Photo by Mariah Wilson

Who’s Who in the SU: Cumming School of Medicine Rep Siavash Zarezadeh

By Kristy Koehler, November 12 2019—

In an effort to introduce new — or even continuing — students to representatives in the Students’ Union and in the Students’ Legislative Council, the Gauntlet is running the series, ‘Who’s Who in the SU.’ We introduced you to the executives, now let’s meet the Faculty Representatives. Cumming School of Medicine Representative Siavash Zarezadeh tells his story

The Gauntlet: What do you do in your role?

Siavash Zarezadeh: As the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) faculty representative, I represent our faculty on the Students’ Legislative Council, the main governing body of the SU.  On a day-to-day basis, I work to accomplish the campaign promises that got me elected, address student-specific concerns and report to CSM associate deans about academic and student life concerns both big and small. 

G: Why did you run for your role?

SZ: By third-year in the BHSc, I had a strong idea of how to improve the student experience on the Foothills Campus. My focus over the past year was on restoring and investing in student spaces, making Foothills feel more like home. I made significant progress but I reached the limit of what I could achieve alone. I needed to boost my reach within our faculty administration — that’s why I chose to run for the faculty representative position. And so far, this position is proving to be the leg-up I needed to push for my more prominent ideas.

G: What do you specifically plan to do within your role?

SZ: At the moment, I am in discussions with our Vice-Provost (Student Experience), Susan Barker, to expand the UPass program to summer student researchers. This project aims to reduce the financial barrier to summer research by saving students $300 on transportation costs. By supporting the principles highlighted in the Eyes High Strategy, this project is a win for students and our faculty. 

I am currently working within the CSM to identify possible improvements in mental resources and awareness for our students. This project aims to address mental health in a tangible and meaningful way. Students will see changes by winter semester as a result of my consultations with students. 

In terms of student spaces: clean-ups and maintenance orders have already been sent for the BHSc laboratories and over the fall semester I will work with CSM to further improve student lounges on Foothills Campus. As for SU events, I secured funding to host four PALS: Pet Therapy sessions on the Foothills Campus— a CSM favorite. During midterm season, I will be handing out destress kits, filled with goodies and snacks.

G:  For someone who doesn’t know what Students’ Legislative Council is, how would you describe it? And how would you describe what it does?

SZ: The Students’ Legislative Council (SLC) meets Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the MacEwan Building Council Chambers. SLC serves as the highest governing body of the SU, which means SLC passes policies and budgets to implement within our organization. I highly recommend students come to a meeting — they’re open to the public — to see SLC in action.   

G: A year from now, when you are done your role, what do you want to look back on and see?

SZ: I hope to demonstrate that the faculty representative position is high impact and deserves to be occupied by passionate individuals with a plan to address student concerns. Most importantly, I hope to have delivered on my campaign promises, making a significant and meaningful impact for the CSM students.

G: How can students get in contact with you if they need you?

SZ: CSM students can always find me walking around the Foothills Campus. I would love nothing more than to talk to you about your concerns. Getting to understand your perspective would be immensely helpful.

Otherwise, please email me at medrep2@su.ucalgary.ca and I’ll get back to you in no later than 48 hours.

Read about your other elected representatives here.


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