University of Calgary Students’ Union Response To Violence Against Student Protestors

University of Calgary Students’ Union Response To Violence Against Student Protestors 150 150 Nathan Ross

The University of Calgary Students’ Union (SU) unequivocally condemns the actions taken against students on May 9th, which saw students assaulted with flash-bang grenades, tear gas, and non-lethal munitions in alarmingly rapid escalation. This extreme response was requested by the University of Calgary President Ed McCauley and the University Administration.  These students, many of whom were arrested or injured, were exercising their freedom of peaceful assembly guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

The university’s utilization of Calgary Police Service (CPS) was an invitation for violence against students. It is our belief that without this, the protest would have remained peaceful. Unlike at other Canadian universities, the University of Calgary’s administration made no serious efforts to speak with the protestors before directing CPS to remove them from campus. This is a failure of leadership from President McCauley and the University of Calgary Administration. 

Student protesters sought dialogue with admin, only to be continuously rebuffed. The fact that the university’s president feels more comfortable calling the police than meaningfully engaging with students demonstrates where his priorities lie. 

Furthermore, we vehemently dispute the accuracy of the statement released by the Office of the President that the protest only ‘devolved’ with the arrival of counter-protestors. According to protestors as well as video footage posted from the event, no counter-protesters were present when the CPS escalated its tactics. Calgary Police had secured the area well before 10:00 pm with only a singular point of entry that was being used to escort individuals out, which either means that no one was able to enter or those that entered were permitted to do so.

We have reached out to President McCauley early this morning, but as of publication of this statement, our request to better understand why the protesters were not engaged has gone unanswered. The fact that we have yet to hear back from the administration after students were teargassed on our campus yesterday is deeply unsettling. Yesterday’s actions set back years of progress that was built towards strong relations between the administration and students, leaving students to ask how they are supposed to feel safe exercising their rights on campus if the first response is to call the police. 

An apology will not be sufficient from President McCauley, and we will wait for either the administration to resume dialogue with us or for them to take accountability for what happened. If that does not happen, we will be pushing for more serious action, as determined by student demand. 

The SU is above all else concerned with ensuring student safety and that student rights are upheld. We appreciate the continued response and the unified calls for accountability from the community. The SU continues to invite all students interested in speaking with us or requesting support to contact the SU or visit our offices during the week. 


Results Announced: 2024 SU General Election

Results Announced: 2024 SU General Election 1280 854 Nathan Ross

Calgary – The Students’ Union (SU) of the University of Calgary is pleased to announce the results of the SU General Election which will form the 82nd Students’ Legislative Council (SLC). Undergraduate students were able to cast their vote in the election from March 5-7 to determine which of their peers will represent them to faculties, the university, and the three orders of government.

Only one of the executive races had multiple candidates, and that was for the position of SU President. Both Sandra Amin and Ermia Rezaei-Afsah – who were both Vice-Presidents with the SU in the 81st SLC – ran in the hopes of succeeding outgoing President Shaziah Jinnah Morsette. With 66% of the vote, Ermia Rezaei-Afsah will be the SU President for the 82nd SLC.

They will be joined by Mateusz Salmassi, Jessie Dinh, and Naomie Bakana, who ran uncontested and received a majority of yes votes for the positions of Vice-President External, Vice-President Academic, and Vice-President Internal respectively.

The position of Vice-President Internal is a new position, which combines two previous Vice-President positions which oversaw the responsibilities for student life and operations and finances.

Also running uncontested were the candidates for both the Board of Governors representative and the Senate representatives. Siraaj Shah received a majority of yes votes to claim the singular Board of Governors’ seat, while Muntaha Aamir and Elsa Stokes were voted into the available Senate seats.

Jessie Dinh, VP Academic-Elect celebrates her victory

In the Faculty Representative races, Hannah Kim and Mirza Ali Beg were elected as the two Cumming School of Medicine Faculty. Kim garnered 46.2% of the vote, while Ali Beg received 33.2. Over in the Faculty of Science, Gabriela Dziegielewska, Ben Shi, and Emmanuel Trinidad were elected with 26.6%, 23.2%, and 19.2% respectfully.

Out of the six candidates running for the four seats available for the Faculty of Arts representatives, Aitazaz Shah (20.6%), Edom Girma (20%), Simchah Atanda (19.8%), and Martin Al-Najar (18.4%) were successful. Similarly, there were five candidates ran for the three available seats for the Schulich School of Engineering representatives. Tavish Comrie (25.7%), Debo Dam (22.6%), and Lujaina Eldelebshany (22.6%) have been elected to fill those seats.

Other Faculty Representative races asked students to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for candidates. All candidates running received a majority of ‘yes’ votes in their respective races:

  • Faculty of Kinesiology: Elbert Tom
  • Faculty of Law: Safaa Al-Khaz’Aly
  • Faculty of Social Work: Lorraine Ndovi
  • Haskayne School of Business: Farhan Chisty and Uday Singh Sandhu
  • School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape: Julia Law

Students also voted on a referendum regarding proposed changes to the SU’s governing documents. The referendum question is the official mechanism to adopt or reject the proposed incorporation of the SU Constitution into the SU Union Bylaw, and the subsequent rescindment of the SU Constitution. Students will vote to determine whether these SU governing documents can be merged into one. The referendum has passed with 92.8 of the students voting for it.

3,764 students voted in the 2024 General Election, which equates to 13.29% of the undergraduate population. The results announced today are provisional and become official on March 15. Students elected in this General Election will take office on April 29, 2024.

The SU will hold a by-election in October 2024 to fill the following faculty representative vacancies: Faculty of Nursing, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, and Werklund School of Education.

Inquiries may be directed to:

Nathan Ross
Manager, Communications & Government Relations
Cell: 403-835-1836


Budget 2024 Indirectly Cuts Post-Secondary, Leaves Student Talent on the Table

Budget 2024 Indirectly Cuts Post-Secondary, Leaves Student Talent on the Table 150 150 admin

CALGARY – Yesterday’s provincial budget amounts to an indirect cut on a post-secondary education system already on life support. Budget 2024 continues a familiar theme with this provincial government: post-secondary education gets defunded and Alberta’s students are asked to foot the bill.

“As students, everything we are doing here at post-secondary is to build a better future. Ideally, our elected officials present a plan that does the same. Sadly, even with the small allotments to student needs, this budget commits to the further decline of Alberta’s once-leading post-secondary education system,” said SU President Shaziah Jinnah Morsette.

“Despite the overwhelming need for funding to increase, any amount that refuses to keep up with inflation on a system already near a breaking point may as well be a cut. We cannot sacrifice the needs of today and expect a better tomorrow.”

While the SU is happy to see the University of Calgary receive funding earmarked specifically for STEM students, this runs the risk of putting an additional burden without providing funding for the staff and resources needed to provide a worthwhile education to those new students. Class sizes continue to balloon in size, and many students are forced to take their classes in buildings that are falling apart as the university is $740 million behind in repairs and maintenance.

On the whole, Alberta’s 2024 budget has cut per-capita spending on post-secondary funding by 7.3%.

The SU is also concerned that the province will once again look towards major tuition increases to make up the difference. Without an increase in operating funding for universities, students’ quality of education will continue to be jeopardized. When students’ education is at risk, the Albertan economy is at risk.

“It is alarming to see the Alberta government put funding aside for a future that students might not be able to afford, when we need major investment now. Albertans today are going to suffer so we can say we had a minuscule ‘accounting surplus’. This budget borrows from the future of not just students, but every Albertan,” said SU VP External Mateusz Salmassi.

The real risk in that future is that Alberta is going to be leaving talent on the table. Without proper funding for post-secondary education, fewer courses are available for students, which delays graduation and turns away countless talented, prospective students. Despite a target of increasing Alberta’s post-secondary seats by 30,000,  this budget falls short while students and graduates are continuing to leave the province to seek opportunities elsewhere.

The SU will continue to advocate for the needs and issues of the students not just of U of C, but for all Albertan students. The hope is that this budget will be the last of this kind before irreversible damage is done to Alberta’s future and that the priorities of those living, working, and studying in the province today are met.


Media Inquiries may be directed to:

Nathan Ross
Manager, Communications & Government Relations // 403-835-1836



Five new members elected to join the 81st Students’ Legislative Council 

CALGARY, AB – Results of the University of Calgary Students’ Union (UCSU) By-Election were announced at the end of the day on Friday. There was a total of five seats available across four different faculties, with Engineering, Nursing and Veterinary Medicine each electing one representative and Arts electing two.  

Looking first at the multiple positions open within the Faculty of Arts, students elected Naomie Bakana and Tanner Neigel out of the six candidates who ran in the by-election. Naomie and Tanner captured 21.2% and 24.8% of the vote, respectively.

In the Schulich School of Engineering race, Seniru Ruwanpura has been elected out of the four candidates who ran. Seniru was elected with 65% of the vote. There were two candidates running to represent the faculty of Nursing. Colton Channon was elected with 50.4% of the vote. Finally, in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine election, students confirmed sole candidate Nancy Ngo to the elected position. Ngo was previously filling the position as an appointed representative, over the spring and summer. She received a Yes vote of 100%. “I would like to congratulate and welcome our new faculty representatives to the Students’ Legislative Council. It is always a good thing for students when they have the most representation possible, so we are thrilled to welcome five new elected officials. I look forward to working with all of them for the remainder of this legislative year,” said Shaziah Jinnah Morsette, SU President.

It is also worth mentioning that in September, SLC received a resignation from one of the current Faculty of Arts Representatives. As the By-Election process was already underway by the time of their resignation, their seat was ineligible for candidates to run for. This final, vacant position will be filled by appointment in the coming weeks.

This year’s By-Election saw 1,115 students vote. As this was a By-Election, votes were limited to students currently enrolled in the applicable faculties which had races. By-Election results become official on October 23.


Media Contact: 
Nathan Ross, Manager of Communications and Government Relations 
403-835-1836 // 

2023 By-Election Faculty Representatives (left to right): Seniru Ruwanpura (Schulich), Naomie Bakana (Arts), Tanner Neigel (Arts)

Committee of 10,000 announces latest fund recipients

Committee of 10,000 announces latest fund recipients 150 150 Michael Brown


The Students’ Union Committee of 10,000 has announced the recipients of nearly $24,000 in funding. This funding will go to support ten non-profit organizations in Calgary supporting some of the most vulnerable in our city. These organizations often look for ways to engage UCalgary students within their programming and often the Committee of 10,000 funding enables that student involvement.


“I would like to thank the dedicated committee members who made great decisions to fund amazing projects that support the UCalgary and Calgary communities. Several projects were able to come to life or sustain themselves in large part thanks to this funding. This year we focused on projects that prioritized equity, diversity, and inclusion. I am so thrilled to announce this funding.” – Marley Gillies, SU VP External & Chair, Committee of 10,000


A full list of non-profits receiving funding is below. Organizations that have received funding such as the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association, Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids, and Helping Families Handle Cancer will all help to eliminate accessibility barriers for vulnerable community members. Through supporting these projects the committee was able to ensure that more children had food to eat, immigrant women could receive community support, and families battling cancer are not financially punished during illness.


These projects will also bring great volunteer and employment opportunities for UCalgary students. In addition to an EDI focus, several projects emphasize sustainability like the Zero Food Waste Foundation and the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society.


Organizations receiving funding from the Committee of 10,000 this year were:

  • Making Changes Employment Association of Alberta
  • Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association
  • Calgary Region Airshed Zone Society
  • Zero Food Waste Foundation
  • Variety – the Children’s Charity of Alberta
  • Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids
  • Between Friends
  • Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society
  • Helping Families Handle Cancer
  • Trellis Society for Community Impact


To qualify for funding, organizations must be registered non-profits in Alberta.


Media Contact:

Mike Brown, External Communications Specialist

403-560-0577 /

Alberta 2030 News Release – Alberta government backs off major and harmful post-secondary changes

Alberta 2030 News Release – Alberta government backs off major and harmful post-secondary changes 150 150 Michael Brown


After two years of causing upheaval and uncertainty at Alberta’s post-secondary institutions, the UCP government has backed off several initial proposals from its Alberta 2030 initiative that would have hurt students, harmed institutions, and created unnecessary red tape.


Thanks to a concerted effort by students, faculty, and administrators, the Alberta 2030 initiative that purported to re-imagine post-secondary in Alberta is vastly different than originally proposed. This is good news for students who were concerned about major changes in the sector causing chaos, especially as students deal with ever-increasing tuition costs thanks to UCP cuts to post-secondary.


“This is a win for students, in a way. We banded together and told the government that initiatives they were originally proposing like extensive performance-based funding and a centralized post-secondary board would be harmful to students and institutions. What we see the government releasing today is a heavily neutered version of their plan, one that wasn’t worth the type of upheaval and uncertainty the UCP created at our universities.” – SU President, Frank Finley.


The Alberta 2030 strategy emphasizes work integrated learning and commits money to support Mitacs. Unfortunately for undergraduate students, Mitacs largely focuses on graduate students. Undergraduate students remain without a student jobs program since the UCP cut the Summer Temporary Employment Program in 2019.


“In his briefing today, the Minister said that there is no hotline to call up and hire interns for roles. The problem is that there actually was. The STEP program filled that need and allowed students to gain experience in their field, that is until it was cut by the UCP government.” – SU President, Frank Finley


Performance-based funding would have tied provincial funding to goals set by the province. As the province has made significant post-secondary cuts over the last two years, with more to come, the SU was concerned these performance-based measures would have given the province the cover it needed to make even deeper cuts.


In a briefing with students yesterday, Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides committed to release the McKinsey report that helped develop the Alberta 2030 strategy. The SU looks forward to reading that report to better understand the information that has led to the goals and actions in the Alberta 2030 strategy.


Media inquiries may be directed to:

Mike Brown

External Communications Specialist

University of Calgary Students’ Union

Cell: 403-560-0577 / Email:

2021 Students’ Union Teaching Excellence Awards winners announced

2021 Students’ Union Teaching Excellence Awards winners announced 1500 1001 Gene Baines

Calgary, AB – The Students’ Union (SU) is honouring 40 faculty members, instructors, and teaching assistants for their commitment to student success from a safe distance this year. The annual Teaching Excellence Awards (TEA) is the SU’s campus-wide recognition program which gives undergraduate students the chance to decide which instructors and teaching assistants have made a lasting, positive impression over the past year. Students determine all nominees and winners.

“This year has been extremely challenging for teaching and learning at all levels,” said Semhar Abraha, SU Vice President Academic. “Everyone has had to adapt and sacrifice in different ways. We are so proud to be able to highlight teachers who went above and beyond to support their students, especially during this difficult year. We hope these teachers know how much they are appreciated.”

This year, the SU received a record 1,356 nominations from students. The SU’s Teaching Excellence Awards committee shortlisted 125 nominees and analyzed approximately 2,500 evaluation forms. For the second year, the SU will forgo an in-person awards ceremony. The committee has produced a short video to congratulate and celebrate these instructors virtually.

Winners of the SU Teaching Excellence Award will receive an Apple Award and a framed certificate when they are able to return to campus. In recognition of the winners, the SU will also make a $5,000 donation 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. From the start, the awards were intended to provide students with the opportunity to give feedback on the quality of university instruction. They have contributed to teaching excellence remaining a key priority for the institution, exemplified by the Eyes High vision to enrich the quality and breadth of learning at the University of Calgary.

For more information about the SU Teaching Excellence program and the award criteria, please visit


See below or online for a full list of this year’s winners.

Honourable Mention – Teaching Assistants
Joshuah J. Lockett-HarrisFaculty of Arts
Colton UngerFaculty of Science
Teaching Excellence Awards - Teaching Assistants
Valerie BrunskillFaculty of Science
Hoi Ching Bernice CheungHaskayne School of Business
Laura Elizabeth CrackFaculty of Kinesiology
Milanpreet KaurFaculty of Science
Eden-Raye LukacikFaculty of Arts
Marc Herman LynchFaculty of Arts
Mohana MukherjeeFaculty of Arts
Henrique Gabriel Gularte PereiraFaculty of Science
Meghan SharpFaculty of Science
Lareeb UmerFaculty of Science
Teaching Excellence Awards - Honourable Mention
Eleonora BuonocoreFaculty of Arts
Edwin CeyFaculty of Science
Corey FlynnFaculty of Science
Tiffany GloecklerFaculty of Social Work
Barbara MartinWerklund School of Education
Steven PagetHaskayne School of Business
Nigel ShriveSchulich School of Engineering
Richard ZachFaculty of Arts
Teaching Excellence Awards
Ebba KurzCumming School of Medicine
Derritt MasonFaculty of Arts
Craig MaynesFaculty of Arts
Mary Grantham O'BrienFaculty of Arts
Annette TézliFaculty of Arts
Carol A. Gibbons KroekerFaculty of Kinesiology
Dr. Fenner StewartFaculty of Law
Krista WollnyFaculty of Nursing
Ryan HenryFaculty of Science
Sean StotynFaculty of Science
Mindi SummersFaculty of Science
Lola EmikoFaculty of Social Work
Søren R. BoysenFaculty of Veterinary Medicine
Justin KnibbeHaskayne School of Business
Ayesha MalhotraHaskayne School of Business
Alexander Mark BrutonSchulich School of Engineering
Yves PauchardSchulich School of Engineering
Miwa A.TakeuchiWerklund School of Education
Hall of Fame
Mayi Arcellana-Panlilio, PhDCumming School of Medicine
Cari DinFaculty of Kinesiology

Media Contact:

Mike Brown, External Communications Specialist
403-560-0577 /

Fines for Food uses parking fines to support campus food bank

Fines for Food uses parking fines to support campus food bank 150 150 Michael Brown


Fines for Food uses parking fines to support campus food bank


March 22, 2021

CALGARY – The Students’ Union, in partnership with UCalgary, are giving students some food for thought this spring. From March 22 – 29, fifty percent of parking fines paid will go to the SU Campus Food Bank. This is especially important for students who are completing their studies this spring to note, as all fines must be paid prior to graduation.


Anyone, not just students, who pay their fines from March 22 – 29, regardless of when the fine was incurred, will be included in this “Fines for Food” pilot program. Tickets can be paid online or in person.


“The SU Campus Food Bank provides strong support to students and their families when they need it most. Many members of our campus community are struggling right now and the food bank is here to help. I encourage all students, faculty, and anyone with outstanding fines to pay those off in this week and make sure your money goes to this great cause.” – SU President, Frank Finley


The SU Campus Food Bank has operated since 1993 and has provided support to students, their families, and the campus community at large since then. In the last academic year prior to the pandemic, the food bank provided 542 hampers, a significant increase from the 481 provided the year before.


“We really hope that students and everyone in the UCalgary community will come out to support us this week. Initiatives like this create an inclusive and caring environment on our campus. We thank university administration for working with us on this.” – SU President, Frank Finley


The SU Campus Food Bank remains open during the pandemic to provide hampers or receive donations. Any member of the campus community can access food hampers by contacting the food bank at or by phone at 403-220-8599.


Media Inquiries may be directed to:

Mike Brown

External Communications Specialist

Students’ Union, University of Calgary

Cell: 403-560-0577



SU statement on return to in-person learning

SU statement on return to in-person learning 150 150 Michael Brown


Return to in-person learning: President Frank Finley

UCalgary Students’ Union President Frank Finley issued the following statement on returning to in-person learning this fall.

Students at UCalgary want to return to in-person classes, there’s no doubt. Online learning has presented difficult challenges for students, instructors, and administration. Campus life isn’t the same without students physically in the space to learn and socialize. The Students’ Union supports returning to class in principle, however, this must be done safely without putting students and faculty at risk.

The mixed messaging from the province blaming the federal government for not providing enough vaccines to Alberta while simultaneously saying that all adults will be vaccinated by the end of June and planning for a return to class for September is concerning. This does not fill the SU with confidence.

In addition, the province has made significant cuts to post-secondary over the last three years, including more than $90 million to UCalgary alone. In his statement the Minister of Advanced Education makes no commitment to supporting institutions financially to cover increased costs such as deep cleaning. While students are being told to go back to class, the government is turning their back at the same time.

The Minister’s statement is broad and lacks detail. The SU calls on the Minister to put forward a solid plan on how to return to class safely without putting students at risk. Further, the Minister should provide financial support to institutions to allow them to open safely and ensure proper cleaning protocols can be done adequately.

If the Minister and the UCP government are serious about returning students to class, and doing so safely, then they must step up and provide details and support, otherwise they are putting our campus community at risk.

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Mike Brown

External Communications Specialist

University of Calgary Students’ Union

Cell: 403-560-0577


The Results Are In: Students’ Union 2021 General Election

The Results Are In: Students’ Union 2021 General Election 1200 500 admin

[alert]UPDATE: As of March 12, the results of the 2021 SU General Election are now official. A By-Election will be held this fall to fill vacancies for faculty rep positions in Social Work, the Cumming School of Medicine, and the Haskayne School of Business, as well as second UCalgary Senate seat.[/alert]

After weeks of forums and online campaigning, undergraduate students at UCalgary now know who their student leaders will be for the 79th SLC. Nicole Schmidt is the SU President-elect capturing 76% of the vote. Schmidt will take over from current SU President Frank Finley in May.

In the Faculty of Arts race, students selected four candidates from seven who had thrown their hats in the ring. Elected to the Faculty of Arts Representative positions are: Fayo Abdi, Justin Gotta, Matthew Herring, and Sofia Huarte Aguilar.

In the Faculty of Kinesiology race, Areeb Qayyum was elected with 45% of votes cast. Over at the Faculty of Nursing Dorsa Zamanpour won that race with 52% of votes in that faculty.

New SU President, Nicole Schmidt will join acclaimed executives Renzo Pereyra (VP Academic), Marley Gillies (VP External), Mickail Hendi (VP Operations & Finance), and Assad Ali Bik (VP Student Life) as the 79th SU executive team.

3,055 students voted in the 2021 General Election. The results announced today are provisional and will become official on March 12, 2021.

All newly elected officials will be sworn into office at the Colour Night ceremony in early May. Over the summer, the newly elected student leaders will conduct orientation and annual planning sessions.

Other results include acclaimed candidates for the following Faculty Representative positions:

Cumming School of Medicine:
Rafael Sanguinetti

Saliha Haq

Pragya Chopra
Megan Raivio
Chaten Jessel

Veterinary Medicine:
Lauren Stoffregen

Haskayne School of Business:
Adrian Alcantara

Schulich School of Engineering:
Taimur Akhtar
Khaled Elmalawany

Werklund School of Education:
Dhwani Joshi

Shagufta Farheen is appointed to the UCalgary Senate while current SU President Frank Finley was acclaimed to the UCalgary Board of Governors as the Student-at-Large representative.

The SU will hold a by-election in the fall of 2021 to fill a vacancy for the second UCalgary Senate seat as well as for open Faculty Representative positions in the faculties of Social Work, the Cumming School of Medicine, and the Haskayne School of Business.

Inquiries may be directed to:

Mike Brown
External Communications Specialist
Cell: 403-560-0577

Photo Credit: Gene Baines