News

Bermuda Shorts Day 2021

Bermuda Shorts Day 2021 150 150 admin

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major changes to the university experience for all students at the University of Calgary and across Canada. The SU has shifted much of its programming online to continue to engage and support students. However, this is not possible for many events like concerts and conferences. Our top priority is the health and safety of all UCalgary students. That’s why the SU has made the difficult decision to cancel our Bermuda Shorts Day (BSD) programming for 2021.

BSD is a UCalgary tradition celebrating the last day of classes of the winter semester and the SU’s BSD beer garden and concert has always provided a safe space for students to celebrate. With the ongoing pandemic it is clear that an in-person event, and one similar to previous years, cannot occur given the current restrictions.

We know this will be disappointing for many students, especially this year, who may have been looking for an opportunity to unwind after a more stressful academic year than normal. Online classes, increased social isolation, and a disconnection from the physical space of campus have all added to the challenges that university students face.

Rest assured the SU will continue to offer programming to engage and support students, it just may look a bit different than usual for the time being. There will come a time where we can all celebrate again as a campus community and the SU will be there to support that opportunity.

Inquiries can be directed to:

Mike Brown
External Communications Specialist
Students’ Union, University of Calgary
587-590-4465
Michael.brown1@ucalgary.ca

Winners of Students’ Union 2020 Research Symposium Announced

Winners of Students’ Union 2020 Research Symposium Announced 150 150 admin

Undergraduates Recognized for Excellence in Research

Nov. 25, 2020

Calgary, AB – The winners of the 15th annual Students’ Union’s (SU) Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) were announced in 17 different categories. A total of $23,000 was awarded to undergraduate researchers.

This year’s event was held online to accommodate physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Student researchers were invited to submit their abstracts in early October, and those selected to participate created five-minute videos to present their findings.

“Normally, posters are presented in person at a showcase in MacEwan Hall. This year’s event showed how students are meeting the unique challenges of 2020,” said Students’ Union VP Academic Semhar Abraha. “Students have had to embrace video as a form of communication this year and participants were challenged to hone their presentation skills to fit a short video format. We have been so impressed with these presentations.”

The URS seeks to make research accessible, and the symposium provided 48 participants with the opportunity to reach a wide audience online. A team of more than 35 judges made up of faculty and staff from the University of Calgary had the difficult task of determining the best submissions. The URS research presentations can be viewed on as a playlist on the SU’s YouTube channel from Nov. 23 – 27.

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See the full list of this year’s URS award winners here (PDF download) or on this page.

Media Contact:

Jason Morgan
Assistant General Manager
403-220-3905
jjamorga@ucalgary.ca

Tenth Anniversary of Students’ Union Q Centre Celebrated

Tenth Anniversary of Students’ Union Q Centre Celebrated 150 150 admin

Intentional community identity building, the importance of LGBTQ+ spaces, and the legacy of students’ investment highlighted 

November 2, 2020

CALGARY, AB – On November 3rd, the Students’ Union (SU) will be proudly celebrating the tenth anniversary of the only space at the University of Calgary devoted to serving our lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ+) community and their allies.

The SU Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity, known as the Q Centre, first opened its doors on November 3, 2010. The space, administered by the SU and operated by a team of dedicated volunteers, offers a safe and supportive environment for students to hang out in, as well as educational programs and resources.

In 2014, the SU expanded the capacity of the Q Centre to provide diverse programming and services by opening a newly renovated space using an SU Quality Money grant. With over 1,000 ft2 of space, the Q Centre expanded their library, offered a new reconfigurable multipurpose space for events, studying, and networking, and added private office spaces and a reception area.

“We are so proud of the work that the Q Centre has done to build a strong and thriving LGBTQ+ community on our campus,” said Frank Finley, Students’ Union President. “Thanks to the dedication of our volunteers and the investments students have made through SU Quality Money, the Q Centre serves to promote awareness and acceptance while offering community to students and other members of our university.”

In honor of the anniversary the SU Q Centre is hosting speaker and activist James Demers for a discussion on building community identity and queer space and how the evolution of these spaces is vital for connecting the future of the Pride movement to current social movements.

“Students have always been a key part of creating social change,” Finley added. “We are grateful for the opportunity to discuss the importance of this work with James, as we know that there is still more work to do and barriers to break down both on our campus and within our society.”

The SU is looking forward to continuing the work that the Q Centre has started throughout its ten-year history, including working to promote awareness and acceptance of different sexual identities through educational programs, partnerships with the university, and advocacy. Q Centre coordinators and volunteers pushed for the university’s first multi-stall gender-inclusive washroom, hosted awareness events during Sex Week, and led the SU’s involvement with Calgary Pride, and new events and initiatives, including remote peer support, are always being developed.

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Media Contact:

Marcus Plottel, External Communications Specialist
403-829-9208 / marcus.plottel@ucalgary.ca

Images (credit for all to Gene Baines/SU Staff):

STUDENTS’ UNION 2020 BY-ELECTION RESULTS ANNOUNCED

STUDENTS’ UNION 2020 BY-ELECTION RESULTS ANNOUNCED 150 150 admin

New Board of Governors student-at-large and Faculty of Social Work Representative elected

October 16, 2020, CALGARY, AB – Results of the Students’ Union (SU) By-Election were announced at the end of the day on Friday. Two positions were open going into this week’s vote, and campaigning was primarily online due to COVID-19.

 

Students elected ­­­­Mickail Hendi as their new student-at-large representative to the UCalgary Board of Governors. Hendi captured 45% percent of the vote.

 

Additionally, Chief Returning Officers declared Jovanna Rodney acclaimed to the position of Representative for the Faculty of Social Work having run unopposed. Rodney had served as the appointed representative to the same position since May 1, 2020.

 

“I would like to congratulate Jovanna and Mickail for their commitment to stepping up to represent their fellow students, and I look forward to working with both of them” said Frank Finley, SU President. “Additionally, I would like to acknowledge and thank Alisha Gordon for holding the interim position of Board of Governors student-at-large representative and bringing students’ views and opinions to the Board with passion, tact, and chutzpah. Governor Gordon has been an exceptional board representative, and students have been lucky to have her.”

 

Having been appointed when the position was left vacant in the 2020 SU General Election, Gordon served as the Board of Governors student-at-large representative since May 1, 2020. She had previously served two terms as the Senate student-at-large representative and one term as the SU Vice President Student Life in 2019-20.

 

This year’s By-Election saw 372 students vote. This represents 1.1% of eligible student voters. By-Election results become official on October 26, 2020.

 

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Media Contact: Marcus Plottel, External Communications Specialist

(403) 829-9208 // marcus.plottel@ucalgary.ca

 

For Further Election Information: Amanda Cha, Chief Returning Officer

elections@su.ucalgary.ca

Proposed Amendments to the U of C Sexual Violence and Gender Based Violence Policy

Proposed Amendments to the U of C Sexual Violence and Gender Based Violence Policy 150 150 admin

Earlier this year, the University of Calgary proposed revisions to the existing Sexual Violence Policy.
We want to ensure that these revisions are considered after consultation with the undergraduate student body. Please take a moment to participate in our anonymous survey. We will collect your feedback and present it to the university on behalf of undergraduate students.

Take the survey here:
[button link=”https://survey.ucalgary.ca/jfe/form/SV_3gzmf5hCfGuXpBj”]Sexual Violence Policy Survey[/button]

Responses must be completed by Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.

Campus Food Bank Launches Month-Long Food Drive

Campus Food Bank Launches Month-Long Food Drive admin

Community support sought to help secure the SU Campus Food Bank for fall and winter months

 

October 5, 2020

 

CALGARY, AB – As students return to post-secondary studies, the Students’ Union (SU) Campus Food Bank at the University of Calgary is launching a month-long food drive. After re-opening in September, students are looking to the community to come together (remotely) to help re-stock the shelves.

 

“We are proud to re-open the SU Campus Food Bank to support our campus community,” says Assad Ali Bik, SU Vice President Student Life. “The Fall Harvest Food Drive is a call to action to ensure we are able to continue this support through the fall and winter months.”

 

Every day from October 1st to 31st, the SU will be sharing ideas via social media on little things everyone can do to support the food bank. There are three ways to participate: as an individual, as a team, or anonymously. Details and a list of high-demand items are available online: https://www.su.ucalgary.ca/events/campus-food-bank-fall-harvest-food-drive/.

 

Ali Bik added that any support is appreciated. “One dollar, one can of food, or 100, it doesn’t matter,” he stated. Non-perishable food donations can be dropped off at the Information Centre in MacEwan Student Centre. Larger donations are accepted by appointment, and a GoFundMe page has been created for monetary donations during the Fall Harvest Food Drive.

 

During the summer, the food bank had to remain closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, and students who needed support were directed to other community resources; however, food insecurity remains a concern for students who struggle to afford their education, and scheduled curbside pickup appointments are now in place to maintain physical distancing.

 

“With tuition increasing, cost of living going up, and many students unable to find work over the summer due to COVID-19, we know that students will be facing tough choices, and we don’t want the choice to be between food and education,” says Ali Bik. “We want to make sure that students know that we’re open, and we’re here to help during this challenging time.”

 

The SU Campus Food Bank has been independently operated by the Students’ Union for over 27 years and provides emergency, seven-day food hampers to students and other members of the campus community.

 

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Media Contact: Marcus Plottel, External Communications Specialist

(403) 829-9208 // marcus.plottel@ucalgary.ca

Students’ Union to recognize efforts to improve remote learning during COVID-19

Students’ Union to recognize efforts to improve remote learning during COVID-19 admin

SU Teaching Excellence Awards nominations open for Fall 2020

 

September 14, 2020

 

CALGARY, AB – The Students’ Union (SU) is continuing their annual tradition of honouring great professors at the University of Calgary, something that is even more important this year as most instruction has been moved online. The Teaching Excellence Awards (TEA) is the SU’s campus-wide program which gives undergraduate students the chance to recognize outstanding instructors and teaching assistants.

 

“TEA is a unique opportunity for students to reward their instructors and teaching assistants,” said Semhar Abraha, SU Vice President Academic. “Despite the challenges we are all facing, the SU is proud to continue to recognize these incredible instructors for their ongoing commitment to quality education at the University of Calgary.”

 

The creation of the SU Teaching Excellence Awards was intended to encourage high-caliber teaching and innovative pedagogy at the University of Calgary. From the start, the awards were meant to provide students with the opportunity to give feedback on the quality of university instruction. Typically, the in-classroom experience plays a major role in the nomination and selection process; however, this year most students will be receiving instruction remotely, and the SU hopes to recognize the additional effort made by instructors to create engaging, interesting, and informative online course delivery.

 

“Many students are facing the challenge of remote learning for the first time, and we understand that many instructors are teaching this way for the first time as well,” said Abraha. “For those dedicated teaching professionals who are continuously putting in the effort to ensure the quality of their courses remains consistent, and especially for those who go the extra mile to make their courses something special, we want to make sure they get the recognition they deserve.”

 

TEA nominations will be collected for the fall semester from September 14 to October 23. Winter semester nominations will open on January 18, 2021, and winners will be selected and announced in the spring, at which time the SU will make a $5,000 donation in recognition of the winners to the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.

 

The SU has been honouring outstanding teaching at the university since 1975, with the Teaching Excellence Awards being handed out in their current form for the first time in 1984. Last year, the SU received 1,143 nominations from students and honoured 37 faculty members, instructors, and teaching assistants. For more information about the SU Teaching Excellence program and the award criteria, please visit www.su.ucalgary.ca/TEA.

 

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Media Contact: Marcus Plottel, External Communications Specialist

403-829-9208 / marcus.plottel@ucalgary.ca