2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Photo by Jordi Hoffman

2023 SU general election: VP External

The vice-president external is the Students’ Union’s representative to municipal, provincial and federal governments. They are also the primary delegate for the many umbrella lobbying organizations the SU takes part in. 


Mateusz Salmassi has been serving in the vice-president external role since the fall by-election and is running to be re-elected this term. During his time as vice-president external, he has fought for international students’ rights, affordable housing, rent control and university fee transparency. In his platform, he notes his advocacy priorities under federal, provincial and municipal categories. 

Under the federal category, Salmassi is focused on expanding international students’ rights by permanently lifting the work-hour restrictions placed on them, as he notes that it has been a strong contributing factor in why international students, — being one himself —  face housing crises and food insecurity. Alongside this, Salmassi hopes to advocate for domestic students by defending the 2020-2021 doubling of the Canada Student Grant from $3,000 to $6,000. 

With a provincial election around the corner, Salmassi spoke on fighting provincial budget cuts and tuition hikes by continuing student strikes — which he is no stranger to. The tuition protest on Jan. 20, Salmassi notes, elicited a provincial response despite the fact that they were not the target of the protest. He explains that the response shows the provincial governments’ responsiveness to student pressure. Nonetheless, Salmassi notes that protests and petitions are not enough and he will look to help and facilitate student strikes similar to the U of C drama students’ strike in March of last year. 

Within Calgary, Salmassi will continue to fight the housing crisis by supporting tenant groups in their advocation while advocating himself to rezone the University District to include affordable housing and increase affordable housing options near campus. Salmassi hopes to advocate to have a major proportion of new developments set aside for affordable housing for students. 

Overall, Salmassi is a strong candidate that hopes to continue what he has started during his term and to advocate for students to fight back. 


Mohammad Arhaam Mukati is another candidate for the vice-president external position, but he did not interview with the Gauntlet, so here’s what students can expect from him solely based on his platform. 

Mukati is a fourth-year international relations and political science student with experience in politics in different countries. It’s unclear what that experience looked like, but it’s made him passionate to initiate change. 

His platform consists of eight different tasks he would want to tackle in the role. Mukati wants to address parking prices on campus by redistributing funds, along with making SU financial spending transparent. He also wants to call for more communication between the university and its students, and do something about changing outlets that don’t work on campus. Adding more prayer spaces and halal food on campus is also something he feels strongly about achieving.

In terms of reaching out on a provincial and federal level, Mukati talks about breaking down the “unethical systematic gatekeeping system” the federal government has for medical and law students, along with questioning the provincial government on its decision to cut educational funding and raise tuition. 

While most of his platform points deal with more internal issues rather than external — and it’s hard to see the plan behind executing some of his points based on just his platform — Mukati seems to care a lot about the campus community.

All undergraduate students may vote for one of the two candidates for VP EXTERNAL or ABSTAIN from voting.

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