Students' Union, UCalgary

SU @UCalgary

SU Club Award Winners

SU Club Award Winners 150 150 Gene Baines

Hello UCalgary,

As the semester winds down, we celebrate the winners of our annual Club Awards. These awards honour clubs that have raised the bar in categories like advocacy, sustainability, and engagement. We also introduced a brand new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) award. This year’s winning clubs are:

  • Advocacy Award – Winner: Man-Up for Mental Health
  • Future Alumni Network’s SU Club Award for Alumni Engagement – Winner: Haskayne Consulting Club
  • Best New Club – Winner: American Sign Language Club
  • Campus Pride Award – Winner: Students Against Domestic Abuse Association
  • Club of the Year – Winner: Schulich Ignite
  • Collaboration Award – Winner: Global Development Society
  • Community Service Award – Winner: Birthday Wishes
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award – Winner: Business Pride Club
  • First Year Engagement Award – Winner: Physics and Astronomy Students’ Association
  • Innovation Award – Winner: Autism Awareness Club
  • Leadership Award – Winner: The Mustard Seed, U of C
  • L.O.V.E. Award – Winner: Mental Health Awareness
  • Quality of Education Award – Winner: Information Security Club
  • Student Life Award – Winner: Nigerian Students’ Association
  • Sustainability Award – Winner: Emulating Nature in Innovations

We also awarded $1,000 each to ten outstanding student leaders, through the Eric Lahoda Scholarship.

Check out a video of this year’s winning clubs and learn more about awards criteria here.

Fines-for-Food Success

During the last week of March, we announced a pilot program with UCalgary’s Parking and Transportation Services called “Fines-for-Food”. From March 22 – 29, 50% of all U of C parking fines collected were redirected to the SU Campus Food Bank. This program was a huge success, and we are excited to announce that over $5,500 was raised for the SU Campus Food Bank. Thank you to everyone who participated, and to Parking and Transportation Services for partnering with us on this great program!

Clean out your fall/winter locker
Make sure you clean out your locker by Thursday, April 29 (even if you have a spring locker). If you leave anything behind, you’ll be able to retrieve it at a cost of $10/bag at Bound and Copied. Unclaimed items will be donated to local charities. Please visit our website for more information. If you need a locker for the spring or summer semesters, they’re available on your Student Centre now!

Consign your used textbooks

If you need to get rid of some of those textbooks from your locker, consign them and make some money. Bring your used textbooks to the consignment window at Bound and Copied, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Check out Bound and Copied’s website for more information.

Good luck with your final projects and exams – you’ve got this.

All the best,

Frank Finley,
The Students’ Union

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Advocacy Update – March 2021

Advocacy Update – March 2021 150 150 Michael Brown

The SU continued its advocacy efforts at the university level and provincially throughout March. In March the Minister of Advanced Education put out a statement expecting post-secondary institutions to return to in-person classes for September. This was unexpected and came with few details. The province did not outline how it expected institutions to do this nor did they provide any funding to support UCalgary and other institutions to cover additional costs associated with re-entry, such as cleaning. The SU put out a statement and spoke to media about the need for a detailed plan from the Minister or from Alberta Health. You can read that statement here.

More recently, the SU learned that the university was in discussions with Follett to privatize the campus bookstore. The SU firmly believes that this would be a bad move for students. Follett has a history of increasing textbook prices and restricting student choice on where to buy textbooks. The SU is disappointed that the university has chosen not to consult with students over any potential change to bookstore operations.

Since the bookstore story broke, the SU has requested a meeting with the senior university officials involved in the privatization discussion. Those requests have been declined with the university only agreeing to meet after a decision on the path forward has been finalized.

This is not acceptable. The SU feels strongly that student concerns and voices should inform that path forward and not be excluded from the decision-making process. In addition, if the university feels they cannot sustainably run the bookstore then the SU is interested in entering into discussions with the university to operate the bookstore on a cost-recovery model.

The SU met with City Councillor Jeff Davison on what the City can do to keep students and young people in Calgary. Many young people are looking to leave the city and the province given the poor job climate combined with annual deep cuts to post-secondary education on the part of the provincial government.

The SU advocacy team also met with MLA Rachel Notley and NDP Advanced Education Critic David Eggen to discuss the fallout of the provincial budget and other student issues.

Later in March, the SU VP External, Marley Gillies, attended the virtual AGM of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA). CASA is the federal student advocacy group and supports student associations when it comes to advocating to the federal government on student issues. Discussion centred around the federal budget coming out next week as well as plans for GOTV in case of a federal election later this year.

The SU has continued its institutional advocacy on issues around the USRI and a permanent credit received option. A new Provost has been hired to replace Dru Marshall and we look forward to building a new relationship with the new Provost and continue our work on these issues.

Update – Campus Bookstore Privatization

Update – Campus Bookstore Privatization 150 150 Michael Brown

Recently the SU found out that the university was in some level of discussion with an American company, Follett, to privatize the campus bookstore. These discussions were only brought our attention by bookstore staff who were told about the looming changes to bookstore operations. Students were not consulted whatsoever on potential changes.

Follett has a negative reputation on many campuses where it operates bookstores. It has raised the cost of textbooks on students while also often decreasing student choice on where to purchase books by having students pay for books up front when they pay their tuition. The bookstore currently sells textbooks as close to cost as possible and maintains a book loan program. The SU is concerned that this is at risk if the university pushes forward on privatization.

While a final decision on the future of the bookstore hasn’t yet been made, the Students’ Union has repeatedly asked for meetings to get an understanding of the status of discussions with Follett or any other company involved. The SU has also asked for a meeting to present student concerns on this issue. These meetings have been declined. The university has refused to meet with student leaders until after a decision on the path forward has been made.

This is unacceptable.

Students deserve the opportunity to present their feedback for administrators to consider in their decision-making process on the bookstore. It makes little sense to solicit feedback only after a decision has been made.

Bookstore privatization may not seem like a big deal but it could further increase student costs at a time where many students are looking at paying 22.5% more in tuition than when they began their studies.

If the university is serious about ensuring affordability, then it should scrap its risky privatization plan and it should certainly ask for student feedback and ideas. If the university feels it cannot sustainably run the bookstore, the SU would be happy to enter into discussions with the university to take over operations on a cost-recovery model.

However, at the very least students deserve a voice before any decisions are made. The SU calls on UCalgary administration to sit down with students while they are still exploring options rather than after a decision has been made.

Campus Bookstore Privatization

Campus Bookstore Privatization 150 150 wrushfel

Hey everyone, SU President Frank here.

Since finding out late on Wednesday about a possible deal between the university and an American company to operate the campus bookstore, the SU has been digging around to find more information.

My colleagues and I are deeply concerned about a company with a less than stellar reputation operating the bookstore. In particular, I am concerned that we will be paying more for books because of this deal, the transparency of the deal itself (why is this the first time we’re hearing about it?), and ensuring that we continue to have choice about if and where we purchase our textbooks.

Considering the continued increases to tuition, and the already huge amounts we pay for course materials, it makes no sense to follow that up with an increase to textbook costs. I brought student concerns forward at the U of C Board of Governors meeting this morning. My counterpart at AUPE (the staff union on campus) was very concerned about this as well, and members of the board vented some frustrations about this potential move.

All this to say we are going to continue investigating this and will fight to ensure that student interests are reflected in any potential outsourcing of the bookstore. This affects all of us and students should have been informed prior to discussions like this taking place. We are hearing conflicting views on how far along in the process the university is in this deal but we will find out. So stay tuned and I will update you as we get more info.

Frank Finley

SU President


Sex Week: Feb. 8 – 12

Sex Week: Feb. 8 – 12 1920 1244 admin

This week is UCalgary’s annual Sex Week. It’s a great opportunity to have all your questions answered about sex, love, relationships and so much more. Check out the schedule of events and other resources here.

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


Advocacy Blog – February 2021

Advocacy Blog – February 2021 150 150 Michael Brown

February was a busy month for SU advocacy culminating with the release of the provincial budget towards the end of the month. Throughout February the SU met with university officials as well as provincial elected officials to advocate for students.

The SU is continuing its work towards a permanent Credit Received (CR) option for students. While the SU has had small advocacy wins with CR options for students in the fall and winter semester, the SU continues to drive towards a permanent CR option. This is relatively commonplace in Canadian universities and we remain committed to getting this over the finish line for the 2021 fall semester.

The SU is also working with UCalgary to support the SU Campus Food Bank. Students who have parking fines to pay may be able to put a portion of payment towards the SU Food Bank. More details to come on this!

Provincially, SU staff and executives worked with our CAUS counterparts from other institutions to protest post-secondary cuts and increased tuition. Students built 300 snow penguins at McDougall Centre since students cannot currently gather in a more traditional protest. The penguins carried signs highlighting stories that the SU and CAUS have heard directly from students. In these stories students highlighted challenges finding work, paying tuition, and supporting their family while going to school. The event was picked up by multiple major media outlets. Check out that story.

In addition, the SU President and VP External met with Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides ahead of the budget and received an update on the Alberta 2030 initiative. While details from the Minister were still scarce, the SU was relieved to learn that university governance will remain with the institution rather than go to a provincial superboard. President Frank Finley and VP External Marley Gillies also called on the Minister to implement some form of summer job program specifically targeted at post-secondary students. Last summer nearly one-third of UCalgary students surveyed were unable to find summer employment while another 12% had summer opportunities cancelled due to the pandemic.

Lastly, the SU responded to the provincial budget released on February 25. The asks the SU put forward to government were that student jobs program, a reversal or at least a stop to cuts, continuing funding for student mental health, and to re-implement the tuition tax credit. The UCP government did none of these things.

The cuts to UCalgary continue, there is no student job program, and, while the Minister says the mental health funding continued, he was unable to tell student leaders how much money was earmarked and for how long. You can read our news release here but as the release says “silver linings in the budget were non-existent.” The SU was again successful in speaking to media about the budget and its student impact. You can see some of those stories here.

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

First year students… have you voted yet?

First year students… have you voted yet? 150 150 Gene Baines

Hello first years!

Voting days are here, and the polls are open. I know for many of you, this will be your first ever SU Election. So here is a quick version of what you need to know.

Election for what?

The SU holds an election every March to determine who will be your student leaders for the next cycle (from May until next April, 2022).

Why should I bother voting?

I get it – you’re asking, “what does the SU even do?” Well, believe it or not, the SU has a profound impact on your student experience. We operate Mac Hall, advocate against unfair tuition increases, and host hundreds of events and programs each year.

Just in the last few weeks, your current SU exec successfully advocated for a CR/F option for your winter grades, and worked with our partner schools from across the province to apply public pressure through media to the Alberta government to freeze cuts to post-secondary education.

Ok you convinced me… how do I vote?

It’s so easy, I promise. First, check out all the candidates’ platforms here to see who is running and what matters to them. Then log into your Student Centre at to cast your vote! You can literally vote from anywhere, right up until Thursday at 4 p.m.

The election results will be announced on Thursday evening on the SU’s social media, so make sure you follow us @SUUofC.


All the best,

Frank Finley,
President, Students’ Union

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