have to take an online class on campus if that course is immediately after an in-person course, for example. This just adds to student anxiety.

If a student isn’t comfortable sitting in a 300-student lecture hall, they shouldn’t be forced to, nor should they have to drop the course or put their degree on hold. The university should step up with accommodations for students as well.

What makes all this even more disappointing is that the university has had eighteen months to plan for the return. We all knew that we would be returning to in-person learning at some point. So why are details still being worked out less than a month before the fall semester begins?

Rest assured the SU team is working hard to push the university to communicate clearly and effectively as well as to recognize the difficult position students are in due to their lack of real action.

Please continue to reach out to me and the SU executives with what would reduce your stress and anxiety about the return to class. We will pass these thoughts on directly to senior university officials.

Lack of student consultation derails UCalgary’s tuition increase plans

Lack of student consultation derails UCalgary’s tuition increase plans 150 150 Michael Brown

Calgary – The Government of Alberta has delayed the massive tuition increases proposed by the University of Calgary, ordering the university to conduct proper student consultation in and resubmit proposals to the province by October 29. The SU warned the University that consultation was not adequate, but the Board of Governors approved the increase plan anyway and sent it to the Minister of Advanced Education for final approval.

The University of Calgary proposed exceptional tuition increases as high as 30% for undergraduate students in Engineering and Medicine to take effect in fall 2022.

The university was afforded a ten-month window, from September to June, to consult students, prepare, and submit tuition increase proposals to the Minister. The University only revealed its exceptional increase plans in mid-May, six weeks from the end of that window and only after students had left for summer break.

“The consultation process was flawed, it was forced, and it was done after students had left for the summer. The SU told university administration and the Board of Governors that student consultation wasn’t adequate. They failed to listen and are now being ordered by the Minister to do proper consultation.” – SU President, Nicole Schmidt

Students in affected faculties were sent surveys beginning in March that did not provide any context, details, or costing to students. In short, students weren’t aware that the surveys were somehow part of an exceptional tuition increase. It was not until mid-May that students were informed of the proposals, only after they began summer break.

“This is an opportunity for the university to conduct meaningful consultation with students and work to rebuild student trust. The SU is working on a document that will set out standards for student consultation. This will ensure that students are properly engaged in consultation and be used as a standard for consultations on tuition and other areas where student feedback is needed.” – SU President, Nicole Schmidt

After this experience, the SU strongly believes that there must be a minimum standard for the university to adhere to when it comes to student consultation and feedback. The SU will present a document outlining consultation minimum standards and best practices to university administration setting out student expectations in this regard. The SU remains committed to work with the university to ensure proper consultation occurs this fall.

The SU is grateful to Minister Nicolaides and appreciate the fact that he expects a higher standard from the University of Calgary.

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Mike Brown

External Communications Specialist

University of Calgary Students’ Union

Cell: 403-560-0577


UCalgary Bookstore Privatization Delayed!

UCalgary Bookstore Privatization Delayed! 150 150 Michael Brown

The SU is pleased to announce that UCalgary administration has backed down from privatizing the bookstore…for now.

This is a win for SU and student advocacy efforts but the fight is not over.

The university is delaying their decision until June 2022 with discussion on this resuming in the new year. This new timeframe will not make students find privatization more palatable but it gives the SU and students time to organize further efforts to save the bookstore.

Thanks to bookstore staff who alerted us to the impending privatization decision, the SU was able to successfully take action and hold university administration to account. The university put together a survey as did the SU.

In the SU survey, 89% of students opposed the privatization of the bookstore and 93% supported the SU taking over operations should the university feel it could not. This student feedback appears to be what shifted the university’s thoughts on privatization.

Thank you to all students who wrote to the university and completed surveys. It is thanks to your efforts in providing the SU with strong data and information that we are able to announce this victory today. While our efforts will continue, we prevented the university from making a hasty and ill-advised decision without seeking proper feedback from students.

University agrees to permanent Credit Granted option

University agrees to permanent Credit Granted option 150 150 Michael Brown

Towards the beginning of the pandemic the university, thanks to SU advocacy, implemented a Credit Received (CR) option. This CR option recognized the challenges that students were experiencing during the pandemic. It allowed students who passed a course, but may have received a lower grade, to not have that grade affect their GPA while still acting as a prerequisite for more senior level courses.

The SU believes that this should be permanently available to students and have advocated to the university that they implement a permanent CR option. Though the SU had hoped to have this news sooner, we are very pleased to announce the university has committed to a permanent CR option starting in Fall 2021.

This new permanent option will be called Credit Granted (CG).

All faculties across the university will have some type of CG model. Students will largely be able to assign nine credit units as CG over the course of their degree.

For the typical, semester-based courses, this means that students can use the CG option three times over their degree. Students must apply to do this within two weeks of the end of a course and cannot save up their CG designations to the end of their degree.

This is good news for students and is reflective of what’s going on at several other universities across the country. The SU is proud to have pushed the university to adopt this Credit Granted approach.

Each faculty, department, and program is allowed to add additional restrictions about which courses are eligible. In some cases, not all students enrolled in a particular course will be eligible to use the CG option by virtue of them majoring in different programs. It is imperative, and up to students, to check their degree, department, and program restrictions so there are no surprises if students elect to use one of their CG options.

The SU is continuing to advocate to ensure that students can go to a one-stop shop to view any and all restrictions to the Credit Granted program. Students deserve to have all the information they need to make an educated decision about whether to use the CGs afforded to them or not.

Release: UCalgary student calls for delay to tuition increase ignored

Release: UCalgary student calls for delay to tuition increase ignored 150 150 Michael Brown

CALGARY – The University of Calgary Board of Governors voted today to increase tuition in Engineering and Medicine by more than thirty per cent and fifteen percent, respectively. Increases would take effect in fall of 2022. Student leaders raised concerns about the consultation process the university is required to do by the provincial government.

The Alberta Tuition Framework sets out the requirement to consult with student associations, like the SU, and students in affected programs over a ten-month window from September to June. Eight of these months occur over the academic year. It is disappointing that the university made a choice to rush this process by only doing true consultation in the final eight weeks and only after students had left campus for the summer.

While senior university officials continue to maintain that consultations were adequate, the SU and students disagree. Students were surveyed in March or April but were not provided any context, details, or costing prior to the summer break. This means that students did not know what they were being consulted on.

Students were not given any details as to the cost increase of the proposal or even informed that the university was looking at exceptional increases until early-to-mid May, well after students had left campus for summer break.

The SU maintains that the university could have received student support for these proposals over their shortened timeline had they conducted consultations that provided context and details to students in the surveys and emails sent in March and April.

“The university has ten months every year, from September to the end of June, to consult students and put together a proposal. It is unbelievable that after only revealing the detailed proposal in the final eight weeks of the window that the university feels students have been adequately consulted. This feels a lot like a student not completing assignments through the year and looking to nail it on the final exam in order to pass.” – SU President, Nicole Schmidt

The SU will now advocate to Alberta Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides to delay the process so that adequate consultation can occur with the detailed proposal when students return to class in the fall.

“While university administration appears to have no problem with the rushed and incomplete nature of the consultations, we are hopeful that the Minister expects a higher standard. The SU calls on the Minister to review the proposal and direct the university to conduct fulsome consultations.” – SU President, Nicole Schmidt

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Mike Brown

External Communications Specialist

University of Calgary Students’ Union

Cell: 403-560-0577


SU releases bookstore privatization survey results

SU releases bookstore privatization survey results 150 150 Michael Brown

In the Spring, the SU learned that the university was exploring privatizing the campus bookstore by contracting out operations to an American company. The SU approached the university with questions and concerns and learned that the university was exploring a number of options on bookstore operations. Because the bookstore is very well utilized by students, the SU began advocacy on the issue and is opposed to privatization of the bookstore. The company the university had approached has a less than stellar reputation when it comes to managing operations of campus bookstores and has raised costs for students in many cases.

The SU put out a survey to undergraduate students asking for their feedback to both get an understanding of the importance of the bookstore for students as well as better understand how students felt about any changes to bookstore operations. Nearly 2,000 students filled out the survey. Thank you for providing us with your thoughtful feedback.

It is clear from the survey that the bookstore is important to students with a majority using the bookstore to purchase a large amount of their course materials as well as school supplies and UCalgary branded merchandise.

Students overwhelmingly oppose any plan to privatize bookstore operations. 89% of students oppose the university making such a move. If the university feels it cannot run the bookstore any longer, 93% of students believe the SU should take over operations. The SU already successfully runs the Bound & Copied used bookstore.

The survey is being sent to university administration and publicly released. The data gathered will be used to inform SU advocacy on this very important topic. The full results can be viewed through the link below.

Bookstore Privatization Survey Report

Release – Students call for delay to exceptional tuition increases due to lack of consultation

Release – Students call for delay to exceptional tuition increases due to lack of consultation 150 150 Michael Brown

CALGARY – Student leaders had the opportunity to question UCalgary administration on the exceptional tuition increases being proposed for undergraduate students in Engineering and Medicine. Students asked several questions about the consultations that the university has said they’ve been engaged in since March and raised concerns as to why the Students’ Union was not made aware of any proposal until mid-May.

The university is proposing a 15.7% increase for Medical Doctor students and 32% and 51% for Bachelor of Engineering domestic and international students, respectively.

The university admitted that students surveyed in affected faculties in March and April were not told it was in relation to an exceptional increase. This means that students were asked to fill out a survey with no context and no numbers as to the percentage increases students were facing.

“This is like government putting out a survey on building a new highway without saying where the highway is going or how much it will cost. Students were left in the dark on what the surveys were about. I’m not sure how the university can claim they’ve conducted meaningful consultation on tuition increases without saying by how much or why tuition is increasing.” – SU President, Nicole Schmidt

Students were only informed of the details of the exceptional tuition proposal in May, after classes had finished and students left for summer break. The Students’ Union has contacted student leaders from the affected faculties, and all have said that no details were provided until May.

The university has a ten-month window, from September to the end of June, to consult on and then submit exceptional tuition increases to the province. This means that the university had ample opportunity to plan ahead and bring these increases forward while students were in classes.

“The university appears to have made a deliberate choice in only unveiling the details of these increases after students went on summer break. This kneecapped the ability of the SU to advocate for students and denied students the opportunity to provide feedback on the detailed proposal.” – SU President, Nicole Schmidt

The SU calls for this process be halted until adequate student consultation can be conducted, as per government regulations. The SU is putting together a detailed list of what the bare minimum for meaningful student consultation should look like. Once complete, this list will be shared with students, the university, and the government.

Until the consultation threshold is met, the SU calls on the university to delay the increases until they can conduct real consultation with students on campus starting in September. Failing that, the SU calls on Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides to delay the proposals until at least the fall and direct the university to properly consult with students.

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Mike Brown

External Communications Specialist

University of Calgary Students’ Union

Cell: 403-560-0577


Statement – Kamloops residential school

Statement – Kamloops residential school 150 150 Michael Brown

The University of Calgary Students’ Union is heartbroken at the discovery of the bodies of 215 Indigenous children at a former residential school in Kamloops. This loss is devastating and unimaginable. The SU stands with residential school survivors as we collectively grieve this tremendous loss. Canada was and remains party to a legacy of colonialism that can only be healed through the actions of truth and reconciliation. The horrific abuse that Indigenous children suffered after being taken from their families and their language and culture forbidden must not be forgotten as we all move forward in the spirit of reconciliation.


The SU calls upon the University of Calgary and all orders of government to fully implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. For our part, the SU Quality money program has funded programs on campus that support Indigenous students and foster positive relationships with Indigenous communities. There is much more work to do and we all must re-double our efforts in the name of reconciliation.


While symbolic, we must also remove from places of reverence those who created and supported the residential school system. That’s why the decision made by the Calgary Board of Education to rename Langevin School is positive, but it is well overdue. The SU thanks the students of the now newly named Riverside School for not giving up in their four year battle to re-name the school. The SU calls on the Calgary Catholic School Division to re-name Bishop Grandin School and to do so immediately. Only then can we move forward together and begin to heal the wounds of the past.

Teaching Excellence Winners Announced

Teaching Excellence Winners Announced 1500 1001 Gene Baines

Check out the video honouring the winning Professors and TA’s.