Students' Union, UCalgary

SU @UCalgary

Excellent teachers and SU election candidates

Excellent teachers and SU election candidates 150 150 admin

Hello, UCalgary – I hope you enjoyed your well-deserved time off. I’ve got a few quick reminders for you as we near the end of the month.

Teaching Excellence Awards: nominations are due this Friday

If your professor or TA actually let you relax over reading week, it might be time to nominate them for an SU Teaching Excellence Award! I know that there are so many deserving instructors this semester, and you can help us recognize them by filling out a quick online form. The deadline for nominations is this Friday, Feb. 26, so please make some time this week to let us know who they are, and what makes them so excellent.

SU General Election: get to know your candidates

This is the time of year that you get to select who represents you at the SU. Check out all the candidate platforms to learn about who is running, and attend one or more of the public forums this week to see them in action. The forums for the presidential candidates and the new vice presidents will be streamed on Facebook Live, Feb. 23 – Mar. 1. See our social media for details.

Voting days are March 2 – 4 in your student centre (

Tax Season

Finally, while the Volunteer Tax Program clinic remains closed, we’ve got lots of suggestions for other free and low-cost services to get your taxes done this semester. Visit our Volunteer Tax Program page – the deadline to file your 2020 taxes is Apr. 30.

Good luck on your second round of midterms – I’ll be in touch soon!

All the best,

Frank Finley, Students’ Union President

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Alberta Budget continues to squeeze students

Alberta Budget continues to squeeze students 150 150 admin

CALGARY – The University of Calgary Students’ Union is disappointed but not surprised by the continued lack of support shown by the UCP government towards students. The provincial budget revealed continued deep cuts to post-secondary that will see tuition and student costs rise while also forcing the university to cut supports and services that students use.

The university expects a nearly $90 million cut to their budget based on previous and current provincial budgets. As a result, students can expect to see their tuition increase by up to 22.5% by the time this budget is fully implemented. In another short-sighted move the government eliminated the tuition tax credit which amounts to a $200 million tax hike on students and their families.

“If students were to receive a better, higher quality education by paying more that would be easier to swallow, but the university is being forced to cut staff in addition to raising tuition. Online learning also doesn’t provide the same campus experience. In short, thanks to these continued cuts students are paying a lot more and getting far less.” – Frank Finley, SU President

Beyond the cuts, the SU is disappointed to see no plan to help undergraduate students find work this summer or once they graduate. Last year nearly one-third of students surveyed were unable to find any summer work at all. Another 12% indicated they found summer work, but their employer cancelled the position. Students are facing dwindling summer job prospects while being asked to pay more for their educations.

“Students are struggling to cover the cost of their education already and a lack of summer opportunities means they will go further into debt and be unable to even cover their basic expenses as well. We encouraged the province to bring back the STEP program or a similar student job program. Our calls have fallen on deaf ears.” – Marley Gillies, SU VP External

Silver linings in the budget were non-existent. For the last five years the provincial government has committed funds for post-secondary student mental health services and supports. There appears to be no such commitment in the 2021 budget. The SU hopes that the province did not cut mental health funding for students in the midst of a pandemic.

Overall, the SU is incredibly disappointed with the government’s lack of commitment to post-secondary education. While the UCP government cries poor, it has provided $4.5 billion in tax cuts to corporations and lost more than $1.5 billion in the Keystone XL deal. Investing even a portion of those funds in universities or colleges would have prepared students for jobs in the new economy and provide a solid boost to student and new graduate employment. Instead, more and more educated young Albertans are leaving the province for greener pastures.

Media Inquiries may be directed to:

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

Advocacy Blog – January 2021

Advocacy Blog – January 2021 1400 450 admin

As classes started for the winter semester in January, the SU was busy continuing its advocacy efforts to all three orders of government and university administration. 2020 presented new and unique challenges for student and academic life. 2021 appears as though it will be no different.

The SU always wants to hear from students about your ideas on advocacy and what you need to navigate your studies during the pandemic. Please reach out to the SU if you have ideas or need support.

At the university level, the SU continues to advocate on tuition, fees, and student costs. The SU successfully advocated for a ‘Credit Received’ or CR option for students who may have a course where they would prefer not to have a letter grade in the fall semester, and were able to secure the same option for early in the winter semester. Students who receive a C- or better may convert that grade to a CR which wouldn’t count towards their GPA. We are currently working on having the university offer this option permanently – we expect this change to be announced by the end of this semester. In addition, the SU has successfully made sure that online exam proctoring will not be used by the university. However, individual professors may still be using this software; if that’s the case please contact the SU.

The SU continued its government advocacy by meeting with several elected officials individually to bring student concerns forward. This included an introductory meeting with Calgary MP Jasraj Hallan who met with the SU to discuss student mental health and student jobs and internships.

The SU met with Minister Copping who is the provincial Minister of Labour and Immigration. Minister Copping also represents the University of Calgary and surrounding area in the Legislature. The SU advocated for a student summer job program to help UCalgary students find work over the summer months. Last summer near one-third of UCalgary students surveyed said they couldn’t find a job at all or had a position cancelled due to the pandemic. The SU is working hard to ensure more opportunities for student work this summer.

The SU also supported awareness efforts on the cuts to post-secondary education from the provincial government and subsequent increases to tuition. Through the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS), our colleagues in Edmonton created a snow penguin army of 800 penguins carrying signs asking the government to freeze the cuts.

SU VP External Marley Gillies also participated in a drive by protest outside the Advanced Education Minister’s Calgary office. The event raised awareness of and called for an end to the severe funding cuts by the province.

Early in January, the SU also held its annual Calgary Leaders Dinner. This year’s event was reimagined as the Calgary Leaders Dialogue since it couldn’t be held in-person as usual. SU Executives and SLC members spent time talking to Calgary elected officials from the three orders of government. In total, 18 elected officials attended and Councillor Druh Farrell acted as keynote speaker. The elected officials discussed student issues such as tuition, mental health, and transit while also providing tips to student leaders on how best to advocate and build solid relationships with governments.

If you have questions or concerns about these initiatives or have ideas on what the SU should pursue on behalf of students, again, please contact us.

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Our Statement on Anti-Asian Racism

Our Statement on Anti-Asian Racism 150 150 admin

We at the University of Calgary Students’ Union are concerned of many of the recent acts of hate in our city and country. Anti-Asian hate crimes, in particular, have seen a sharp rise in both Calgary and Canada. Further, this past weekend in Calgary, a Muslim woman was physically assaulted, a man using a wheelchair was attacked as he confronted anti-mask protestors, and anti-mask protestors wore antisemitic imagery as they marched through Prince’s Island Park. We categorically denounce these acts of hatred and stand in solidarity with all those experiencing acts of prejudice and racism.

While anti-Asian hate crimes have risen massively with the pandemic, the pandemic did not signal their start – these issues are deep-rooted in our society. Further, we fear it can be easy for some to compare Calgary or Canada to other places in the world and believe that these issues do not exist here. To do so would be dangerous and wrong.

These acts of hatred serve to divide us, at a time when solidarity is most needed. We must stand together to fight against these nefarious issues and to ensure everyone feels safe in our university and city.

It is not radical to believe that one should not fear for their safety because of their religion, skin colour, ethnicity, sexual identity, or ability.

Beyond statements, it is important to take action and stand up for others when we see acts of hatred being committed. We encourage any student who believes they have been mistreated or discriminated against at the University of Calgary to contact us and the university’s Ombudsperson. A full list of our anti-racism work and resources can be found here.

We stand with those fighting against prejudice and racism at UCalgary and in the rest of our society. Students have been at the forefront of many social movements, so let us fight for a future we can proud of.

News on CR/F for Winter 2021

News on CR/F for Winter 2021 150 150 admin

Hi all, SU President Frank here.

I wanted to update everyone on the status of Credit Received/Fail for the winter semester. As you know, we had the option for CR for one course in fall, but I wanted to ensure that something was in place this semester as well. While there is work being on done on a permanent policy that will allow students to take CR for a certain proportion of courses during the course of their degree, this policy will not be ready for approval until late March.

Since I believed it was important for students to know their options as early as possible in the semester, I recommended that we either push the policy forward, or put in place another temporary policy. An hour ago, I got out got out of the committee meeting in which the status of CR/F for winter was decided, and I wanted to share the news with everyone.

This semester, students will have the choice of a CR grade option for one course as follows:

  • Undergraduate students may request a CR grade for a single course where the final grade is a C- and above. A single course can be one of a 3 unit, 1.5 unit, 1 unit or .75 unit course.
  • Graduate students may request a CR grade for a single unit course where the final grade is a B- and above. A single course can be one of a 3 unit, 1.5 unit, 1 unit or .75 unit course.
  • May 14, 2021 is the deadline for students to request the CR grade for a Winter 2021 term course.
  • A course where the CR is applied will not count towards a student’s GPA.
  • This may be applied to courses scheduled during the Winter 2021 term (regular, block week, non-standard)

I hope that this CR grade will relieve some stress for everyone. Even if you don’t have any intention of requesting a CR grade, I think it’s nice to have in your back-pocket just in case.

ALSO, your hundreds of letters to university admin last semester in favour of CR/F were amazing, and certainly helped this discussion to continue. These CR/F policies are not insignificant wins and could not have been delivered if students did not make themselves collectively heard!

Frank Finley,
SU President

Big News on CR/F for Winter, Elections, and Events

Big News on CR/F for Winter, Elections, and Events 150 150 admin

Happy February, UCalgary, 

If you felt like January dragged on forever, you’re not alone! I’ve got a few updates on what the SU has been working on this semester. 

Big News on CR/F for Winter Semester 

I am pleased to announce that the U of C will extend CR/F to include the current semester. 

While there is work being on done on a permanent policy that will allow students to take CR for a certain percentage of courses during the course of their degree, this policy will not be ready for approval until late March. Since I believed it was important for students to know their options as early as possible in the semester, I recommended that we either push the policy forward, or instate another temporary policy. Yesterday, this temporary policy was implemented. 

These CR/F policies are not insignificant wins and could not have been delivered if students did not make themselves collectively heard. Your hundreds of letters to university admin last semester in favour of CR/F were a major factor in this decision. 

Read the full details here. 

Other Advocacy Updates  

Advocacy continues on a number of fronts, including work on flexible exam windows, quality of academic instruction, and the continued ban on proctoring. On governmental issues, we have been pushing for affordable student monthly transit passes, increased financial support for students, and support for student employment over the summer months.  

SU General Election 

Are you a leader in the campus community? Would you like to be? Think about running in the upcoming SU Elections. The SU is a great place to gain professional experience, connect with your faculty, and influence university policy. Curious about running but not sure if it’s for you? Everything else you need to know, including the positions available, can be found on our website. Nomination days are next week, Feb. 8 – 10.If you have more specific questions about running, you can also book an appointment with one of our Chief Returning Officers.  

Sex Week 

Not interested in student politics? How about sex? UCalgary’s annual Sex Week is coming up next week, Feb. 8 – 12. It’s a great opportunity to have all your questions about sex, love, relationships and so much more answered. Check out the schedule of events and other resources on our website. 

Teaching Excellence Awards 

We know that profs and TAs have had a challenging year, just like all of us. They have had to work extra hard and get extra creative to help students learn from a distance. But we also know that students have noticed – last semester, we received a record number of Teaching Excellence nominations from UCalgary students. So do you have a prof that has been going the extra mile this semester? Or a TA that makes it worth getting up for an 8 a.m. lab? If you do, make sure you nominate them for a Teaching Excellence Award. Complete a short online form and we’ll make sure they know their extra effort is appreciated. 

SU Survey – last call 

Have you taken the SU Survey yet? There are two good reasons to do it: (1) We use your feedback to improve our programs, services, and advocacy every year. (2) You could win one of ten $100 Amazon gift cards. The survey closes this Friday, Feb.5, so take it now and tell a friend. 

Not that anyone’s counting, but as of today you’re only 9 days away from Reading Week! Hang in there – you’ve got this! 

All the best, 

Frank, President
The Students’ Union

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

Notice Of Nomination – General Election 2021

Notice Of Nomination – General Election 2021 1080 450 admin

Notice is hereby given that Nomination Days are Monday, February 8 to Wednesday, February 10, 2021 and that nominations for the election of a candidate for the following offices will be received via Zoom video conferencing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • President (1)
  • Vice President Academic (1)
  • Vice President Operations and Finance (1)
  • Vice President External (1)
  • Vice President Student Life (1)
  • Faculty Representatives, Arts (4)
  • Faculty Representative, Cumming School of Medicine (2)
  • Faculty Representatives, Haskayne School of Business (2)
  • Faculty Representative, Kinesiology (1)
  • Faculty Representative, Law (1)
  • Faculty Representative, Nursing (1)
  • Faculty Representatives, Schulich School of Engineering (2)
  • Faculty Representatives, Science (3)
  • Faculty Representative, Social Work (1)
  • Faculty Representative, Veterinary Medicine (1)
  • Faculty Representative, Werklund School of Education (1)
  • Board of Governors Student at Large Representative (1)
  • Senate Student at Large Representative (2)


Nomination Packages are available on the Election Docs page.

[button link=””]Election Docs[/button]

Updates for the 2021 General Election will be posted to the Elections page.

[button link=””]Elections Page[/button]

Welcome Back: Take the SU Survey, Join a Club, Check out our Advocacy! 

Welcome Back: Take the SU Survey, Join a Club, Check out our Advocacy!  150 150 admin

Hello, UCalgary, and welcome back to the winter semester.  

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m Frank Finley – your Students’ Union President. I’ve got some information that you might find useful as you ease back into these next few weeks.  

Take the SU Survey 

First up – Take the annual SU Survey now and enter to win one of ten $100 gift cards. I want to hear your thoughts on the SU’s programs, services, and businesses – we want to make them even better, but we can’t do it without your help. Past survey data has influenced everything from payment options at Stor to funding for new study spaces. It only takes 10 minutes – take the survey now 

Clubs Week Virtual Fair 

Speaking of new friends, there are more than 300 clubs that are part of our SU family! This semester, we are hosting over 100 clubs each day at our virtual January Clubs Week on ClubHub from Jan. 19 – 21. The event will be live from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. each day. Drop in and say hi – there’s bound to be one (or more!) clubs that’ll be a perfect fit for you.  

Advocacy Notes 

Moving into this new semester, we have a number of ongoing advocacy initiatives. We have been fighting for various academic regulations, including the continued prevention of proctoring, flexible exam windows, and the ability for students see all questions of each exam in D2L during their exam times. Further advocacy at the municipal and provincial levels includes continued efforts to increase student financial support, demands for increased investment in student mental health, and work to hold our government and university to account. 

Run in the SU General Election 

Have you ever thought about taking on a leadership role at the SU? The SU General Election is coming soon. Official nomination packages will be available at the end of the month – but in the meantime, we’re regularly updating our election webpages with important information and deadlines. Want the details about what it’s like to campaign? Need insight into the life of an SLC member? You are welcome to check out our tip sheets, make an appointment with one of our CROs, or attend one of our Pre-Election Workshops from Jan. 19 – 29!  

Bound and Copied Used Textbooks 

Finally, are you still working out which books you are going to pick up, and hoping to save some cash? Bound and Copied is open for consignment and in-person shopping. Drop by from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, lower level of Mac Hall. 

Stay safe, UCalgary. See you in a couple weeks!  


President, The Students’ Union
The University of Calgary

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.


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